PS Vita Review: Breach & Clear

Breach & Clear
Breach & Clear
(Note: This review is my opinion only. All pictures were taken in game by my PS Vita and/or PlayStation TV.)

Breach & Clear is a tactical strategy game developed by Mighty Rabbit Studios and published by Gun Media. It is a digital only title available on the PlayStation Network. It is availavle for PC, Mac, Android and iOS as well. This is a review of the PS Vita version. It also works on the PlayStation TV micro console.

Choose from 7 real world SOF
Choose from 7 real world Special Ops Teams
The game uses real world Special Operation Forces such as U,S, Navy Seals, British SAS, and Canada’s JTF2. You use real world tactics as your team goes from room to room, neutralizing threats. Missions take place around the world, from Afghanistan, Turkey, China, Germany and beyond. Game modes are Terrorist Hunt, Bomb Disposal (fight your way to the bomb and defuse it within the time limit.), and Escape Plan (fight your way to the extraction point) You chose your teams load out and weapons and unlock more equipment to buy with in-game currency as you level up.

Each Operator has 6 stats that can be raised
Each Operator has 6 stats that can be raised

Equipment can be unlocked and bought wit in-game currency
Equipment can be unlocked and bought with in-game currency
Yes, your soldiers level up as you do missions. Each character has stats like health, accuracy and speed, There are classes as well like Team Leader, Medic, and Breacher and they have a special class-only stat, You gain 5 points per level to distribute between 6 stats. Each Special Ops group in the game have a bonus to certain stats.

Choose your breach point or hit them from multiple points.
Choose your breach point or hit them from multiple points.

Levels can have multiple entry points
Levels can have multiple entry points

Move are carried out in phases.
Move are carried out in phases.
Game play is broken down into phases. You plan you move out, starting at an entry point. into the room. You must take in account possible enemy location (they don’t appear unless one of your soldiers has line of sight) and cover from enemy fire. Each character can move only so far per phase but you can place points where their arcs of fire shifts to cover a door or hallway. Once your routes are planed you select “BREACH” and watch as it is carried out. You then plan out you next phase the same way until the mission is complete or all your team are down.

Plan your moves out an ensure you cover all the angles
Plan your moves out an ensure you cover all the angles
The graphic are good, but are similar to the mobile versions, The camera is a 3/4 top down perspective, with the ability to zoom in on the action. You can rotate the camera as you plan your next move, The camera zooms in automatically during your initial breach and when you complete the mission/ kill the last enemy

The camera zooms in at the start of the mission.
The camera zooms in at the start of the mission.
The game uses the touch controls, much like the iOS/Android version. You can use the touch screen to select your operator, plan your route, zoom in, out and rotate the camera. It works well. You can also use the face buttons and analog sticks, if you prefer or playing it on the PlayStation TV.

The last shot gets a close up.
The last shot gets a close up.
Overall this is a great game. Unlike the iOS versions, this is the full game with no micro transactions for additional levels, weapons or equipment and they are included. At $14.99 (CDN), it is worth the price and you get solid game with a fair bit of replay value. As it is a digital download title, it is available for the PS Vita on the PlayStation Store.

4/5

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Movie Review- Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers 2 Electric Booagloo

Three years ago, Marvel proved that the movie audience bought into shared universe that they have been building since Iron Man.  Avengers brought an arrogant tech genius in armour, a raging green giant, a World War 2 super soldier, a Norse God, a sexy secret agent and… a guy with a bow and made them into a super team and it worked.  Now with the competition scrambling to match that success, they gather the team together again for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

When the Avengers take out a Hydra base in Eastern Europe, they encounter two super powered siblings, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who were experimented on and given powers (speed and telekinesis/telepathy, respectively).  When Iron Man is shown his greatest fear, he goes ahead with a plan to create an artificial intelligence using Asgardian tech.  Called Ultron, the AI gained sentience and decided that the best way to protect humanity is to force then to evolve.  With the help of the twins, Ultron attacks the Avengers, using Wanda’s power to tear them apart..  But even the twins are unaware to Ultron’s ultimate goal of the extinction of the human race.

The movie is pretty action-packed, with the opening scene being the battle with Hydra.  Joss Whedon handles the multiple characters well, with most of the development being centered on Hawkeye, Black Widow and Banner.  Wanda and Pietro are good additions to the MCU and helps to expand the scope.  There are even parts that fit in with the current season of Agents of SHIELD (though watching that series is not necessary to understanding the movie.)

As someone who is familiar with the comics, it is interesting to see how certain aspects are adapted for the screen.  For instance, in the Avengers comics, Ultron is a robot build by Hank Pym, who sometimes is the superhero Ant-Man (also Giant Man and Yellowjacket, but that’s getting off track.)  In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hank Pym is not in the Avengers (though he will be in the Ant-Man movie, though older and not the title hero) so they put Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the role as Ultron’s creator.  The twin’s origins are altered too.  In the comics (at least until recently), Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch were mutants, children of Magneto of the X-Men.  Obviously, with movie rights to X-Men held by Fox (which is why Quicksilver as also in Days of Future Past), they changed their origin to the Hydra experiments (which hints from Agents of SHIELD indicating that they might be Inhumans).  As comic book canon can be confusing and cross into several properties, some change is necessary, but as long as the characters are true to  their core concepts, it is acceptable.

Overall, this movie is a solid win for Marvel/Disney.  It is good that more time is given to fleshing out Hawkeye’s character as he hasn’t been given as much screen time as Black Widow has in the Phase 2 movies.  Widow doesn’t get forgotten though.  There as been some online backlash at a perceived mistreatment of here character.  I did not see it as she held her own against the Ultron robots, who were strong enough to give Thor trouble and it is not like she just sat there when she was captured.  My one gripe is that they did not use War Machine and Falcon more (they make appearances).  It will be interesting to see where the s.eries goes as we build up to the Infinity War

My rating:  4.5/5  The new standard in superhero team-up movies