It’s really difficult for me to tell you who Breach & Clear is for. On one hand, I want to recommend it to people who dig strategy games, but on the other I’d rather tell them that their time will be better spent playing literally any other tactical strategy game, like the vastly superior Frozen Synapse Prime.

Here’s the bottom line, Breach & Clear is one of the most boring games I’ve ever had to endure on Vita, and here’s why.

Just like it was hard for me to figure out who this game is for, it’s hard for me to figure out where to begin. How about one of the first things that you’ll see? The visuals.

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Now, I don’t mind functional/mediocre graphics if there’s at least something enjoyable in another aspect of the game, but Breach & Clear is different. Visually, the faces of the soldiers will make you want to vomit, and the bland textures of the offices and buildings that you are breaching are about as boring as a real office job. As you get further into the game, different locations will be playable, like a snow fort; but they’re still lifeless and you’ll be wishing for the Abominable Snowman to be bust through the walls to spice the game up for a bit.

A military setting is sometimes hard to be visually interesting, as we’ve seen from years of dark shooters that lack a color palette, so I will cut it some slack, but it really did feel like I was playing a PS1 game the entire time.

What grabs people towards Breach & Clear is the fact that it is a tactical strategy game, as I mentioned above, but that even starts to wear thin as you go through the game. The missions don’t get better, they’re just repetitive. You may get a bomb that needs to be taken care of thrown in there every once and a while, but the game you’re playing at the start feels like the same game you end with, and that’s the biggest problem with Breach & Clear; it’s just so boring and repetitive.

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What I did enjoy was the options to customize your team the way you want, from choosing their names, to picking their classes. There is the Fire Team Leader, the Medic, Weapons Sargent, Intelligence, and the Breacher. It’s important to choose your team wisely, because your team’s movements are made all in one turn, so you’ll want to have the best men for the job.

There are also various breach beacons in a stage where you can send soldiers to enter from. Pairing soldiers with ones that compliment their skills is very important for your team’s survival. You can have one soldier take care of the shooting, while the other throws a flashbang to stun your enemies, or one of the soldiers can be a primary target, while the other takes care of the opposition. There’s a lot of mix and matching, which is where Breach & Clear shines brightest.

Stages are unlocked by collecting stars from other stages, so there will be a lot of going back and replaying stages for more stars. This is why you’ll want to do your best the first time around.

The three game modes, Terrorist Hunt, Bomb Defusal, and Escape Plan are exactly what you think you are. You take down enemies in Terrorist Hunt, diffuse bombs in Bomb Defusal, and escape in Escape Plan. Crazy, I know. All are challenging in their own right, but I like how the enemies aren’t visible in Terrorist Hunt until you get near them. This adds a nice challenge to those who like getting tortured by video games. And if you’re playing a strategy game, then you most likely do!

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Like stars, as you do more missions you’ll get more cash that can be spent on the marketplace. Here, you can buy weapons, devices, and other items for your guns, or you can spend that cash on outfits that give you stat boosts. The marketplace is quite cool, but it’s a shame that the menus are completely counter-intuitive. Dealing with that after a frustrating mission is what led to many rage quits.

I suppose the strategy nuts will find some kind of enjoyment at first, but I honestly don’t see how anyone could put up with this game after about too long. It becomes a repetitive mess, with nothing new to keep you hooked.

Breach & Clear is for mobile gamers that want a cool army simulator to play when they’re stuck waiting in a huge line at Walmart. I just don’t think this game should have ever been ported onto a console, let alone a handheld.

  • Anthony Brinklow

    Mobile games are hilarious. It says it all about mobile how brutally exposed acclaimed mobile titles are once they are alongside actual games.

    • I can see how this game could be good for someone who plays a level a day on his/her phone. But on Vita? No.

    • I can see how this game could be good for someone who plays a level a day on his/her phone. But on Vita? No.

      • rtlf

        I see your point Will but surely it also depends on how you choose to use your Vita? I also have full on gaming sessions at home where I’ll be playing (currently) Revelations 2 or Steins Gate for example… but then when I’m playing for 15-20mins on my commute or during my lunch break I don’t have time to get going in one of those games so something like this with it’s “level a day” style suits me great

        • Fifth313ment

          I agree, mobile games can be done right like on the Vita. What is Steins Gate? I recently had my Vita 1 (1000) model crushed by my work truck (no lie) and I’m looking to pickup a new one soon as I want to play Revelations 2. I do the exact same thing. I can be playing Borderlands all day at home on the weekends and then at work between jobs in the truck (I do HVAC aka AC work) I get a few quick sessions in. I hate Android games because of the worthless nature of the platform, crappy games with no controller support (on most).

