The central philosophy of combat in this system revolves around a squad leader. He or she, well, leads the squad. If the squad leader is killed during a mission then, even if all objectives have been achieve, the mission has failed. Therefore the natural reaction is to protect the leader, surrounding that unit with a mobile armour of more expendable marines. This is generally not a good idea. In order for squad leaders to improve in all abilities and become a general super-hero, they have to practise. That means getting wet during a water landing, getting exhausted on a cross-country assault and getting shot at just about everywhere. Depending on the amount done during a successful mission the leader may improve on some abilities, and when all talents are showing an improvement there could be a promotion in it.
Aside from just shooting people with deadly accuracy, a sound knowledge of some technical equipment – the detector and the crack unit – is required.
A detector is a hand-held gadget which will disclose the presence of enemy forces in your local area. It takes some skill to operate, and since having a go takes up most of a complete movement round it would be nice to have more than a 15 percent chance of success.
The crack unit can interface to enemy computer equipment and give you a detailed map of the entire combat area – well, sometimes. To begin with you have about a one in seven chance of getting it right, but somehow this does not seem to tally with all the wasted time I spent at the beginning of each game.
The path to officerhood is quite tough. You must show an improvement acriss the board. Some of the scenarios do not offer much opportunity to practice your skills in the use of strange gizmos, so you cannot really concentrate on doing your favourite scenario over and over.
Play is very similar to Laser Squad, and if you have that product it is questionable whether the extra expense of buying this one is worth it just for a change of graphics.
Once again this is a strategy game, but not a realistic one. A system which involves two sides taking it in turns to move their units will never encompass the true horror and difficulty of squad-level hand to hand combat, but some would argue it is as close as you can get.
If you are after realism perhaps you should be looking at Dragon Force, but if a startlingly playable and in some places very taxing strategy game is what you are after then this is the one.
Amiga Computing, Volume 3 Issue 5, October 1990, p.37
IMPRESSIONS £24.99 * Mouse/Keyboard
f you have ever fancied getting your hands on a phased plasma rifle with a forty-watt range and bagging yourself a bug from Planet X, now is your chance, as Impressions take us once more to the Breach, dear friends. Of course, Breach 2 is the sequel to Omnitrend’s classic original.
A futuristic combat/role-playing game, Breach 2 gives you control of a bunch of star warriors struggling for peace, justice and freedom. Each individual squaddie has a predetermined supply or arms, ammunition and medical supplies, which have to be employed within a team strategy to complete a mission. It is either a search-and-destroy sortie where everything is fair game, or military intelligence (surely a contradiction in terms?) tasks where information or prisoners must be liberated.
Seen from an overview map, the troopers stand on or in the various geographical features. These affect everything from the amount of cover to movement rates. Even the fighting’s subservient to the map, working on the principle it is only possible to shoot what you can actually see. And if a bad guy is hiding around the corner you won’t know he is there till you step round and take a peek.
Moving is simply a case of drawing a line between the trooper’s present position and his destination. Shooting is a matter of facing the right way and clicking on the man, creature or thing you want to blast. If you are lucky, a hit is calculated and they die in an acid cloud of laser-induced smoke.
Different stats come into play when troopers try to ‘crack’ enemy computers or during other, more avant garde, activities. Like all actions in Breach 2, success or failure is governed by role-playing percentages, with the Amiga doing the cross-referencing instead of your poor, tired finger.
The real key to Breach 2 is strategy. Since this is based on thea ctions of a small group, the battles should be short skirmishes where single shots tip the balance, not drawn-out artillery duels. Continual awareness of the group’s status is essential. Superior troop strength almost guarantees success, but correct use of equipment can be a real time-saver and a life-saver. A well-placed grenade or neutron bomb could avoid turn after turn of futile laser fire.
Initially Breach 2 is confusing, with troopers only accessible in a certain order and missed mouse-clicks causing unintentional buddy blasting. Once you are over this hurdle though, it is the missions that cause the real problems – and that is just as it should be.
Amiga Format, Issue 14, September 1990, p.56
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Breach 2 does not look too good, with small repeated sprites overlaid on a basic map, but it does not need to be stunning. The squad are purely pieces in a highly-evolved chess game and the map is no more than an easily viewed information system, that relates details of terrain and cover quickly.
Sound, on the other hand, is not something that wargames generally stress, but Breach 2 scores strongly. With neat laser shot effect and quirky death cries tied in with a laid-back jazz number to signify victory, this is something of an exception to the rule. While no sonic cathedral, the sounds suitably heighten the fun to be had when zapping defenceless individuals.