Review in Progress – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Full disclosure I’m a little behind where I would prefer to be when reviewing a game of this magnitude. The code I received from our friends had an issue and it took a bit of time to get sorted out but we got it worked out. I’ve managed to get in about 25 hours so far which for a game of this scope is the bare minimum for my liking prior to getting anything concrete posted.

In that 25 hours, I’ve been getting precisely what one would expect from one of the large open-world Ubisoft games. A bright beautiful open world full of outposts, collectibles/loot, vehicles and a progression system that you just feel right at home in. When I say this is a large open world, I truly mean it’s a LARGE open world. I’m not sure how large it is compared to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey but I would have to say they’re pretty close and you’ll really get a strong sense of the scope when you hop into a helicopter and just fly straight up. It’s actually rather intimating and quite daunting to think that this is your current sandbox. I haven’t felt this overwhelmed since the first time I played Skyrim. The land of Auroa also features a wide variety of terrain. From grassy plains, to rocky mountains and everything in between it’s just a feast for the senses.

The game is set in the year 2023 and the story takes place on the fictional island in the South Pacific called Auroa. The island is owned by a wealthy man named Jace Skell. Skell is the founder of Skell Technology and they produce drone products for commercial and military applications. He dubs Auroa World 2.0 and envisions it as a central hub for all future innovations. The main antagonist is former Ghost Cole D. Walker(masterfully portrayed by The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal) and his team of “Wolves” , go completely rogue after leaving the army and he and his PMC contractor, Sentinel forcefully takes command of the island the technology on it.

After the initial tutorial missions were over a couple friends and I dove in together and it was like the lambs to the slaughter. We all felt like we had little direction so we set out into the great unknown in an effort to take down Walker Cole. That was a mistake. We got thumped and we got thumped in spectacular fashion. Over and over… and over again. We all decided to break off from the co-operative play in favor or getting a feel for the game at our own pace and then reconvening and that was probably the best idea because once we squadded up again, we were like a well oiled machine… with a few rusted out gears but that really is where the game shines so brightly. You can go it alone but it takes a lot longer to complete the tasks at hand and it’s just not as exciting. The choice is yours soldier.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint borrows a lot from other games in the Ubisoft stable and that’s not to say it’s a bad thing Because it’s not and I welcomed that familiarity when diving in because as I stated above the game is a little on the intimidating side at first. The leveling system and looting system feels a lot like The Division, the ability to switch between the “Guided” or “Exploration” mode is great. They did it in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and to be honest I absolutely loved that. For my play-through I opted for the Guided option to assist in my getting from point A to B with as little time wasted as possible. One thing that Breakpoint did not take from the Division is how much damage it takes to kill the enemies. I really appreciate that the enemies are not bullet sponges and all it really takes is a well placed headshot or 2 if they happen to be wearing helmets.

One other aspect about Ghost Recon Breakpoint is managing your stamina. Keep running around falling down slopes or just battling it out, you’re going to start to battle with yourself and your own body. To combat this you’ll want to find yourself a nice cozy camp and get yourself fed which comes with timed bonuses to stamina or accuracy. At the same time you can craft more items like heals explosives and even access the store. I found that to be a bit perplexing myself but I will admit that it’s really nice and convenient to be able to call in a for a vehicle at any of these camps unload your inventory and buy new items at these camps.

Now that we got some of the great aspects out of the way let’s talk about what hasn’t been so great. I’ve encountered a handful of graphical issues where trees, bushes or rocks would just pop in out of nowhere and when it does it’s just flat with no textures then they finally load in. I’ve also experienced some very wishywashy AI at times. There’s times where I’d be in a fight with a crew out in the wilderness and a truck full of baddies would just drive on by or at times they would stop and fight… Along with that fight a helicopter would just happen to be in the neighborhood and then that would open a whole new ball of wax. There would also be some moments where I may shoot someone and the next closest guy would notice and other times he’d just assume it was a strange noise.

One other thing aside, when the game was first announced, a big thing was made of the fact that the player could be injured and therefore his health would not fully recover and he’d be hobbled until he could be carried out or get away from the bad guys to give him just enough time to treat the wounds. It didn’t seem to be THAT big a factor for me. I just use more cover take out the closest bad guys and then run away as fast as possible to heal up properly. Granted, I’m only playing on Normal so it could well be a completely new experience at the harder difficulties. I just kind of thought that perhaps it would be more catastrophic for players but perhaps game testing found it was a bit too much and this is the nice happy medium.

Each mission is basically Go to point A, beat the bad guys accomplish part 1, move to part 2 beat the bad guys, move on to part 3 then return back to the person who gave you the mission. It’s fine and I don’t really have a huge issue with it but I can see players getting tired of it because quite often the distance between point A and B can be quite the slog. You’ll want to get your hands on a vehicle, more often than not I bring along a helicopter for the convenience factor.

All in all I have to say that I am quite enjoying and very happy with Ghost Recon Breakpoint. While I haven’t completed the game yet and I’ve yet to get much time in MP but that should hopefully happen over the weekend. The story is great and I’m very excited to see how it plays out. I have my suspicions and I’m really looking forward to seeing if I’m right. Playing the game as a single player is great but it really pops with friends and I just love the coordination and communication with my squad. After completing missions with friends it feels like an accomplishment and you can hear it in everyone’s voices or reaction.

Pros(so far):
A lot of game to unpack here.
Great graphics
Incredibly entertaining with friends
The road map for the next year of content is nothing short of exciting

Cons(so far):
The map is huge and a might be a bit much for some people
AI is a bit inconsisten

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