          I’m aggravated that Sony let the Vita die and now says the market is not right for a Vita 2! How about Sony release a platform for Android and iOS which is called Vita 2 Android/iOS and then release a Bluetooth controller which wraps around phones such as the Samsung phones, LG, HTC Apple (a few of the huge brands which have a huge number of sold phones and are powerful in terms of hardware). They would only have to do the big names in phones and if they have to release a few versions such as one for HTC phones, Samsung, Apple, etc. Make the controller seamless and easy to use and have it sync with the app on the phone. The controller is key as it has to make you feel like a real console system controller once it merges with the phone you connect it to! And none of this clip on or under controller BS which is flimsy and stupid! If Sony did this right they wouldn’t have to release new hardware and just have the awesome PlayStation controller and release games online for Android and iOS!

          There are lots of controller companies for Android/iOS but they all suck and none have the backing of Sony and most of all the PlayStation brand! Sony did it wrong last time releasing the Android Xperia hardware, let users use the hardware the already have! The current Android phones are like 10x more powerful than the Vita and the GPU’s in the Apple phones are like 20x! So they could make Killzone 2 on the Vita platform but have it be a PS3/PS4 quality game! I know they released the PlayStation online on Android but it sucked because they had no support and devices were limited and it was buggy as hell. This time do it right and it will be a money maker.

          Sell the controller and a month of service with a free game for like $49.99 and it will sell like hotcakes! People would be making them stocking stuffers for Christmas! Sony could also release new games and port older PS 1, 2 and 3 titles to the system immediately to bring game support instantly so users wouldn’t have to wait between new games! This idea would be an instant money maker for them and would promote the Sony brand! They could even add in some features from the Vita such as PS3/PS4 crossplay, remote play, etc. But Sony should only do this if they are going to support it and not let it die like the Vita and PSP! It’s sad Sony supported the PSP far longer than the Vita! I probably wouldn’t buy the device until I knew Sony was going to go all in as the Vita really burnt me.

          Does anyone think this would be cool and not like the crappy half-thought through Xperia devices!

  • Fifth313ment

    I agree and B&C is $0.99 game on Android but it’s $14.99 on Vita with NOTHING NEW?! WTF?! And people why the Vita died!?

    • Breach & Clear for Vita is based on the Steam version of the game, not the Android one.

      • Fifth313ment

        What does that matter? The Android one got better reviews and seems to have better graphics plus it’s 99c? The games are the same and they didn’t add any additional content so why should it cost 14 times as much? And why would they base this game on the steam version when porting to the vita would be easier via the Android/iOS versions as the Vita is basically an optimized mobile phone chip?

        • rtlf

          Vita is basically an optimized phone chip? oh dear… There is a reason why an iPhone costs about 4-5 times what a Vita costs and that is because it is more powerful and uses newer tech (The Vita is almost 4 years old now). If it displays better graphics then that is why (considering what it costs, you’d expect it to). If it got higher reviews on Android/iOS then that says more about the general standard of the games library on Android/iOS meaning expectations are far lower when compared to the library of the Vita which has plenty of seriously awesome full on game experiences…

          • Fifth313ment

            The game was developed across the same GUI and graphics platform and whether you play it on PC, Android, iPhone, etc the graphics will be the same sans a resolution change (EG: Note 3 has a 1080p screen so it may seen sharper than the iPhone 6 which has a 720p screen.) The developer changed nothing in the way of graphics so that would have nothing to do with the increased prices. The Vita does have so many great games which is why Breach and Clear seems like a joke on the platform.

