Game Feature

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is Wildlands with a “Survival” Twist

The recently announced Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the latest title in Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy brand, promising to bring spec-ops action two years after their last title, Ghost Recon Wildlands. The Ghost Recon page currently has a wealth of information related to the title. Let’s talk about several points about the game including the new gameplay, the story, and other possibilities.

A direct sequel to 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ghost Recon Breakpoint will bring us to a new and mysterious open world: the fictional Auroa archipelago, home of the tech giant Skell Technology. It is interesting to note that after recreating part of Bolivia for Wildlands, Ubisoft is now going for a fictional setting. An archipelago that just happens to have all of the world’s eco-system: from snow-capped mountains, to an active volcano, to a jungle and some buildings, making for a perfect setting for asurvival game.

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For the first time in the series, Ghost Recon Breakpoint will introduce survival mechanics. Fatigue will be a factor, slopes, innjuries, bivouacs, terrain impacts, prone camo (ala The Predator), body carry, and others. The gameplay trailer was pretty explicitin their demonstration of most of these mechanics except for the bivouac. The addition of having to treat injuries is becoming a trend in AAA games. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, forced players to look out for several health indicators, making you huntfor food and rest, as well as grooming. Days Gone made you look out for your bike, which not only do you had to maintain, but you needed to refuel.

Neither of those two are in this game, but you still had to take care of yourself by treating your injuries and resting in bivouacs. Sort of like how you had to do it in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater a long time ago. Bivouacs are a safe place to rest andprepare for battle. You’ll find them in various spots spread across Auroa. You can heal yourself, change your class, and hopefully a lot more.

Just like in Wildlands, Breakpoint will feature online co-op allowing you and your friends to team up in missions. What it will not feature though, is AI controlled teammates possibly due to something happening in the story. Alone, you will have drones tostill give you the “sync shot” ability. But team-mates will come in form of the on-line coop. You will be able to create and customize your ghost and keep their gear, skills, and weapons for the entire experience both in PvE and PvP.

How we approach missions is still up to us: guns blazing, or taking the silent path. In my experience with Wildlands, mixing the two is always the best. In addition to being able to carry bodies (both enemy and fellow Ghost), you can blend into multipletypes of terrain using Prone Camo (aka what Arnold did in the first Predator movie), and slip through fences unnoticed using the Breaching Kit. Stealth is one of those things that is crude and inconsistent in Wildlands (crazy for a spec-ops game), so the additionof stealth mechanics is always welcome. Plus, they also gave us new CQC finishers too.

What I’m more interested in, however, is whether we have new stealth animations for indoors, something that I wasn’t impressed with in Wildlands. This is coming from the same franchise as Splinter Cell, which was once more hardcore than Metal Gear Solidin terms of stealth. I also hope that they fixed the problem of the AI instantly knowing where you are whenever the bullets start flying. Part of the joy of stealth games is luring enemy guards to a spot via unsuppressed fire, and then sneaking your way pastthem.

Ubisoft did say that the enemy AI has “evolved” to provide a better stealth experience to all players. Now, if the enemy becomes suspicious, depending on the risk of the situation, they will choose to either stalk the player’s last-known position, or sendout a radio call to either alert the camp or send over reinforcements. If you heard all this before, it’s because this is how both Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid do their stealth mechanics. But Wildlands also had this alert phase, and they still magicallyknow my position despite being well hidden. If I fire a suppressed .50 caliber from an elevated position at a safe distance (like near the top of a mountain), I would expect that the enemy will know the general area I might be in, but not my exact location.

New game, new setting, and new story also means new enemies and Auroa seems to be filled with them. There is Sentinel, a Private Military Contractor (PMC) hired to provide security in the island. In the gameplay video, Ubisoft showed three Sentinel archetypes:the Rocket Gunner, the Breacher, and the Heavy, with more archetypes coming our way.

Ghost Recon games aren’t known for using big-name celebrities as characters, but most of us knew that something was up when Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Netflix’s The Punisher) was signed to play as Cole Walker in the latest free DLC mission for GhostReconWildlands named Operation Oracle. You certainly won’t pay a big name actor to star in just a free DLC mission, so the rumors of a new Ghost Recon game were up in the air, especially since the DLC itself was setting things up for something.

As it turns out, Operation Oracle was a prequel of sorts, setting up the events of Breakpoint as well as providing proper context to Walker’s role in the game. Here, Cole Walker is no longer a Ghost, but a leader of a rogue military unit called The Wolves.Some promotional materials call them “your former brothers-in-arms” so it might point to the Wolves being former members of Ghost as well. Nomad and Walker have worked together in the past, but now, he is targeting his former comrade. Nothing makes a compellingantagonist for a Ghost than a fellow Ghost, and I am frankly excited at the prospect of a really good story.

Caught in the crossfire is Jace Skell, a tech genius who has the brains, the money, and the power to do many things. Things like turning an entire island into the headquarters of Skell Tech. Skell also wants to use his technology to help the world and reallybelieves that he can. The Wolves though, had other plans for it. And their takeover of Auroa and the sending of Ghost Team to investigate why Skell Tech went dark was the catalyst for the events of Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint will be released on October 4, 2019 worldwide (possible October 5 in the Philippines). It will be released on the PS4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.


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Stan Galupo

Pop-culture Section Editor - Console games (specifically Sony PlayStation games) - movies - Gunpla - Toys

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