Date: 05-17-2015 06:32
Reviewer: SilentWyvern

Type: Vita
Genre: Strategy, Mil-Sim
Developer: Mighty Rabbit

Plan and execute. Breach and Clear is a game that knows what it is, what it wants to do, and doesn't mess around with conventions of many modern military games. Bare bones tactical action is the name of the game. But does Breach and Clear complete the mission? Or is this title KIA?

Breach and Clear puts players in the role of a fireteam set to breach and clear an area of hostiles. Action is over in a matter of seconds and precise planning and strategy is key to success. Don't expect any kind of plot or highly cinematic story on this mission though. Breach and Clear ditches any kind of campaign for a mission based structure reminiscent of Unit 13. While it may seem bland on the surface frankly the lack of a narrative doesn't do a whole lot to lessen the experience.

Missions are short. The faster the objective is completed the better star rating the player receives. Most of the time playing Breach and Clear is spent planning routes, selecting positions and hoping your plan survives contact with the enemy. Its like setting up a house of cards, even the lightest mistake can spell disastor. This makes for a tense experience. While the timer only runs during the actual combat, I often found myself setting routes for up to 20 minutes before hitting breach with my fingers crossed.
Players control a four man fireteam, each of which can be customized extensively with gear, weapons and items. I was greatly impressed by the staggering amount of options for weapon customization. Each gun retains their individual customization, even when not in use. This means needing to repeatedly buy the same parts for new guns, but once in the arsenal the load out can be quickly selected. As operatives level up skill points can be distributed to various stats. Breach and Clear also features a permadeath feature much akin to games like Fire Emblem or XCom. This makes the spectre of losing a teammate in battle even more daunting. This feature is completely optional, but can add an additional layer of realism and difficulty to an already difficult game.
The theatre of war spans seven countries with five individual maps per country. However each country's maps only have one geographical setting. Germany is snowy, Mexico is a forest, Afghanistan is entirely embassy cubicles. Even with the varying sizes of the maps, I often found myself bored if I stayed in one country too long. New countries and maps are unlocked by earning stars and thankfully they are unlocked very quickly. Map layouts and sizes all drastically effect the difficulty of the game. I found myself retrying the same mission repeatedly to get all four stars. Certain rooms are death traps requiring expert tactics when trying to clear a room or take out objectives.
Breach and Clear has 3 mission types available for all maps: Terrorist Hunt, Bomb Defusal and Escape Plan. Each one offering a unique challenge with randomly spawning enemies and objective locations, no 2 missions play out quite the same.

Presentation-wise Breach and Clear is a bit lacking. Music in game regularly ends without picking back up til the next phase. Some textures appear muddy, while others seem crisp and look decent.
I played Breach and Clear on the Vita, which does utilize the touchscreen. However all the menu options on the main menu are tiny and lead to me selecting the wrong option more than once. This is only compounded by the small font sizes and touch controls glitching from time to time. Some menus would regularly stop recognizing touch commands or button commands.
And there are a number of graphical glitches, object clipping and weapons appearing backwards. These were usually minor and I found I could ignore them until the game outright crashed. Crashes occur randomly. Out of my own experience I've had the game crash twice in a three hour session and then only one during a four hour session. At the time of writing this I don't know of any patches coming out, but I do hope one is in the works.

Overall Breach and Clear is a great tactical strategy game, it unfortunately is hampered by a number of frustrating bugs. While the majority of these aren't game breaking, the freezing and crashing pulls a lot from the experience. When the game runs smooth its an incredibly rewarding tactical experience. I'd honestly recommend it for fans of real sim, military strategy games.
Copyright 2007-20XX PSPdemocenter.Com. All Rights Reserved.