Gamer dad who loves the classics, indies, racers and the occasional shooter. Have been in the industry for almost two decades now and am as enthusiastic as ever! #4theplayers
Ubisoft’s catalog is quite versatile today, although there is still a surplus of military shooters. The Tom Clancy name is still connected to a large number of games, which players know about what to expect. Ghost Recon Breakpoint is another typical Ubisoft shooter, and even the most tactical and authentic to date.
Behind Enemy Lines
Anyone who has played Ghost Recon Wildlands will recognise a few things in Breakpoint. The gameplay still revolves around performing tactical operations in vast, wild environments behind enemy lines. Think of stalking army camps, hijacking Intel out of buildings and creating total chaos from a helicopter. And of course a zipper of icons on the gigantic map with a lot of freedom in how you approach situations.
Breakpoint takes this now familiar formula to a higher level by adding different survival elements. A major change is, for example, that you can sustain semi-permanent injuries. Just like in Wildlands, you have a health bar that drops quite quickly when you get hit, but now wounds can be so invasive that your character stumbles until you take the time to make a dressing.
However, do not do this without covering someone else, because it takes a while before you get back on track and once injured you can only use a hand weapon. It sounds like a subtle game play mechanism, but injuries force players to think twice before making their next move. Part of this is in the Bivouac, a kind of military camp where you can heal, choose a bed and craft stuff on the way. This includes medicine and food and drinks, because fatigue, hunger and thirst also play a role in gameplay. We have not yet been able to test how this works, but it fits well with the authentic approach of the game.
The Breakpoint site also stands out positively. With the island of Aurora, Ubisoft is not tied to existing geography such as Bolivia in Wildlands, but free to fill the map with varied environments. A lot of the buildings are reminiscent of Ghost Recon Future Soldier and they contrast nicely with the vast nature of Aurora. We could not yet discover how large the map is, but Ubisoft says that you can expect about the size of Bolivia, and that is again a huge environment.
In particular, interaction with nature is where Breakpoint takes steps. Your character actually seeks balance when descending hills and can slip and hurt himself if you are not careful enough. Running up a mountain is also much more difficult, creating an extra dimension in how you approach enemies. And “uphill battle” is therefore really problematic.
Wildlands was well received at launch, but a much heard criticism of the game is the repetitiveness that strikes towards the end. The gameplay from Breakpoint is very refined and more realistic than ever, but perhaps not groundbreaking enough to solve that problem. We are therefore pleased with the greater emphasis on story that Ubisoft promises, with Jon Bernthal as ex-Ghost Cole D. Walker. The fallen Ghost was introduced in an update to the previous part and is now the leader of a team of trained soldiers who deal the cards on the island. Bernthal’s raw acting performance is strongly reminiscent of The Punisher and in fact he is cut out for the role.
There is even room for flashbacks about his time with captain Nomad, among others, who is also pushed forward as a character. It remains to be seen whether the story of Breakpoint honors special units, but Breakpoint has a bit more to say than before.
Rise in Fall
It will be a busy fall with shooter releases this year. Not even talking about the continuous stream of downloadable content and expansions for Rainbow Six Siege and the Division 2. We see the potential Breakpoint has in appealing to a large audience across all platforms. Gamers who don’t want a MMORPG, don’t want to dance or revisit ancient Greece. A tactical, third-person open world shooter is the alternative this fall. And it will be a tough battle for a spot underneath the Christmas tree with titles such as Control, Death Stranding, Star Wars Jedi and Call of Duty. However we feel Breakpoint will rise and a large community of Tom Clancy gamers will pick up this title and try to defeat the Wolves!
We will try and get our hands on it at GamesCom 2019 to give you more info before Ghost Recon Breakpoint hits shelves on October 4.