The Riftbreaker

The Riftbreaker

Time to get the Mech out out of here!

riftbreaker

I have been waiting for The Riftbreaker to drop for some time, and it’s safe to say it’s been worth the wait.  I’ve always enjoyed construction in games, I’m not entirely sure why, maybe it’s because I’m totally crap at anything DIY related in real life… anyway, I digress as that’s a story for another day.  Unfortunately though, I believe that the title The Riftbreaker needs “The” removing.  It just feels out of place, so therefore I’ll be referring to it as Riftbreaker for the rest of time (small pet peeve I know!).

Riftbreaker is a base building survival game, and you play a commando known as Ashley S. Nowak who is also a skilled scientist.  We have been sent on a one way trip to a planet called Galatea 37 with the objective to build up a base that will give humans another planet to colonize, and find a way to travel between the two worlds.  Of course, you’re not doing this on your own, and your companion who doubles as a facilitator to building everything, as well as fight, is the mech suit known as Mr. Riggs.  Both are fully voiced and done well to bring out their characters, but Mr. Riggs comes to the fore given the vast range of tools it carries for base building and combat.  That’s the story, don’t come here expecting anything mind blowing.  It’s not an issue in a game like this as it’s not here to sell us on the story, it’s just pure fun and at times a bit chaotic.  I have loved every moment.

As you’re playing the objective is building the Rift which will allow travel to and from Galatea 37 and Earth.  This requires huge sums of power, and the game warns you early on everything is going to need a lot of power, cue finding yourself building tons of power plants, some based on wind, the sun and gas amongst others.  Of course all these require resources of which there are many different types.  You build different buildings to collect these and Mr Riggs can pick them up too as you’re searching the planet.  Exploring is a big part of Riftbreaker as the planet is huge.  You’ll have to ensure when you’re off exploring that your base is protected.  This is a base builders paradise due to the sheer number of options and you can have some design fun!  There are the traditional buildings you’d expect e.g., communication hubs, head quarters, armoury etc., we then get repair stations for buildings so it can be automated whilst you’re away.  AI hubs are there to have endless turret defences everywhere, and of course all this needs to be powered and connected.

Riftbreaker’s objectives do trickle throughout the campaign so you have something to aim for.  Early on it starts off simply and gets a bit more complex as you progress, but nothing remotely hard.  The difficulty comes in managing the base you have built and likely sub-bases around the planet.  What helps here is the ability to place devices on the map so that Mr. Riggs can teleport around at will.  During this you will be attacked on a regular basis and the planet itself has plenty of alien life on it, some friendly, but mostly it wants to kill you.  Fret not however, as Mr Riggs is a capable killing machine!  He has tons of weapon and gadgets like flamethrowers, miniguns and rocket launchers, to name just a few.  The combat is great fun and in some cases it’s worthwhile going and looking for it.  It’s not just alien life you have to worry about either, there can be wind storms which are great for any wind turbines you have, but the less windy it is means lower power, and once it’s night time your solar panels don’t help.  You also have to deal with Earthquakes that damage your base, and these elements add a further layer to the game.

Mr. Riggs also has upgrades that can be done to improve his abilities like planting nuclear mines, healing on the spot, improving health and armour, and more.  The upgrade system doesn’t stop here mind as the game has a research system built in.  This allows you to research alien technology you find and is the way to grant higher access to better buildings which give their own benefits.  For example, a level 2 turret will do more damage, a level 2 storage container allows more to be stored, and so on.  Riftbreaker may appear complex to begin with, but it never feels so when you’re playing it, which is perfect.  Nothing feels unmanageable and considering there is so much going on this a great achievement.  The enemies are also varied, their threat comes from the sheer number you’re up against.  At times you will be facing hundreds of them, and it’s a great sight to see and leaves a big mess behind once all the blood and guts has been spilled!  If you’re not prepared then your base can quickly fall, as can you, and the best tip I can give is double up the walls!

Speaking of sights to see, this is a very pretty game. I’ve been playing it on PC with a 3070Ti using ray tracing, and boy it’s good!  In a fire fight seeing the various effects from the guns and the aliens all mixed together is just beautiful to look at.  The planet itself is well designed from its bedrock to its plant life, and this can change as you explore through the night cycle.  It’s a beautifully created world.  Riftbreaker mixes so many genres it’s hard to imagine that it would work, yet some how it does.  There are survival elements, strategy, to some extent tower defence… I strongly recommend it!  Aside from it being a lot of fun it’s easy to spend hours just building away.  I’m left with the nagging suspicion that the dev might have had Starship Troopers bugs in mind when coming up with this one though!

The Riftbreaker is available now on PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles for around £25, and is currently on Game Pass too if you’re subscribed there.

The Verdict

8Great

The Good: Graphics | Weapons | Building

The Bad: Story

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Mark

The newest member of the Codec Moments team… you can find me on nearly every gaming platform there is.

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