When I first went for my hands-on appointment to try out Amazon Game Studios‘ upcoming mythological sports brawler Breakaway at PAX West, I didn’t realize I would break Amazon! All I did was touch the B key as instructed, and everything went dark: The circuits blew. But once all the computers were back online, I was able to jump in and give the game a test run, and I am glad I did.
Unlike brawlers or arena shooters that are just, you know, shooting other people, this game focuses on the aspect of a sports game. While you can win the round by wiping all of your opponents at the same time, the two other win conditions involve the ball; either you score a goal or you keep the ball on the opponent’s side of the field when the four-minute timer runs out. Perhaps because of this sport team aspect, I got more interested in Breakaway and look forward to playing it more.
Update: Amazon has apparently removed the trailer following intense criticism.
Breakaway has a fresh new trailer out for Gamescom today, along with a run-down of all its toons. You’ll recall the game from its slow-cook reveal last fall as one of the new titles Amazon Game Studios is currently building out — this one’s the stream-centric 4v4 online brawler.
“Breakaway is a team battle sport that blends the speed, strategy, and teamwork of sports in a competitive multiplayer action game, and is being developed with constant feedback and input from the community. Amazon Game Studios has partnered closely with Twitch to design the game to be as fun to watch as it is to play, and has added special features to help broadcaster engage their audiences.”
Check out all the new assets from the con, and make sure you’re signed up for the alpha!
Why will you be playing Breakaway? The latest trailer for the game is all about how you’ll be playing the game to win and to smash the heck out of your opposition. And you’ll be doing it quickly. And streaming it for the adulation of adoring fans. And then, possibly, doing a double backflip on a BMX bike before jumping on to a skateboard that is inexplicably perched on an entire stack of fidget spinners.
Are bikes still a thing? We’re not sure. The point is that it’s a trailer about the competitive side and about making big explosions and getting noticed. You can check out the trailer just below if that sounds like your jam, or if you’re just hoping that it does actually feature that aforementioned backflip on a bike.
It has now been seven months since John Smedley shut down Pixelmage Games and took his team over to Amazon Game Studios to set up shop in San Diego. We’ve been greatly curious about what game he’s been heading — and if it is an MMO — but until recently Smed has stayed out of the spotlight to get work done.
This is why we’ve perked up to see him sit down with VentureBeat for an extended interview about his new employer and his take on the direction that the industry is heading. He has a lot of opinions on just about everything, ranging from virtual reality to Twitch integration to the rise of e-sports.
If you’re hoping that the notoriously chatty Smedley was going to reveal what game his studio is making, you’re in for disappointment. He indicates that he’s very excited about the project but is tight-lipped about specifics.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Gloria Victis, Path of Exile, Breakaway, Dauntless, Splatoon 2, DarkEden Origin, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, Ultima Online, Skyforge, Trove, Final Fantasy XI, Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
As the field of MOBAs and competitive e-sports titles becomes increasingly crowded, studios are turning to more… unorthodox methods to attract viewers and attention. Broadcast your tournament on cable TV? Recruit Steven Seagal for some reason? It’s been done, so very done, which is why Amazon Game Studios called up its friends in the Dutch navy and asked politely if they could borrow a battleship to host a Breakaway game match.
OK, so it was an “offshore patrol vessel,” but the stunt actually happened. Two e-sports teams came aboard the HNLMS Holland for a head-to-head match in the online sports game. The devs said that to their knowledge, this was the first e-sports match to take place on a battleship at sea.
While you ponder what lunacy marketers will come up with next — e-sports in a volcano! E-sports on death row! E-sports between presidential candidates! — you can check out the highlight reel after the break and marvel that you have lived to see such wonders.
Last September, the internet was buzzing about Amazon Game Studios’ big reveals, including Breakaway, which the company teased for weeks ahead of time. It turned out not to be an MMO — we’ve got New World for that fix — but a “mythological sport brawler,” a 4v4, third-person MOBA-lite built from the ground up for streaming. Since then, the game’s run a few alpha tests and put the feedback to work, overhauling the characters one by one. Jarra was first up among the warriors, and now AGS has a huge dev blog out detailing changes to the rest.
