Broken Lines Wants To Show Players That War Sucks

Developer PortaPlay has released a new trailer for their upcoming tactical RPG Broken Lines, and the trailer hammers home what appears to be the point of the game: war sucks. Period.

War games tend to play up the sense of heroism, sacrifice and bravery involved in war, without focusing much on the enormous mental strain, moral gray areas, and horrific choices that might need to be made in the fog of war. This enthusiastic attitude is especially present in games surrounding World War II, since it’s hard to argue that defeating the Nazis wasn’t a noble cause, even if the cost was high.

Broken Lines seeks to turn that trend on its head by focusing on a small group of British soldiers who have crash-landed behind enemy lines during an alternate history version of World War II, forcing players to make unsettling decisions as they try to make their way back to enemy territory. Meanwhile, numbers are dwindling, supplies are running low, and the increasingly-demoralized squad is starting to turn on each other.

RELATED: Exclusive: Broken Lines Is A Tactical RPG About The Horrors Of War

By brushing aside the greater picture focusing on the individual struggles of a small group of stranded soldiers whose main goal is simply survival, it asks players how far they’d be willing to go to make it back to friendly territory. Would you be willing to kill medics? Abandon fellow soldiers? Murder civilians?

Press materials promise that each soldier’s experiences in the game will shape their relationships with each other, all while having the player guide each character through the war-torn country as they fight for their lives against enemy troops.

Broken Lines isn’t the first game to focus on the horrors and consequences of war, of course — games like Spec Ops: The Line and This War of Mine are two notable examples that try to show just how dark things can get. But it’ll be interesting to see how a character-based tactical RPG can run with the theme.

The game will release in the first quarter of 2020 on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

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