Ghost Recon Breakpoint is looking like an ambitious game. From its massive open world to Ubisoft’s post-launch plans for it, to a whole lot else, it’s looking like a proper expansion of the formula they established with 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. And while in many ways it’s introducing some completely new things, in some others, it’ll be building on the foundations of its predecessor, taking things it introduced and expanding upon them even further.
One such thing is the systemic nature of its open world, and how that will interact with mechanics such as stealth, combat, stamina, survival, and how it will all affect player choice. Speaking in an interview with GamesBeat, executive director Eric Couzian spoke about how, with Breakpoint, the development team has doubled down on all those aspects, giving players much more freedom in how they choose to tackle objectives.
“The total freedom of choice was a big priority for the team,” said Couzian. “Whether you want to play stealthy or go in all guns blazing, everything is possible. Nothing in the game is scripted. We’ve reinforced that. We want to add a layer of authenticity in the game. We want to feel like you’re in the boots of real spec ops soldiers.”
That freedom of choice is enabled not only by systems in place to give you tactical choices, but also several new systems constantly in place that will also put a much greater emphasis on survival mechanics.
“We have new features to reinforce your tactical choices, as well as survival mechanics,” said Couzian. “Maybe you’ve experienced the prone camo feature, where you can cover yourself with mud or snow depending on the type of terrain you’re in. The name of the game is “Ghost,” after all. It’s about becoming invisible, so that you’re the first one to strike and take the advantage. Blending into the environment is a big part of what you do.
“The survival mechanics challenge players to analyze the terrain around them. Sometimes, in an open world, there aren’t enough consequences. Here, what we wanted is for players to look at the terrain and — for instance, you have a stamina gauge. Depending on the angle of a slope you’re hiking up, that will affect your stamina. You have to watch the map and consider things like — okay, there’s a hill here, so you can get a good vantage point up there, but at the same time you have to be cautious, because it might be too steep.”
Ubisoft games have veered more and more into having open worlds of a much more systemic nature that promote player choice and emergent gameplay, so this direction for Breakpoint is both unsurprising and heartening to see. Of course, it remains to be seen just how deep these mechanics go, and how well they’re implemented, but conceptually, it seems like the developers are headed in a great direction.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is out on October 4 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.