Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint

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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Cover Art of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint.png
Cover art featuring Nomad, the playable protagonist, carrying wounded squadmate Vasily.
Developer(s)Ubisoft Paris[a]
Publisher(s)Ubisoft
Director(s)Eric Couzian
Producer(s)Nouredine Abboud (Executive Producer)
Writer(s)Emil Daubon
David Gallaher[1]
Composer(s)
SeriesTom Clancy's Ghost Recon
EngineAnvilNext 2.0
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Stadia
Release4 October 2019
Genre(s)Tactical shooter
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an online tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Paris and published by Ubisoft. The game was released worldwide on 4 October 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on 18 December 2019 for Stadia.[2] The game is the eleventh installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon franchise and is a narrative sequel to the 2017 video game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands.

The game is set in an open world environment called Auroa, a fictional island chain in the Pacific Ocean. The player takes on the role of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony "Nomad" Perryman[b] a U.S. Special Operation Forces service member sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances involving Skell Technology, a military contractor based on Auroa. Upon release, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint received mixed reviews from critics and underperformed commercially.

Gameplay[edit]

Like its predecessor Wildlands, Breakpoint is a tactical shooter game set in an open world environment. It is played from a third-person perspective and uses an optional first-person view for aiming weapons. Players take on the role of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony "Nomad" Perryman, a member of the Delta Company, First Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, also known as "Ghosts", a fictional elite special operations unit of the United States Army under the Joint Special Operations Command. The game world, Auroa, is an open world environment that features a variety of landscapes, and these can be used for tactical advantages. For instance, players can slide down rocky terrain and use mud to camouflage themselves. According to Ubisoft, Auroa is larger than the game world featured in Wildlands. Players have a variety of ways to traverse the open world, controlling various air, land and sea vehicles.[3]

The game was planned to launch with four character classes. Ubisoft announced plans to make more classes available through post-launch updates. Each class has its own abilities; for example, the panther is a class oriented towards stealth and is able to throw smoke bombs. The player will be able to switch between classes in-game. Players have to gather intelligence in order to progress through the game and can use a variety of methods to approach missions. As in previous titles in the franchise, they can utilize a variety of weapons in combat, with the player's repertoire expanded to include combat drones and rocket launchers to kill enemies. Alternatively, the player can use stealth to silently neutralize opponents. In Breakpoint, players can equip a variety of new weapons and gear such as a blowtorch to cut through fences, sulphur gas grenades to kill enemies, and electromagnetic pulse grenades to disable drones and vehicles. Players can carry corpses away and hide them so that enemies would not become alerted. Fallen enemies will leave loot for players to collect. Fallen teammates can also be carried away so as to revive them safely.[4] Many of the new features added to Breakpoint were developed based on player feedback in Wildlands.

The game places a larger emphasis on survival than Wildlands. Enemies will be more numerous and the game will feature a wider range of enemy archetypes. These enemies will have access to many of the same weapons, skills and equipment that are available to the player. Enemies will respond more realistically to player actions and patrols wander the game world searching for the player. Ubisoft introduced these changes to give the player the sense that they were "no longer the most dangerous thing in the game world". Players need to collect different resources in the game's world and use them to craft resources such as bandages. Regular weapon maintenance checks are necessary to keep the weapons functional and the player will need to manage their character's fatigue, hunger and hydration. Failing to do so may slow the player down, limit their ability to regenerate health, or cause them to make more noise while moving. The game uses a regenerative health system whereby the player character naturally recovers health, but serious injuries will impede the player character's performance, as they will start limping and can no longer aim their weapon accurately.[5] Players can set up a bivouac shelter in order to heal themselves. The shelter is also the site where players can manage their weapons and inventory, customize their character and change the character's classes.[6] The game can be played with up to three other players cooperatively, or in single-player. The game was initially announced to have no AI squadmates,[7] but the addition of AI squadmates was later amended as post-release content based due to negative feedback from players. Unlike previous Ghost Recon titles, Breakpoint will require a constant internet connection to play, in-part due to the game's single-character progression system.[8]

