Defenestrate Druid Mafiosos as a tacticool witch in Tactical Breach Wizards

Wizards are cool, there's no denying it. But we have so much wizard content to choose from, what sets Tactical Breach Wizards apart? Wizard with a gun, alright, I've put down my newspaper, you have my atten—Wizards with guns that shoot non lethal bullets, rebelling against an oppressive society in a Shadowrun-style mashup of fantasy and tacticool? Alright, now we're cooking with gas.

Tactical Breach Wizards is an XCOM-style turn based strategy game from developer Tom Francis, creator of Gunpoint and Heat Signature (and a PC Gamer editor, once upon a time). You guide your team of sorcerous dissidents through thorny combat puzzles featuring fearsome enemies like "Riot Priests" and the "Druid Mafia." These foes don't share our heroes' compunctions about using lethal force, and your wizard squad has to capitalize on every advantage to succeed. 

As for that squad, Francis has mostly shown the Freelance Witch up to this point, who specializes in repositioning enemies and lining up combos, and the Navy Seer, who has limited precognition to help manipulate enemies and set up traps. Tactical Breach Wizards has also teased additional operators, including the Rebel Riot Priest, a front-line tank, and the Necromedic, a darker take on the healer archetype.

Similar to the phenomenal mech roguelike Into the Breach, Tactical Breach Wizards has a strong emphasis on using knockback and crossfire combos to make the most of each turn. Halfway through the PC Gaming Show trailer, the Navy Seer erroneously tells the Freelance Witch "You can't throw all of life's problems through windows." So long as those problems are wearing kevlar and fall into your line of fire, you certainly can.

Tactical Breach Wizards' shootouts look to maximize the potential of turn-based battles as dense little combat knots, charging you with untangling them a little bit each turn until you finally unravel the challenge and complete an encounter with (hopefully) all of your forces still intact. In addition to the focus on kinetic basic attacks, Tactical Breach Wizards is also making the most of its spellcaster aesthetic to offer unique powers to turn the tide of battle. The trailer shows the Freelance Witch using her broomstick to exit the play area through a window and sweep back in on the other side of the map, opening all kinds of combos and tactical possibilities.

Tactical Breach Wizards' PC Gaming Show trailer demonstrates more of the game's inter-mission structure than we've seen in the past. Individual operators can be upgraded and refined, and its character-driven focus seems to preclude XCOM-style permadeath—our preview of the menu system shows a "Resurrection" option, presumably for operators who've fallen while out on missions. The trailer also provides a glimpse of a classic fantasy RPG map done up cork board-and-string style with polaroids of persons of interest—our first good look at Tactical Breach Wizards' wider setting.

Creator Tom Francis is doing his best to cleave the game's spec ops aesthetic from its murky real world political connotations, positioning Tactical Breach Wizards' enchanted operators as outsider underdogs rebelling against an oppressive police state. They're so down on their luck that they have to take the subway to missions and hide out at the Navy Seer's parents' place, but one day soon you'll be able to direct them to more successful outcomes. Tactical Breach Wizards can be wishlisted on Steam and does not yet have a planned release date. 

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.