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The Breach

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Rating: 4.1/5 (106 votes)
Comments (41) | Views (11,041)
DoraThe BreachYou know what you need? Vomiting zombies and space moths. At least, we're going to assume that's what you need, because here is The Breach from Berzerk Studio, and it has quite a bit of both. It's a horror/action/platformer that puts you into the bulky space boots of a lone security officer, Sergei, exploring a prototype starship, the Hermes, that is suddenly not responding to communication. By the time Sergei discovers how bad things are, escape has gotten more complicated, forcing him to descend into the belly of the ship looking for the escape pods. And of course there are the visions that get increasingly more disturbing as he progresses, and the strange force that whispers everything would be so much simpler if he would just let it in...

The game plays fairly simply, using the [arrow] or [WASD] keys for movement, and the [spacebar] to fire or interact with certain objects. Your health is displayed as an orange bar in the upper-left corner, and your shields are the blue bar that overlaps it; shields regenerate, but health does not, so keep an eye out for rare medical drops from enemies. Of course, dying only respawns you back at the last door you went through, so it's mostly a temporary setback. Killing enemies nets you experience, which in turn eventually gains you levels, which in turn automatically applies upgrades to your abilities. Not that you'll notice much of a difference except where rate of fire is concerned. But that's okay, because scattered throughout the game are various weapons, armors, and other upgrades that are much more useful in monster busting.

The BreachAnalysis: If you've ever wondered what would happen if someone tried to combine Super Metroid with themes vaguely reminiscent of Event Horizon, well, here you go. It's got Metroid's runn-y/jump-y/shoot-y gameplay, and a story that manages to unnerve, even if it does get predictable towards the end. Everybody loves unexplained malevolent space entities, and The Breach has such a creepy one I wish it had put a bit more emphasis on the story than it does.

The Breach has the bones of a good scifi horror title, but the problem is that it has problems with pacing, and with a tendency to go for the gross-out factor rather than anything frightening. You fall into a rhythm; run down some corridors, shoot some monsters, Sergei has a vision, keycard, boss fight. You'll go a while before the game starts throwing new types of enemies at you; when it does, it starts introducing a lot, but too many of them seem like the developer was hoping you found bodily fluids icky. Man, a little less barfing on my shoes, and a little more fleshy phase beasts with an unsettling number of limbs, please. The game also isn't particularly challenging; most enemies behave like wind-up toys (admittedly somewhat appropriate in the story), and typically bosses can be dealt with just by finding a spot where they can't reach you and holding down the trigger.

The end result is something that feels a bit like it would have been served with more time in development so the creators could have spent a while fleshing out the gameplay to make it as creepy and interesting as the story. Everything is perfectly serviceable, just not as exceptional as you might hope for. The Breach has a tremendous amount of potential, and while it doesn't quite live up to all of it, what's there is still worth experiencing if you're a fan of the genre. The presentation is fantastic, with clean visuals, an eerie soundtrack, and more vomit, blood, pus, and ick than you can shake your grossly mutated and malformed fist at. Yaaaaaaaay!

Play The Breach


Fun game, but the inability to aim or jump while holding the spacebar is getting really annoying.

Anonymous June 15, 2010 9:39 PM

Be careful jumping on doors you don't have the key for yet. There's a clipping bug which can put you into limbo


The gameplay itself was pretty good (some of the enemies are just pathetic, though, especially the bosses). The game was a lot creepier in the beginning, particularly in the dark sections, than in the end when you're practically an unstoppable force.

Tried pretty hard to be Andromeda Strain/King In Yellow/Dead Space/Lovecraft-y, but why not. The ending

was really disappointing to me - where's the twist? What happened was exactly what I expected, and exactly what always happens in that sort of horror movie. Ah well.

Cool little game.

Tracian June 15, 2010 9:49 PM

I didn't have any problem with the squick factor nor with the lack of variety - the atmosphere was more than enough to compensate for that.

The boss fights (especially the last one) were somewhat anticlimatic, but in my book this is better than ultracomplex and unforgiving by-the-pattern fights.

The real problem for me were the maps: they looked very much like something out of Metroid, promising nooks to be discovered and conquered after getting some more equipment... but this actually happened only once - with the necessary double-jump suit. The ability to freely roam the ship and go back to explore (slightly more complex) levels would have done wonders to this title.

Also, wouldn't have been more "fun" if the aliens were actually the good guys, or if Sergei found the escape pod door locked? A breathless run back to some former pod door, maybe while pursued by lots of alien horrors, would have capped the game very nicely.


I enjoyed the game. Admittedly, I thought the collection part would be a bigger deal, leading to me jumping down into a lot of acid pits looking for hidden rooms, but it was fun... except for the last boss.