For starters, several of the warrior-archetype characters got renames (Spartacus to Argus, Anne Bonny to Kyra, and Morgan Le Fey to Korryn) and style buffs; the studio tweaked power ranges, control, strafing, buildables, text chat, replays, the relic running system, and the gold economy.
“Don’t worry – Breakaway’s still about fast action, strategic teamwork, and dunking on fools,” AGS says. “We listened to your feedback and made changes we believe only refine what makes Breakaway great.”
Cast your mind back to Christmas carols and unfortunate egg nog binges of late 2016, and you might recall that Amazon Games Studios was running its first title, Breakaway, through a short alpha test.
Clearly it was a beneficial test for the studio’s 4v4 brawler, as the devs said that they received a load of useful feedback for the game’s direction and development. “We identified four opportunities where we could tangibly change the gameplay for a better experience,” AGS said. “Give players better movement options, more options for combat capabilities, refine the buildable experience, and revisit the balance of gold in the game.”
As the team works on all of that, a new warrior steps onto Breakaway’s battlefield. This would be Jarra, the shadow huntress, a stealth assassin with low health and high burst DPS against single targets. The team announced her on a recent livestream, which you can watch below.
Hands up: Any Massively OP readers play the crap out of Command & Conquer back in the day? In the ’90s, Westwood Studios was a legend for that series (and how awesome was Red Alert? Here’s the Hell March theme for your Thursday listening pleasure) before the studio was purchased by EA and shuttered.
Well, one of the co-founders of Westwood, Louis Castle, is being given another chance at widespread glory. Castle was recently hired by Amazon Game Studios Seattle to head up the company’s sci-fi multiplayer title Crucible.
Castle told Games Industry that he’s thrilled to get to work on a brand-new IP: “I don’t know too many game developers who would prefer to pursue licensed IP over the chance to create something. The new IP problem space is wide open and the possibilities are endless. I’ve personally had about equal amounts of success in both adapting and building IP.”
The curtains have parted on the first of Amazon Game Studios’ upcoming titles, as Breakaway has launched its first public alpha test this weekend.
From today through Monday morning, December 19th, anyone can jump into this 4v4 team battler to test his or her mettle — and the mettle of the fledgling studio creating it. AGS said that there is no NDA on the test but asked players to remember that there are more than a few rough edges as it is still in alpha.
The test coincides with a new patch that adds the Atlantis map, balance changes, a progression system, and the mad scientist Victor. Why are they always called Victor?
Check out glimpses of Breakaway’s gameplay after the break!
Those ex-ArenaNet folks won’t be going to waste at Amazon Game Studios after all: One of the three games the company is working on is indeed an MMORPG sandbox game called New World, and it sounds goddamn epic.
If you’re still hungering for savory facts about Breakaway, Amazon Game Studios’ soon-to-be-revealed game that’s scooped up so many MMORPG developers in Seattle, welp, that dinner bell won’t be rung until Thursday. But in the meantime, you can feast on some of the appetizers being served on the game’s Twitter account.
The first in the series appeared to show the silhouette of a stock barbarian with the phrase “Tell Valhalla that I shall arrive soon,” leading players to suspect a Norse-themed title. But since then, the account has teased what appears to be a druid, a warrior, a Bothan spy with a rifle, The Gunslinger, my Diablo III Witch Doctor, Braveheart, and an orc engineer with really great hair, each with associated catch phrases.
The range of archetypes has led players to speculate the game will be more of a MOBA or shooter than a setting-specific online RPG, as have the weird assortment of media gifts and what looks like 3v3 gameplay on Twitch — but we’ll be seeing on Thursday, now won’t we?
The clock is ticking down to September 29th, a date that will witness the reveal of at least one major project that Amazon Game Studios has been developing. This week the studio’s laid some of the groundwork for the reveal by setting up a Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter account, all under the name Breakaway.
Breakaway might be the title of the game or merely its code name, but it’s still a little more to go on than we had before. On Facebook beside a silhouette of what appears to be a horned warrior carrying a warhammer, AGS left the tease, “Tell Valhalla that I shall arrive soon.” Could this be a broad hint that the game is embracing Norse mythology?
According to the description of the unboxing event, the devs said they will provide “an introduction to Amazon Game Studios, what we’re about and what we’re making, a glimpse of some of the games we’re working on, and a deep dive into the first game we’re putting in gamers’ hands.”