Ghost Recon: Breakpoint – analysis – Total break
Ubisoft focused on quantity and forgot about quality. The overload of mechanics and systems to manage makes it tiring.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is the latest effort from Ubisoft, a publisher that has shown this generation how much it likes to do things big and seems to believe that the bigger the better. However, this strategy does not always pay off. In conjunction with the constant unification of designs and mechanics across different series, he constantly risked presenting games that were too similar and in which the relentless focus on quantity dictated the sacrifice of quality. There are fantastic Ubisoft experiences in the open world in this generation, but there are also some that leave something to be desired and that reveal several weaknesses, a consequence of a focus dispersed on more fronts than would be recommended.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint falls into the second category, a game that apparently wants to be everything it can be in an era of free services and games that dictate fashions (but without forgetting that there are fans of singleplayer). It is a jammed game of mechanics, activities, in-game currencies, management systems and character customization, with an unnecessarily gigantic map that shows that, in some cases, less is more. In the case of this game, less would be really much more, especially if the focus had been placed on quality and that would have given us an open-world military singleplayer shooter (with cooperative option) sponsored by a sensational story and a fun gameplay cycle.
What bothers me most about Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is that I can see the potential for an interesting game, even in the midst of all Ubisoft’s unification that insists on subjugating all series to the same formula. Unfortunately it becomes tiring. Since the recent early access, we were left with the impression of a game incredibly similar to Wildlands, dangerously similar even, but that seemed to want to refine what we saw in that 2017 game. , but with mechanics and design that allows you to play cooperatively. Breakpoint had everything to work, but it didn’t. Not even with Jon Bernthal involved (as the main villain) does the Ghosts vs. Wolves narrative work, so it’s because something went seriously wrong.
Breakpoint transports you to the island of Auroa, a technological paradise where advances are being developed that can dictate the future of humanity, for better or for worse. After communication failure on the island, the Ghosts are sent to investigate and immediately ambushed by drones, those who survive are forced to fight for life against a former Ghost, Cole Walker. You will have to customize your Nomad and you will be one of several lonely Ghosts that fight to stop Walker. This is how Ubisoft explains the fact that your Nomad walks alone in Auroa, to allow a campaign closer to the tone of a singleplayer, but also allows the cooperative up to four players in a team as there are more Ghosts scattered around the island.
It was a good way to try to satisfy all tastes: anyone who likes singleplayer and the greater focus on conventional narrative, can face it with that stance, but can also follow the Wildlands line and play with friends (not with NPCs to accompany) . However, this apparent need to want to please everyone and fill all the boxes in the list, may have sent Ubisoft to exaggerate the scale, unbalancing the experience and making its optimization almost impossible.
More doesn’t mean better and singleplayer doesn’t have to suffer for multiplayer
Your Nomad will be able to follow story missions, related to Walker’s motivations, but he will also be able to participate in side Auroa missions or faction missions – the latter give you faction XP to unlock rewards in a kind of Battle Pass. Ubisoft’s efforts to want you to spend your time at Breakpoint and ensure that it is a game for many months so dictated. Bearing in mind that Breakpoint includes a Gear system for weapons and equipment, it is good to have a large number of missions and locations to shoot down enemies and collect loot from five different categories. Many missions and zones advise a specific Gear Level, otherwise you will die very quickly.
In addition to the three different types of missions (one with specific XP for a Battle Pass), Breakpoint also includes five categories of Gear to increase your Gear Score, to summarize. In addition, exploring Auroa and entering different locations to complete missions or search for loot also gives you level XP – across four classes with universal progress between PvE and PvP (the Ghost War mode in which you’ll break the command if you don’t play with friends) . To top it off, you also have the skill points gained by leveling up (you can unlock the four and combine skills of each into a single character) or closed in special boxes spread across Auroa.
