Name: Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Ghost Recon: Wildlands was one of the games we played the most in 2017, well some of us did. It was far from a perfect game, but the co-op and solid gameplay made it a favorite to spend some time with late at night. So, the anticipation for the newest game in the franchise was high to say it mildly. But, did it manage to capture that same feeling once more?
Breakpoint picks up six years after Wildlands, with Nomad returning with his Ghost’s. It quickly goes sour when they are on the way to investigate a cargo ship that has sunken outside the cost of fictional island Aurora. They are getting attacked and fall from the sky, but it gets worse. When trying to come back to their hinges, they meet a familiar face that double-crosses them. There is no secret who that is or much of a spoiler, that it is Cole D. Walker the former Ghost Lieutenant Colonel that has gone rogue. Which is voiced and motion-captured by The Punisher himself Jon Bernthal. He has formed an elite squad named Wolves contracted to help occupy the island. Aurora island was used by the founder and CEO of Skell Tech, to gather scientists and engineers to develop tech to save or rather improve the world. That goes not as planned of course when the island gets occupied and forced to use that tech to make advanced technical weapons. Story progress with you having to help out the locals that have gone in hiding in the mountains, from there you will help out to get them off the island and to safety. While also find out why Walker has turned, and get your revenge for those he killed.
Apart from solid acting by Bernthal, and some twists at times the story quickly gets stale. Mix that with how you progress through missions point A to B and at times even C, find intel, interrogate that guy and meet someone is usually how it goes. Cutscenes are being used more to tell the story and I enjoyed it way more than in the previous game. It made it feel more natural to play it alone, and not an interruption. Flashback cutscenes diving into the story of Cole D. Walker and key moments of his and Nomad’s time together are the highlights.
When it comes to the graphics I’m very pleased for the most part, it has gotten a pretty good upgrade and seems to run a lot smoother. The environments are really stunning, and with how much more variation there is this time it brings the best the game can offer. Mountains, jungles, and cities bring more colors and details compared to Wildlands Santa Blanca desserts. Character models look great in cutscenes showing more emotions in their facial expressions, unfortunately, often the dialogue and lips are out of sync. It sticks out and removes your attention, and ruin the cutscenes. Character models around in the environment are as bland as they were in Wildlands. So it has improved in many ways, but much of it is the same as in the previous game.
Breakpoint is really similar to Wildlands at its core but also added new features that aim for a more realistic approach. How that affects the gameplay is sorta hit and miss, with not every new feature feeling like an upgrade but rather small annoyances. There are even added features that strip away some of the realism. But, let us start on a positive note first and talk about the Gunplay. As Wildlands, this was one of the best parts of the game, guns feel really good to use with great variations in how they look and feel. Satisfying can be the description as even, I loved to find new weapons and scout for new attachments to use. It was one of the key parts that made me enjoy it, finding the best weapons and wipe out enemy bases. But here is one of the biggest problems I have with Breakpoint, they have changed how weapons work and acquired. Yes, you can still find weapons and attachments, but they are not unique anymore. Weapons now have stats and levels, which completely changes how and what weapons you use. The weapons level changes your level, much like the “power level” that we have seen in Destiny. You will never stick with one gun because there is always something better that raises your stats. So the fun of going into some of the most difficult locations, to get the best weapons are gone and I don’t have weapons to show off for my accomplishment. This feature also applies to your gear and clothing, so you might not always dress as you like but rather put on the stuff that gives the best stats.
There is a central hub or The Bivouac as it’s called which is hidden in the mountains like a Batcave. Which is your safe place together with locals, but also where you launch many of your missions, buy and upgrade gear and launching multiplayer. It’s just like The Tower or Sanctuaries we have seen in other games. While it fits the new style Ghost Recon aims for with its looter shooter approach, it feels kinda contradicting the story. In the story, you are lone survivor trying to scrape yourself and other victims together trying to get out of the situation you are in. It then feels kinda weird meeting 30++ others that kinda looks like you, and crowds the place (but, yeah I’m almost all alone in this)
The skill tree has been made to further customize your game style, with four different classes that you can switch on the go. But also mix and match to your liking, with so many options, you have to decide what is most important for your use to acquire first.