The game's story features dialogue choices. These will not affect the main narrative, but instead enable players to gain intelligence that may aid in their missions.[9][10] The game also features a mode called "Exploration" that was first used in Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Unlike most open-world games where the player is given an objective marker to guide their progress, Breakpoint's Exploration mode gives the player a rough approximation of the area where an objective may be located. Their approximation can be refined by exploring the world or through investigating intelligence. A competitive multiplayer mode will be released at launch, and end-of-game content such as raids are set to be introduced post-release.[11]

Premise[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

The game is set in the year 2023, four years after the events of Wildlands. The story takes place on Auroa, an island in the South Pacific owned by billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Jace Skell. Skell is the founder of Skell Technology, a blue chip company producing drones for commercial applications, but the company has also found success as a military contractor developing cutting-edge equipment for the United States government. Skell purchased Auroa with a vision of turning it into a hub for the design, research, development and production of artificial intelligence and drone technology, which he dubs "World 2.0". The island is made up of a series of individual biomes including marine estuaries and wetlands, fjords, arboreal forests, snow-capped mountains and active volcanoes.

The main antagonist is former Ghost Lieutenant Colonel Cole D. Walker (Jon Bernthal), who has gone rogue after leaving the army. After witnessing his fireteam be slaughtered on a mission in Bolivia,[c] Walker has come to believe that the United States government does not value the lives of its soldiers. A private military contractor named Sentinel has occupied the island under Walker's command while Walker himself is leading a team of soldiers calling themselves the "Wolves".

Returning characters from Ghost Recon Wildlands include the members of Nomad's fireteam Dominic "Holt" Moretta, Corey "Weaver" Ward and Rubio "Midas" Delgado.

Story[edit]

Skell Technology starts coming under increased public scrutiny when they are faced with mounting evidence that its products are falling into the hands of corrupt regimes,[c] and the island is abruptly cut off from the outside world. The United States government decides to investigate further when a cargo ship, the USS Seay, sinks off the coast of Auroa. The CIA launch Operation Greenstone, deploying a Ghost Recon platoon to re-establish contact with Auroa and determine the circumstances of the Seay's sinking. The insertion ends in disaster when the helicopters carrying the platoon are attacked by a swarm of drones. Nomad is the sole able-bodied survivor of the platoon; of his squadmates, Holt is seriously injured, Weaver is killed and Midas is missing.

Eventually, Nomad arrives to Erewhon, a secret mountain hideout, kept hidden from enemy threats. With the assistance of Mads Schulz, Jace Skell, Christina Cromwell, and Maurice Fox; Nomad assists in taking down the drones, and threatening security measures, the Wolves set on the Island.

Development[edit]

Following the success of Wildlands, the development team expanded to more than one thousand people. For the first time in the series, the setting is fictional as the team felt that they would have more creative freedom regarding the game's world design.[13] The development team created a backstory for the Auroa archipelago dating back eighty million years to make the setting feel more realistic. The game world itself was created through procedural generation with some areas developed from the ground up.[citation needed] An archipelago was chosen for the game's setting as it would make it easier for the developers to add post-game content by adding additional islands and open up new regions for exploration.[citation needed] The development team also listened to players' feedback from Wildlands and introduced a variety of changes players had requested, such as an increased focus on realism and improved vehicle control.

The game's premise of the Ghosts being hunted and alone on the island caused Ubisoft to remove AI companions from the game.[4] According to executive producer Nouredine Abboud, Jon Bernthal was hired to voice and provide motion capture for the game's antagonist because the team felt that he had the potential to be a charismatic villain and an effective nemesis for the Ghosts.[9] The name of the game, Breakpoint, reflects the game's narrative in which the Ghosts are on a mission which is on the brink of failure. Emil Daubon, the game's writer, added that the story would explore the themes of "pain, trauma, brotherhood, and mental exhaustion".[14]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

