In recent times you have to give Ubisoft credit for many of the things he has done, especially with old and new franchises; He has been able to revitalize the Assassin's Creed saga with two very notable installments, has given Far Cry personality, created For Honor from nothing and we have seen The Division and Watch Dogs born. All this in 5 years. There are many games with a lot of budget and a lot of ambition and whose results in broad strokes can be considered satisfactory. Sometimes it has had to reuse resources in a more or less debatable way (the fact of using the same map for Far Cry 4 / Primal, for example) but if there has been a specially damaged franchise in its catalog it has been without a doubt Ghost Recon. His latest installment not only does not remind of anything of the original in 2001, but also of the Advanced Warfighter or more recent Future Soldier. It does resemble Wildlands, but it manages to rescue few of the salvageable things from the title two years ago and the final mix has not just set.
2 + 2 is not always 4
After the first hours at Breakpoint, you have the feeling that you are part of an experiment; as if in the pizza dough (the third-world shooter in the open world) ingredients were being added randomly and then see what the control group thinks. And there is a limit of things that you can throw to a pizza so that it remains pizza, just as there are things that can be very good separately but do not fit together. You may like meatballs a lot but you wouldn't throw them in your gintonic, for example. And Ghost Recon is packed with different types of topping with ingredients from other genres and other games that in the end one does not get to enjoy the product in general. If we also add that its implementation leaves a little to be desired, it is possible that the final result will leave it to be desired.
To begin with the things that the game does well, the mapping of the game area is gigantic, varied in terms of locations and with a certainly high level of detail. Particularly we liked the design of some areas, the style of the near future that responds so well to the Tom Clancy label and how it has been taken here to this place in New Zealand that they call Auroa. From the first moment we "landed" in this world, responding to the Ghost sinking due to unknown causes of an American ship, we observe that the futuristic but credible utopia aesthetic is very present. And it is very difficult to create an architecture and a design that distils futuristic but at the same time plausible, so you have to applaud the work of those responsible for art because it is at a high level.
The greater graphic load causes some delays in the loads of textures and even some elements of the scenario (sometimes we know that an NPC should be there but we have to wait 15 seconds to “load”), but in general when it matters – during the fighting – The game is usually stable without any complications. When we have the opportunity to observe the world from above we appreciate a severe popping, but it is not something especially annoying and it is the price to pay for traveling at 200 km / h instead of going on foot or on horseback. Also at the effects level the title is correct and although we have found a few bugs due to graphic problems, in general they have been cosmetic issues that have almost never affected the gameplay severely. Another thing has been bugs due to code problems, which we will discuss later.
Also the game handles well something that for many will be the fundamental thing in games of this type: the shots. And here we are talking only about weapons, their behavior and others, not about the meetings in which we are going to make use of them. Either a sniper rifle or a DMR, a submachine gun or a heavy machine gun, in any of its many variants and with its dozens of accessories, you always have the feeling that they respond as they should and as we customize them we can get an appropriate response to what is expected of them, both visually and sound, recoil, cadence … It is clear that Ubisoft has a lot of experience in this and has applied it well.
Little respect, little imagination
Locked up on an island from which we cannot leave, we are forced to work incognito to try to discover what is happening there and what has happened to World 2.0 that the visionary Jace Skell promised to its inhabitants. Breakpoint raises a world where man and technology coexist but, once again, it is used for purposes for which it was not designed. And throughout a series of main and other secondary missions, the game will try to introduce us into history and, unfortunately, it will not succeed. For two reasons: one, because our main character is far from having the charisma of a Kassandra / Alexios, for example, but especially because the mission structure is perhaps the most tedious and least respectful of the player we have seen in a lot weather.
The most common will be to get to a place to be sent to another site and when we get to go to another place. Again and again, mission after mission, primary or secondary. In some cases it even seems that the game laughs at the player in his face: after sending us two errands and returning them to the NPC to complete the quest, he tells us that he forgot to ask us for a third thing, which obviously is farther than Narnia, and that you need it now to complete the task. Playing cooperatively with our coordinator and a master of stealth such as Salva Fernández aka "the best thing is that we park the helicopter in the middle of the base and from there we make our way", we did not give credit for the times that the game sent us a Place to place with all impudence. And if that were as an excuse to introduce new mechanics not yet seen or surprise elements that added some spice to the gameplay, it could happen. But they were simply errands in the first era style of World of Warcraft, nothing more.
