Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Review
Released earlier this week, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is the latest in Tom Clancy’s open-world shooter franchise. Following in the footsteps of Wildlands while promising an entirely remastered combat system and a range of new features, Breakpoint was one of the most exciting announcements at this year’s E3. With many recent games suffering from being over-hyped and then failing to deliver upon release, the question at the back of many minds remained: how will Breakpoint measure up to the revolutionary expectations that have been built for it? Let’s find out!
The first impression after booting up Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is slightly underwhelming. The character customization is basic but effective, and the gameplay feels almost identical to Wildlands at first. It is not until the end of the tutorial mission that the updates within Breakpoint become apparent, and the true scope of the gameplay begins to unravel before you.
Considerable efforts have been made to improve weapon customization through the gunsmithing system, with dozens of accessories and components available to unlock and purchase with the game’s base currency – skell credits. These credits loosely tie into the story, one which describes a bleeding-edge utopia gone wrong.
One would be hard-pressed to boast the strength of the storyline. It serves to sufficiently create a core structure for the game, but not much else. While there are a few twists and turns along the way, the open-world nature of game is not conducive to an organized plotline. I would say the benefits here outweigh the drawbacks, but the drawbacks should be pointed out all the same.
One of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’s new features is a rest system where you can take breaks at temporary camps called bivouacs. Doing so allows you to craft items, set your team vehicle, choose a temporary buff, remove your exhaustion and more. Making frequent and effective use of the bivouacs is key to survival in Auroa.
One of the more confusing aspects of Breakpoint is its mission screen, done in a spider-web style, with a great variety of mission types for you to choose from. The concept is intentionally open-world and freestyle, allowing players to create their own focus and simply get the greatest enjoyment out of the game. While this is great in theory, practically it can be quite intimidating to decipher and choose which mission thread to follow.
The action and gunplay of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is greatly improved over previous titles. The action is fast and decisive and can often be ruthless. Higher difficulties will truly test your combat skills and patience. Recon, positioning and skill usage are paramount for successful missions. Good use can also be made of the new camouflage system, which enables you to cover yourself with mud while prone to reduce the likelihood of being identified by enemy soldiers.
This leads me to the skill tree, another revamped area of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. The devs have opted for a hybrid class-based system which allows plays to select and play as one of four classes that can be swapped in and out, each with their own unique ability and matched for a separate playstyle. In addition to the classes, there is an open skill tree which provide a wide array of benefits.
Featuring full online co-op, Breakpoint allows friends to drop in and out of the action at will. On the note of multiplayer, there is also a full-fledged level-balanced PvP system and intense PvE raids. More content will continue to be released as part of the Game Pass which will enhance many of these features.
One of the more annoying, if accurate, aspects of Breakpoint is the movement. Areas of Auroa have quite harsh terrain and trying to run down it will make your operator start to slip and slide, and sometimes even full-on tumble. This causes injuries and exhausts you, forcing you to rest at a bivouac to regain your stamina fully. The truly irritating part of this is when the system kicks in as you run down a flight of stairs, something most humans should be able to handle with some semblance of stability, let alone a fully trained Ghost.
Overall, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a significant improvement over Wildlands, but is not nearly as revolutionary as one may have assumed from all of the hype that surrounds it. If you look at the game with a fresh set of eyes and do not allow yourself to be biased by expectations, you will find a delightfully entertaining open-world co-op shooter with great depth that most players will happily sink many hours into.