A franchise at Break-ing Point?
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series has a hallmark of quality, but how does Breakpoint - the 11th instalment in the hit franchise - hold up?
Breakpoint is a narrative sequel to the Wildlands which was released in 2017 and like its predecessor it is a tactical shooter set in an open world environment played from a third-person perspective with an optional first-person view for aiming weapons.
You assume the role of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony ‘Nomad’ Perryman, a member of the Delta Company, First Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, also known as ‘Ghosts’ - the fictional elite special operations unit of the United States Army that Recon fans will be well aware of.
In the game world, Auroa, players are faced with a variety of landscapes which can be used for tactical advantages. For example players can slide down rocky terrain or use mud to camouflage themselves.
Developers Ubisoft say Auroa is an even bigger game world than that featured in Wildlands.
Unfortunately Breakpoint fails to deliver a coherent tactical shooter experience worthy of its stableDamien Lucas, gaming columnist
Players have a variety of ways to explore Auroa on foot and by air, land and sea vehicles.
In BP, there is a larger emphasis on survival and - like Ubisoft’s other titles The Division 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Far Cry New Dawn, a shift in focus towards loot and gear. And it really grinds my gears to be honest.
Ghost Recon used to be the best in class tactical shooter with no equal.
But Ubisoft has rested on its laurels for too long and the game has become diluted by its rather desperate attempts to ‘keep up with the Jones’.
Breakpoint feels like Ubisoft set out to make the ultimate video game by welding on some of the best and most unique elements from their other titles.
But it just doesn’t click and as such feels like a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster.
There are still awesome elements in Breakpoint. Like all Ghost Recons before it, the level of excitement and satisfaction you get from sneaking into an enemy compound undetected is unrivalled in video gaming.
And the gun battles are still enjoyable too, making picking off enemies both realistic and somewhat cathartic.
But generally the enemy AI is so far off the pace compared to other shooters that it can really spoil your enjoyment of the overall experience.
The survival elements are a great idea but are undercooked while - as I touched on - the loot and gear grind really tests your patience.
There is some promise for future Ghost Recon games in the fact it retains that core siege excitement and the potential to build on the survival aspect. But unfortunately Breakpoint fails to deliver a coherent tactical shooter experience worthy of its stable.