Ghost Recon Breakpoint has been out for a week already so if you are still waiting to play it; congrats you are a savvy consumer. Fresh off the heels of the fantastic The Division 2, Breakpoint aims to appeal to the crowds who found the Division 2’s open world too compact, New Dawn too colorful, or are just waiting for the new Assassin’s Creed. A bunch of the reviews have mostly talked about how horrible it is but games like these can’t really be reviewed on release until they are properly fleshed out and patched months later. In my opinion underneath a bunch of half baked ideas there is a very fun co-op shooter. So here are my thoughts on Breakpoint about 15 hours in:
- The Ghosts: Civil War: Ghost War returns from Wildlands and it’s as fun as ever. The 4 vs 4 Ghost battles require great knowledge of the skills and team coordination. Currently there are 6 maps and cross progression so anything you unlock or level up can be used in the main game and vice versa. Also there are dedicated servers!
- Gifts of War: Continuing Ubisoft’s unique DLC strategy, this game has both a paid Year one pass for $39.99 and includes two expansions releasing later. There is also a free battle pass like Faction Battle Reward system. Early into the campaign you discover faction missions that act as a third tier side mission that reward you with faction points. These faction points level up the Rewards bar which mostly includes cosmetic rewards. Currently there are Face paints, weapon blueprints and vehicle skins. There are 50 tiers of rewards available with no duplicates that reset every two months following an Act Structure.
- This Game Was Made For Walker: From the moment he first crosses the screen, you can tell a bunch of the production of this game went towards rendering Jon Bernthal as perfect as they can. If you compare him to any of the other character models its like comparing a Supermodel to a Real Doll. Luckily He’s fantastic in every scene I’ve witnessed him in. I almost don’t want to kill him.
- Gun, Guns, Guns: The gunplay feels so great in Breakpoint I would feel silly not mentioning it. I still haven’t gotten over how good it feels to take on enemies 10 levels above mine and taking them down in semi-stressful gunfights depending on how many drones they have involved. IN addition, with there being less inventory management than in the Division 2 you’re kind of incentivised to open more crates which are laid all throughout the map.
- Landslide: One of my biggest gripes with the game is my characters tendency to roll down whatever surface I’m descending. The first couple times it seemed like a novel way to traverse, breaking a bit of the tension of trying to sneak into bases. However 10 hours in and I’ve changed my boots and earned enough climbing skills that I shouldn’t be falling down as often and as far as I am. Even when the mountains aren’t steep, it’s like your character wants to do their best Jack and Jill impression.
- Numbers, Numbers, and Numbers: The Meta Game in Breakpoint goes like this there’s a Gear score, Xp Level, and enemy levels. But all of these numbers are worthless! Outside of the drones and maybe Walker’s closest circle of wolves, most enemies you face will go down with one bullet. Whether Level 1 or 150, one carefully placed bullet will end most gun fights and that isn’t a bad thing. Bullet sponginess is a huge factor in Looter Shooters, especially those with rpg elements. But here its omission seems weird. The rpg elements are there, you level up, your guns level up, your enemies level up even the clothes you pick up have little stat boosts, but with the one shot one kill mechanic those numbers are meaningless. I still have the first weapon you pick up in the game in my inventory just to see if it will continue to be useful and even at gear level 70 it proves useful as long as I don’t miss.
- This is How I Disappear: One bug I’ve encountered very frequently is my character and the mission givers in the Homesteader Base will disappear completely. I can occasionally fix this by trying to take a screenshot through the share button and they’ll show up in a couple of seconds. In the loadout menu if I switch my gun, my character will sometimes be holding air. Honorable Mention: There seems to be a glitch where if you and a buddy are flying around for too long someone in your group will appear to be hanging out of your helicopter. It isn’t as annoying as being invisible but its quite funny.
- Too Much: Breakpoint’s story takes place across several islands with multiple climate types and dozens of vehicles to traverse it in. This sounds good, however a good ⅓ of the map is just empty space. I’ve scoured huge areas for the promise of loot only to find a pair of gloves. Wildlands was another overly open world but at least that was more densely populated. After the compactness of The Division 2’s map it feels weird having to drive, fly, boat from point to point complete an objective and then head back.
All in all: Breakpoint is a good game in it’s current state with the potential to be a great game depending on how they continue refining what’s currently there. Before release there was a microtransaction menu that showed you can purchase every piece of equipment in the game including skull credits that you use to purchase things. Luckily it’s been taken out for the time being but even when it comes back, there’s no purpose to it. You can find everything in game, you just have to want to explore. If any of this sounds like something you wouldn’t want to spend $60 or more on, or if you collect special editions, I would wait for a sale or for the next patch to see if its more to your liking. Ghost Recon Breakpoint is available now on Xbox, PS4 and Pc. For all things Nerdy, Stay tuned to the Press Start Online Magazine!