|Release Date||October 4th, 2019|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Ubisoft for review purposes*
I came into Ghost Recon Breakpoint with some pretty high hopes. This is a game that is coming off a bit of a reboot for the series with 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. I enjoyed my time with that game and, while it wasn’t perfect, I really expected the next game in the series to knock it out of the park. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened and Breakpoint ends up having more issues and questionable design decisions than I ever expected.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint starts out with a cliché me against the world story where your helicopter crashes on the fictional island of Auroa where a man named Jace Skell has built an offshore tech metropolis. Auroa is invaded by a former Ghost named Walker (played by Jon Bernthal) who wants to use this technology for evil and we have to stop him. After the crash, we have to fight our way back to a hidden camp to regroup. If this sounds familiar, that’s because this was basically the same way that Far Cry New Dawn started off. It’s a weird direction for the story to go after a more realistic (as much as you can be with this type of game) approach in Wildlands.
It’s not the first time Ghost Recon has gone to a more futuristic setting and the enemy’s ability to have all this tech is pretty cool and keeps you on your toes. There are security drones scattered around areas and even civilians scattered around the map. The weird thing about that is that these civilians end up right in the middle of firefights like there’s nothing going on. It’s a really strange thing to see and they can really get in the way of things when you’re trying to take care of some enemies. I was even surprised early in the game by a recon drone that spotted me as it flew through the air and tagged me with smoke while I was scouting a base. I learned quickly that I had to be in cover even when I felt safe. I liked that attention to detail and it really felt like the enemies were a bit smarter this time around.
The story is generally forgettable even though Ubisoft put a lot behind it. The conversation system from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is utilized here even though you don’t have much of an influence on anything. It’s nice to be able to find out clues from different people but it’s not really why I play a game like this. The narrative is pretty bad and the lines are so cliché that it really takes away from the experience. Not only that, but you can literally have a conversation while enemies are all around you. It just makes no sense. The good part of all this is that you can turn on an option to allow you to find objectives via clues instead of normal waypoints. While this isn’t something I enjoy, hardcore players might find a lot of fun in this. It’s something we’ve seen in other games and I’m glad Ubisoft chose to give you that option. If you’re not playing it that way, these conversations are just tedious.
The gameplay is generally the same as Wildlands and that’s not a bad thing. You’re trying to infiltrate bases and collect intel for the most part. You can go in guns blazing or try and take guards out one by one. I do find that the Ai is pretty good at detecting you even on normal difficulty so you have to be particularly careful with how you approach things. Cars and ground vehicles easily alert them so it’s hard to get close with any type of vehicle. Helicopters ended up being the easiest mode of transportation for me. I’d just find a vantage point that I could use, land there, snipe some of the guards and then infiltrate the base. The hills and terrain made things very difficult in that way because your player will literally topple downhill if it’s at all steep. It reminded me of that episode of The Simpsons where Homer tied to jump the gorge tumbled down. Luckily, you can bandage yourself up, but it’s just so annoying and not at all realistic. Couple that with the fact that guns and bandages turn invisible and cutscenes end up having two audio streams overlapping at times and the technical issues are hard to look past.
The thing that really stuck out to me playing Breakpoint is that, even after you get to camp, you don’t get a team of ghosts as you did in Wildlands. Now, you’re a lone wolf unless you have friends to play with. Sure, you can just join someone’s game but the likelihood that they’re going to play the same missions as you need to play is low. This leaves people like me who enjoyed playing with CPU teammates stuck playing with random people or alone and this game is awful alone, in my opinion. It takes away all of the tactical advantages that your team has and leaves you pretty vulnerable if you’re trying to be stealthy. It’s not a ridiculously hard game, but in instances where you have to defend someone, it can be next to impossible to keep them alive when you’re fighting off waves of enemies. I know, it’s a predominantly coop game, but I felt that the decent single-player experience should have been easy to carry over to this game and that’s not what happened.
Continuing to borrow from other games, Breakpoint adopts a loot system just like The Division. It’s not a terrible idea and it makes sense with the setting, but it loses all relevance when you realize that no gun is better than any other. A headshot is a kill unless an enemy has a helmet and even then, it’s not hard to get a kill. This means that even if a gun ends up being really rare and high level, it’s still no better than the one you started off with. I really don’t think Ghost Recon needed this at all. It just feels tacked on and the amount of loot scattered around the map is just a little crazy. It’s not meant to be a looter shooter nor does it need to be.
There is an upgrade tree that ends up being the main point or progression, at least to me. It’s similar to what you saw in Wildlands with things like longer battery life for your drone and other similar things that you’d expect. You can also get an awesome tool to cut through chain link fencing. It’s not a speedy tool but these are the types of things I want to see, something outside the box. I don’t know why in this age of gaming that we can’t have some different types of gadgets that can really cater to this futuristic setting.
Outside of the main game, you can also take on another team of ghosts in either Elimination which is basically a deathmatch or Sabotage in which you’re trying to plant or defuse a bomb. Taking a bit from PUBG, Elimination features a shrinking combat zone later in the match to keep things flowing. It’s a good addition that gets rid of the hiding spots and promotes actual combat. The progression is shared between PvE and PvP so you can benefit from playing both modes. It’s a nice touch to see Ghost War here from the get-go after being a late addition to Wildlands through an update.
|Tons of fun with friends||Awful singe-player|
|Beautiful map||Lots of technical issues|
|Trying to be every Ubisoft game|