I’ll start this review by saying this, Broken Lines is the first must play indie game of 2020. Broken Lines is a tactical RPG that has a beautiful art style that’s very reminiscent of comic books. In this game you have a group of soldiers that become stranded and they begin experiencing a mysterious group of masked soldiers as well as a fog that leaves a “weird” smell. In this alternate WWII tactical RPG you’ll get to make hard choices, edit your load out, and choose the squad that will follow you into battle. Broken Lines had a few bugs when playing on the Nintendo switch that caused my game to completely freeze, the level would get stuck even though I beat it, and it would force me to reset the game. Even with this technical shortcoming, I still wanted to experience this game and unravel the mysteries that Broken Lines presents.
Two things kept me coming back to this game, even when it was breaking on me and making me start the campaign all over, the story and the addicting gameplay. Each character comes with its own set of perks and skills that become essential to surviving the intense battles that you’ll fight with regular soldiers, turrets, and even tanks. Before the mission starts you get to choose how you want your squad to be made up. There was one mission where I chose only sub machine guns and I went gun’s blazing. Broken Lines also has an in game store where you can buy new perks and guns, and add them to your squad.
The battles are tough, and I am not ashamed to say, but I had to end up lowering the difficulty on the game just so I could get by. This beautiful indie game provides a challenge that never feels unfair, and even on its lowest difficulty, it challenges you. In Broken Lines you can adjust the game difficulty, but you can also adjust the way your enemies act, the multipliers your team gets, and even if you want your enemies to be able to throw explosives. It’s nice to see a game give you this much freedom to suit your play style.
The campaign is short enough for you to finish in a day, but it also provides multiple endings and different mission paths that you won’t see unless you play the campaign multiple times. As someone that’s okay with the ending that I got, I’m not sure if I’ll go back to playing Broken Lines but I won’t discard it. In this sixish hour campaign you’ll be faced with making difficult choices, I just wish these choices had more variety. I feel like all the choices come down to who eats and who gets killed, but it doesn’t go beyond that. In a game that’s about the struggles and horrors of war, I would have liked to see more choices.
Broken Lines almost broke me. The frustrating bug that I encounter and having to replay the beginning section of this game, almost made me give up on it, but I’m glad I didn’t. The story kept me engaged and the combat kept me coming back for more. Getting to experiment with different classes and different skills was great. I grew fond of some of these characters, that when I finally lost them I felt sad over it. Broken lines comes out on the 25th of this month and you owe it yourself to play this game. Hopefully you don’t experience game breaking bugs like I did, and if you do, fight through it, it’s worth it.