Into the Breach launches free Advanced Edition update

Into the Breach
(Image credit: Subset Games)

Into the Breach: Advanced Edition, the major free update to our 2018 Ultimate Game of the Year, is now live on Steam, and that means we can now lay our eyes on the full rundown of everything that's changed.

Into the Breach is a tiny tactics game that pits a squad of powerful mechs against a relentless force of invading alien bugs. It's developed by the makers of the brilliant FTL, and while it's a very different sort of experience, it's "built on the same building blocks of roguelike progression, intricate interplays of abilities, and slow, knuckle-gnawing tension." We gave it a 93% score in our review, calling it "the most perfectly formed tactics around," and with this update it promises to be even bigger and better.

Here's what you get:

Major Additions

  • 5 New squads & 15 new squad achievements!
  • 7 new Vek, 3 new Psions, & 10 new boss battles!
  • 12 new missions & 3 new bonus mission goals!
  • 4 New pilots & 10 new random pilot abilities!
  • 39 New weapons & equipment!
  • 2 new music tracks from composer Ben Prunty!
  • Even more challenging difficulty mode, Unfair Mode!
  • 7 New Languages! (Arabic, Thai, Swedish, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Latin American Spanish)

Other Changes

  • Optional Content Toggles - All of the new content (enemies, pilot skills, etc) other than balance changes are possible to turn off if you would like the base-game content experience.
  • Weapon reactor usage reduced - We wanted to encourage players to immediately try out equipment they find, so we reduced the reactor power to equip most gear.
  • Store Changes - Since you can now instantly equip most weapons without needing an additional reactor core, the reputation cost to purchase weapons has increased by 1 and the store options are limited in the first 2 islands.
  • New weapon mechanic: KO effects - Certain weapons will trigger an additional effect if the primary target is killed by the attack.
  • New tile mechanic: Cracking - Certain weapons will cause the ground to crack. If the tile is damaged again, it will shatter, destroying the tile and anything standing on it!
  • New status effect: Boost - This will increase the next attack’s damage by 1. Highly effective for AoE attacks!
  • Unlocking Squads with Coins Change - The cost of unlocking squads with coins has been reduced to account for the extra squads.

Developer Subset Games also offered a few tips for players who want to take on the new Unfair Mode, including that it's designed "for veterans looking for even more of a challenge." Most of it can be summed up as "lose as effectively as possible," and no, I'm not kidding:

  • There will be many more situations where damage is inevitable so it’ll be more important to take losses strategically - depending on the situation, it might be better to lose grid power, sacrifice a pilot, or fail a mission objective.
  • Grid power gains are doubled which means it’s much easier to pull back from the brink of defeat. Don’t give up after a few setbacks.
  • There is a limit to how many Vek can spawn so sometimes it’s more advantageous to leave some weak Vek alive rather than wiping them out early.

Into the Breach: Advanced Edition is a free update for all players. If you're not already a player but think you might want to become one, Into the Breach is currently on sale on Steam for $10/£8/€10. A mobile version is also available on Android and iOS devices, but unfortunately that's reserved exclusively for Netflix subscribers—a disappointing (but, let's be honest, probably very lucrative) bit of subscription-based exclusivity that will hopefully pass quickly.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.