Basically and in a simplified way, this is what you will have to take into account to manage your Nomad and, as you would expect, each activity, slaughter, explored place or completed mission gives you XP. However, this number of mechanics and management systems are not even the problem of Breakpoint, just a reflection of the unhealthy amount of elements introduced that make the game much more complex than it should be, reducing the fun.
Breakpoint’s big problem is in the execution of his ideas, in the application of the concept and how to insert so much into the same cup just hurt him. The map is huge and you will hardly be able to enjoy it on foot or in a land vehicle. On foot because your Nomad will get tired quickly (inexplicably now he gets tired down hills and when he loses his strength he rolls and loses life, something frustrating and that will happen even on small slopes) and in a land vehicle because driving and physics are atrocious. It remains for you to save money for a helicopter and start the inevitable game cycle: search for quick travel points, choose the one closest to the mission, call a helicopter and go there. Repeat over the 30 hours required to finish the main narrative. In between you find the question marks and decide if it is worthwhile to go there to get loot.
Decisions that undermine design and exaggeration in management
The attempt to create a military shooter with a strong narrative and credible gameplay, through mechanics like shots to the head that kill the enemy immediately, the need to heal serious wounds to have access to the whole health bar again and the notion that you are quickly beaten if you are too aggressive, it shows that Ubisoft has good ideas in this Breakpoint. This was what motivated me to continue in the confused and without real impact story. However, the map is full of places that you probably won’t even visit and the structure goes here, to go 800 meters to the side, to finally discover that the objective is 2.1KM ahead and finally realize that the mission will end in a fourth location , is constantly repeated. Breakpoint could have benefited greatly from a more cohesive and less frustrating structure.
The countless hills full of rocks, the constant falls of Nomad when descending the simplest of the slopes, that make him lose his stamina and start to lose life and the bad way you manage your equipment (eliminate one by one to obtain resources it becomes irritating after a few hours), they are small weaknesses that only reinforce the feeling that Breakpoint urgently needs updates, optimizations and corrections to at least alleviate the frustration. The design of the world and structure are unlikely to change, but other factors, especially the bugs that affect experience and fickle visual quality, can be resolved.
Visual weaknesses, bugs and more
In a game that bet, wrongly, on quantity instead of quality, Breakpoint has other problems besides the design choices and exaggeration of some mechanics that can suffocate you. Ubisoft presents you with an unnecessarily large world and pays a big price for that: Breakpoint is a highly fickle game in visual terms. One moment you are faced with a beautiful scene in which the lighting is sensational and the vegetation is spectacular, as in the next you have cold-looking NPCs and an irritating insistence on not loading the textures in time.
It is horribly frequent to see textures that do not carry, but you also see others loading centimeters in front of you. At times, I didn’t see the floor in front of my vehicle and thought I was going to fall across the stage. Bearing in mind that you spend a lot of time by helicopter, you will have great views of Auroa and the good times are few. In addition to seeing textures appearing out of nowhere, you see light sources and even entire buildings appearing out of nowhere in front of you. What’s the use of having such a big map if the game can’t handle it properly and constantly breaks immersion?
Regarding immersion breaks, Breakpoint is the worst Ubisoft game I’ve played this generation in terms of bugs. There are bugs in the animations, in the physics, in the collision with objects, in the sound effects, in the behavior of the NPCs (who behave as if nothing had happened seconds after intense shootings) and even visual bugs, as mentioned above. These bugs are yet another example of a game that is in urgent need of updates.
You will have to work hard to enjoy the good
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a game that can get tiring after a few hours, derived from the bugs in the animations and some mechanics, along with everything you have to manage. The truth is that you will have to put up with their various problems if you want to enjoy what is fun. In the midst of this chaos of quantity over quality, the glimpse of a military singleplayer shooter in the open world is noticeable. However, it seems to have been distorted to meet the needs of the cooperative, the inexplicable need to increase the size of the world to dimensions that harm the game itself, full of bugs and flaws in the mechanics, which only gets worse with the countless things you will have to learn and manage over your time in Auroa.