This past weekend, Ubisoft invited us to participate in the not-so-closed beta of the upcoming and highly anticipated Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Just about anybody who either pre-ordered the game, pre-registered for the beta or got hold of one of a gazillion keys that were available, could give it a try and see what the game is about.
Wildlands was a bit of a surprise success. They managed to marry the open-worlds Ubisoft is known for with a surprisingly good tactical co-op element, that was both fun to play with friends, or alone. The game also received a ton of support, getting a lot of extra content and DLC since it launched in 2017. So Breakpoint does have some big shoes to fill when it comes to expectations, and judging from the beta, it seems they’re on the right track.
I’m not going to go into and story beats and so on, but rather what to expect, and what might be a little bit concerning with less than a month to go until the game launches.
First off, the game is set in Auroa, an island in the Pacific ocean that was to be some sort of technological utopia. Obviously that didn’t quite work out, otherwise we wouldn’t have a game. The place is massive, and stunningly realised. The environments looks amazing, and is still incredibly varied, even in the small slice of an area I got to explore. I loved how the area transitions between a swamp like marshland near a river, to dense forests that make way to areas where you can see some logging took place. What’s also cool is the ability to simply explore the world, in a similar way that Ubisoft did with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey where waypoints can be turned off, and you need to figure out where to go according to clues given by NPCs.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is by it’s nature a co-op game, and in many ways it is the same as Wildlands, except for a few changes. First off, the game now has a sort of Hub, similar to something like the tower in Destiny or your operations base from The Division. Here you will be able to talk to NPCs and quest givers, buy some new gear from the shop, initiate Ghost Wars (PvP), which I didn’t get to try out, and meet all the other folks who are also playing.
Once you step outside however, you are on your own, with no sign of other people online, unless you’re teaming up with your mates or some randoms. Because of this, the game is still in essence the same as Wildlands, and you enjoy it with your friends or alone as before. The biggest difference is that you don’t have AI partners anymore, so no more help in taking enemy targets down, or boring, repetitive banter.
I should point out that the game is a bit glitchy, which can be expected and you are warned before you play that it is still a work in progress. This is mostly graphical and audio issues, with NPCs losing their voice, or textures not loading in properly. I also had the complete inability to use any items other than the grenade that is already selected, as the item wheel didn’t seem to work properly.
Overall, I am quite impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Sure, it needs a few finishing touches, but at least it seems Ubisoft is aware of it. I’m looking forward to diving right in when Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint launches early next month.