Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a difficult game to review. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun, sometimes it’s incredibly banal, but strangely contagious. The rest on occasion it is a buggy mess. Our enjoyment of Breakpoint fluctuated so much during the review period that we had to sit down and think carefully about whether we really thought it was worth playing at the beginning. We think the answer to that question is yes, but it is certainly not without warning. We spent over 30 hours playing Breakpoint, so he has to do something right.
But let’s go in order: this is the most Ubisoft game Ubisoft has ever made. It was as if the developers had taken all the current generations of Ubisoft titles and mixed them all together, resulting in an open world shooter that is somehow even more predictable than Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
For the record, we really liked Wildlands, and as something that is a sequel, Breakpoint inherits a lot of the power of its Bolivian-based predecessor. Co-operation is still an explosion with the right people, there is a lot of space to solve missions as much as you want, and engraving the path of death and destruction through an objectively filled map remains a delicious pursuit. Ubisoft could have easily copied the Wildlands and left it at that, but he decided to cram parts of The Division 2 into the mix, and this is where Breakpoint – and indeed, Ghost Recon – begins to lose what little identity he still has left.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is far from what exactly the series of tactical shooters stood out for (the punishment was not intended, but here is definitely a touch of Far Cry). There are elements of Ghost Recon that once played realized realism – you can suffer injuries and more difficult difficulties that you really have to plan before attacking an enemy base – but adding color-coded loot, getting equipment and all the other simple RPG mechanics that Ubisoft now so prone to end up blinding the experience.
The publisher would probably claim that this is a modernization of Ghost Recon, with its daily missions and weekly rewards that try to justify the always necessary game online. The progress of the character – both skills and equipment – is transferred between the campaign and the PvP modes of the game, which is neat, but it feels like Breakpoint is trying to be Destiny. Does Ghost Recon have to be Destiny? Looks like he has to.
It’s hard not to look at Breakpoint with a cynical eye. For example, his approach to microtransactions borders on parody. In addition to Ubisoft’s infamous “time-saving” – which allows you to buy in-game currencies such as skills and materials with real money – tons of cosmetics and weapons are on sale. At the time of writing, the game is in the early stages, but there is already a mountain of exclusive stuff on which you can spend your money. It almost feels like the publisher is testing the water to see how much can actually be extracted.
Do you have to spend extra money to play Breakpoint properly? No, not based on what we played. Over time with the game, we’ve gained more than enough materials, equipment, and skills to suit our needs, but that still doesn’t justify the true number of microtransactions associated with the title. It is really absurd for the price of full publication.
Ubisoft obviously wants you to keep coming back for Breakpoint days, and if you happen to flirt with the idea of paying extra for a cool tattoo look or a paint job for your weapon, then it’s a win for the company’s business plan. But here’s the thing: Breakpoint can be a pretty good game. If you can go through all the shit and find a few friends to team up with, your adventures on Auroa Island can give you hours of Rambo-style fun.
Shooting is pretty tricky, invisibility is almost always a viable option, and there are some surprisingly well-composed missions scattered throughout the story. As was the case with the Wildlands, you and up to three other players can come together in complete silence together and attack multiple enemies or you can hatch crazy plans that involve exploding vehicles and too many gas grenades. When things come together in a co-operation, Breakpoint can be great.
The open world is not bad either; Auroa is undoubtedly an upgrade for Wildlands ’Bolivia. Despite the complete lack of civilians on the roads, this is a much more dynamic map, with enemy patrols and short random events that will give you a lot of reasons to go out and explore on foot. In fact, just wandering around Auroa can lead to a lot of exciting moments, especially when you run into scary Wolves.
Former special operations agents who now act as something that is basically a terrorist organization, the Wolves have the Aura in an iron grip. Led by Cole D. Walker – once Ghost and another, now renegades – the group forcibly took over the technologically advanced island, and their armed drones smashed your operation to pieces. On the island, your custom character, known as the Nomad, must fight to survive and try to stop Walker’s ambitions.
This is a tense and sound environment, and when the dialogue is not busy to be incredibly fluttery, there are really decent moments of the story. Actor Jon Bernthal stands out as Walker, but don’t expect there to be big twists in the narrative. It’s predictable and the directing is a bit bulkier from time to time, but that’s an improvement over the Wildlands.
Realistically, however, you are not playing purely because of the story. It is a circle of constant progress that keeps you hooked and for as tight as the booty system seems, it is an effective candy trail when you jump from one marker to another. Repetition can and will be set in the end, but as a game in which you can simply switch off and be rewarded with a great new weapon for breaking the skull, Breakpoint finishes the job, and the map is so huge that you will chew it for a long time.
Assuming you have a tolerance for typical Ubisoft open world jobs, there is only one thing that can really hurt experience, and that is mistakes. We’re not sure if it’s a by-product of the game that always requires an Internet connection, but actions can quickly become a real mistake.
We have had cases where we fell through the ground, phased through buildings and teleported from vehicles while driving. Sometimes it feels like some form of lag, and other times, it just feels like a Bethesda game. Animation errors are also a problem; changing weapons you can occasionally see the Nomad breaking his or her arms in every possible direction, and aiming over his shoulder has locked our camera in place more than once. And AI can be impossibly stupid when it wants to be, with enemies casually entering walls for minutes or standing still even though you’ve just painted a room with their best friend’s brain. For us, these bugs are not game fragments at all, but that doesn’t stop the title from feeling rough on the edges.
And there’s Ghost War, a game dedicated to the PvP mods package. As you might have expected, it’s a pretty tactical affair compared to running and shooting say Call of Duty, but it can lead to some frustration if your teammates aren’t on the same wavelength. The same highlights found in Wildlands multiplayer are here, too, and when you follow your opponents, patiently waiting for your time to attack, Ghost War is fine. But, of course, not every game is like that, and naturally things can turn into a messy versatile matrix that Breakpoint doesn’t feel like it was built for. PvP seems to be a solid enough distraction, but it will probably need a few tweaks before it is worthy of a larger investment.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is the biggest trip in the open world, provided you know what to expect – and face it, you probably know exactly what to expect. Its loot systems and equipment seem more than a bit stiff, but like many of Ubisoft’s other open worlds, there’s Breakpoint’s delicious quality, which is hard to deny. In co-operation there is the potential for a lot of fun, and the freedom given to you both in building Nomad and in solving missions is the greatest strength of the game. However, a large number of microtransactions leave a sour taste, and the parade of annoying bugs gives the release a disappointingly rough feeling. Robust but bloated, Breakpoint is a mishmash that has its fun moments, but its identity is missing in action
- Infectious character progression
- Lots of freedom to play
- Nice open world
- Fun with friends
- Surprisingly great soundtrack
- The prey system is fine, but it feels stuck
- Prone to very noisy outbursts
- So many microtransactions
- Lack of clear identity
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Source: ITNetwork by www.itnetwork.rs.
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