We travel to Paris to test the new production of Ubisoft, a tactical shooter that takes us to hostile territory and that locks us in the enemy lines.
Surrounded by enemies, no escape possible. The Aurea archipelago is the main location of Ghost Recon Breakpoint and also the perfect prison. It is controlled by The Wolves, a paramilitary group that has taken over the place and that has made it its base of operations. Cole D. Walker, a former member of the Ghost squad, has turned his back on his former teammates and betrayed them. They do not know the reasons for the stab, but the experienced military, once loyal, has changed his vest and transformed his hatred into the fuel of his life.
A villain with charisma
The character has been played by Jon Bernthal, an actor who has given life to characters from media series such as The Walking Dead or The Punisher. Walker debuted in Ghost Recon Wildlands and now repeats with a prominent role. The result is fantastic, because the actor has managed to provide the character with the necessary nuances to make it credible. It is a cruel and safe person, convinced of his ideals and capable of doing anything to accomplish his goals. Why have you maneuvered that way? What has led him to betray the confidence of the Ghost and defect? Those are the issues that we will solve during the game.
Unlike Ghost Recon Wildlands, the new work by Ubisoft Paris does not preserve the parody tone, perhaps further from the Tom Clancy spirit, since the casual and psychotropic aspect fits more with proposals such as Far Cry. Not surprisingly, the game incorporates very hard sequences of explicit violence. With all its fantastic elements, realism takes on a vital role.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
Aurea is also the headquarters of Skell Tech, one of the most advanced technology companies on the planet. Its founder, Jace Skell, is a man who believes together that technology can serve humanity profitably. Unfortunately, communications between the company and the rest of the world have been lost. The Wolves has moved token and now also controls the fate of the company.
Who is the protagonist (or the protagonist)?
In Ghost Recon Breakpoint we handle Nomad, a character that we can customize from the beginning. We do it through a simple editor that allows us to choose sex and modify facial features. It is not a tool too powerful, but it gives us enough freedom to create the character we want. The argument is braided in two different timelines: the current and the past (through flashbacks). This is because it shows us a time when Walker and Nomad were still on the same side. In these sequences, it is already suggested that Jon Bernthal's character hides demons inside. The images surprise by its hardness, unequivocal sign of the damage that war does in the minds of many people.
The test session begins alone, with the first mission of the campaign. It is the best thing to do with the main mechanics, which are based on shootings, exploration and strategy. The story begins strongly: the helicopter of Nomad and its squadron is attacked by tiny drones that gain strength when they gather like a swarm. The fire sparks everywhere and the protagonist falls, face down, on the trees. From that guide he observes how the vehicle of his companions crashes in the distance. Wounded and in enemy territory, Nomad desperately searches for his fallen companions. Have they survived the attack?
At this point, we made contact with one of the great novelties of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, since the production of Ubisoft Paris introduces a new layer of complexity in military survival. Fatigue and injuries are now elements to consider, as they slow our progress and make us vulnerable. If the stamina bar decreases, Nomad will be unable to run normally.
The thing gets even more endangered by being seriously injured. The damage is seen in the body and affects performance. We move slower and become an easy target for the enemy. In these circumstances, healing is the logical way to return to the battlefield in full form. Through a radial menu we can equip and access the bands. Later, we also have injections that help ensure that the healing process has been carried out successfully.
However, functions such as healing or reloading weapons rob us of precious time. Ghost Recon Breakpoint is not the kind of shooter in which one can go crazy and shoot without thinking. The orography of the land and other aspects such as those mentioned above provide a crucial strategic element. If you shoot a burst of shots and empty the magazine, you have to keep in mind that you will need a few seconds to recharge. During that time interval you will be exposed to danger. The same happens if you are injured or fatigued, that for a few moments you can die at any time. Therefore, you have to choose the right time and place to perform these operations.
Classes, customization and skills
One solution to support the health of the characters is to have someone from the Medical class. The specialist has a healing drone that launches healing darts to the allies and is able, on certain occasions, to resurrect fallen characters. The rest of the classes are the following: Assault allows us to control the fronts and Pantera dominates stealth, while Sniper hides from the distance to pull the trigger. It has a sensor grenade whose main function is to mark enemies. Selecting a particular class at the beginning does not prevent us from later choosing a different class and experimenting with the skills.
And about skills goes the thing, because the tree of powers is huge and gives us the possibility to improve the character and unlock new objects and abilities. When we level up, we get points that we can invest in the progression. Aspects such as recharge or healing speed are just some of the elements that we will have the option to improve. Once the skill or advantage is achieved, we can assign it in the corresponding slot.
Along the same lines, customization is abundant. We can equip ourselves with all kinds of weapons, vests, helmets, gloves, etc. The loot is present at all times and is essential to tackle the missions successfully. A bad team can determine a fateful fate for our squad. The game also has a range of loot, so it is easy to see where we are. As if that were not enough, the progression moves to all game modes, so that all the effort we invest in the character will be rewarded.
