Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, following on from 2017’s brilliant yet under-appreciated Wildlands, throws the usually well-prepped Ghosts tactical team onto a tropical island known as Auroa – where a drone tech company known as Skell Technology has been taken over by a former Ghost gone rogue. Outgunned and outnumbered, players have to adapt to being the underdogs this time around, and we got some hands-on time with the game’s beta to find out exactly why Auroa isn’t going to be as hospitable as it looks.
From hunter to hunted
Breakpoint follows the squad-based tactical shooter formula as previous Ghost Recon games, but puts an emphasis on survival and environmental warfare this time around. On top of that, you’re not facing off against low-level terrorists, and will instead be tackling the high-tech, well-trained Wolves, so you’ve got to utilise stealth, crafting, and smarter strategies than ever before. Going in guns blazing can work, but you’ve got to be well prepared. The beta gave us a glimpse of how camouflaging yourself in mud, tall grass, bushes, and snow will play a role in finding a quick hiding spot or disposing of bodies. You’ve got to be smart and use the environment to enhance your position or get out of a sticky situation quickly.
It isn’t going to hold your hand
As sprawling as Wildlands (and other Ghost Recon games) have been, you tend to have a direct route to your next objective. Breakpoint strips that away and tasks you with heading to locations in order to find clues (in the form of documents, an enemy to interrogate, or a laptop) which will help you find your next location, inevitably leading to your final mission zone. It’s an enjoyable add-on to the mission structure, which puts a bit of investigation and exploration elements into each mission.
While the Ghosts are badass soldiers, they’re not inhuman. The developers really want players to feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle, so your stamina is going to play an important role this time around. From sprinting to sliding down hills, everything depletes your stamina, which could leave you vulnerable. Additionally, damage causes injuries, so if you’re shot in the leg, your limp may cause enemies to catch up with you – so a hiding place in order to heal is probably a better option. Also, when running down a hill or sliding down through steep terrain, a leg injury could cause you to crash and roll down it, leading to some further health damage. You’ve got to play smart.
Planning is important
Makeshift camps known as bivouacs can also be set up to allow you to take a breather and get yourself back in check as you try to make it through the varying terrains. Here, you can craft new items, create medicine syringes, and access the gunsmith, allowing you to upgrade your guns, change attachments, and customise your loadout. Prepping with the right gear for the right scenario or mission will be crucial to your success on Auroa.
PvP is a blast
Ghost Recon games have always had great multiplayer components, but Breakpoint has taken advantage of the great mechanics from Wildlands‘ beloved PvP mode and made them better. The Ghost Wars mode now features custom-built maps which highlight verticality for sniping options, as well as giving on-foot players a lot of ways to flank and expose enemies, making for balanced and fast-paced matches. Additionally, your character in PvE modes will be the same in PvP, and all of the skill tree upgrades and looted weapons are yours in both modes.
There’s no denying that being converted from a top-spec soldier into an underdog will feel unfamiliar for Ghost Recon fans, who are used to being a lethal machine on the battlefield, but Breakpoint does it in such an interesting and engaging way that presents a new challenge to the franchise. And along with the new survival mechanics, the exciting team-based combat, stellar shooting mechanics, and lush world are all still there too; making Breakpoint an extremely exciting prospect when it launches next month.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint launches on 4 October 2019 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
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