Ghost Recon Breakpoint Or Ghost Recon
Ghost Recon Breakpoint, or Ghost Recon's Breaking Point? That's today's key question and we're going to dig around the game to make a judgment. Where Wildlands managed to bring in many players, but sometimes missed the essence of the Ghost principle. How does this look in the Ghost Recon that builds on the formula of the previous title.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is very similar to its predecessor at its core. A big, but really big open world filled with missions, side missions and all kinds of other activities such as finding new weapons and parts. Where Wildlands failed miserably on the stealth principle, Ubisoft seems to be going double-down on this mechanic. As you would expect, this comes with pros and cons. Where the stealth principle is very cool, it is not essential. At least, to a certain extent.
The awkward thing about Ghost Recon Breakpoint is that the opening starts off very strong. Narratively not so, but we will come back to that later. Until you find the first hiding place, the game is quite linear. And this worked very well. There were patrols that you had to take out where stealth is the best solution since you can't take that much in Ghost Recon. There was a certain tension and the road to your target was well set up with hiding places, mud to camouflage yourself and the occasional building you could enter to approach the enemy from a different angle. A direct confrontation where stealth is not essential, but helps enormously. In the rest of the game I missed this very much and it is almost not recommended to use stealth because you simply don't need it.
Every advantage has its disadvantage
While playing Ghost Recon Breakpoint, there have been many moments where I thought, Yes, this is cool! But very soon the other side of the same coin appeared. So I gave the example of stealth. The large open world and generally very spacious mission areas do not promote this gameplay at all. Unless you're shooting everything with a sniper from an elevation, there's little reason to use stealth. The AI is in fact very stupid, so a direct confrontation is almost no risk. If you are noticed and the hunt is open, all you have to do is sit on a staircase and all the enemies will come in one by one, ready for execution. This works much faster than very quietly trying to take out your opponents without being noticed.
During the game you will also find new weapons and equipment with a certain score. The score increases very slowly, so you keep changing your weapons and equipment all the time. You basically don't notice this. At a higher level, your gear will have secondary stats like extra stamina or stealth, but otherwise it's just a number. However, you need these numbers because later in the game enemies are a higher level and you need equipment with a higher level. Very strange because you don't notice your equipment at all until you get to this point where you do no damage or almost no damage because the enemy requires higher gear, apparently.
The story also seems to be quite interesting. A defecting soldier. What has led to this situation? What does Skell Technology have to do with it? Lots of questions in an interesting setting. Unfortunately, the story is quite difficult to follow due to a lot of uninteresting and bad cutscenes with a lot of posturing and technical limitations such as truncation of sentences or the complete lack of sound. Pity.
Where the general gameplay loop in itself is very entertaining, you keep questioning everywhere while playing. Everything in the big world is very far from each other so that you don't think for a moment let me grab the motorcycle or something. The only vehicle I scour the world with is the helicopter and as long as you don't park your heli 5 meters away from an enemy, nobody has a clue that you are nearby. It just feels like you're playing a game that was put together by different sub-teams where communication was forbidden.
The world is quite beautiful from a distance and in general it all looks slick if you don't look too close at the rather blurry textures. Faces and animations in cutscenes are not very good. Only the scenes where Jon Bernthal is in the picture are quite okay. Compared to previous Ubisoft titles, however, it is seriously below par. In addition, this game also suffers from immense texture pop-in on the Playstation 4 Pro. Perhaps even worse than The Division 2 because at many moments the enemies literally spawn next to you while you've been roaming around the location for a good minute. At one point I had to follow a truck, but the truck was invisible. The objective marker moved across the street, but there was no sign of a truck. Suddenly it appeared out of nowhere.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint wants to continue embroidering on Wildlands but fixes things that aren't broken. Tries to overcompensate for previously missed features to the annoyance (I'm looking at you, recon drone). The game was unveiled with great fanfare. Jon Bernthal is in the game and all different irrelevant rappers are trying to promote the game through different videos . Now it is also clear where the bulk of the budget has been invested.
Playing Breakpoint makes me long for an old-fashioned Ghost Recon or even Splinter Cell title. Not every game has to be as big as Odyssey. Not every game needs that much loot. Just because it works for Assassin's Creed doesn't mean it works for Ghost Recon. The gameplay loop is okay, but everything around it falls very short. Very surprising as Wildlands has laid a great foundation for the Open World Ghost Recon Reboot.
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