Ghost Recon Breakpoint Looks to Improve on Wildlands in a Major Way
The Ghosts are back in town.
I’ve always felt like the Ghost Recon series has never really gotten its chance in the spotlight alongside other shooters. There’s been no point my life where I’ve been eager to get my hands on a Ghost Recon game, but with Breakpoint, I finally feel more compelled than ever to jump into this third-person shooter.
Ahead of today’s official reveal of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, I was able to play around fifteen or twenty minutes of the game at a Ubisoft preview event last week. After going hands-on, I was left incredibly excited and there are a couple of reasons for this. Most notably, the stealth-action gameplay. While you can really choose the ways in which you want to approach Ghost Recon Breakpoint, there’s great attention to detail that gave me some real Metal Gear vibes. If there’s one thing I can really appreciate in games of this nature, it’s attention to player choice. The thing I loved most watching and actually playing Ghost Recon Breakpoint was how organic decision-making feels.
What really gives me a true sense of triumph in shooters and most games, in general, is knowing I did something myself, without a linear path or guide to get me from point A to point B. Shooters become more than just clearing out rooms to get to the next cutscene when the player is given some agency to take on a tremendously difficult task. It gives the game a refreshing appeal and suddenly, objectives that were once mundane and repetitive become fun and engaging every single time.
Throw in Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s new open-world environment, an incredibly varied island filled to the brim with different locales, and you have a formula for success. It seems like this time around, the development team wanted to have some fun with this world and it’s looking like the result of that effort will produce both an incredibly beautiful game, as well as a fun one to discover. Once I saw the first piece of gameplay, I was pretty flabbergasted with how the world moved. Trees, grass, and wildlife of all sorts filled the screen with a multitude of colors, much more interesting than Wildlands’ setting of Bolivia. From what I’ve been told and what I’ve seen, Breakpoint’s setting will include forests, beaches, towns, snow, a ridiculous looking volcano area, and more. I’ve seen a glimpse of this world and the prospect of exploring it all with up to four friends really excites me quite a lot.
Speaking of which, there’s a strong focus on cooperative play in Ghost Recon Breakpoint as there was in Wildlands. While, of course, the game can be played solo, your squad of four is better suited for three real players. Each of the four characters is varied, and additionally, can be customized in a multitude of ways. I can’t go as far as saying how much customization will be available, but from the brief glimpse we saw, it looks like it’ll be quite a hefty addition.
Ubisoft’s development team also has learned a lot from feedback on Wildlands. Things that many players criticized will be more refined at launch, like vehicle control, for instance. Furthermore, Ghost Recon Breakpoint will include PVP at launch along with raids. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given a chance to see how raids play out, but I wonder where they will stand when compared to something like The Division 2. While I didn’t get to see a full-on raid in action, I did get a chance to view some of the locations raids will take place in, and as previously mentioned, the diverse landscape seems like it’ll add a lot and make each one stand out.
Finally, whether you’re a player who enjoys, single-play, co-op, PVP, or all of the above, your progress will carry over between each and every mode, allowing you to take on Breakpoint however you’d like.
Jon Bernthal, whose most iconic roles include Shane on The Walking Dead and Frank Castle in The Punisher, will act as the Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s main villain. I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of Bernthal’s but I will say that he’s certainly intimidating enough for the role. Where the game actually faltered for me during this preview event was in its cutscenes. These moments were only brief but it doesn’t seem like every character is as passionate about their role as Bernthal.
The story doesn’t have its hooks in me just yet, but I remain quite optimistic on the gameplay side of things. Bernthal’s character acts as the leader of a newfound terrorist organization that begins taking over drones and other mechanized weapons. The game’s setting actually acts as the home of the company who creates these drones. With Bernthal appearing in the latest free DLC for Ghost Recon Wildlands, I’ll be interested to see how he turns “bad.” What the development team did say is that we’ll be able to find some common ground with Bernthal’s character.
On the more hands-on gameplay side of things, the shooting feels great. Movement feels heavy but players who take on challenges in a smart way can pick off enemies and ultimately make their time in this world a bit less chaotic. An interesting touch will be injuries as the development team has focused on making sure players need to consider everything happening around them. If you don’t address wounds they’ll affect your movement, accuracy, and stability. So it’s important to go into battle with the right tools and stop at camps to address any bullets you might have lodged in your body. The Ghosts also use the environment around them to take down foes, whether it be covering themselves in mud or drilling a hole through a fence as an escape point, later on in a mission.
I only got a brief glimpse of these tiny mechanics but I’m certainly excited to see how many more there will be. Going from a gameplay video to hands-on felt quite seamless as I was able to pull off just about everything I had seen in the video Ubisoft presented to us. That’s quite a good thing in my mind and bodes well for the final product.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 4.