Broken Lines, a new tactical RPG developed by PortaPlay, takes place in an alternate version of World War II.

A group of soldiers has crashed behind enemy lines and fight their way out under our command. As we manage our squad of soldiers through the war-torn landscape, we will have to make decisions that will impact the plot.

While there’s a lot of information regarding the plot, we do know your squad won’t deal with enemy soldiers alone. They’ll also have to cope with the mental and physical horrors of war.

These horrors aren’t there just for the scares – they will affect your gameplay, the soldiers’ abilities, and the relationships between them. I hope we’re talking about something along the lines of Darkest Dungeon’s stress mechanism, where characters can develop mental trauma that impacts the way they play.

The combat system in Broken Lines is built around a “pause and play” mechanic found in a lot of tactical-RPGs. The game will automatically pause when a new threat appears, allowing us to plan our attack and preparing our soldiers for combat. When you finish giving out orders, you can unpause, and your squad executes your instructions in real-time.

It’s hard to understand how the combat flows just from the videos, but it looks like a mix between XCOM-like turn-based combat and Commandos real-time tactics.

The Broken Lines gameplay trailer reveals we’ll be able to fine-tune our soldiers, unlock new abilities and traits, and change their gear. These customization options, alongside your soldiers’ current relationships with one another, might affect the tactics you choose to apply on the battlefield.

I can’t say for sure, but watching the trailer makes me think we can also expect permadeath when we lose one of our squadmates. I wonder how much of an impact it will have on the rest of the squad and the story.

Broken Lines aims to make us realize how gruesome and nasty war can be. I can only hope it will live up to its potential and stand out as a tactical story-driven RPG. The tactical combat genre is booming in the last couple of years, with new excellent titles coming out in droves. It certainly won’t be easy, but Broken Lines seems to have some new ideas that might be unique enough to make it shine among them all.

Broken Lines comes out on PC and Nintendo Switch in Q1 2020. You can already wishlist the game on Steam.

Broken Lines tactical combat
Plan a strategy
Choices will affect the way the story moves on.
Broken Lines
Broken Lines

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