Ghost Recon: Breakpoint – Beta Preview
Last weekend I was lucky enough to find myself with playing the beta for the latest instalment in the long-running Ghost Recon franchise, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. While I was not able to spend as much time on it as I would have liked to, parental duties be damned, I did get to spend some time with it to see what changes have been made and what has carried over from its predecessor Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
The first thing I want to make note of and celebrate a little is that you will no longer have to listen to the same conversations from you squad-mates over and over as you make your way around the fictional island of the Aurora. That is because this time you are a solo operator, stranded after the insertion choppers carrying yourself and thirty other Ghosts is taken down during the opening cinematic. That is not to say that you are completely by yourself, as you can team up with other human players and conduct your own guerilla war on enemy forces. The choice is entirely up to you.
As with Wildlands, Breakpoint throws you into the world and lets you decide how to complete your objectives. One time you might decide to bail out of a helicopter, parachuting into an enemy location while peppering enemy soldiers with a hail of LMG fire as you sail overhead. You could scout out the location, picking off enemies with your sniper rifle before moving in to finish off those you couldn’t reach with a clean shot. How you approach every situation is up to you.
There is a huge amount of perks you can use to tailor your soldier to your own personal play-style, and even swap your active perks out on the fly, depending on what the situation calls for. For instance, there is a perk that gives you bonus XP for tagging enemies using your drone, so I would equip the perk when scouting an enemy location and then switch it out for a perk that gives me longer time holding my breath to stop scope sway as I lined up my shots.
Where Breakpoint really sets itself apart from Wildlands is the introduction of gear scores. Those who are familiar with fellow Ubisoft title The Division know how it goes. As you play you earn gear that makes you more powerful and allows you to take on higher-level enemies. While the gear score did not make a difference in the parts of Aurora I wandered through, I did get an alert that my gear score was too low after a cut-scene involving the Wolves during the tutorial mission. The bonus to moving to a gear score based on equipment will mean that players will have to search out and earn gear to progress through the Aurora Islands. Unlike Wildlands, you cannot just find a gun you like early on and stick with it for most of the game. Throw in different looks for the gear and unlock-able customisation options and you can make your soldier look just the way you want them to.
The usual objective markers have been given a working over as well. You now have the option of using the traditional guided objective markers that will show you exactly where to go on the map or, in an attempt to make the game more immersive, Ubisoft gives players the option of being presented clues that will help to narrow down the location of your objective, leaving the player to find the location themselves.
While this was a beta and, hopefully, a build that has since been improved on there were some issues I had while playing the game. Unfortunately, the vehicle handling and controls are just as wild as ever, meaning any missions where you have to drive will add an extra layer of complexity to compensate for the ‘light’ feeling of the cars as you drive them. There was also a consistent glitch during cut-scenes where the audio was way out of sync or the voice acting would cut off before the end of a sentence despite subtitles showing there was more to be said.
Overall though, I can honestly say I enjoyed my time with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Without seeing more of the mission structures I cannot say if it will have the same issues due to repetitive mission that Wildlands suffered from, but being able to team up with friends for some co-ordinated action will make Breakpoint a blast to play come October 4th.
Shaun has been playing consoles since the days of the NES. He was fortunate enough to find a wife who not only supported his gaming habits, but has also encouraged his eldest daughter to join in as well.
When not playing games, working, or just being a dad in general, Shaun
is hitting the gym in his own personal quest to have a crack at Ninja