Breakwaters is an interesting take on the survival crafting genre. The game tasks you with uncovering secrets by exploring ruins and surviving on Islands against various giant bosses. Eventually, the game will lead players to a thrilling boss fight against various titans.
But before players will reach these battles, they will first need to find relics and bases. Players will also need to search and farm resources, and fight smaller monsters while also completing quests to level up.
For the most part, these gameplay loops help provide Breakwaters with an interesting experience. However, the experience still feels early in development, and is held back by a few issues that lessen the experience.
Breakwaters has a varied roster of bosses
The bosses in Breakwater come in three variants. The first variant is a giant turtle that will roam the early game areas and attack with long-range attacks.
As players progress they will encounter the other two variants, the Serpent and Crab. The Serpent prefers to hide out in stormy areas in the game and attacks using whirlpools, while the Crab tends to attack players’ bases and roam nearby. Both also have special attacks and they tend to roam around specific locations, but you will mainly encounter the more common Turtle boss across the experience.
The early portions of the game could have provided more of a threat to the player. That way, the threat of death would offer an incentive to quickly find relics and dispose of the titans. Overall, however, the bosses are staggering to behold and provide excellent objectives for the game.
Easy to use Crafting Systems and Fast Travel
The best part about Breakwaters is its simple crafting system that doesn’t take much effort to figure out. It allows you to find everything you could possibly need to make tools and build a base on one of the many islands in the game.
Breakwaters also feature numerous systems that feel unique to the genre. For example, players can call a summonable ferry, which can be used to travel to islands in the game. The system works as a hands-off taxi system that allows players to visit other islands without a boat in the early game.
Players can also trade with a ferry merchant and buy valuable resources. The system is efficient as it allows players to summon a merchant at any time, provided they have enough resources.
Other notable systems include a ruin puzzle system where players must craft crystal bottles to either move or place water in another location. Players will need to use both variants of crystal bottles to solve ruin puzzles and to progress in the game. Eventually, by exploring ruins they will reach the point where they can battle bosses. Because of this, the puzzle system feels engaging but can be pretty annoying to deal at times.
Related: How long will Breakwaters be in Early Access?
Sometimes the puzzle’s description of how to solve the puzzle can be unclear, as the hint provided by the game can be too vague. Subsequently, players may find themselves clueless about solving certain puzzles in the game.
Inconsistencies begrime resource harvesting
At other times, you will need to make a blue crystal bottle using blue crystal shards that spawn way too infrequently when chopped or mined from nodes or trees. Because of the infrequent spawn rate, farming for blue crystal shards becomes tedious, which makes solving the puzzle feel like a chore.
Besides tedious resource harvesting to solve unclear puzzles, resources have different names from what they are called in your inventory. For instance, yellow crystals are called sea crystals on the ground. But this inconsistency creates confusion, as some players may not connect the two different names. But for the most part, this seems to be only the case with a few select items, and the rest of the items in the game seem to have correct names.
Monsters in the game can also seem out of place, with herds of spiders appearing out of nowhere after a giant monster attacks the player. Spiders didn’t really make sense for a game focusing on islands and sailing, but having spiders doesn’t take much out of the game in the long run.
What does take something out, however, is the fact NPCs look all too similar to the player model, which demonstrates a lack of variety and ultimately creates that early access, dated feel to the game. It’s a shame because most of the game looks phenomenal, but contrasted against the NPC models, it’s a very noticeable difference in quality.
This dated feeling also applies to the combat system, which feels inconsistent with how the player swings a weapon and stops their animation. Basically, it looks and feels clunky, causing combat to feel like a spammy left-click fest.
Bugs are also a problem, and one that affected us frequently was one where the mouse cursor would not show up on the main menu, preventing us from loading our game. It was a frustrating bug to encounter, and it seemed to appear nearly every time we launched the game.
Pros and Cons of Breakwaters
|Intriguing Fast Travel and Bosses||Clunky Combat|
|Easy to use Crafting Systems||Unclear item and puzzle names and descriptions|
|Decent Survival Gameplay||Dated character models|
|Menu bugs that prevent you from loading the game.|
Verdict – We recommend waiting for a few updates
For the most part, the concept and world Breakwaters presented is intriguing. There’s plenty to be explored and experienced. But the game feels way too clunky in its current stage of development, with dated models, unclear puzzle and item names, and clunky combat. Because of this, we recommend that players hold off from getting the game for now until it receives a few more updates.
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