    • rtlf

      First of all the Vita isn’t dead, that’s just something ignorant people say… How can it be dead with it’s huge library of games and the plethora of great games still coming? Second of all, even if it had died it wouldn’t have been because games available on mobile for cheap were more expensive on vita… basically your point shows incorrect reasoning for a fact that isn’t even true, good work. (n.b. ignorant definition = lacking knowledge or awareness in general)

      • Fifth313ment

        The Vita is dead. The definition of a console which is dead is one that is no longer supported by the first part manufacturer. Sony has said the console is no longer bring actively developed. So yes, the Vita is an amazing system with a huge number of AAA titles but the system is very much dead. Third parties can’t save a system, just ask Nintendo. Also there are no big games coming out like a new Call of Duty, etc? You have some small third party games coming out and that’s not saving anything. If you can point me to a “plethora” of great games coming I would like o know about it for sure.

        • rtlf

          “The definition of a console which is dead is one that is no longer supported by the first part manufacturer.” lol show me which official source defines this statement as the definition of a console which is dead… oh thats right, you can’t because you made that up. Come on man seriously. Here’s why the Vita isn’t dead 1) It is still in production, thats right Sony is still actively making them 2) Many companies are still making officially licensed games for it 3) Independent developers also making loads of games for it 4) It is doing really well in Japan hence why so many Japanese developers are developing for it 5) Regardless of your initial erroneous statement Sony is actually still supporting it in the way of updates and software, here’s a recent article for you clarifying some things http://www.designntrend.com/articles/64159/20151105/dont-worry-sony-still-supporting-the-ps-vita-shifting-focus-ps4-virtual-reality.htm 6) In terms of games I’m currently playing through Revelations 2 and Steins Gate as well as Super Meat Boy which is awesome, I’ve also just received delivery of P4D, the new SAO (loved the original), Samurai Warriors 4-II and Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax 7) currently really looking forward to World of Final Fantasy, Mobile Suit Gundam (English language Asian release at last), Tetris Ultimate (physical copy), the new Legend of Heroes game, Danganronpa 3, Attack on Titan, Severed, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, Stranger of Sword City, The Banner Saga, Axiom Verge, Steins;Gate 0, the new Zero Escape, Mighty No.9, SAO: Hollow Realization, One Piece: Burning Blood… there are others but my mind has gone blank. Another thing, these games might not suit *your* personal taste but the fact they’re coming pretty much says the Vita is still a ways off from being dead (the games I’ve mentioned are just a small percentage of what is coming and are my personal choices of what I specifically am looking forward to). A dead console in my opinion is one that is no longer being manufactured and no longer has games or updates being released for it = not the vita. For dead consoles look to original xbox, ps2, psp, ds and all previous generations to those

          • Fifth313ment

            Sony themselves placed the Vita into the “end of life” aka “legacy” category, which means the product is dead. Also another indicator is that you can’t buy the console or games in stores anymore. So yes, they are still making a few for users who break theirs or who still want to buy one but I bet they are probably at 1% capacity of what they were at before. Sony was still actively making the PSP as of a few months ago and that console still has games coming out for it but by all benchmarks the system is dead. Also there are no new AAA games coming from big developers with the exception of World of Final Fantasy. Almost all of the games you mentioned aren’t in my tastes or most of the United States. So yes a console can have games coming out and consoles still being produced but still is dead. Hell they were still making PS2’s and games almost until the PS4 came out! I still don’t understand why the memory cards haven’t dropped in price nor the console itself. Sony is even shooting would be sales in the foot from buyers who want to get into the game, albeit late. I love my broken Vita and I’m probably getting a new one for Christmas but I already know not to expect much as it’s pasty it’s expiration date. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have kick ass games and life left in it!

          • rtlf

            OMG! Again with the erroneous statements! The vita was not put into the legacy category by Sony! That was the media reporting something incorrectly! You really don’t know your facts do you, just spout nonsense that was cleared up ages ago. It was the original fat design of the vita (1000) with the old screens that was declared a legacy device because it is no longer in production. The newer design aka the slim (2000) with LCD screen is not a legacy device. Jeez you just make stuff up and seem to believe it, why don’t you do your research before making such statements? Oh yea like 1% just to replace broken vitas… lol it’s laughable. Since you actually make this stuff up its obvious you just want to believe the Vita is dead and will stubbornly argue it no matter how much evidence I give you. In Japan Vita is on a weekly basis in the top 3 selling consoles in the market, on many occasions has been number 1 but on average at number 2. They even sell them in different colours and limited editions. The attaché rate for vita games sales is also unusually high for a console (this means that those who do own vitas buy a lot of games for it). I think you need to rethink the definition of the word “dead” itself. What does Dead mean?? Dead = lifeless = nothingness = no sign of life at all… This is clearly not the vita as it still has plenty of life in it, is that too hard for you to admit or do you just want to keep arguing about it? World of Final Fantasy is a AAA game and it’s coming to vita right? Ok so even if that was the only one that would contradict what you’ve been saying. But games like Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Mobile Suit Gundam etc. are all AAA games too, they’re as big budget as handheld games get. I’ve had enough of this conversation now, feels like I’m pissing into the wind if I’m honest… Historically one of the difficulties the vita has always faced is people just like you being super negative about it and not giving it the credit it deserves…. In closing I will say the one thing I do agree with you about is the proprietary memory card thing, I managed to get a 64GB one from Play Asia for about $60 in a sale but the prices are in general pretty bad

