After spending a lot of time playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Breakpoint at first seemed like something quite home to the series but the more I played it, the more I realized it was so different. Breakpoint’s biggest changes come in the form of its new combat, chunkier movement system and of course, tougher enemies.
The E3 2019 demo I played saw myself and three other squad members head into the world to extract a scientist only to be attacked by Skell armies and their crazed drones. The focus on co-op no doubt made the demo a much more enjoyable experience as everyone had a role and everyone tried (as much as I failed) to stick to it. Sure, there were times where we all felt a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information we had to digest but in the end, the tactics, shooting and explosions were as satisfying as ever.
Check out 50-minutes of gameplay from our hands-on time with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint below
Whether you are playing co-op or with AI teammates, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint works pretty well. The biggest change is in how your character feels when moving about the world, jumping over the cover and even prone in the tall grass as you search ahead for enemies to tag. It is the same tried and tested tactic scenario but it ushers in the slower and refined combat system that almost feels chunky to the point of it being satisfyingly enjoyable.
At the start of the mission, you and your team can gear up for the challenge ahead. Changing weapons, attachments and even crafting medical supplies such as bandages and syringes. Yes, there are different healing items depending on how badly you damage yourself. Fall off a high ledge and you will need a bandage to fix it. This is applied slowly and needs to be done from behind cover in order to be safe while you do so. Syringes are more for your “run and heal” approach and are beneficial to staying alive after being shot a few dozen times.
We approached the house from the backside, sliced open the fence and made our way into the area. We all say back and used out drones to tag enemies from above which helped us foresee any unwanted gunfights. I took down a few enemies with a silent takedown before my teammate (who was actually a Ubisoft dev) was spotted and forced us to switch from our silent approach to a loud and forceful one.
Luckily, we had everyone tagged and this was clear by the lack of red on the minimap. Wildlands also features a system where if there was glowing red, there were enemies and it makes for a clean-cut approach to the combat.
Enemies are a lot tougher than before. Armour, levels and rankings give you a clear indication of how hard it will be to take them down. Of course, the noob goons without helmets are easy to shoot in the head but the ghosts that have helmets, armour and more powerful guns are tougher to kill. We then have the drones which are Breakpoint’s biggest new enemy type and they play on your nerves.
These drones come in different forms from a flying one above that has lightning-fast speed and can dodge your bullets quickly to massive roller tank-like machines that shower down rockets from above. Approaching a drone should be done with caution as even the weaklings can pack enough punch to take you down in a few seconds. The missions we took on threw a couple of different variations at us. We had the flying drone which can spot us if we were trying to be silent and also fire shots at us. Smaller roller-turrets that can scoot around corners and deal damage, and of course, the massive “king of all drones” (well to me anyway).
This fight took us to a giant open field as we tried to take it down from all angles. Just seeing it in the distance was extremely intimidating and my nerves were on edge during the whole fight. I was at least sort of prepared for the fight as I took a rocket launcher, with three rockets, and a handful of grenades but even that was not enough to take this behemoth down. In a way, the fight sort of reminded me of Horizon Zero Dawn’s massive showdowns with those machine creatures, but with a team, real weapons and a squishy health system that made the threat feel a lot more real.
Breakpoint’s refined combat system compliments everything else that makes the machine run so well in the game. The co-op will be its greatest feature as you and your friends, or AI attempt to take on a diverse set of missions and all the threats that come with them. Of course, my most favourite part of it all is the new enemies as it adds this “futuristic” approach to the game that adds a new layer of threat to the experience. Seeing those drones blow up after almost dying a couple of times and using every resource in your arsenal was so, so satisfying.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint releases on 4 October 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.