REVIEW: ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint’ is a Massive Tactical World (Xbox One)

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Ghost Recon Breakpoint Cover

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the 16th installment in the Ghost Recon series, published and developed by Ubisoft‘s subsidiary company Ubisoft Paris, and based on books created by the late, Tom Clancy. Honestly, the new “open-world” direction that the last two games have gone can be deemed a positive and a negative. The staunch positive of the “open-world” direction is the ability to explore the vast map of Auroa, where the game takes place, at your own pace. Along the way, you get into some pretty intense firefights with the hostiles. The negative, however, in that same vein, would be that there’s so much to do, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when playing with others who would rather do opposing tasks.

To start, let’s talk about Auroa. This fictional island created by Skell Tech was supposed to be a utopia of sorts, but ever since an event went down, it’s taken on a much darker overcast. As you explore Auroa, with its massive size, whether aiming to uncover the main issues via the main storylines or completing side missions and alternative objectives, Auroa invites you to do that. The island at times can feel pretty empty in areas where there are no enemies, as the fauna is quite scarce. You will on occasions see a small pack of boars or even a cow. I wish you could see the birds in the trees since the majority of the time in wooded areas you will hear things singing. Yet despite that, Auroa is still fun to explore and traverse either solo or with friends.

The graphical fidelity of this Ghost Recon Breakpoint is really good. You can see a good amount of detail on the main character’s face when you create them, as do the allied NPCs. Enemies actually have decently detailed faces too. The game looks gorgeous in Ultra HD. The rain adds a slickness to the world, the snow has a nice crunch to it, and dirt actually makes small dust clouds when you use it for prone camo.

The only issue I had with the graphics was that there were times where there would be a random red squiggle that would pop up in the top left of my screen. It doesn’t affect gameplay, it just catches my attention when I’m playing because it’s random.

One of Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s biggest aspects is the return of the gunsmith feature. Though it’s changed since being introduced into the series in Ghost Recon Future Soldier back in 2012. In the Breakpoint adaptation of the gunsmith, you are able to not only swap out attachments, but you can also upgrade the weapons to become stronger for that entire gun class. So if you have a favorite weapon to use, you can dismantle the other weapons and use those parts to enhance that weapon. However, upgrading doesn’t increase the weapons “power level” so if you happen to come across a stronger version of that weapon, it’d be best to swap.

Another big aspect of Ghost Recon Breakpoint is drop-in/drop-out co-op. This is only possible due to the game’s always-online requirement. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to worry about joining a lobby or being pulled from your content when someone wants to join you. They can simply load into your game and assist you and then when they need to go, they can simply leave and you can resume solo or continue with the remaining members of your party.

The most impactful aspect of Ghost Recon Breakpoint is it’s many gameplay elements. There’s a stamina bar that controls your ability to run. This bar also keeps you from receiving massive damage while sliding down inclines. However, once you become exhausted you will go into a tumble and could receive damage. Stamina naturally recovers as you walk, but over time, your maximum stamina will diminish. You must drink water to restore it. Another impactful gameplay element is the weapons. The weapons in Ghost Recon Breakpoint feel a lot more realistic than previous iterations. Though there are RPG elements in the game that prevent “weaker” weapons from dealing the most optimal damage, they still feel good.

The skill tree is quite complex and allows you to build your character how you like. Though there are four initial skill archetypes, Medic, Assault, Panther, and Sharpshooter, you don’t have to follow their specific trees. The archetypes are there for you to choose your favorite play-style and you’re given class challenges to complete for skill points.

You do have to practice discipline in skill distribution, as some of the more helpful skills cost more points to unlock. For example, to upgrade your gear to level 2 or 3, known as Mk.2 or Mk.3, you need to save up your skill points, as Mk.2 costs 2 skill points and Mk.3 costs 4 skill points to unlock. You can unlock skills in any order you want, you just have to unlock 2 skills in the previous tree to unlock the next tree.

Healing in Ghost Recon Breakpoint is handled in two ways: bandages and syringes. When you are damaged you lose armor. Once your armor is depleted you will be Killed in Action, or KIA. However, if you survive that encounter you will heal back up. There will be times that you will suffer from injuries that range from minor to severe.

To heal from these you will need to use either of the two aforementioned items to heal back up. Bandages are unlimited but they require about 5 seconds to apply. They can be canceled though if you happen to encounter hostiles. Next, you have syringes which can heal you from injuries instantly, but you can only carry 5 of them at a time. Deciding when to heal with what item will require proper understanding of your situation.

I did dabble in the PvP, Ghost War, for a bit. PvP is just as tactical, if not more in some cases, as the main game. Ghost War is a 4v4 Elimination, which feels reminiscent of Rainbow Six Siege, just that the environments are much larger. With a good team, this mode can be fun, yet the opposite can be said when you’re on a team of players with no tactical understanding and think it’s a team deathmatch mode. This was my least favorite mode in the game as a result.

Overall, Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an awesome time to be had. I’ve put several hours into the game and I still feel like I haven’t even made a dent. The amount of content in this game is quite insane, but it’s great for those who like to have more to do than just the linear story. I would highly recommend Ghost Recon Breakpoint to anyone who’s a fan of tactical games, RPGs, action games, the Ghost Recon series, or just as a replacement to your last shooter.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is available now on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL; DR

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an awesome time to be had…The amount of content in this game is quite insane, but it’s great for those who like to have more to do than just the linear story.