Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
I’ve been playing Tom Clancy games since Read Storm released the first Rainbow Six game back in 1988, and whilst originally a first-person tactical shooter series, the Tom Clancy series has morphed into a massive open-world third-person tactical shooter, with regular releases, running the risk of franchise burn out.
Ubisoft, however, have proven once again that the series still has legs creating the most immersive game in the series so far. As part of a special forces team, you have been tasked with a covert mission to deploy in Auroa, a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean, and testing ground for a Silicon Valley billionaire’s technologically advanced utopia. Sent to investigate the sinking of a US-registered cargo ship, the military helicopters are attacked by a swarm of drones and soon you find yourself injured and alone with no weapons.
From the very start of Breakpoint stealth is the single most important skill you have, and this never changes throughout the game – though gunplay does come in a close second place.
Once you get orientated, weaponed up and in contact with the local resistance, the game starts in earnest, but the need to stealth never leaves. Going prone and covering yourself in mud is an essential tactic whilst traversing this massive multi-environment island, as the security is second to none. With drones and helicopters regularly patrolling the skies, and ground troops walking patrols everywhere, the ability to hide is a massive skill.
Get spotted by a drone, and you’ll soon have a swarm of killer drones hunting you, a helicopter will call in armed up patrols to find and eliminate you, and a sniper will take you out with a single bullet.
This is no friendly Pacific Island holiday.
Breakpoint’s storyline of a well-meaning genius who gets in too deep with his military backers is engaging enough that the missions never feel too much like a repeating pattern of go here do that which is the bane of most open-world games, and the sheer amount of patrols that you’re going to encounter don’t hinder the gameplay, rather they present opportunities to loot.
Patrols are generally the three man kind, and if you take them down effectively, they won’t be able to call for backup. Instead, you’ll be able to loot them for weapons, ammo and upgrade parts and skill points. The sheer amount of weapons and customisations available means that you’ll likely be changing your favourite weapon regularly, though this leads to my main gripe with Breakpoint – the menu system.
It’s broken. I’ve googled it and it’s not just me. There is no scroll (or it’s just randomly broken) for the menus. So after collecting a plethora of pf guns, the only way to get back to that gun I liked a while back is to carefully breakdown the guns I no longer want, until it appears back on my gun screen, as even though there is a scroll bar, THERE IS NO WAY TO SCROLL THROUGH THE WEAPONS. It’s a little frustrating, to say the least, but not a game-breaker.
But everything else (graphical glitches that come with EVERY open word game aside) in BReakpoint works seamlessly. From having modes of transport that make navigating the massive open-world a breeze to the ability to unlock fast travel points, to the vast array of guns that sound a feel authentic, to the satisfaction of silently taking down a three-man patrol. Even the fear of God feeling of hiding from drones or running from a tool up heavily armored guard with a minigun when you stray into an enemy base far above your current level.
Breakpoint is at once accessible as any game in the series, but somehow feels like a totally new experience rather than just another in a long series.
Rating: R16 Restricted to persons 16 years and over. NOTE: Violence & offensive language.