Zombies, Guns, and Tactics. Roll the three into one game and ask yourself, “what could possibly go wrong?” Well, in Breach & Clear: Deadline’s case, half of everything. Rush things and you’ll probably get a game that owes its existence only to its premise and not because of its stellar gameplay. To start my review, Breach & Clear: Deadline managed to catch my attention primarily because of this trailer:

Honestly, things didn’t end well after playing it for a couple of hours. To be fair, Deadline is not a triple-A title. It is one of those that managed to crawl through Steam’s early access (and its mobile beginnings) and maturing to the level of a real “full” game. Good as it may sound, it does have a couple of nuisances that weren’t resolved during its infancy.

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Opening a door “normally” means kicking it away

Premise

The fictional universe has once again been subjected to the evil horrors of experiments gone wrong. A squad of four Rangers battle their way through a laboratory only to find that reanimated corpses. Surprise! As the horde and disease forced their way out, the government has capitulated some of their territories, sacrificing citizens due to this seemingly invincible terror.

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But wait! Four gallant troopers have found their way into an infested town (due to an accident). And are then forced to do the biddings of the citizens and their military overlords to progress and find out what went wrong.

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Go from Point A to Point B only to be directed to Point C

Story-wise, there’s nothing much to expect. It’s clichéd and makes use of the notorious “errand-boy” approach in delivering the plot. You go to places expecting to find answers, only to be led elsewhere to again be subjected to the same treatment. It bores, and looking at it, the story department might’ve gotten the shorter stick in terms of development.

Guns! Zombies! Explosions!

Deadline makes use of two genres that are undeniably powerhouses in terms of their own respective followings. Zombies and tactical games have gone back into popularity thanks to recent successful titles. Again, mixing the two together might sound interesting. But in practice, however, you’re fighting a brainless mob, with you and your squad armed to the teeth. Simply find a funnel, like doorways or carefully arranged barricades, point your guns at them, and scream “Victory!”

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Like this one!

As simple as it is, Deadline manages to be interesting due to its RPG and customizations roots. Your squad can be clothed, armed, and designated to a role that you desire. There are several roles to choose from and each have their own respective skill trees, strengths and weaknesses.

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Killing zombies, completing quests, and killing more zombies, reward the player with experience points. Once these points reach a threshold, a soldier levels up and the game prompts the player to choose a skill or perk in a weirdly arranged tree/web/diagram or whatever this is.

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The trees contain an incredible amount of shared perks and skills that it becomes hard to differentiate each soldier

Some advantages provided by leveling up do not make any sense given that your character can simply switch or arm themselves with whatever’s available.

Gunplay

The game allows the player to produce arms similar to that of your nigh and mighty CoD or BF4 loadout. You can make use of several attachments, given that your looted gun has the necessary slots, for additional stats.

Tactics

This is what I love with Deadline. How it handles tactics opens the game to more possibilities and it encourages the player to be creative in handling the surroundings..

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Deadlines environments are inconsistent. Expect a fight when you see carefully arranged vehicles and barricades

In principle, the game can be played in two modes: active time and tactical. During active time, the player can control a single soldier through WASD keys for movement and the mouse for firing. Everything happens in real-time without any frills or brain power involved, hence the name.

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Each trooper can be given three sets of commands

Tactical mode, on the otherhand, pauses the game allowing for careful placement of troops and actions. You can have them placed for ambushes and chokepoints, or concentrate their firepower on a biggie. How it goes depends on how the player handles mobs of zombies or armed mercenaries (who also have a lacking AI). This mode is definitely the real deal.

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Some large encounters enclose the player inside an arena whilst the game randomly shoves mobs of zombies from all sides.

Multiplayer

I did not try it as the game is too easy for me to enjoy by myself. Inviting another partner for coop would’ve been a joke.

Graphics and Audio

Nothing much to expect. But I do have several qualms with the graphics and audio. Graphically, even after accepting that the game is not as pretty as a shiny stone, they could’ve made the movements smoother. The soldiers act as if they’re the undead as one can see the rigidity of their motions.

Likewise, they could’ve improved the audio. The soundtrack can drive you nuts with its “repeat button” crashed and irreversible.

Conclusion

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Breach & Clear: Deadline would’ve had an interesting gameplay if it weren’t for those meddling bugs, broken game mechanics, and plateauing gameplay. Bugs can be encountered every so often and some gameplay mechanics, instead of helping the player thoroughly understand what’s happening, usually leads them scratching their heads. The game plateaus as you’re reminded of how mechanical it is. You kill zombies, you loot chests, you move on. That’s it. That’s how I can sum up the game in one sentence.

It isn’t that bad, but it suffers from having dropped the ball sooner than it can reach the ring, leaving a maligned mess of codes that are either half-baked or poorly executed.

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Walking across desolate highways takes up 30% of the chore in Deadline

Thankfully, the developers are still hard at work in delivering several updates. But still.

I do recommend that you stay your hand until several months in order to ensure that you can enjoy the game at its full potential.

breach and clear deadline

breach and clear deadline

breach and clear deadline

breach and clear deadline

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