Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint tries to continue the headway that Wildlands pushed back in 2017, this time adding a big name actor in Jon Bernthal. The sequel also moves the setting from Bolivia to a fictional island of Auroa. What’s more, the game adds a robust loot system a la The Division 2. How does the follow-up stack up to its ambitious predecessor? Read our full review to find out!
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Publisher: Ubisoft Paris
Platform: PC, (Reviewed) PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Release Date: September 5th
MSRP: $59.99(Review Copy Received)
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600X
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 TI
RAM: 16GB G.Skill FlareX 3200MHz
Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB
The PC version of this game looks absolutely fantastic at very high to ultra settings. The trees, foliage, and textures overall look absolutely gorgeous and what you would expect out of a triple-a title from Ubisoft. The game is quite stressful though, as at very high settings I’ve gotten around 60FPS at 1440P with a GTX 1080 TI.
The game has a few rough patches though most of my experience with the game visually was great with the exception of the water which seemed to have absolutely no pooling or waves from objects falling into or floating above it, for a game that hit most of the other marks this was kind of an immersion killer.
As I mentioned in the preview last month the facial animations are a little odd and can kill any sort of emotional impact or serious narrative that is trying to be displayed.
Luckily the facial animations and cutscenes don’t take anything away from the very fun gameplay that when actually assaulting bases and moving around the map is very fun. At times it can seem like a bit of a chore running across the map from one end to the other completing missions, but ideally you would plan on getting a few missions done simultaneously to save the amount of time traveling from mission to mission.
The good news is the amount of patrols isn’t so high that when traveling on foot it takes forever to move about but not so low that you never get any action, typically you will run into a patrol or side objective every few hundred yards and, for me at least the gunplay feels very satisfying the entire time, somehow the game does a good job at avoiding monotony.
The biggest issue with the gunplay has to be the auto cover system, I’ve often found myself not knowing exactly where cover starts and ends as well as “taking cover” that still got me shot up or sticking to cover when its the absolute last thing I wanted. A button would have fixed most of this but eventually you will get a better feel for it.
I personally found the game incredibly challenging in single player since this still remains a tactical shoot that requires planning and situational awareness over raw gun skill.
This is evident the first time you get spotted in a compound and get absolutely shredded by mortars, suppressing fire and grenades with reinforcements flanking you at the WORST time. Do keep in mind though that I did play on the highest difficulty, because my daddy didn’t raise no bitch.
When playing with 2 or more people the game gets significantly easier, if your friends are good at working together and communicating. The degree of difficulty is definitely noticed compared to Wildlands since you lack any AI support for the most part. I went from breezing through bases with our very own CWB to dying repeatedly when attacking a similarly size base later on solo.
That being said my experience did have a few glitches like the Item wheel not working and a single occasion of the drone spotting feature not working at all for an entire mission as well as clipping through the bottom of the map after a nasty car crash. Though from what I’ve read online others had way worse experiences, and mine were rather minor.
If you do want to keep the challenge up though make sure to avoid stealth since the difficulty ramps WAY up once the enemies know you’re coming. I also found when playing with a full squad with a bunch of good players felt a bit too easy, so much so that we “went loud” and used weapons without silencers. That being said your mileage may vary.
Speaking of sound, the sound design is passable and the guns aren’t necessarily the most realistic or accurate but do the job fine. The musical score is pretty well done and is probably one of the better investments Ubisoft made in this game.
Footsteps and ambient noise is good enough and guards give hints as to what you should do when sneaking up on them and eavesdropping on conversations. The actual voice acting though is quite spotty with some characters being annoying and feeling almost cringe worthy, and others, mostly Jon Bernthal being great.
Speaking of Bernthal his character Cole Walker is probably the best part of the story but to be honest I found myself skipping through most of the story just to avoid cliche characters sending you on fetch quests. I might be in the minority here but I personally think the lack of story in Wildlands was better, I’m sure the developers put a lot more time, money and effort into the story here but for me it just kind of falls flat.
The fact Ubisoft reused the conversation system from the latest Assassins Creed games feels kind of out of place since I’m talking to random off the grid survivalist #3 instead of Hippocrates or Socrates.
The story for the most part was a bit too serious in tone with an Elon Musk type techno libertarian and supporting cast that sport faces and facial animations which just look odd. It’s not AS bad as Mass Effect: Andromeda but it’s definitely not good.
Honestly the story might have been good if it weren’t for the lack luster voice acting and facial animations. Most of the time it’s unintentionally funny.
Overall if you’re looking for a game to pick up and play with a few friends that is a bit more serious than Borderlands 3 and liked the last Ghost Recon game, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a good game to play, though in it’s current state and as many bugs as many have complained about you may want to wait a month or two till it’s all sorted out.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint was reviewed on Windows PC using a review copy provided by Ubisoft. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.