Breach fails to make itself stand out in the crowd

Breach, the latest addition to the catalogue of military-themed shooters, offers the features gamers have come to expect: First-person shooter. Military scenarios. Varying terrain and maps. Team-based multiplayer mode. Upgradable weapons.

Breach

Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, PC

Genre: Shooter

Publisher: Atomic Games

ESRB Rating: T, for Teen

Grade: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

Breach, the latest addition to the catalogue of military-themed shooters, offers the features gamers have come to expect: First-person shooter.

Military scenarios. Varying terrain and maps. Team-based multiplayer mode. Upgradable weapons.

Most gamers could rattle off a dozen or more worthwhile military-themed titles.

But compared with those, Breach requires too much time for too little reward.

The game takes far too long to unlock and upgrade weapons and equipment, leaving players wondering if they’ll ever get something as simple as a nicer scope or a fancier grenade.

Breach is available on Xbox Live Arcade and for the PC, and it’s strictly team-based, much like MAG was for the PlayStation 3 last year.

The gameplay ranges from your typical death-match modes to more interesting scenarios like Convoy, where one side must traverse a heavily guarded route.

Convoy and another battle scenario called Infiltration are by far the best modes to compete in.

They capitalize on the maps and avoid the typical pitfalls that other multiplayer games sometimes have (like bunching up and repetitive shootouts with no strategy).

The XBLA version suffers from occasional lags and the inevitable dropped match when the host suddenly bails from the game.

I only was able to play the XBLA version, but I understand PC players experience this less often.

Breach features several worthy elements, but it fails to stand out in a crowded field.

Follow Chris Campbell at twitter.com/campbler or email him at game—on—games@mac.com.

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