Ubisoft has recently had its beta for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the follow up to 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, and I got a good amount of hands-on time with the beta for our preview.
Honestly, I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted in Wildlands. I did get about 10 hours into it with friends and really enjoyed the game as a squad. Though the AI was pretty good most of the time occasionally it did act like a video game, and well, AI will never be anywhere near as fun as running around with your friends in dirt bikes taking over compounds of drug dealers.
Moving on though, I originally played Breakpoint to try to test performance on it, unfortunately due to a tight time schedule and probably a bit too much goofing around I didn’t get to test the game on a wide variety of PC hardware. What I did notice when playing the game on a 1080TI and a Ryzen 5 3600X is that it is really system intensive.
My 3600X ran at anywhere from 50-85 percent CPU load with open areas being particularly heavy. Graphically, the game is rather impressive, though there is some issues with Temporal Anti Aliasing which either helps smooth jaggies on the fauna, or in some cases makes everything incredibly blurry. Hopefully this is something that can be resolved soon.
As for GPU load, it was pushing my top tier last gen 1080TI to its limits at 1440P on ultra settings, sitting at around 60FPS almost the entire time – which was very nice. Many will complain that there is “heavy optimization” needed but frankly with as much plants, trees, and with as far as the sight-lines can go on the map, its understandable.
The opening moments are absolutely gorgeous, after your plane crashes you’re stuck in a tree looking at another choppers wreckage. From the amber glow of the fire to the smoke and foliage the game looked absolutely fantastic. Details were also quite well done with tire tracks in the dirt and boot prints in the mud. This might be something easily glossed over but looked really impressive.
That being said, character models were sort of hit or miss and the facial animations and expressions left something to be desired. I wouldn’t say its Mass Effect Andromeda bad, but its not great. The best looking character is easily Cole D Walker, as played by Jon Bernthal.
The voice acting could be better, with the exception of Walker’s voice acting, a lot of the quest givers fall flat and most of the time I’m wishing I can skip the dialog to get back to the shooting. Quite honestly this may just be a personal preference thing but I feel everything that gets me away from the core gameplay elements.
These include the home base, camping for character boosts and crafting, all take away the best part of the game. Running into a compound with a bunch of bad guys and trying to take them down is the best part of the game and a lot of the other stuff feels like its interrupting the flow.
The gunplay is solid and feels a lot like Wildlands, which gives a sort of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it vibe. There is a myriad of attachments which I didn’t get the time to fully play with, and will likely spend more time in the full review.
The cover system was not a “sticky” as I would have liked and often times found myself trying to get into cover and fidgeting out of it in the middle of a fight. The game has also not improved on its predecessor on the driving side with driving feeling stiff and somewhat non responsive. It’s not unbearable to get from point A to point B, but it could be better.
The check point and map system was a bit confusing and I wasn’t sure which objectives were for what mission and which mission I was headed to. Perhaps the tutorial explained it better, but once skipped I couldn’t see it again, this is something I hope changes in the final release.
The controls are sort of complex and I did have an issue constantly shoulder swapping when I didn’t intend to, as well as weapon swap feeling unresponsive. Despite this there is a lot of functionality, though I’m sure with time this will be something you eventually master.
Overall though Ghost Recon Breakpoint does look very promising and if pacing improves in the full game this will be a fun time sink for me and a few of my friends much like the last game.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is launching for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 4th.