into the breach

Into the Breach Review

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Available On: PC

Pacific Rim meets Chess isn’t exactly the most common elevator pitch for indie games, yet it perfectly describes Into the Breach, the long-awaited sophomore release from beloved FTL: Faster Than Light developers Subset Games.

Into the Breach successfully retains all the fun roguelike challenges and tactical strategy of FTL while minimizing most randomized frustrations, creating a compelling tactical board game.

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Civilization VI

Civilization VI Fall 2017 Update Will Expand Religion

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Civilization VI is getting a large Fall 2017 Update soon. In a blog-style news post Firaxis developer Sarah Darney explains what’s being worked on, including a large focus on religion.

“We heard your requests for a deeper overall experience – and took that to heart with revamped religious combat,” writes Darney. “Religious units can now exert Zone of Control and receive Flank and Support bonuses in religious combat. Meanwhile, the Guru religious support unit can heal nearby religious units. Finally, the Religion Lens has been overhauled to improve overall usability and readability. You’ll also find UI touches, such as religion indicators on unit flags, to remove all guesswork on where a unit’s allegiance lies.”

New content is also being added to the religion side of Civ 6, including two new Pantheons, and new Founder, Follower, Enhancer, and Worship Beliefs. These new beliefs will unlock two new religious buildings as well as a new religious unit, the warrior monk.

In addition to religion, the Fall 2017 Update will also improve the much-maligned AI as well as the interface. In particular the AI’s use of oceans and navies is being improved, which will hopefully make water-covered maps as challenging as land maps – a frequent balance issue in Civ games.

For UI changes, menus have been made more moddable and the Diplomacy screen more intuitive.

There’s more coming to the Fall 2017 Update, but for now Firaxis isn’t even providing a release date yet. The previous big update, the Summer 2017 Update, also worked on AI improvements.

Civilization VI released almost exactly one year ago for PC (read our review). It was well-received by critics and fans, though notably feels like a step down compared to Civilization V’s several years worth of updates, patches, and expansions. Civ 5 still maintains more active players, though both games are within the top 30 games played on Steam.



Tactical Mech Strategy Game BattleTech Delayed to 2018

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Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Harebrained Schemes announced that Battletech has been delayed to early 2018. The tactical strategy game was initially planned for release near the end of this year. It’s coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux.

“Throughout development our Backers have been clear: ‘Don’t rush it, just make it great.’ and we have taken that advice to heart,” said Jordan Weisman, CEO of Harebrained Schemes and creator of BattleTech. “HBS, Paradox, and our Backers all share a deeply personal attachment to this project and we are committed to delivering a game that not only meets the high expectations of our Backers and fans but introduces BattleTech to a new generation of players.”

“The feedback and enthusiasm from Beta participants has shown us just how great BattleTech can be, and rushing development to fit a timeline would be a disservice,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “We believe in the Harebrained Schemes team, and want them to give the game the time and attention they need to create a turn-based game worthy of the name.”

BattleTech is currently hosting a Kickstarter Backers-only closed beta. A new update is hitting this week with various improvements based on feedback, with PVP coming soon. The Backer Beta will last for another month. Interested mech fans can become a Late Backer by pre-ordering the game and gaining access. You’ll have to pre-order the $60 version to gain beta access, however.

Harebrained Schemes launched the Kickstarter campaign for BattleTech in 2015. They raised over $2.7 million from over 41,000 backers. Harebrained Schemes’ Weisman is the original creator of the tabletop games and MechWarrior series. BattleTech was originally planned for an early 2017 release. Harebrained Schemes has since partnered with Paradox to help publish BattleTech.

Harebrained Schemes previously found indie success on Kickstarter by reviving the Shadowrun brand. Three Shadowrun titles were released over the last several years, all of which I can personally recommend.

BattleTech should arrive early 2018 for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux). A specific release date has not yet been given.