Recently, we got a chance to visit the Ubisoft Mumbai office, for an exclusive hands-on with the latest Ghost Recon game, Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Immediately after that, we were also privy to the closed Beta for Ghost Recon Breakpoint that ran from Sept 5 to Sept 8. With a public beta for Ghost Recon Breakpoint planned to run from Sept 26- Sept 28, we decided to create a Work In Progress piece, where we could update our impressions of the game as we move towards the actual release of Ghost Recon Breakpoint on October 4, 2019.
First thing first, we would like to thank the Ubisoft India team to host us in their beautiful office in Mumbai. We would also like to thank e-xpress way to extend the exclusive invitation to us. It was a closed-door event, and we were excited to be a part of it.
Alright, let’s get started.
Things We Liked About Ghost Recon Breakpoint Beta
1. Aurora is much smaller
This is obviously dependent on the scale of the beta, and it might very well be untrue in the end but Aurora (the island on which the game is set) felt much smaller than most maps you associate with open-world games these days. I think this is a good thing because smaller maps also mean denser maps (at least I hope so), so expect to get into firefight much more often. On the other hand, having a smaller map counters the need for a vehicle to traverse it. This means that you are not always conscious of keeping a car within 500 meters of you and are more probable to head out on foot, which in turn means much more combat. Plus, it gives you all the more reason to avoid the terrible driving mechanics.
2. The Loot System
Narratively, Ghost Recon Breakpoint starts you off with really strained resources and weapons. This ties neatly into the shooter-looter genre gameplay loop that Ghost Recon Breakpoint has setup. A first for the series, I think it will be interesting where this leads to. There wasn’t a lot of loot boxes to open during my time with the game, but the upgrades came at a decent pace to keep me satisfied that I am making progress. A lot of these upgrades also tied in very nicely with some of the missions, which is a nice way to encourage a player to level up his characters, instead of delving into mindless grinding.
3. The Mission Structure
This was by far the most impressive thing about Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The first part is the absence of guided paths. Most missions just give you a general idea of the location that you have to travel to, and from there you are on your own. You need to use the map and your navigation sense to find the actual spot. Its a setting that you can turn off, but I recommend you keep it on, because unlike games like Assassin’s Creed where the place you are looking for could be hours of traversal away, Ghost Recon Breakpoint offers a much smaller sample set, which can be quickly examined and investigated if required. Plus there are now missions to getting new guns, rescuing natives and civilians, even gaining new upgrades apart from the missions which would progress the story. I also liked how in some side missions, you need to investigate the evidence that you collect in order to find the next step in your mission. It’s not natural yet, but it does feel more organic than looking at pulsing arrows on the ground leading you to your next target.
Things We Didn’t Like About Ghost Recon Breakpoint Beta
1. It Felt Like Division 2.5
Ghost Recon has always been a series that plays best when played co-operatively. This time, Ubisoft has decided to take this co-op angle to the next level. The AI teammates are gone, instead, you will have to build a team of your own before heading out. They have added a central hub area, where you can see and interact with other players online and can access the multiplayer component of the game. The problem is that it looks very similar to another game from the publisher, Division 2. Ubisoft has always been accused of copy-pasting mechanics from one franchise to another, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint does little to allay that.
2. Resistance Vs. The Oppressors Returns
Game mechanics are not the only thing that Ubisoft have copy-pasted. The first trailers of Ghost Recon Breakpoint emphasized on how you are caught alone on an island, with no backup and no recon support, against a well equipped and well-trained army of other ghosts. The idea certainly had merit. Unfortunately, the actual game has you getting in touch with a small resistance once you arrive. A narrative thread that we have seen in so many other Ubisoft games before (Far Cry, Ghost Recon Wildlands, and even Division 2).
3. Terrible Driving Mechanics
For a company as big as Ubisoft, they really have trouble nailing down travel mechanics. For what feels like the umpteenth game from Ubisoft, the vehicles feel like the slide instead of move on the road. The controls are laggy, and the input scheme non-intuitive. In fact, Ghost Recon Breakpoint may have the worst driving mechanics since Borderlands 2.
And that’s it. That was our quick preview of how Ghost Recon Breakpoint is shaping up to be. We will be updating this preview once we are done with the public beta as well. Until then, let us know what you think of Ghost Recon Breakpoint or Ubisoft in the comments.