Ubisoft released a downloadable content (DLC) chapter for Wildlands titled Operation Oracle that introduced the character of Cole D. Walker and focused on Skell Technology.[15] Breakpoint is set to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 4 October 2019. Two DLC chapters, Deep State and Transcendence, are set to be released following the game's launch.[16] Ubisoft also announced at E3 2019 that the game would feature a Terminator-themed crossover as part of its DLC schedule.[17]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 57/100[18]
(PS4) 55/100[19]
(XONE) 62/100[20]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid3/10[21]
EGM2/5 stars[22]
GameSpot4/10[23]
IGN6.0/10[24]
PC Gamer (US)40/100[25]

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[18][19][20] The game was described as "underwhelming" and "miserable", with criticism for its mission design, characters, dialogue, and microtransactions.[26] Richard Wakeling of Gamespot wrote that "Breakpoint is a messy hodgepodge of disparate ideas, pulling various aspects from other Ubisoft games and shoehorning them in, half-baked and out of place ... Its defining characteristic boils down to just how generic and stale the whole thing is."[23] The game underperformed in sales and was considered a commercial disappointment by Ubisoft.[27][28]

Microtransactions[edit]

The scale of the game's microtransactions system drew criticism when a Reddit user who had purchased for early access posted a number of in-game screenshots which detailed items that players could buy with real-world money. Concerns were raised that this allowed players to bypass aspects of grinding as content could be bought as soon as the game began, as well as fears of it being pay-to-win.[29][30][31][32]

Ubisoft responded by releasing a statement saying they "aimed at offering a fair and rewarding experience to our players however they want to experience our game" and "two key factors stood out as extremely important for the team: That Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint doesn't include any pay-to-win elements, [and] to make sure that players not choosing to engage with in-game purchases do not see their experience affected." At the same time, Ubisoft removed the "Time Savers" microtransactions affecting player levelling, stating they had not been intended to be implemented so early and would return in due course.[33] Kotaku argued that while they disagreed with their inclusion, the microtransactions were able to be ignored as all content on offer could still be obtained through hours of playtime and with little difficulty.[34] Writing upon release, Polygon were also concerned with the ability to obtain every item in the game's store using real-world money, but noted that while doing so had some benefit, it was not possible to spend obscene amounts to gain an advantage over opponents in PvP as the game would automatically equalize each player's stats. Additionally, buyable weapons, which relied on crafting to improve further, were scaled to the player's current level.[35]

Accolades[edit]

