ANVIL: Vault Breaker – Thoughts of a Breaker

There’s a new entry in the co-op shooter genre, this one coming in the form of ANVIL: Vault Breaker, a twin-stick shooter from Action Square. Now, as part of my research, it appears to be a remake of an earlier game. one called Gigantic X, which appeared on mobile platforms and looks very, very similar. However, since the game is currently part of the Xbox Game Preview program and is also available on Game Pass, I’ll ignore that and deal with what’s in front of me. Now that’s not a review, as it would be unfair to scribble fully confirmed thoughts for a game that’s still in progress, but there’s still plenty of content included in this preview build of the game to warrant a look. decent.

ANVIL’s story is interesting, but has absolutely no bearing on the game after the introduction. ANVIL stands for Ancient Vault Investigation Lab, and this organization does exactly what it says on the tin – they go out into the galaxy, find “Vaults” that are apparently the remnants of alien civilizations, then break in to loot some. the contents . The real breaking into the Vaults is done by the Breakers; robots remotely controlled by pilots so that no real person has to risk their life and physical integrity on the different planets.

Now, the game is being described as a “top-down multiplayer sci-fi roguelike action shooter” by the developers, and that’s a reasonable description. The only thing the description doesn’t mention is the fact that ANVIL is a dual-stick shooter and things are randomly generated each time you play.

As you enter, you’ll find that each galaxy present has a different number of planets to explore (the first has five, the second has seven, etc.) and the landscapes you encounter change each time. , as well as the enemies you encounter. This makes every game interesting, especially since there are power-ups to collect and use, these again working randomly. It’s nice that you start to find weapons and upgrades that you really like, but the random nature will ensure you keep stepping out of your comfort zone. The odds of finding all the power-ups you like are slim, so learning how to make the most of what’s given to you will serve you well in the long run.

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Along with finding the things to make you stronger, there are also a variety of breakers to unlock and use. There are different Breaker archetypes to use, with ranged fighters like Jungler being the first Breaker you have access to, as well as bigger, sturdier Breakers that use melee weapons to hurt, like Guillotine. The last type is the most spongy of all and these act as support; Elsa or Bronte.

According to the dev team, ANVIL is currently about 80% complete, and there are hints of this throughout the game. There are places to spend season points, for example, but as we are currently in the “pre-season” phase, there is no way to earn said points. They’re apparently going to keep ANVIL in preview for about a year, and I have to say, the core elements of the game are pretty solid already. The way things play out is pretty good actually, especially since there are powers each Breaker can use to increase their damage output. Add in the regular spawning of bosses as you travel through planets, and there’s already plenty of content to wade through. An “interesting” mechanic is found in the appearance, midway through a boss fight, of additional enemies. Now, I don’t know if this is a scripted thing, or if we’re not killing the boss fast enough, but the fact that three or four powerful robot-like enemies suddenly appear on an already crowded battlefield makes things really, really exciting. If you die, you can be revived if an ally comes and stands by your grave for a few moments, and it’s still great fun when there are bullets and enemies everywhere.

As it stands, there’s no shortage of people looking to play ANVIL – I’m guessing that Game Preview title also helped get the most out of Game Pass – and therefore find co-op partners. is not a problem. Obviously, the more people you have shooting at enemies the better, so even if you can play alone, it’s better to take an ally.

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Ultimately, it’s a case so far, so good for ANVIL and the current situation via Xbox Game Preview. There’s a lot of content and randomization, and no two games are the same. I have concerns about a few things that are apparently planned for the future, with each Breaker’s progress being reset at the end of each season, but there’s apparently a lot of opposition to this from the player base , so I hope Action Square changes their minds. Other than that, enjoying what’s present in Game Preview has been a lot of fun and you could do a lot worse than download it and give it a whirl.

You will find ANVIL: Vault Breaker present, correct and playable on both Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S (optimized), by grabbing a download from the Xbox Store. Just know that you understand that this is currently in Game Preview mode.