Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, we tried it in Paris!
In Paris Ubisoft allowed us to try a practically complete build of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for a few hours. Here are our first impressions
It has been a feverish 2019 for video games this year, a year that has seen some of the most important Eastern and Western publishers churn out in flurry titles of the highest caliber. This is a situation most likely linked to the approaching final stages of the current generation, and in fact, after dropping the latest nuclear bombs, many manufacturers have stopped abruptly, to start preparing for the next generation. Ubisoft, curiously, he has decided to follow a different strategy, and where others have thrown fuel on their own fire to consume the last logs before leaving with a new bonfire, he has chosen to keep his flame stable avoiding potentially very risky moves. To close the year with a flourish, therefore, the French company has chosen to focus mainly on two core titles: the new Watch_Dogs (which attracted a lot of attention due to its atypical nature) and another Ghost Recon, out in early October. Of this second title, called Breakpoint, in particular, not much has been said, despite belonging to a well-known series and the success of its direct predecessor. We then flew to Paris, where we finally had the opportunity to test his campaign for a long time, and to review the competitive modes already tested at the Gamescom. Will it be able to withstand the blows of an increasingly competitive market?
While remaining a tactical shooter at the base, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint aims to differentiate itself from the crowd in various aspects, and in fact offers a significantly more interesting narrative than the previous chapter, which can count on an actor of the caliber of Jon Bernthal as the antagonist. For those unfamiliar with the good Jon, let’s talk about the Punisher of Netflix, and an exceptional professional when it comes to playing former soldiers imbued with an almost divine fury; Ubisoft did not therefore dare to separate him from his “specialty”, and made him play the agent Walkerformer member of the Ghost – the military unit from which the series takes its name – rebelled against his country and determined to take revenge for the wrongs suffered. The island of is the stage for this no-holds-barred retaliation Auroaa peaceful paradise containing various biomes (there are even five), and the chosen seat of the most powerful Skell Technology: a sort of mega corporation that presents itself as a soup of the most famous companies from Silicon Valley, but actually has a passion for armaments.
It is a respectable background from which to start the entire campaign: the presence of Jake Skell and his company on the island leads the player to deal with both the unpredictable ferocity of nature and the constant threat. Of drones and other robotic amenities, where the charisma of Bernthal it seems – at least during the first few hours – enough to support the whole affair alone. For heaven’s sake, we don’t think it’s the case to expect a memorable storyline from the game, but at least some significant step forward in this field has been made. However, the development team’s ambitions go far beyond the storyline: Breakpoint is a much more extensive title than Wildlands and designed to offer an expanded experience in various aspects, albeit always based on the cooperative and extremely close to the original formula.
Mechanically the evolution was perhaps less evident, because the title is still a third-person shooter with stealth elements and the possibility of playing with three other friends, but there are still a number of additions that lead it to differ from what it is. came first. The factor survivalfor example, slightly changes the cards on the table, due to the possibility of suffering serious injuries in battle (which forces you to take care, under penalty of significant slowdowns in the movement on the field) and the permanent consumption of stamina (to be limited by drinking water from your bottle). The reason why we are talking about “light” changes is however easy to understand: these innovations do not affect the fundamental structure of the Ubisoft title too much, resulting in mostly negligible obstacles to any difficulty. The injuries, for example, would undoubtedly have created more tension if based on the areas hit by the enemies, instead they are impossible to overlook only when you survive an explosion, a fall from above, or suffer heavy damage in a prolonged shooting; in these specific cases the time to bandage simply does not exist, and therefore the mobility penalty quickly loses its meaning (let alone in coopwhere it is convenient to simply die and be brought back to life by a partner when the situation becomes dramatic).
The whole survival element is therefore half a wasted opportunity, but at least the rest of the game remains very solid, and especially hilarious when played in a group. There progression of the PVP and PVE modes is also united and the objects obtained on one side are translated to the other (no competition with weapons and armor, mind you, because each one gets its own loot separately), the available class system offers a commendable variety of approaches, and the title offers a good range of difficulty, allowing the most organized players to engage in complex strategies and extremely elaborate assaults on outposts. We, videogame journalists placed there haphazardly with an innate tendency to mess, obviously we did the exact opposite of this in the hours available to us. Luckily Breakpoint held up the blow, even if playing it instead of a group of marines was the loser version of the Banda Bassotti.
The opening bars of the campaign are pretty straightforward, yet the latest Ghost Recon is still a open world, and it doesn’t take long to go from the calm of your headquarters to the completion of numerous side missions (usually always focused on combat, but at least with multiple objectives). In a group with some colleagues, the collective delirium therefore began almost immediately, and we respectively: blew up a helicopter that we needed to reach the goal after underestimating the penetration of our machine guns, abandoned a person we had to save on top of a mountain colossal because our helicopter pilot had forgotten it on board (and was shot down in that area), carried out a massacre of opponents in order to steal a rubber dinghy that was then able to transport us for a good 15 meters of river, and so away … all without even actively aiming for the title of “worst team of military specialists of the year”.
The beauty is that the game manages to keep the fun both when trying to get serious and when everything goes completely wrong, probably also due to the many options offered during the action. In particular, with the greatest difficulties, in fact, one is forced to make use of stealth, because human opponents are monstrously precise and aggressive (albeit not particularly resilient) and it is not possible to take out armored drones without a decent strategy. At normal, however, the challenge level is rather relaxed, and even if the general balance is not perfect (persevering often leads to overcoming the worst obstacles even at the maximum difficulty), the structure of Breakpoint rewards inventiveness, giving hilarious moments even when things don’t really go according to plan. It’s easy to see why Ubisoft decided to go for this formula once again – and why Wildlands did so well in terms of sales – after diving into it for a few hours.
The PVP it is cleverly built on a similar skeleton, due to extremely extensive and richly covered maps, and two primary modes: Sabotage And Ghost War, which value tactics above the ability of the individual. We have already talked about it in our previous preview, but in the competitive Breakpoint communication is fundamental: Ghost War is a deathmatch rather classic, where the tactic depends mainly on the need to eliminate opponents in places where it is difficult for teammates to put them back on track; Sabotage instead it forces the teams (which usually first line up in attack and then in defense) to keep an eye on two different targets where enemies can place explosive charges, and is even harder to manage given the speed with which the bombs jump in. air once positioned and the complexity of the locations. Then add the need to move constantly to collect resources, care, and very useful portable drones, or the presence of variable weather conditions (which require the use of viewers at night) and you will get a much more calculated gameplay than most similar competitive shooters.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint it is, therefore, a gaming experience that builds on already solid foundations appreciated by a large fanbase, and that convinces enough in every aspect. Its problems basically reside in the lack of originality (the formula is certainly not new, and the additional mechanics as mentioned certainly do not revolutionize it), in the usual plethora of bugs (even if it must be said that at the release the game will be infinitely more stable than the version we tested), and in a really fiercer competition than ever in the field of shooters. Of course, in all this, there are only the support plans of the French giant, which seems to want to gradually improve the project with extra content such as new maps, classes and even raid after the launch (there is even an event dedicated to Terminator). Who knows if fans of the series will be enough.