The problem was that taking damage knocked you back. This lead to an incredible number of deaths where, at the last minute, the boss would break out of a pattern or otherwise hit me, leading to me falling off the platform to my death.

atomic1fire June 16, 2010 12:35 AM

Even better,
Sergai blows up the ship, escapes,
Then mutates into a new insect.
Epic Plot twist,
Breach 2 involves two storylines,
One where a new character has to kill breech, and stop the plague.
other where breech is a human alien halfbreed, with new abilities, and has to infect everyone.

atomic1fire June 16, 2010 12:37 AM

In my above post I was refering that a plottwist involving a mutated sergei would make an awesome game ending, and allow for a sequal with two storylines, good and bad.


I'm having trouble with the second level, right after you get your second suit. I see the moth come out of the guys chest, but I can't get up the next ledge. I tried double-jumping from every ledge on the left, but I still can't get up. Can any one help?


I agree, Dora. This game doesn't quite live up to the potential it could have.

Funny though, the real disappointment came even before the game started. As a gamer, I'm used to the shifty tricks that developers and portals use to get more money out of their ads, and I understand the need, as long as a certain line of respect is maintained. Let's see:

  • Fake loading times, to extend the ad display time? Okay.

  • Instead of autostart, pushing an unnecessary "Play" button to ensure at least one guaranteed look at the ad? Fine.

  • Huge animated "PLAY NOW" fake button screaming at you from an ad in the middle of the stage, while the real-game Play button is tucked away in the bottom right corner as a plain-text, non-button-like-thingy? Definitely NOT OKAY.

Most devs shy away from the last one, as one really have to have no respect for players to pull off this kind of deception, but apparently Berzerk has no such concerns.

Shame, really.


Can't play. When I try pressing up or down, the screen scrolls instead.


SiamJai: Don't blame the devs for the big play now button inside ads, it is the advertisers who make that.

Loved the game and the ending is better than the lame 'escape and done' they have on the beta. Still feel lacking compared to the interesting story on those logs but oh well. Hate the last boss since most time I fall when doing the first jump to the boss arena (where the camera is zoomed out). Beside that, everything was easy.


Rose, I understand that about the ad, and they also share the blame (actually, responsible ad networks don't even allow fake button graphics on their ads).

However, devs are also at fault when they play along with the misleading ad and make the actual gameplay button as obscure as possible.

If the button for the actual game was displayed in a more prominent and obvious way - the way that most devs are still doing, thank goodness - then it wouldn't be such a problem. :-)

Tracian June 16, 2010 8:17 AM

For those having problems with the last boss:

* Jump on the upper platform just in front of you

* Move all the way to the right without slipping down

* Crouch

* Keep the space bar pressed down

* If you have the tri-shot (spread shot, it's called) collected earlier in the game - the most useful bonus, by the way - you just have to wait

* ...maybe taking one step to the right every time you get zapped (which won't be many)


ah ok, that makes sense.


Good idea, but rather uninspired realization: no secrets/bonus stuff, not enough weapons, pretty much no exploration (yeah, you can revisit previous chapters, but WHAT FOR?). Oh, and the ending:

I guess by now everyone expects from the horror games to have a downer "he escaped but not really" ending.

I would still like to see a sequel, though - with more stuff to do, more areas to explore and just generally more polished.

menschenjaeger June 16, 2010 1:17 PM

Sometimes the art could be really effective, and sometimes it looked like poopcrap. That final bossfight drove me nuts - sometimes I'd punch the spacebar, and no rockets, which meant hit by the boss, and knocked to my death at the bottom of the screen. A bottom difficult to escape from would be challenging, but a "two-shots away from killing the boss and OOPS I FELL START OVER" bottomless pit blows.

MurphMan June 16, 2010 1:51 PM

I like the feel of the game, and the controls seem to be fairly good. Glad I didn't end up playing it late at night because it is pretty freaky. Some of the creature design is reminiscent of H.R. Giger, and the film The Thing- both of which are positives for me.

Two levels in and looking forward to the next three.

Anonymous June 16, 2010 2:14 PM

I found the enemy difficulty weirdly unbalanced.

Most bad guys (and even some bosses) can't lay a finger on you unless you rush around heedlessly.

But then there are some, like

the fellow who's "Ready to worship the yellow light now", then sprouts tentacles, or the hunched-looking fast-running maggoty thing

who might as well be scripted events that just take 95% of your health, because there is absolutely no way to kill or avoid them without being knocked down almost to dead.

You can't pass them without taking damage, you can't outrun them, and you must pass through the area where you encounter them. It's like a "pay most of your health toll" that makes the rest of the level artificially more difficult thereafter.

This causes the whole game to vacillate wildly betwen "Yawn, I could play this in my sleep" and "This is 100% impossible", in seconds. Not a lot of fun.


