Shooters come two to the dozen so it was no wonder we were going to get another Ghost Recon game. How does this latest entry in the series stack up, and have lessons been learned from the previous title, Wildlands.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the newest edition to the Ghost family; this time we’re in deeper, and all alone. A U.S navel ship has sunk off the coast of an island called Auroa, and we’re sent off to find answers as to what happened. As you get closer to the island our choppers are all fired upon, most of the other members of your fire team killed in the attack. You hit the ground, alone and injured. Its now up to you to fight your way to each crashed chopper and find surviving allies. Upon doing so, you find an old collegue who’s made a choice that you cant forgive and forget.
Upon making your way to a hidden cave where people of the island have fled from the Wolves – the group that downed you, and who’s goal is to take over the island and makes it’s technology their own. This technology can change the face of the earth, and with the Wolves in power the world it’s self could suffer harsh consequences.
Breakpoint is a third person survival RPG. Unlike Wildlands you will be alone for the most part with no AI in the lands to help. It is all about over coming the challenges you’re about to face. You will be able to invite friends in however, with a built in co-op mode allowing you to four team members to take on the harsh environment of Auora.
The island of Auroa is much more complex compared to the last game; whereas there were a lot more jungles and foliage there, this time you have a lot more open areas with no real cover, and plenty of towns and city’s to explore. This changes the whole game for me – where before I was all about putting green camo all over me and hiding in bushes, now I’m in between buildings and trying to hide away from cameras and lights wearing all black. The whole concept of the general idea for the game has been changed. Though there’s more going on, it also feels like there’s less to worry about somehow, with systems stripped back which is great because the last game felt so busy what with all the gadgets and tools you could use at your disposal, Breakpoint has pulled all the gadgets back and stripped you down to some small and simple choices starting with your class.
Breakpoint gives you four classes to start your adventure off. First off, you have the good old faithful Assault class. Now, the first thing I should mention is that each class has its own unique item and ability, so the Assault class is one for the shotgunners and assault rifle lovers. The item you get as the class is a gas grenade, and I found it was a great crowd controlling device, then who ever was left you can just pick them off one at a time. When you don’t have any grenades left, you can run in using your ability which is true grit. This gives you a massive damage reduction bonus and lowers your recoil, as well as every kill you make you will heal a small amount also.
Field medic is the next class, and you guessed it, this is the healers class. Now, in Breakpoint you have infinite bandages to patch your self up when you lose a chunk of health but the field medic also has med kits. This is a throwable item and when you throw it towards an ally it will deploy allowing your them to interact with it and almost 99% heal themselves. The skill you have is much like in Wildlands; a drone which can revive fallen team mates. Your drone is equipped with three stim shots and this will get up three downed allies in a tight spot.
The Panther class takes care of the stealthy playstyle, equipped with a cloaking spray which hides you from all drones. The spray lasts for a full minute and gives you perfect time to run away and hide from killer drones and robots. Your unique skill is much the same, but its called Cloak and Run. This is a large smoke grenade that goes off at your feet and causes all enemies to stop shooting and investigate.
And then finally we have the sniper class called the Sharpshooter. Now, the unique item in this class is rather handy as you can launch a sensor dart to a area such as a confined area or town. It will then show you all the enemies in the area. This is great as it will show you their outlines through walls. It’s also very powerful against machines. You load three bullets into your sniper rifle which are much better then your standard ammo, as it will inflict massive damage onto things like the Behemoth and armoured vehicles.
You will be able to level each class individually up to level 10, each step giving you different items and perk points. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing PvP or PvE, single player or co-op it will all count towards it.
This brings me onto the PvP element of the game. The Ghost Wars is back and has had a massive overhaul. Expect to be fighting along side all your friends in maps which are based in Auroa already, and the great thing about the PVP is you bring the weapons you have equipped in the single player into the multiplayer, I found this great as I was using a shotgun and sniper combo and got used to my recoil of both guns and could run with them straight into PvP. The game modes haven’t really change, it’s still 4v4 but overall it feels a lot smoother and less clunky. Expect to find plenty of objectives for the PvP also which will reward you with unique items and skill points.
There is so much to talk about in the game but I don’t want to ruin the overall experience for you folks. Probably the biggest departure from Wildlands is that your level is based on gear score, much like The Division. There are strong holds dotted around the game with level gates on them, requiring you to get better gear. I never had a problem levelling up as every item I found was always at least one level better then mine though. This is all gonna be needed in end game as well because they have introduced a Raid mode this time out, though the required levels will dictate that you spend time grinding before attempting it.
When you’re following the story missions you will see a few changes into the way your player acts. For instance, you will now receive injuries and gain fatigue. Your health will be split into different chunks, and as you take damage these chunks will start to empty. This is where you will to slow down in your movement and heal the areas you’re injured. As well as that you will start to become fatigued if you decide to run everywhere. You will need to keep an eye on the stamina bar at the bottom of the screen, which did become somewhat frustrating, I found myself in a town fighting all manner of stuff constantly having to run away, my stamina bar gets smaller and smaller because of fatigue, each time filling up less and less. There are ways to take the fatigue away, but in the middle of a fire fight it’s not easy.
There are a few new additions which add to the experience too, such as prone camo. This to me is the best new feature, and is fantastic for all the players who wish to go the stealth route. While running the map you will find the enemies have a seemingly endless supply of drones and helicopters. If they spot you, you’re in a world of pain, but with the prone camo all you need to do is hit the ground and press A. This makes you cover yourself deep in what ever material you’re lying down in – handy for evading drones as well as troops. Another little added extra to the game is the drone sync shot, so like using your team to sync shot in Wildlands, you can now use your drone to kill peeps. Handy in a tight spot or for someone you can’t quite see.
As you progress in the game you will unlock skill points and this is what’s going to give you the edge on the battlefield. There are a lot to choose from no matter what class you play as, with extra perks for continuing right through one tree. You will gain new skills and passives as you work through all the unlocks and have such things as night vision, passive skills to allow you more stamina, and even a new blow torch to cut open fences to get into different areas. There’s loads to unlock in the game and it’s really up to you what you unlock but as the perks get higher in the tree you will need more points to unlock each one.
Being third person the game is always looking over Nomads shoulder. I usually get on well with this perspective in games, but when moving around close quarters the camera angle can become a right pest by putting you in visually awkward positions. That and the bouncy movement between cover doesn’t help. Other than that though, the game feels smooth to play. I did have a few issues with the visuals, where the top corner of the screen would have a weird screen tear and that became annoying also.
I’ve put a fair few hours in to Breakpoint already, and it’s safe to say I’ll be returning for a fair few more yet. A lot of the feedback from Wildlands seems to have been listened to, with a better flow to the overall gameplay and experience. Some minor niggles in visuals and UI marr things slightly, but overall as live service titles go, Breakpoint is one of the better examples.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.