Then there are some of the new features, while it is aimed for realism purposes it doesn’t benefit the gameplay and that is stamina meter. Yes, I know soldiers are humans too and can’t run forever and so forth. But, hell it doesn’t make it necessary to make the character as unstable as a baby that just has learned to walk his first step. Or give him the stamina of a guy that smokes 2 packs a day. Just the smallest hills will deplete your stamina, and guess what it that depletes to zero you will fall your ass to the ground and roll around as you have epilepsy. You also have a damage meter which in some cases if you sustained to much damage won’t fill up until you apply bandages. It isn’t the end of the world and might actually do its purpose in the realism department. There are even three small features that I liked, firstly it is Prone Camo wich when prone (obviously) if laying on loose surfaces (Dirt, Mud, Snow etc) you can smear it all over yourself to even be harder to spot, it limits your movement of sight but is a great addition. Then there is that sync shot is now used with your drone, where you can mark up to four people. Yes, that means if you are a full squad you can mark up to 16 guys and take em out from safety. Does it make it easier yes, is it fun to be a bit OP at times YES? And the best addition in the game? The ability to carry bodies, both enemies and your friends which is really helpful when they are downed and you aren’t stuck anymore to try to revive them in the middle of the battlefield.
The AI seems like they have taken a step back, unfortunately, man they are dumb. 4-5 guys hiding in the exact same spot, obviously they are easy to handle with a simple technique called “Spray and Pray” and that is if they even hide, or just running frantically back and forth.
While much of this sounds like harsh criticism from my part, much of it is probably true. Much of the small things that made Ghost Recon fun for me have been changed into something that I would rather have in other games. But at its core, it’s the same gameplay I loved to play with friends and emptying bases. Because that is where all the fun is found coop, so if you can see past all the bugs and glitches that haunt you in many ways, everything from graphical too gameplay you might still have a good time even a laugh maybe with your best friends.
Before a riot is started outside my window, I play with a controller on PC. I could blame it on the share amount of buttons you actually use on the keyboard. But the simple answer is that I played Wildlands on PS4 so it just made more sense to continue on that route, instead of learning a new control scheme.
But, it should be noted that it controls really great with a controller at least. It is well put together with all the actions and commands in-game. In the menus, you often feel like you are pushing a button after button to navigate. When it comes to movement and driving not much has changed, not that it was needed either. The only problem I noticed that it felt sluggish at times when it came to the cover system and traversal in the terrain. Apart from that it pretty much controls like a normal 3rd person shooter.
How much time you will be spending in Breakpoint, comes down to what you want from the game. If you are one that thrives on the hunt for the best loot and plays online you can find hours on hours of gameplay. Exploring the huge environments, track down every collectible perfecting your character. PvP would seem like the biggest focus, with microtransaction from A to B to help save hours not grinding for money and loot. Ghost War is really similar to the past version, so don’t expect huge improvements and new features. It is a fun mode, but many will find it really similar to what other Ubisoft titles offer.
Story - 6/10
Graphics - 7/10
Gameplay - 6/10
Controls - 8/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint wants to be a worthy sequel to Wildlands, but at times feels like “one step forward, two steps back” Story has been done noteworthy to make it more interesting, but missions still feel repetitive. But while the task might be repetitive, how you solve them is up to you. So you are in charge to make the mission itself interesting, do you want to sneak in silently take out people without being noticed or will you go guns blazing? Many new features were added, but the result is a mix of how good additions or rather necessary they were. It has more or less become a game that borrows a lot from other titles we have seen from Ubisoft.
- Better Story
- Still great shooting and tactical gameplay
- Noticeable better graphics
- More focus on Online
- Bugs and Glitches
- Removed the fun of collecting weapons