Ghost Recon Breakpoint Is A Mess (But Not A Total Disaster) | Ghost Recon Breakpoint Review
There is a lot of stuff in Ghost Recon Breakpoint
that has me scratching my big bleeding head.
Like why I can regain stamina by drinking
Or why do I spend so much time doing my best
impression of a cheese rolling competition?
And why is my helicopter better at getting
down slopes than me?
And why does the Erewhon loading screen always
hang on 69% What’s it trying to tell me?
And why is this loading screen a picture of
some giant teeth?
Smaller head scratchers make way for bigger
You are the lone survivor of a chopper crash.
But no sooner has the syrup dripped down your
plastic Ken doll face, you are visiting a
cave that acts as a social hub, full of…
other lone survivors.
We’re the only two left in our chalk says
Well, apart from Monkey Punk and Tuppaware
Ninja over here.
If I’m the only ghost who survived, are
they actual g-g-g-ghosts?
It would explain how we clip through each
Then there’s the loot system that’s not
a real loot system – yes, you have a gear
score that grows with each new weapon, but
every human in the game can be killed with
a bullet from a level one gun – as long as
the bullet goes in the head.
What the gear score actually refers to is
your ability to fight drones – and there’s
only one mission in the whole campaign where
you are forced to take down one of those big
So, what’s the point of it?
As for high level areas waiting to be plundered
by a high level drone killer?
One of the classes has a magic spray that
turns you invisible to robot eyes, letting
them just run in and rob the late game content
in the opening hour.
Not to mention gear scores leading to bizarre
moments when a helmet has a lower armour score
than a baseball cap.
I mean, it’s a baseball cap!
This bit gives enemy snipers the exact gap
to put a bullet in your brain.
Yes, there are lots of weird things about
Things that hurt immersion.
Things that feel too arcade-y for a Ghost
Things that make me wonder how much the designers
played their own game – like forcing us to
dismantle or sell weapons one by one.
Or the fact that when you start getting high
level loot, it becomes really difficult to
get the low level materials needed to actually
upgrade your guns.
It’s kinda baffling.
But for all that, I haven’t had a terrible
time in Breakpoint – certainly nothing to
match some one star reviews doing the rounds.
I wonder if it’s maybe Stockholm Syndrome.
Play a game long enough and get suckered into
the loot drop cycle and you begin to feel
invested in your glorified mannequin, whether
you like it or not.
So I want to explain what did and didn’t
work for me.
Oh, and we’ve recently partnered up with
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a bit of that money comes back to the channel.
Which is handy, as Breakpoint has a lot of
Who can resist a seven quid kilt?
The one thing Breakpoint does well is giving
you big enemy compounds and the freedom to
approach them as you see fit.
I mean, really, it’s all the game is – a
giant island dotted with patches of red for
your drone to turn into little icons which
you then shoot in the head.
It’s repetitive, but the act of cleaning
out enemies, ideally unseen, is compelling
I play as a sniper, because when you do it
basically turns Breakpoint into a fresh batch
of Hitman Sniper Assassin levels.
It really is similar: having spotted the enemies
you work out the safest order to perforate
Pick off snipers in their towers, and single
enemies lurking out of sight lines.
Maybe you risk an aerial drone, before picking
between minigunners – a gamble as they require
two head hits – or guards wondering on patrol.
Trying to clean house without soldiers spotting
a body, or silencing them before they raise
the alarm makes it a fun target gallery.
Sniping is the best way to play solo too – with
sync shot drones replacing the AI companions
(who are being added at a later date), but
coming with limited numbers to prevent you
from spamming synchronised hits as you could
Annoyingly, as playable as Breakpoint is alone,
you always have to have an online connection.
I’ve had fun going in close, too – in an
early video I said this was the closest thing
I’d played to Metal Gear Solid V since Metal
Gear Solid V, in terms of sneaking behind
enemy lines and popping people with silent
I mostly stand by that comparison, although
Breakpoint is the dumber game – you don’t
move with anything like the precision of Big
Boss and your drone, an all seeing eye in
the sky, makes it too easy to get the full
lay of the land.
Phantom Pain has a tension that you’d missed
a guard with your binoculars; intel is just
too good in Breakpoint.
I celebrate sniping and stealth as Breakpoint
is less interesting once the action kicks
Breakpoint’s AI is a mix of supernatural
and super dumb – the way a single overheard
shot causes everyone in a mile radius to enter
an alert state always annoys me in these kind
But once they are alert, they do a bad job
of finding you, ambling around the bodies
of their murdered comrades, making it a long
and boring wait for patrols to return to normal.
The elite Wolves are more proactive – they’ll
investigate areas of disturbance and force
you on the move or to cosplay as some grass,
like that mad cake decorating kid in The Hunger
But even these guys follow predictable routes.
Lots was said by Ubiosft about us being hunted,
but it loses the buzz of excitement when the
hunter in question is basically Elmer Fudd.
Even the game’s lazy trick of spotting you
with aerial drones and spawning Wolves on
your location is easy to dismiss once you
realise going prone stops the search.
It’s very hard to see the soul of the older
Ghost Recon games in these sluggish face-offs
– those were games where when it kicked off,
the sheer lethality of gunplay was a jolt
I’m not blaming Breakpoint for this – I
think Ghost Recon arguably stopped being classic
Ghost Recon back with Future Soldier, if not
earlier – but it does continue the trend.
There’s no way the old ghosts would have
backed into a corner and plugged heads as
they poked around the doorframe.
I won’t show it here, but this even works
in the final boss!