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation ranked it as the Second Blandest Game of 2019.[36]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2019 Game Critics Awards Best Online Multiplayer Nominated [37]
Gamescom Best PC Game Won [38]
Titanium Awards Best Spanish Performance (Guillermo Romero) Nominated [39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Additional work by Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Kiev, Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Odessa, Ubisoft Bordeaux, Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Belgrade
  2. ^ Promotional materials produced by Ubisoft present the character as being male, but the game allows players to create a female character using the call-sign "Nomad".
  3. ^ a b As depicted in the Ghost Recon Wildlands DLC event Operation Oracle.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blitz, Stephan (1 July 2019). "FOG! Chats With 'The Only Living Girl' Co-Creators Steve Ellis and David Gallaher!". Forces of Geek.
  2. ^ Wang, Jules (26 November 2019). "(Update: Spitlings) All the games on Google Stadia". Android Police. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  3. ^ Kelly, Andy (10 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint is more about survival than Wildlands, but it lacks a compelling hook". PC Gamer. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bertz, Matt (9 May 2019). "Everything You Need To Know About Ghost Recon Breakpoint". Game Informer. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  5. ^ Donaldson, Alex (9 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a conservative but smart expansion on Wildlands – and it's got the new boot-tuck tech to prove it". VG 247. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (9 May 2019). "The new Ghost Recon leans into survival and a grim Black Mirror future". Polygon. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  7. ^ Forward, Jordan (9 May 2019). "You can't have human AI comrades in Ghost Recon Breakpoint". PCGamesN. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  8. ^ https://gamerant.com/ghost-recon-breakpoint-internet-connection/
  9. ^ a b Williams, Mike (9 May 2019). "Inside Ghost Recon Breakpoint: How Ubisoft is Mixing the Wildlands Formula With Survival, RPG Mechanics, and Even Raids". USgamer. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  10. ^ Rivera, Joshua (10 May 2019). "Ubisoft Announces Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, A Sequel to Wildlands". Kotaku. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  11. ^ Robinson, Michael (9 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint brings more survival and neck-stabbing to the Wildlands formula". Eurogamer. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  12. ^ Ubisoft Paris (30 April 2019). Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows. Ubisoft. Level/area: Operation Oracle. Walker: 'A high-level Skell Tech engineer, Daniel Rodriguez Arellano. See, Danny here, he's got access to company technology that the government does not want shared. But he's been spending a lot of time in Bolivia.' / Nomad: 'Probably not soaking up the culture.' / Walker: 'He's been selling secrets to Unidad.'
  13. ^ Bertz, Matt (7 May 2019). "Ubisoft Explains Why Ghost Recon Breakpoint Has A Fictional Setting". Game Informer. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  14. ^ Mahardy, Mike (9 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint Is Both Promising And Concerning". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  15. ^ Avard, Alex (3 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Wildlands players have found an in-game tease for a potential sequel". GamesRadar. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  16. ^ Sitzes, Janae (9 May 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint Pre-Order Guide, Release Date, Wolves Collector's Edition". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  17. ^ Ramée, Jordan (10 June 2019). "E3 2019: Ghost Recon Breakpoint Will Have A Terminator Crossover". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  21. ^ Glagowski, Peter (13 October 2019). "Review: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint". Destructoid. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  22. ^ Goroff, Michael (4 October 2019). "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  23. ^ a b Wakeling, Richard (11 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint Review - Faulty Reconaissance[sic]". Gamespot. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  24. ^ Tyrrel, Brandin (11 October 2019). "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint Review". IGN. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  25. ^ Lane, Rick (7 October 2019). "GHOST RECON BREAKPOINT REVIEW". PC Gamer. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  26. ^ Capel, Chris J (6 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint reviews – a roundup of the critics". PCGamesN. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  27. ^ Good, Owen. "Ghost Recon Breakpoint's spectacular bomb blows up Ubisoft's plans for 2019". Polygon. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  28. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (24 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint critical reception and sales "very disappointing"". VG24/7. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  29. ^ Lee, Patrick (1 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint Store Is Reportedly a Microtransaction Bonanza". The Escapist. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  30. ^ Saed, Sherif (1 October 2019). "Look at all the things you can spend real money on in Ghost Recon Breakpoint". VG247.
  31. ^ Tassi, Paul (1 October 2019). "'Ghost Recon Breakpoint' Has A Hilarious Amount Of Microtransactions". Forbes.
  32. ^ Strickland, Derek (1 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint has pay-to-win microtransactions". TweakTown.
  33. ^ Chalk, Andy (3 October 2019). "Ubisoft removes Ghost Recon Breakpoint's booster and skill point microtransactions". PC Gamer.
  34. ^ Alexandra, Heather (1 October 2019). "Ghost Recon Breakpoint's Microtransactions Explained". Kotaku.
  35. ^ Good, Owen S. (4 October 2019). "Every item in Ghost Recon Breakpoint can be purchased with real money". Polygon. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  36. ^ Croshaw, Ben "Yahtzee" (1 January 2020). "2019 Best, Worst, and Blandest – Zero Punctuation". The Escapist. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  37. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (27 June 2019). "E3 2019 Game Critics Awards – Final Fantasy 7 Remake wins Best of Show". VG247. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  38. ^ Mamiit, Aaron (25 August 2019). "PlayStation 4 exclusive Dreams takes home Best of Gamescom 2019 award". Digital Trends. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  39. ^ "Titanium Awards 2019 [game title is missing the word "Breakpoint" in "Ghost Recon Breakpoint"]". Fun & Serious Game Festival. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.

External links[edit]