I’ve been playing around with Ground Breakers for a few hours now and honestly, I can’t tell how exactly I feel about. I do want to include some form of a preface about this game, because it will seem like I’m just going to list all the negative things but honestly the game struggled to grab me at the start. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, I’d like to think I’m not an overly negative guy! I’ll just go through how things happened step by step.
Ground Breakers didn’t exactly have the most graceful start, I had some resolution issues and was forced to ALT F4 two times which is never going to be a good sign. The tutorial process was slow, having to sit through a bulk text on how to play the game drip fed by characters talking to one another. The art style of all the characters seemed a little inconsistent, almost oddly so where some characters are in much more detail than others. It is a little off-putting but Ground Breakers does try to focus more on the mechanics.
I managed to lose one of the tutorial missions, but I think it was intentional as it let me progress onto the next regardless. Once all the training wheels were removed, some of the gameplay did finally begin to shine through. Each robot that you control have three different skills on average that you level up using skill points, most were quite creative which was much-needed after the rough start. There is a good range of unit types, which vary from melee and ranged each with their own skills to develop them further.
Once you get into the swing of things, there are some nice elements to gameplay. Ensuring that ranged units make the most of the high ground or waiting for the perfect time to use skills. The aim of each mission is to either destroy all the enemy’s robots or capture and hold a point, until the time expires. Once a control point is captured the map is reset, to keep the world constantly changing. It is odd, there is a good handful of things that are uniquely interesting about Ground Breakers, but you do have to wait for them to occur.
The AI seems relatively competent; I didn’t run into any moments when they did something idiotic but they do have a habit of always fleeing their units away. I can’t fault them for that, I wouldn’t want my robots to explode either but it feels a little cheesy when they constantly run their units to regenerate health.
Outside of the tutorial and normal matches, there is a lot of content available to players. Just to name a few; a type of hoard mode, unit crafting/editing, multiplayer, scenarios and a campaign. The campaign follows the Civilisation approach to campaigns, its different every time and you simply select the map size and the number of enemies. The crafting elements seem a little clunky overall, with you having to just mash things together and hope it creates a new robot. On the other side, however, upgrading robots using chip placement was a nice touch. There is a grid based system that players must place different shaped upgrades into them, so you should save and manage the right upgrade for each of your robots.
Alright, so I just went to play the game a little more and clicked profile. I have literally lost all my progress thus far. I will stand by the comments I made earlier, Ground Breakers has some nice mechanics and when you’re in the game things flow rather well but it honestly feels incredibly unpolished. The issues that I’ve run into aren’t excusable given they force to me lose the progress that I’ve made.
They do seem to be updating the game rather regularly, which gives some hope that some of the issues can be fixed. I believe I can summarise Ground Breakers as a diamond in the deep rough, if you are one to enjoy turn based tactics there might be something for you here. But, there is a lot to slog through and for that, it’s something best known before you dive in. Overall, I don’t see myself returning to Ground Breakers, which is why I feel I have to give it a 4/10.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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