The sky’s lit up with explosions, drones are chasing you across a dense forest, and elite mercenaries are combing every inch of the terrain for you. But you’re a Ghost; an elite solider, the best of the best, and with one flick of a button, you lay prone on the ground, camouflaged in mud waiting… watching. The hunted is now the hunter. Welcome to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, the latest in the Ghost Recon series, and direct sequel to 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands.
As you finish locking your fully customizable character in, the game throws you into a dense, beautiful fictional island called Auroa – full of multiple terrain options – from Fjords to thick forest covers, complete with animals grazing the wildlands. This also happens to be the home of tech billionaire – Jace Skell who’s automated technology controls almost every facet of the island.
That is all the information you get at the start. Breakpoint is a game that demands you attention, as it only throws bits and pieces of information your way, expecting you – the player to stitch it all together. 32 Ghosts (elite soldiers) were sent to the island to get more information and neutralize any threats, but most are wiped out with drone attacks, and it is up to you to figure out what’s really going on.
The antagonist in Breakpoint is your friend turned rival Colonel Cole. D Walker – former Ghost Recon turned madman, leading a pack of Wolves (elite soldiers under his command), clearly lost in his world of pain and loss, as he hunts down surviving members of the Ghost Recon team. With Walker, Ubisoft has delivered a conflicted antagonist brought to life by actor Jon Bernthal, best known as The Punisher.
Much like Wildlands, Breakpoint is largely stealth driven open-world tactical shooter. Silent kills are supreme, and silencers are your best friend, especially while breaking into a heavily guarded compound. If you – or your coop buddy get spotted, drones, choppers, elite and not-so-elite soldiers, heavy operators and lot more descend upon you within minutes. But thanks to fairly robust third-person gameplay mechanics – as well as a massive arsenal of rifles, shotguns, SMGs, LMGs and more, you can deal with all the game throws at you.
Much like The Division, Breakpoint places a big emphasis on loot and leveling up. And just like The Division, Breakpoint even boasts of a Gear Score, which basically is the aggregate of all the loot you have equipped on you. Keep looting until you find the right gear and right upgrades to craft and perfect your perfect weapon, collect blueprints scattered all throughout the map, and upgrade constantly. Fortunately, the customization page comes with a ‘Skin Override’ button that gives you complete control over what you look like. Want to upgrade but not look like something out of Rambo? No problem.
With a game this heavy and full of life, you expect a more intuitive interface, but sadly, Breakpoint’s interface feels convoluted and is riddled with bugs and a whole lot of clutter. It isn’t what you’d expect, as most of my time spent on the interface was deactivating all the clutter over the TacMap. Objectives throw you into a loop of absolute hell, as I often got lost finding my objective quite easily, with cooperative play failing on almost every mission select.The TacMap on its own isn’t bad per say; it’s just the interface that needs tweaking.
My initial thoughts on this being playable with friends threw me into every multiplayer scenario Ubisoft has brought upon me. Don’t get me wrong; they make incredible games, just not so incredible server bindings. A huge part of me wanted this to work, but I knew trouble was just around the corner. Multiplayer Coop was smooth when it worked, but during many of my coop sessions, objectives didn’t sync up with my coop buddy.
And don’t even get me started on Host Migration issues, with Ubisoft kicking me out of my friend’s game multiple times per session. It was painful to watch, and even more to experience. Imagine flying a chopper, about to attack a base of Wolves, and just as you’re landing, you get thrown out of the scenario, killing your teammate as no one was flying the attack helicopter. I really hope these are teething issues, and they get fixed soon.
Unlike Ghost Recons Wildlands, Breakpoint isn’t trying too hard. Ubisoft has delivered a beast of a game that trumps the previous one in size, stealth and general gameplay. It feels like a much larger sequel to an already great idea. Breakpoint delivers high-end stealth and tactical gaming in a not so state of the art manner. Plagued with interface jumble, co-op and server issues, patches and updates should do their small part to give this incredibly massive game an edge. If you’re looking for a realistic, stealth driven open-world game, Ghost Recon Breakpoint will not disappoint.