I swear I hunted everywhere and went through the game twice, and I never did see the spread device. (Nor the damage booster that is mentioned in the achievements.) Can anyone give me a hint where to find those things?

Spemtibble June 16, 2010 6:28 PM


After you get the jump suit and the red key card, instead of going through the red door, continue on the path you took the first time. A few screens before the big drop, there's a place where you can double-jump to the left.

Patreon Donator Infant Tyrone June 16, 2010 7:57 PM

I am having the exact same problem as tomin8r. Am I just bad at platformers? I can't figure out how to get outta here!


@Tyrone and tomir8:

I had the same trouble but managed to pass after trying again and again. I also watched a walkthrough video on youtube for this particular place just to make sure it was possible. Actually, you don't have to run from very far and then jump, you need to jump and then jump again with the special propulser very quick to be high enough. But you also need to be close enough (in my first tries I came running and I did jump high but not close enough to make it). It's really frustrating but once you're convince it's possible, you should be able to make it !


I liked this but it was a bit short and kind of easy to solve.

First time playing I ran right through the whole game without any problems.

I must have gotten a bit lucky because I went back in to play it again and had a few more problems, which surprised me, but I still got through it a second time pretty easily.

It would be nice to have it get a bit harder at the end and perhaps have a few more levels.


Is there any point to the second suit?

evnlibrarian June 18, 2010 6:55 PM

Apparently they did add a more complex ending now. Not much, but a last bit of a twist. And yes, it's gory.

Logiedan June 19, 2010 4:29 PM

Anyone mind putting the more complex ending in a spoiler tag? It seems that I played the game when it only had the simple ending, and I'm curious to see what the new ending is like.


I don't know if you guys are pretending to not be scared to appear macho, or if I'm a coward, but I was crapping my pants every couple of seconds the first time I played this game. After a little powerleveling, I was pwning everything, so it wasn't so scary anymore. It seems that part of the reason the game makes you so paranoid is the small screen (relative to your character).

What was the old ending?

SkyDude June 23, 2010 3:39 AM

Any walkthroughs or hints to be able to get a 4-star time on level 5? I can't seem to do it less than 4 minutes and change.

evnlibrarian June 24, 2010 11:29 PM

The new ending is

your character being interviewed after his ordeal, hoping to stop the jump program from going through, but no one believes him, assuming he's mad. He then begins to violently mutate. The old ending was just the pilot escaping

Max Stone July 16, 2010 11:59 AM

where do you find the prototype armor?


Yeah, I played this through and thought it was awesome... didn't really like the ending though.

I mean seriously, that boss was too weak, and falling off just felt unfair.

And can someone please tell me if he DID stop the jump program? I would've thought someone mutating would be enough, though even that was impossible now that the "breach" was gone. It just felt like a cheap shot.

But still, great game. Scary!

shiscub July 18, 2010 7:37 AM

do you people not know what breach means? its not the name of the creature.

jacob123 July 18, 2010 6:24 PM

after you get the new double jump suit how do you get out of there??

Homicide July 28, 2010 11:19 AM

I noticed a few thing people asked:
What is the point of [Prototype Armor]?
-It helps you to get 4 star times on he levels if you go back and replay them
How do you get a 4-star time on level 5?
-Just run through it dont kill everything

Migrant July 28, 2010 2:40 PM

I know this is gonna sound silly, but I can't seem to get the Inquisitor badge: Kill 50 cultists. I've guessed the cultists are those yellow guy with pointy hats and tentacles for arms that can move fast and are some of the hardest enemies in the game, right? Well I feel like i've killed hundreds of them and still no badge?
This is the last one i'm still missing.


Kitty Tanaka August 18, 2010 5:46 AM

I found a glitch on level 3. The teal-colored door that doesn't open near the beginning of the level, before the acid pits has a bug. I managed to jump behind it somehow, and my marine disappeared from the screen but I could still scroll like I was moving around, complete with stomping sound effects, but it was like he was hidden behind the screen in a tunnel. I thought at first I'd found a bug, but there was no item to be found and I couldn't get my marine back onto the screen, either.


Luckily, this game did NOT give me nightmares, but my brother thought it was funny to watch my character dash through the level, avoiding as many enemies as possible, particulary cultists (read the ship logs. apparently the chief medic is/was one) and the white many-armed dashing-thing.

What happens when you earn the achievement where you join them (instead of shooting the captain/alien-god monstrosity)?

And WTF was that weird thing you kill to get the Mercy achievement?


where is the prototype armor?


for those of you who wonder were the prototype armor is, you have to go on the bridge, then go along the map, until you see a green door. go in, and continue along until you see a red pipe. go there, and that's were prototype suit is

bonde28 May 20, 2012 3:11 PM

I agree, this game has massive amounts of potential, but it really doesn't live up to it.


what would you call the bosses (Cultists) of The Breach?


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