With Ghost Recon Wildlands in 2017, the Ghost Recon subset of Ubisoft’s larger Tom Clancy metafranchise completely changed the look of the series. Adopting an open world approach, filling its world with systemic-driven gameplay, and emphasizing co-op play more than ever before, Wildlands set a solid foundation for the series. Now, with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft are looking to build on that foundation, and once again, they’re introducing some major new elements to expand upon the 2017 title in meaningful ways.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is not too far away from launch now, and as we approach its release day, in this feature, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen things that you need to know about the game. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is moving away from Wildlands’ Bolivia, and will be set on an archipelago known as Auroa. Auroa is privately owned by billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Jace Skell, who is also the founder and head of blue chip company Skell Technology, which produces drones for commercial purposes, but also as a military contractor. As opposed to Wildlands’ Bolivia, the island of Auroa is a fictional setting, which, according to the developers, will give them more creative freedom in terms of both, writing, and designing the map and its environments.
As Breakpoint begins, Skell Technology is in hot water with the United States government, owing to suspicions products are being used by enemy states. As the US government begins investigating the company, Auroa soon becomes shut off from the rest of the world, and it is discovered that former Ghost Recon fireteam operative Cole D. Walker has gone rogue and occupied the island, bringing all of Skell’s military technology under his control, in an effort to safeguard the future of warfare. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, the Ghosts are sent in to Auroa to fight back against Walker, where outnumbered and without proper resources, the squad will have to rely on guerrilla warfare techniques to complete their mission.
COLE D. WALKER
Cole D. Walker is promising to be an interesting antagonist in Breakpoint. Played by Jon Bernthal of The Punisher and The Walking Dead fame, Walker was once a Ghost himself, but now leads a his own rogue team of elite soldiers called the Wolves. According to Ubisoft, Walker is going to be a charismatic and effective villain, and the developers have written him with the intention of making sure that he doesn’t come across as a one dimensional character.
OUTMATCHED AND OUTNUMBERED
Breakpoint’s story sees the Ghosts being heavily outnumbered by their enemies, finding themselves in hostile territory where they have very little support, and their resources are drastically outmatched by the Wolves, who now have complete control over all Skell tech on the island. The gameplay of Breakpoint will reflect that, in that players will find themselves having to not only fight against the Wolves, but also against their surroundings and the elements. Survival mechanics, as such, will play a much greater role.
The survival mechanics we just mentioned will entail a lot of new mechanics that players will have to contend with- one of those is stamina, which Breakpoint places a great deal of emphasis on. While navigating the terrain, players now have to manage their stamina, and depleted stamina can lead to exhaustion and fatigue. Steep slopes, for instance, will be harder to climb, and while you’re climbing them, your stamina will deplete more quickly.
In addition to stamina, players will also have to contend with injuries, which, in turn, will have an impact on your health as well. As you play, you might start accumulating injuries, which can manifest in a number of ways, such as making you limp and thus slowing you down, or causing you to make more noise while you’re moving, thus making stealth much harder. Injuries can also lead to limited health regeneration, you not being able to aim your weapon properly, and more.
Of course, you’ll have a dedicated place to call “home” (or something resembling home, at least) where you’ll be able to tend your injuries. Players can set up camps in the open world, where beyond tending to these injuries, you can also change your class, manage your weapons, equipment, and inventory, customize their character’s appearance, and more.
NEW TOOLS AND WEAPONS
Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s missions can be approached in a variety of ways, including stealth or various combat methods, just like its predecessor. However, owing to the greater challenge the game will provide – in terms of how many enemies you’ll come across, what kinds of enemies you’ll come across, and how capable they will all be – you will also have more tools at your disposal to deal with all these challenges. These include a blowtorch to cut through fences, or electromagnetic pulse grenades to disable drones and vehicles, or sulphur gas grenades to use against enemies.
Breakpoint is, of course, an open world game, just like Wildlands, and the question we ask about any open world game is- how big is its map? Ubisoft games never shy away from throwing players into massive environments, and Breakpoint will be no different. Ubisoft says that the Auroa archipelago is going to be as large as Wildlands’ Bolivia was, while they’ve also suggested that they’ll be adding new areas and islands to the map as post-launch DLC.
Stealth was an important part of Wildlands’ gameplay loop, but Ubisoft are putting a much greater emphasis on that aspect of gameplay with Breakpoint. They’re doing this by adding in some interesting new mechanics. For one, there’s camouflage, which allows you to – just as an example – cover yourself up with mud to hide from enemies. You can also finally pick up enemies’ corpses and hide them. Meanwhile, players will now also be able to pick up fallen fallen teammates and carry them away to be able to revive them safely.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is going to be a game that focuses on co-op first and foremost, just like its predecessor, but you can, of course, play it completely solo if you want to. While Ubisoft had originally intended for you to only be accompanied by a bot if you played solo, they went back on that decision in response to feedback from the community, and solo players will now be accompanied by three other AI-controlled Ghosts. These will be Benjamin “Fixit” Jones, Kim “Fury” Hernandez, and David “Vasily” Zhang.
To play Ghost Recon Breakpoint, you’ll have to always be online. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, seeing as this is a game that puts a great deal of emphasis on online co-op play- but then again, so did Wildlands, and that could be played offline. With Breakpoint, even if you’re playing solo, you’ll still require a persistent internet connection.
There will also be some dialogue choices during cutscenes in Breakpoint. These, however, will not impact the narrative or how it plays out- don’t expect branching paths or anything. Instead, players can select additional optional dialogue choices during cutscenes to get more intel about their objectives that can possibly help you out during missions.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint also introduces loot and loot drops. Loot – tiered across five different tiers of rarity – which is drops from bosses, mini bosses, and other challenging foes, while players can also explore the open world to find better gear, equipment, and cosmetics. Of course, missions can also be replayed to get superior gear, while players can also purchase better weapon attachments.
If you think loot in Breakpoint reminds you a bit too much of The Division, well, that isn’t the only thing that will be doing so. Why, you ask? Because Breakpoint will also have raids. Ubisoft will be releasing these as part of their post-launch plans for the game. Ubisoft have also confirmed that the first raid will take place inside an active volcano.