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599 hours. That’s what Steam tells me is my total playtime for Into the Breach, Subset Games' tactical mech game, and while that number is somewhat inflated from early days of leaving it on during parts of my workday, well, it’s not far off. It’s safe to say that it is an obsession of mine, it’s become something of a forever game for me, something I continue to turn to long after I nailed every single achievement.
So that means making my own goals.
For a long time, I was messing around with the Secret Squad (I won’t spoil who they are, only that you earn them when you unlock every achievement). I was able to beat the game with them, and started in on three-and-four-island victories, harder, longer leaps of effort. I got very close with three a few times, and then decided to start playing the game on hard.
Minus one achievement hunt, my whole time with the game—lets call it 550 hours at that point, was on normal difficulty. I figured, hey, let’s get a hard victory with every squad! That’ll be fun!
About fifty hours later, I’m back on normal. I think I’m decent at the game at this point, but the hard difficulty is just not as fun for me. It’s punishing, and in a game where one mistake can cascade into total failure (and permadeath) on the default setting, it just wasn’t working out. Maybe someday, I’ll have the mechanics and variations so completely ingrained in my head that hard mode will come calling again.
For now, I’m happy to go for a two, three, and four island victory with every squad, on the normal setting. That should keep me busy for another 200 hours of playtime.
It’s funny to me, just how much I love this game and feel like it’s part of my life. I think about it in idle moments, craving the feeling of a great turn, scrambling the enemy bugs across the map so they destroy each other. It’s fascinating to me that I keep setting goals for myself, long after the marathon of the game’s own achievement system (no cakewalk) has been completed. I guess I just like Into the Breach this much.
How about you, dear readers? Is there a game out there that you love so much, that you’ve played half to death, that you’ve made your own increasingly ridiculous goals for, to keep things interesting? Let’s take it to the forums!