Leaving the helicopter on a roof is a way to find fun where the game doesn't want to offer it to you. The tactically most viable is to clean the areas with a sniper rifle, since Ghost Recon inexplicably dispenses with the usual squad to leave us alone in the face of danger. It is true that Ubisoft has confirmed that after the complaints they will return, in the future, to implement friendly AI but for the moment it is also true that we alone are enough to face the threats of Auroa in almost all its difficulties. And that is because only assault drones have a certain "punch" to do us some harm; the artificial intelligence of the enemies leaves so much to be desired that the overwhelming majority except for snipers will try to rushear our position by becoming a plate-throwing exercise. It is very common to see enemy patrols waiting in front of a vehicle, in groups of 3 or 4, willingly arranged without moving, waiting to facilitate the achievement of the achievement / trophy of 3 headshots in 5 seconds. It's all a detail on your part, but we expect more from elite soldiers. That when they do not get stuck in a corner or, as we did with the final "boss", it is going around a box waiting to receive bullets.
To give a touch of variety, Breakpoint incorporates a system of progression by levels and four classes. The skill tree is common to all but some have skills that synergize better with our style of play; For example, the sniper appreciates the extra time of holding his breath when using a precision rifle rather than someone who prefers gun or submachine gun encounters. We will not be able to equip all the skills at the same time but we can exchange them at will in the case of wanting to change classes, which we can do at any time at the base or in the rest and camping areas distributed throughout the map. There has also included a small system of crafting elements that give us a small bonus for a few minutes, although the truth is that its impact is truly minor.
As we move forward, both enemies and boxes spread across the map drop objects and weapons that have a level score – even if they have equal statistics – and different qualities that we must equip. Weapons can be customized with the same system we saw in The Division, but most modifiers will give us improvements without harming us at all, which did happen in the other Tom Clancy franchise. It is VERY advisable to equip yourself with the highest level objects ALWAYS, because the loot left by the enemies does not depend on our level of experience but on our level of EQUIPMENT, so that the better equipped we go, the better rewards we will obtain. We can also dismantle parts to build better versions of our favorite weapons or sell them, but all in a very simple way and with a fairly limited scope.
Just Cause is more enjoyable
Ghost Recon was thought of as a tactical shooter and when we are in the heat of battle, with a drone shooting at us or several enemies trying to find our position, there are good times. Most of the time, however, cleaning the locations from a distance or even eliminating a boss does not involve any difficulty. 2 of the alleged bosses fell without realizing it and another from a distance he could not answer. So to avoid falling into the routine, you can always buy a helicopter – from the expensive ones, with missiles – and start arming the chaos. Or parachute into an enemy base with a Behemoth (a very beast drone) rocket launcher in hand and hope for the best. Or maybe stop an enemy convoy by stacking cars on the road and blowing them up. This is more typical of games like Just Cause than Ghost Recon and certainly although it is a real possibility, it is almost certain that the developers did not think about the game in this way.
There have been several changes since the first beta and they have helped make the experience at the controls better, such as changes in animations or driving. The truth is that it is hard to imagine that someone decides to go from A to B by car, given the meandering of most roads and the fact that it can take, quietly, 15 minutes depending on the distance. And then there is the sixth sense of the enemies, who populate and repopulate the island with a fascinating ease and we must go through dozens of checkpoints where we will be detected without compassion even if we carry a stolen vehicle from the enemy.
Apart from the raid that still cannot be completed, there is a PVP mode that faces 8 players in two teams and different game modes. The system is quite basic and adds almost nothing to what we have already seen but it lets you play without too much trouble. As we play games, a kind of battle pass is unlocked that somehow rewards those who want to play exclusively online. As usual, everything is surrounded by a significant amount of cosmetic product to buy separately with real money, so parents who want to give this product to children without supervision should take it into account to avoid scares at the end of the month.
It is obvious to say that cooperatively played the title wins quite a few integers and Ubi knows it and makes it known to the user whenever he can. In our HUB we can coincide with other agents to join or invite with this drop in and drop out system that works without problems and go hunting together. Played alone, however, one gets to miss the squad. In Wildlands, even if it was AI, the characters had conversations with each other and gave more the feeling of a traditional Ghost Recon, even if it was an open world. Going from point to point completing secondary or faction missions, and only by doing it completely alone, can be done for many uphill. That is, if you can play with someone, the overall experience improves a lot.
Breakpoint is an amalgam of ideas born in other Ubisoft franchises that fit well on paper but do not end up working in the game. It is the clear example where the total is less than the sum of its parts. It is possible that there is still a good product within this Ghost Recon because the core of the game, the shots, work very correctly but Ubisoft will have to work beautifully so that everything else goes better. Although with tenacity and determination they managed to fix For Honor and The Division, which is still too early to lose hope. It is a shame that in addition to the franchise's identity being lost, other aspects such as narrative, AI and other great design decisions have left this product one or two steps below what it deserves and what it deserves. The company has been accustoming us in recent times.
- The design and size of the map
- At the shooting level it works very correctly
- It has a lot of potential
- Mission design
- Elements that do not take advantage of
- Enemy AI
It is not the latest or the most original, nor does it have the best execution, but it can be fun if you like the genre. Good, but improvable.