It’s symptomatic of generally clumsy mission
There’s some rotten checkpointing – at one
point I had to clear out a base to reach an
NPC, to escort her out her lab.
But dying spawns you outside the base and
asks you to break back in, with all those
But this was nothing compared to an on rails
section where success hinged entirely on the
AI driver – never a good sign – most times
he would drive so slowly that long distance
snipers would just shoot me in the head, an
I dialled down the difficulty to take more
hits and the driver began to crash the car
over and over.
In an act of desperation, I flew over to the
area we kept dying, killed everyone there
so they couldn’t ambush us and flew back
to trigger the mission… it failed me after
we drove five meters.
I did it so many times, I actually hit the
level cap just shooting down helicopters.
I still don’t know what eventually triggered
success, but I love the irony that something
on the rails sent me firmly off the rails.
The most disappointing element of the missions
is how the game looks like a sandbox, but
refuses to let you experiment like the best
For example, knowing that I was about to face
a siege of enemies, I parked an armoured car
across one of the entrances, ready to take
on my attackers.
But the game decided this was too far from
the siege area, telling me off the whole fight
with this obnoxious warning sign.
You can’t make a game that is all about
the ingenuity of special forces soldiers and
then shake your head at player ingenuity.
You are either about survival at any cost,
or you aren’t.
You have to make your mind up.
But for every stupid mission like this, there
are plenty more where I happily do my sniping
I think a lot of it is down to the setting,
which I prefer to Wildlands – and yes, I know
this puts me in the minority.
The Island of Auroa is a nonsense tech paradise
– an archipelago that holds about a hundred
buildings that could be James Bond villain
After clearing out all those shanty towns
and warehouses of Wildlands, I loved getting
to sneak around facilities that wouldn’t
be out of place in the Google campus or creeping
through trendy neighbourhoods.
It’s just fun to visit a non-traditional
warzone – a happy place that is only just
in the grip of a menace, before it becomes
another drab hellhole.
Some settings are massive, too, which – for
a self confessed sniper such as myself – is
a dream come true.
I only played a couple of levels with a full
spread of four player co-op, but shooting
across these vast plazas, while friends darted
between benches below, sees the game at its
If – and it’s a big if – you’re just happy
clearing out bases with your pals, this world
will keep you happy.
And look at the natural beauty of the place.
In many ways I think Auroa is wasted on Breakpoint,
as the action is so clustered around built-up
locations that it never finds anything to
do with its stunning natural environments.
I love these rolling hills and the wind blown
grass – some of the best wind swept foliage
since The Witcher 3.
And you can stick that quote on the box.
Hell, it’s nicer than what users are saying
Of course, I realize that Ghost Recon’s
target audience don’t buy the game to look
at turf, but I feel like Ubisoft’s world
builders should know that their work was seen
The dark cloud that hangs over all of this
is microtransactions – in this case a store
selling cosmetic items that are purchased
with a separate Ghost Coin currency.
I say cosmetic, as the weapons and attachments
can be found in-game – and found quite easily,
as the map is open about what is found at
each site (once you’ve scoped them out with
Find the blueprints to a gun and you can build
it whenever you want using Skell Credits dropped
by enemies or found in crates.
I don’t buy the idea that this is to pay
to win – the things that make a difference
are in the game.
It gets shadier with cosmetics.
Now, I’ll admit, I personally don’t really
care about this side of the game – I’m not
into military fashion.
But plenty of people are and for them, it
is rotten to hide the more colourful helmets
and such behind a paid for currency.
It still only makes up a fraction of the items
available in the wider game – the customisation
menu is honest about where things can be found
– but it’s still manipulative.
As many people have said before me, just because
I can ignore this stuff, doesn’t mean there’s
not someone more vulnerable who can’t.
And that person shouldn’t be exploited.
I do think the idea that Breakpoint’s microtransactions
are especially aggressive is exaggerated – all
the paid elements live in the customization
menu and the store menu.
If you don’t click on those two tabs, which
I didn’t until making this video, you wouldn’t
know this layer of purchases exists.
But it does and should be flagged up for people
who want nothing to do with it.
The important distinction, for me, is that
the campaign doesn’t feel manipulated to
force you into buying extra stuff – in fact,
for a ‘looter shooter’ this is the quickest
I’ve climbed through the gear ranks, and
I didn’t struggle to find the equipment
I wanted because the game told me where to
find the blueprints.
In an ideal world breakpoint wouldn’t have
these microtransactions, but as they are,
it is at least open about what you’re getting.
By simply including them the damage is done.
As it was by shoehorning in a gear system.
It doesn’t seem to matter that the gear
score has little impact on the action itself;
it makes the game look like something it isn’t,
and the blame can only rest with Ubisoft for
To my mind, the rhythm and pace of the campaign
is really no different to Wildlands.
I only played that campaign once, so appreciate
that differences might seem more glaring to
people with 500 hours on their record, but
to my fingers, Breakpoint feels like Wildlands,
but with a slightly more colourful setting
and bigger levels that are more satisfying
to clear out.
I don’t think either game has much similarity
to Ghost Recon of old – a series I’d love
to see properly revisited – and it’s shambolic
and rough around the edges in a way a 60 quid
game simply shouldn’t be.
I had enough fun in my 30 hours not to regret
it, but it’s a shame you have to go through
so much nonsense and mess to get to the simple
heart of the game.
I hope that explains that while I think breakpoint
is a bit of a mess, it’s not a total disaster.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the game
– especially from people who’ve actually
played it – which would be refreshing – and
I’m happy to answer any questions raised
by this review.
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