Guest post by Paul Davies.
As pioneers of the modern tactical-shooter, Ubisoft is preparing to move the genre one step further with the introduction of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint this coming October.
Breakpoint takes its name from the moment that a military unit is tactically compromised, forcing a posture change that shifts from attack to defend, defend to withdraw… recon to survive. For this new story being coordinated by Ubisoft Paris, the Ghosts find themselves behind enemy lines, confronting an enemy capable of matching them wit for wit.
A seemingly routine mission leads them to an island in the Pacific Ocean, namely Auroa – originally home to global corporation Skell Technology, but now controlled by a rogue US Army operation calling itself The Wolves. Its soldiers received the same elite training as the Ghosts, and are under the command of an ex-brother in arms, Lt. Colonel Cole D. Walker.
Walker is voiced by American actor Jon Bernthal, famous for starring roles in The Walking Dead on television, and Sicario in movie theatres. For narrative authenticity, Ubisoft has on board Special Forces Medical Sergeant Emil Daubon as a writer, bringing more than 13 years of service in the US Army Green Berets to the operations table.
As a location, Auroa is a wonder to behold, with terrain that includes snowy mountains, sandy beaches, jungles, deserts and fjords. Rather than simply forming a backdrop to the adventure, the terrain plays an integral gameplay role. Its treacherous slopes can lead to falls, causing injury. Injuries, of varying degrees of seriousness, must be treated in order that Ghosts regain combat strength. On the flip side, it is possible to adopt prone camouflage, cloaked in mud, for stealthier takedowns. There’s a tactile vibe to the moment-to-moment gameplay, including carrying injured buddies, or hoisting enemy bodies to hide out of sight.
The game is designed to be played in solo or up to four-player co-op from beginning to end, with four character classes to choose from at launch equipped with trademark Ghost Recon state-of-the-art hardware, which includes a drone that targets multiple foes for Sync Shots. Ghosts can be personalised from thousands of customisation options, which all apply to the avatar whether in campaign or player-versus-player.
One of the core themes of Breakpoint is advanced drone technology, hijacked by Walker’s Wolves, presenting an aerial threat as you might expect, while on the ground this manifests as heavy-duty vehicles with Transformer-like capabilities for movie-style set-piece battles. Of course the Ghosts have come prepared, toting a rocket-launcher among other things!
The Ghost Recon series is known for a more cerebral approach to action, and Breakpoint honours this tradition with enemy AI that coordinates group efforts to take you down. Meanwhile, PVP is being offered from launch for those of us that enjoy outsmarting human opposition. Plus, there’s one more component in store that is all-new for the franchise.
Breakpoint has a bold post-launch campaign, enlivening the endgame content with… Raids! Expansion packs are being promised every four months, and will also include new character classes, story arcs and other features. If Raids become a major element of this, count us in.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, will be available October 4 on the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.