This is how Ghost Recon Breakpoint is played
With respect to the main mechanics of the work, stealth feels very similar to that of other French video games. Simply place ourselves behind one of them and end the enemy without realizing it, although as we say, being a more strategic title, it will depend on the character and his abilities that are more or less difficult to carry out the murders silent. A bad step and The Wolves will call reinforcements in the blink of an eye.
Gunplay mechanics, meanwhile, move away from games like Far Cry, in the sense that it has a heavier playability that demands greater precision. The distance, the position in which we are and the terrain are equally important. Not all enemies respond in the same way, so the weaponry to be used and the strategy varies depending on who we face. Heavy enemies such as giant drones (which we could not defeat) require a more refined level and skills. The handling of vehicles, however, has seemed closer to the arcade line of Far Cry.
In addition, Breakpoint has improved its climbing system, so overcoming obstacles or climbing a slope will be more satisfactory. Automatic covers are also more precise, so roughly, the entire playable appearance is more polished. The feeling at the controls is very positive.
It should be noted that launch, if we play alone, we will not have companions managed by the machine. However, the official Twitter account of Ghost Recon Breakpoint has already confirmed that this feature will come later, although Ubisoft has not specified whether we can give orders as in other titles in the saga.
Exploration and survival
If we liked to play alone, doing it together is an experience that enriches it even more. Communication is essential and invites us to address missions strategically. The balance of classes is, of course, a negligible factor. The game is well designed for the cooperative. Even in an open world like Ghost Recon Breakpoint, some problems that could be experienced have been perfectly resolved. For example, if the squad moves away and one of its members is at another point or away from the targets, we will have the possibility of teleporting with them. If we die, any of our allies can resurrect us. Otherwise, we must wait for a while before reappearing. In addition, partners can now transport partners.
The exploration of his open world takes us to an island completely taken by the enemy. Civilians hide in their homes due to martial law, so The Wolves troops are scattered throughout the territory. Whether on foot, by car or in a helicopter, the paramilitary body watches tirelessly. Some reformulated mechanics of other video games are present in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. So, when we approach an enemy site, we can take out the drone with the aim of marking the enemy and scanning the ground. Moreover, the title has implemented the Assassin's Creed Odyssey exploration system. As in the killers game, this option will be a possibility and not an obligation. It consists of a series of tests that guide us to the objective. It does not mark us exactly the destination point, but it tells us about the places around so that we look at the map and discover the location. Finally, the clues offer us crucial information for the future of the mission.
A huge camp inside a cave serves as a base of operations. There are gathered the rebels, who have formed a place to rest and buy supplies. Between mission and mission, preparations are important. Another novelty of Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the camps, where we can drink, eat and prepare for everything that is to come. This gives us certain advantages, because staying hydrated and fed temporarily increases some attributes. Even during our journey, survival leads us to use a canteen to collect water and drink when we consider it appropriate.
The five main missions to which we had access shaded a hostile and dangerous world in which to seek allies. Because let's not fool ourselves, The Wolves go for everything and we will need all the necessary help to get out of the situation and escape from Aurea.
Ghost War, PvP modes
Although at Gamescom we tried Ghost War, which encompasses PvP modes four against four, we were also able to do it during our trip to Paris. Three very different maps allow us to experiment in different territories, from a snowy site to a quarry full of obstacles. In Ubisoft they have assured us that the maps have been designed specifically for this mode, with the idea of being able to take full advantage of the qualities of the terrain.
In the preview session we play two sub-modes, Elimination and Sabotage. The first of these raises the traditional death match, which consists of killing all the enemies. The first to be done with the radar will have the opportunity to know where the enemies are and go straight for them. Sabotage aims to plant a bomb in the enemy bases or prevent the opponent from doing the same. Communication plays a prominent role in both cases. A good sneak can prevent someone from attacking us from behind or help us in the strategy.
In general, there are not many changes with respect to Wildlands, but the new climbing system and the injury system gives it more depth. Although we do not experience it in the games we play, this Ghost War mode includes elements of battle royale, with a dome that closes to bring players closer.
Ubisoft has learned from the experience of Ghost Recon Wildlands and has already drawn up a plan with which to pretend to update the game after launch. The company confirms that there are many updates underway, covering all game modes. The campaign, Operation Greenstone, will be available from launch, but there are two other episodes on the way. The second will be published in winter 2020, while episode 3 will arrive in the summer of that year. Each of the plot episodes will provide more content for the endgame, raids, faction missions and news for the PvP mode.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint, available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia, is a very solid experience. It is not a revolution with respect to Wildlands, but it brings new developments and is taken seriously again. Leave, therefore, the most casual tone of his previous installment, which affects more refined game mechanics and much more designed for the strategy. In Breakpoint there are no half measures: you kill or die. On October 4 you will know your destiny.