When Ghost Recon: Wildlands dropped two years ago in 2017, it deviated from the usual Ghost Recon formula. The linear level based design was swapped out for an open-world, sprawling with things to do as you attempted to take out a drug cartel. The world was accurate and gorgeous too, so nobody could really complain. However, there were the various issues the game had at launch, such as the numerous bugs and the incompetent AI teammates. Despite everything though, the game did pretty well, and fans enjoyed the game. Ubisoft has taken things even further in this direction, giving Ghost Recon: Breakpoint quite a few RPG-like elements. Ubisoft seems to be doing this with a lot of their IPs of late it looks like. Look at Assassin’s Creed for example. Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey look and play nothing like the Assassin’s Creed games of old. Sure, they’re good games, but they – Odyssey especially – don’t necessarily feel like Assassin’s Creed games anymore.
The main reason for this line of thought is the introduction of weapon and gear levels to the game. You now have to keep an eye out for better gear as you play the game, looking to keep upgrading and updating your gear to keep your overall gear level good and high. Even enemies have gear levels, which basically means that at higher levels they’ve got better armor and gear, and will detect you faster. You get a warning when you’re going into a high gear level area. Just the warning, nothing stopping you from continuing. You and your friends can attempt and challenge yourself but it’s going to be hard. Now a cause for concern here is that in a tactical game like Ghost Recon, we can’t have bullet sponge enemies. Headshots are meant to be one-shot, one kill. According to Ubi this is still the case in Breakpoint. No matter the enemy gear level, a shot to the head will kill them. One shot if they aren’t wearing a helmet, and two if they are, one to take the helmet off. This applies to all human enemies. Unfortuantely, thanks to the game’s plot setting, you’re going to have to deal with a lot more than just humans, including but not limited to murder-hungry mechs and drones.
The reason for the gear level system, according to Ubisoft, is that the data they collected from Ghost Recon: Wildlands showed that players were sticking to one gun for the entire duration of the game. So we guess this way players are “encouraged” (read:forced) to switch guns when they come across a better one. We don’t get this decision. It goes against the concept of what’s supposed to be a hardcore tactical skill-based shooter. Wouldn’t you ideally want to stick to a single weapon and get fully used to its ins and outs? Master it’s recoil, its bullet drop, rate-of-fire and all that? People got attached to their favourite weapons in Wildlands, and customised them how they saw fit, and spruced them up with all the cosmetic goodness that Ubisoft has to offer, and we didn’t see an issue with it. We still don’t. While you can still upgrade and mod your weapons extensively in Breakpoint, it will eventually fall off and affect your overall gear level.
We’ve got to say, gameplay feels very crisp and satisfying. Gunplay and stealth (when it worked, we probably just suck) felt good. We didn’t really get to experience co-op. There seemed to be issues teaming up on day one of the closed beta, we didn’t really attempt co-op after that. They’ve done away with AI in the game, we’re thinking because of how abysmal they were in Wildlands at launch, however, they plan to patch them soon after the game fully releases, by popular demand. In the closed beta we got to play two main story missions and a whole bunch of side-missions. If you’ve watched the game’s trailers then you probably already have a good idea of what the story is. If you haven’t, basically, the ghosts have been betrayed by ghosts, but the bad ghosts are wolves, and now you’ve gotta take the wolves down.
Like we mentioned above, there’s extensive modification that can be done, both to your weapons and gear. We didn’t get much into it, because we kept coming across better weapons and didn’t know whether we should bother investing resources into them or not, and whether we could carry them over to the new weapon or not. If it does so automatically, that’s great, if it doesn’t, we see that being a pain-in-the-behind. There are four ghost classes to choose from in Breakpoint – Medic, Assaulter, Sharpshooter and Panther. Basicaller a healer, frontline, sniper and sneaky class. They come with their own abilities, which basically compliment their class. Healers can res themselves, Assaulters can get tanky, Panther’s have stealth, Sharpshooters can shoot through walls. The skill trees have also been touched up a bit. Nothing too complicated.
We encountered a few issues every now and then, which is to be expected in a closed beta, nothing game breaking though. Opening stuff is a pain sometimes, your character refuses to angle the right way and you have to hold the key down instead of just tapping it. Traversing is fine for the most part, except when you get stuck in uneven terrain. The ability to turn the HUD on and off is great, really improves immersion.
Speaking of immersion, the game also offers a no guidelines mode, where you have to figure out where to go without any assistance from markers and such. You’ll have to actually go through intel you acquire in order to progress. However, it can be turned on and off with ease, so you can flip it on and off on the fly.
The game’s taking place on a remote island this time around, we didn’t really get to take in the sights, so to speak, but whatever we saw looked pretty good.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Preevu – Conclusion
To put it bluntly, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint feels like a traditional (that’s a thing now, we’ve made it a thing) AAA ubisoft game, with all the features you’d expect in one. You’ve also got the huge map with the collectibles and the question marks sprinkled all over it. Heck, it’s even a good game. Fun too. We really enjoyed the gameplay. We did get to try out some co-op before the closed beta and that was also fun. But it’s beginning to feel less like Ghost Recon and more like the Division at this point. Getting better gear of higher rarity and seeing your gear levels going up is still fun, especially paired with good gameplay, however, we’re losing the essence of Ghost Recon.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.