Imagine playing a game of basketball, only instead of players or refs calling ticky-tack fouls for brushing an opponent on his way the hoop, you're allowed obliterate your opponent with a warhammer or a mighty battleaxe. That's sort of what it's like to play Breakaway, a mythological sports brawler featuring 4-versus-4 gameplay unveiled by none other than Amazon.
Yes, we said Amazon! The world's largest online retailer has been working towards this moment for a long time, acquiring various gaming IPs and buying Twitch, the live video streaming service, for around $970 million two years ago. Breakaway, which is now in alpha, features lots of fast action and was purposely built for broadcasting over the Internet.
"Breakaway is made by streamers, for streamers," Amazon explains. "Taunt every interception, celebrate every kill, and highlight your dominance with instant replays. Customize your broadcast with real-time statistics from Metastream. Turn players into stars and earn followers with Broadcaster Spotlight. Pull your audience into the game with Broadcaster Match Builder, or interact with viewers through polls and loyalty point wagering using Stream+. Don’t just win the match… win the crowd."
That sounds a lot like the speech from Gladiator starring Russell Crowe, only with cooler weapons and a much larger audience. You can rain fire on opponents with Spartacus' catapult and decimate the competition using various other mythic techniques. The ultimate goal is to shove a round Relic into the enemy's base before the four-minute clock expires, or you can wipe out every opponent before any of them respawn.
Amazon showcased Breakaway at TwitchCon where gamers participated in the game's first ever Breakaway exhibition match.
"From fighting games to online survival games, we brought in eight players who excel in different gaming genres. These players have been practicing and playtesting with us for the past few months, and they were hungry to find out which team was best team. One of the players, Godspeed, had the highlight of the match. Using Anne Bonny, he was able to alley-oop the Relic to himself and score while avoiding three-on-one coverage near the Relay. Everyone in the crowd was hype, and you have to see it to believe it," Amazon says.
You can check it out here:
Whether or not Breakaway becomes a major eSports event remains to be seen. It certainly has the potential, along with the infrastructure. It also doesn't hurt that a company with the resources Amazon possesses is backing the title.