Game review: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
FYI, this story is more than a year old
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series from Ubisoft has been going on for nearly 20 years now and has always been one of the publisher’s most popular IPs. The recently released Ghost Recon Wildlands came out in 2017 and was one of its best sellers of the franchise.
Instead of being a linear style of action game, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands featured a huge open world for you to explore both with online friends or friendly AI partners. Due to the success of Wildlands, Ubisoft fast tracked the release of Ghost Recon Breakpoint which is out now for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One consoles.
Is Ghost Recon Breakpoint just as enjoyable as Ghost Recon Wildlands? Well both games share some similarities, but Breakpoint changes too many things that may frustrate fans of Wildlands. Many of these changes weren’t needed, but Ubisoft decided to take a different route anyway which has mixed results.
One of the annoying ‘new’ requirements for Ghost Recon Breakpoint is that you need to connect to the internet all of the time. Even if you just want to play the game by yourself, you’re required to log in online. While most people may not have a problem with this, I experienced connection issues during launch which prevented me from even starting the game!
Thankfully a few days after launch, the servers have been active. Still, don’t play this game if you don’t have access to the internet…
One thing you can do at launch though is PvP which is a good thing. Wildlands had PvP, although PvP was not available at launch. PvP only came to Wildlands many months after the game came out. If you like PvP, you can do it immediately here in Breakpoint.
Another frustrating feature of Ghost Recon Breakpoint is that you cannot play with AI teammates at launch. I loved playing the older Ghost Recon games because I was able to command a team of soldiers to tactically kill all of the terrorists.
Playing the game as a coherent team felt different to lots of other shooters that sees you act like Sly Stallone’s Rambo character. Here in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, you have the option to either play the game by yourself, or try to connect with three other players online.
To be fair, Ubisoft has mentioned AI partners will eventually be added to Ghost Recon Breakpoint but no timeframe has been given at this stage. If you like single player games, you’re better off not buying this game yet until AI partners have been implemented in the near future.
Another unfortunate thing I experienced at launch is a lot of bugs and glitches. There was one time I got stuck inside a vehicle, and in another incident enemies did not appear where they should have been. Hopefully Ubisoft fixes the bugs with future update patches soon.
Trying to play the game solo though is a very big chore as Ghost Recon Breakpoint overwhelms the player with dozens upon dozens of enemies at the same time. No matter where you want to go, you cannot hide because enemies are always hunting you down wherever you may go.
To make things even more difficult, Breakpoint adds many futuristic drones to hunt down players as well. Sometimes there are sections you can drive jeeps, helicopters and cars but you cannot shoot while driving if you’re playing solo. This game is meant to be played with teammates as you’ll struggle a lot if you decide to play it all by yourself.
Breakpoint also adds many RPG-like features to the Ghost Recon franchise because you have to level up your character to get better weapons and more skills. If you’re equipped with weak armour and weapons, you’re going to have a hard time surviving the harder enemies that roam around the huge fictional island of Auroa.
Ubisoft however does give players the option to skip the grind as you can pay for better weapons and skills via microtransactions. However, I do note this is not recommended as paying money to save time in a game is usually ill advised.
You may not even have to use the microtransactions because headshots kill enemies with one shot like in real life. There aren’t too many bullet sponge bad guys like in The Division 2 or Destiny.
Even though this game tries its best to copy other Ubisoft games like The Division 2, the Far Cry series and Assassin’s Creed, there are some unique elements added to Breakpoint. One of the things l liked most about Breakpoint are the survival elements of the game.
If you get injured, you will start to limp around and can only use a pistol. You will have to use bandages or syringes in order to heal your wounds during a fight. It makes the shootouts feel more realistic that you have to bandage yourself to feel better.
You can also eat and drink in this game that helps increase your stamina as well. You can play the game without eating or drinking, but staying hydrated does make your character perform better when they’re out killing bad guys.
Graphically, Breakpoint is significantly better looking than Wildlands. The land of Auroa is much bigger than in Wildlands as there’s a lot more vegetation around. It also looks pretty good in 4K as I got a chance to play the game on my PS4 Pro.
Overall, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint sadly feels like a step backwards from the series. The lack of AI teammates and repetitive RPG style of gameplay really drags this game down. However, the game could get better in the near future when AI teammates are added and patches get rid of the bugs. As of right now though, Breakpoint isn’t a fun game to play at launch.