If you're one of the millions of folks who have a Quest 2, you'll know that a lot of games have what's called "jank." At times, it can be an endearing term but, most of the time, it's a legitimate complaint about a game that has a lot of potential but suffers from an irritating number of bugs.
Breachers is not one of those games. In fact, I had to double-check that this wasn't a game made by a big AAA developer that usually has its own QA department — which, of course, ensures its games are as bug-free as possible. Breachers feels like Rainbow Six: Siege in all the best ways, even down to the visuals which are simply stunning on Quest 2 (opens in new tab) hardware.
It's a rare example of a game that feels completely finished upon release and doesn't still need several months of development and bug fixes before it's enjoyable to play. Better yet, it's also got a ton of content to play including some impressive maps that'll have you coming back again and again to find all the hidden entrances and perfect your skills. It's easily at the top of the best quest 2 games (opens in new tab) I've played, and I've played a whole lot of Quest 2 games.
Breachers is a 5v5 team-based game that pits SWAT members against terrorists (rebels, in this game). In the game's main mode, the rebels have infiltrated a building and planted two bombs but are now trapped by the SWAT team that's attempting to infiltrate the building and disarm the bombs.
It's a classic formula played every day in games like Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six: Siege but feels fresh and new again because it's in a new perspective. That means seeing through your eyes and feeling with your hands since it's in VR.
Every time you play a map, your team will alternate between being the rebels or the SWAT team so things are evenly matched. Both sides have access to the same guns which include a plethora of pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, and anything else you might imagine would be in a modern-day-themed shooting game.
But, while each side has access to the same guns, neither side shares special items — sans the selection of grenades. Since they're defending, the rebel side can choose from gadgets that will block doors, shock traps, motion sensors, etc.
The SWAT side has the coolest gadgets, though, as their goal is to breach the building the rebels are holed up in, giving the game its name. These gadgets include breaching foam, spy drones, and even a cloaking device.
The SWAT side can also do something incredibly cool that feels absolutely badass each and every time you do it: rappelling. Choose the side of any ledge in the game, pull yourself over it, and you'll automatically begin rappelling down the wall. You can use the joystick on the left controller to control your height and position on the wall, which means you can shimmy from side to side in front of a window and take out any hostiles you find.
This mechanic also allows for SWAT members to bust through boarded-up windows or doors so long as they're rappelling. The feeling of your character pushing themselves away from the wall only to have them kick through the window or door a moment later is beyond exhilarating. It's a one-of-a-kind feeling that I have yet to experience in any other game.
Polish, polish, polish
Breachers' base mechanics all sound great on paper but how well do they actually translate to actual gameplay? This particular feat is a huge issue in VR these days, as many developers have been coming up with incredible game ideas and unique mechanics but have a hard time pulling them off without feeling janky or buggy.
I have yet to run into any mechanic in Breachers that feels short of the quality you'd find in a AAA game. That starts with the visuals which are among the absolute finest you'll see in any Quest game to date. Objects are detailed, textures are high resolution, animations are surprisingly good — something that's really difficult to nail in VR since players move in unexpected ways — and effects are jaw-dropping.
Several levels feature water elements that all look amazing in their own right but downright unbelievable given the Quest's limited hardware power. I've died several times just from gawking at a nice water shader on a wall or marveling at the quality of an object in a bookcase. You just don't find this kind of visual quality in most Quest games.
Second to that is the audio design which features the single-best 3D audio I've ever heard in a Quest game. The first time I fired it up, I swore that someone had walked in through my front door and I was ready to take off my headset and lob it at them. The quality and accuracy of the positional audio is second to none and I was truly blown away, especially given how good the visuals of the game are.
The game's gunplay mechanics are all incredibly solid and all the gadgets feel great to use. Some, like the EMP mechanic to disarm bombs, take a minute or two to figure out but, thankfully, the game features a detailed tutorial that'll get players familiar with these important pieces of gameplay right off the bat.
I particularly enjoyed that guns have weight but don't feel too heavy. It's one of the reasons I've loved playing Population: One (opens in new tab) for so many years and it translates incredibly nicely here.
I've also been absolutely enamored with the grappling and rappelling mechanics in the game. I already described the exhilarating feeling I get every time I bust through a window after rappelling, but that feeling begins the moment I look up to a roofline, hold my hand up, and click the trigger to fire my grappling gun.
Only SWAT members can rappel like this and it gives that side such interesting mechanics and strategies to work with.
But don't think that being on the rebel side is like being a fish in a barrel. Breachers' level design is nothing short of phenomenal and offers several places for SWAT to burst in and surprise the rebels, but there are also many places for rebels to hide that are obscured from SWAT's view.
On top of that, SWAT members who aren't careful might find that their clever door breach turned into a death trap because they weren't careful about where their feet were in relation to the door. Many breach points leave rough a 1ft gap between the bottom of the wall and the floor, so it's easy for rebels to see if SWAT members are about to breach some doors.
This isn't the case with all doors, though, so don't get too used to relying on this one mechanic if you're on the rebel side.
At launch, there are three breaching levels and one team deathmatch level. I'm not a huge fan of team deathmatch and would rather have the comradery and teamwork that comes with the breaching levels but, if one mode gets boring, you can always change it up a bit.
A must-have for Quest owners
Barring any huge surprises, Breachers is in the running for best VR game of the year for me right now. I really can't stress how refreshing it is to play a game that's this polished. It really just exudes a level of quality that many of the smaller developers on Quest have a hard time pulling off.
Several years back, I backed a Kickstarter project called Crunch Element because it featured these exact same kind of breaching mechanics and that's something that just feels so perfect in VR. While you can't breach every wall in Breachers as you can in Crunch Element, Breachers is a far more polished, finished game that lets me finally do what I've wanted to do in VR for years, and I can't wait to play more.
This 5v5 multiplayer game takes some of the best SWAT vs terrorists mechanics of games like Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six: Siege and brings them to VR on the Meta Quest platform.
Get it at Quest Store (opens in new tab)
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