          • Fifth313ment

            You never answered my question, if the stores aren’t selling the Vita then how does it continue to go on? Every store I have been to in Virginia, Missouri and Florida (probably 100+ in the last year) have removed all Vita consoles and games. I know as I always look to see if I can get cheap games, which I have many times in the past. So the console may not be dead in Japan, I agree, it’s dead everywhere else. And it’s not like said stores removed stock this year, it’s been like a year or two that they have removed everything Vita.

            And I’m sorry but the president of Sony did not make a mistake in what he was saying, he stated correctly the Playstation Vita was legacy, but then when people freaked out they had to cover. Not one first party title has been announced, NOT ONE! Every game show comes and goes with not a drop of Vita news from their parent company, Sony. So while you can find new PSP’s being made by Sony in Japan and new games coming out for it the system is dead, as is the Vita. As I said games which were created on teh Vita, I named above, are now coming to the PS4 instead. Sony is done wth the Vita. Stock of new units is done with for retail stores. Online outlets and repair centers are the ONLY ones getting new Vita units. The PS TV has been also marked legacy as Sony also gave up on that, which was a last ditch effort to save the Vita in the West. I’m not saying the Vita sucks but but you don’t seem to grasp that this console is DOA in the retail space, which is what pushes a console to homes. And yes the Vita has a huge attach rate for games but that’s also because there aren’t that many released. I own like 15 games myself which is huge for a console.

            Also I wish I could have gotten on that PlayAsia deal for $65 for a 64GB memory card for the Vita! Arg! I an’t believe I missed that one. Mobile Suit Gundam is one I would definitely pickup as I loved that for my PSP. I love my Vita and I’m about to order another and Resident Evil Revelations 2 from PlayAsia (retail English copy, not that crappy digital only version). Those digital only games are also what killed the Vita, I mean having to spend $30 on Resident Evil RE2 and then another $20 to store it on memory, is like a $50 game!

          • rtlf

            I could sit here and point out holes in your points all day but it’s too tiresome as it is obvious you’re dead set on this ridiculous Vita is dead angle. You never asked me a question regarding the stores point but just to satisfy you, here in the UK plenty of gamestores still have Vitas and Vita games available, the sections tend to be very small but they’re there nonetheless and I’ve recently been to Spain and Portugal where most gamestores also have Vita sections (I heard the Vita is actually very popular in Spain, apparently they sold around 800,000 units there alone which is a lot for that country).

            Either way I can’t even remember the last time I’ve bought a game from an actual gamestore, the vita is a niche console meaning it has it’s market but it’s more of a specialist one where as gamestores are generally more there to cater for the masses (and don’t take this the wrong way but the more casual gamers), the people that want to buy cod, gta, assassins creed, annual sports games etc. (this is a generalised statement so I realise it doesn’t apply to everyone). Gamestores are of course going to concentrate on what brings them more money and sales.

            The vita market is more sparse and spread out throughout the world so of course not many physical gamestores are going to do well in specific physical locations with vita sales, that’s where the internet, the postal service and general 21st centuryness come into it. The games are all attainable and there is a niche but popular market for them (otherwise they wouldn’t be making and releasing them still).

            Here’s a link which officially clarifies the whole legacy statement farce which was exacerbated by sensationalist journalism (which btw you totally were sucked in by) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoBoyXFJyGQ The Vita might not be competing with the big consoles worldwide but like I said it has its market, it might not be fully fit and healthy, but it is still alive and will continue to be for at least another year or two…

            Insist on arguing about it? fine, but I wont be reading anymore of your comments in this thread.