Breathedge Is a survival game developed by indie game devs RedRuiins Softworks and published on Feburary 25, 2021 after an extended period in early access.
The game puts the player in the role of The Man, Sole Survivor of a deep-space crash of the funerary liner "Unnamed" operated by the Breathedge corporation while attempting to bury his recently-deceased Grandfather. With only his family heirloom, the Immortal Chicken, and a smart-mouthed corporate AI built into his spacesuit for company The Man must scavenge, craft, explore, acknowledge innumerable shout-outs, bury his Grandfather once and for all, get to the bottom of an Ancient Conspiracy and maybe chase after the mysterious "Babe" who keeps sending him seductive messages not-so-subtlety trying to get him killed...
Breathedge takes noticeable inspiration from an earlier survival game Subnautica; the core gameplay loop of scavenge > craft > explore > scavenge is highly similar. However, while Subnautica played into the horror of being isolated on an alien planet, Breathedge takes a far more darkly humorous and occasionally absurd tone. For example; one of the very first things you do in the game is try to plug a leak in your shuttle with the Immortal Chicken - only to be informed that leaks are best plugged with things that don't have holes at each end...
Breathedge contains examples of these tropes:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: With the exception of your spacesuit AI, who remains loyal and helpful throughout the game despite shouting the occasional corporate platitude, every other AI is not particularly impressive. The highlight has to be the military Gatekeeper confusing a Chicken in camo pattern paint for a high-ranking general!
- Antagonist Title: The Breathedge corporation is ultimately responsible for all the death and destruction of the game, and launches a full-out war to take over human space in the epilogue.
- Big Bad: Mother Station, a Hive Mind formed from hundreds of Breathedge spacesuits, is primarily responsible for the attack that caused the "Unnamed" to crash in the first place, and is the final enemy that must be defeated to beat the game.
- The Conspiracy: The Breathedge corporation, exploiting it's position as the premier space funeral service provider in human space, secretly experimented on and developed an army of corpse-powered "coffinbots" and scattered them all over the galaxy under the pretense of offering dignified funerals. One of their experiments resulted in the creation of the rogue AI Mother Station, who conspired with the Green Universe terrorist group to bring down the liner "Unnamed" to allow her to subvert the coffinbots aboard and kickstart the war, but the plan was bungled resulting in the mess The Man finds himself in at the start of the game. Oh and Grandfather, a brilliant space engineer and AI developer, discovered this and worked to subvert it, even posthumously taking control of his coffinbot to fight Mother personally. All of this is explained to you in one paragraph.
- Could Say It, But...:
- At one point your suit's AI recognizes that you need confidential information about the Breathedge corporation to survive, which its programming will not allow it to tell you. However, its programming does allow it to point out that there are numerous other suits around with the information which could be forced to reveal it using a drill. Your character decides to use the drill on himself to get your suit to talk.
- Shortly afterwards, your suit explains that "Unfortunately, due to the security protocol, I cannot tell you that the special magnets built into his engineering boots can be used to illegal open the back panel of Breathedge coffins" and then goes on to explain that it has "no right to explain" about the confidential features in the coffins that make doing this necessary, which it proceeds to describe in detail.
- Meat Versus Veggies: The core of the conflict between the Green Universe and the rest of human society. Since Future Food Is Artificial is in full effect, it's more than a little strange. Which, to be fair, is entirely in line with the rest of the game.
- Ms. Fanservice: "Babe", who's profile picture is just a close-up of a woman's cleavage. This is deliberately exploited by The Dragon - who's pretending to be her for most of the game (using a pair of Fake Boobs the entire time) - to (poorly) try to exploit Distracted by the Sexy to get you to kill yourself. The real Babe uses the same avatar but is more modestly dressed in a Form Fittingwardrobe spacesuit.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: The Immortal Chicken is well-named. The Man even starts exploiting this to clear up stray electrical currents.
- Retro Rocket: The spaceships have this aesthetic.
- Zeerust: Delibrately invoked.