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Broken Lines Review

Broken Lines Review

Porting a tactical turn-based game from PC to consoles doesn’t always end well; a title that was originally made with mouse and keyboard in mind will occasionally not translate well to a controller. Broken Lines is a good attempt at bringing the once PC exclusive to a wider audience, and for the most part it succeeds. However, a few gameplay issues and finicky controls hold this back from being something excellent.

If you were to assume that Broken Lines featured a bare-bones story about soldiers lacking in personality going up against generic enemies for no discernable reason, I wouldn’t blame you. However, the interesting story and fleshed-out characters are perhaps the game’s biggest surprises.


Set during an alternate version of World War II, Broken Lines sees a group of soldiers shot down over enemy territory, but they soon discover that these enemies aren’t the normal Nazi soldiers they’re used to fighting. No, this mysterious army is known as The Faceless, masked fighters that are up to something sinister and don’t appreciate our heroes dropping in. Over the course of 21 levels, you’ll attempt to thwart The Faceless’ schemes and try to make it back home.

In addition, the main characters are all unique in their mannerisms. Each of the eight playable squad members are well-written, and all have varied relationships with one another, something that is unusual — but very welcome — in the genre.


Broken Lines is far from a shining example of what modern consoles can do. Texture and geometry pop-in is frequent, some screen tearing was apparent during my playthrough, and the frame rate isn’t always locked at the 60fps it aims for. Environments are rather bland, although this helps in setting the scene of a bleak, war-torn country that’s barely holding it together. On a more positive note, the character models look good, with some nice animations to make them feel more human.

The music and sound effects were an improvement when compared to the graphics, as the slow, melancholic soundtrack sweeps across each level, ramping up whenever an enemy is encountered. Characters aren’t fully voiced (aside from the narrator) and will instead offer a few quips mid-battle, so expect to do more reading than you usually would in an isometric tactics title.


Gameplay is a mix between turn-based and real time, with the action pausing after a certain amount of time has elapsed; during these paused moments, players choose their next actions, be it movement or using a character-specific ability. Once choices have been made and the action resumes, every character (both party members and enemies) will move in real-time, before stopping again, either after discovering something unexpected, or after the cooldown timer expires.

The controls aren’t the most intuitive, which ends up with Broken Lines not feeling quite as slick as its peers by taking away finer controls. This does allow it to be more accessible for those who are perhaps not as familiar with the genre, but having a soldier stuck in one position whilst taking a shotgun to the back can get frustrating. It also took a while to get used to the fact that your squad will fire upon enemies automatically, taking away the need to manually assign them a target, which again was the source of some frustration as party members with long-ranged weaponry weren’t utilising their advantages as I’d have liked.

When not out on missions, your squad will be resting up at a campsite, where they can interact with one another to alter their morale (have a soldier reach their breaking point and expect them to desert!) before selecting one of up to three missions to take on that day. Having players choose which mission to tackle (leading to the other ones becoming inaccessible) grants a good deal of choice, and often had me pondering whether I should try to rescue a small group of hostages, or sabotage one of The Faceless’ supply depots.


Although Broken Lines exceeded my expectations in the story and character departments, I felt slightly let down by the overly-simplified gameplay and numerous graphical issues. Still, it was a reasonably enjoyable journey through an alternate World War II, with characters I grew to like and did everything I could to keep them happy and, more importantly, alive.

7.00/10 7

Broken Lines (Reviewed on PlayStation 5)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

A few technical issues and simplified gameplay detract from an otherwise engaging narrative, with a likeable cast of characters. Just don’t expect too much strategic thinking.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

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Farhan Hashmi
Farhan Hashmi - 03:09pm, 26th June 2023

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