If there’s one thing that grips me more about Into The Breach than the razor-sharp tactics of its death-chess scenarios, it’s trying to wrap my flabby brain about the dark possibilities and implications of its terse but tantalising plot. I’ve already espoused one possible and particularly fatalistic reading of what’s going on – the idea that every time your team of time-travelling Mechs wins, loses or otherwise begins a new campaign, they spawn a new timeline full of human suffering – but without definitive answers from the game itself, that’s little more than a guilt-stricken guess.
Time to go the source, then, that being Into The Breach writer – and writer, designer or both on a long list of revered games including Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, KOTOR 2, Pillars of Eternity, Prey and ITB predecessor FTL – Chris Avellone. Though Into The Breach very much considers brevity to be a virtue when it comes to dialogue, its short lines drip with implication about the rules of time travel, parallel realities and the motivations and peccadilloes of its pilots. It was pretty clear to me that there was a vast spider-web of careful fiction behind the minimalist facade, and Avellone’s expansive answers about where and when the Mechs come from and exactly what happens when they breach only confirm that.
But, for every question they answer, they open up a dozen more. As is only right.
Read the rest of this entry »