Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
|Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint|
Cover art featuring Nomad, the playable protagonist, carrying wounded squadmate Vasily.
|Producer(s)||Nouredine Abboud (Executive Producer)|
|Series||Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon|
|Release||4 October 2019|
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. 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 with criticism for its mission design, characters, dialogue, and microtransactions. The game underperformed commercially.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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, 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.
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. 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.
Setting and characters
The game is set in the year 2025, six years after the events of Wildlands. The story takes place on Auroa, an island in the South Pacific owned by a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist named 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.
Prior to the events of the game, Skell Technology comes under increasing public scrutiny when they are faced with mounting evidence that its products are being used by corrupt regimes.[c] The situation escalates further when the USS Seay, an American cargo ship, sinks off the coast of the Auroa archipelago, and the entire island chain cuts all communication to the outside world. In response, CIA Deputy Director Peter Miles initiates Operation Greenstone, deploying a Ghost Recon platoon to re-establish contact with Auroa and determine the circumstances of the sinking. The insertion ends in disaster when the helicopters carrying the platoon to the island are shot down by a swarm of drones.
Nomad survives the crash, but Midas is missing in action, Holt is crippled, and Weaver is executed by Cole Walker, a former Ghost-turned-leader of a elite paramilitary group called the "Wolves." Nomad gets in contact with Mads Schulz, an ex-United States Marine and de facto leader of Erewhon, the hideout of former homesteaders who lived on Auroa before Skell Tech's arrival. Mads reveals that the homesteaders were forced into hiding by a private military company employed by Skell Tech called Sentinel, who had been hired for security following a terrorist bombing on the island, but has now overthrown Skell Tech and declared martial law over the entire archipelago. Nomad meets Josiah Hill, another Ghost survivor with whom he and Walker have history: The three were part of a mission in the Middle East, which ended in disaster when Walker executed their commanding officer for murdering a civilian, after which Walker resigned and disappeared. Nomad then encounters Skell's chief mathematician Maurice Fox and his daughter, Harmony, and discovers that all of Auroa is surrounded by a massive network of drones that prevents anyone from entering or leaving.
After determining that Skell Tech CEO Jace Skell, who disappeared shortly after Sentinel's coup, is the only one who can lift the drone perimeter, Nomad seeks him out. Upon reaching Skell, Nomad discovers that Hill has been secretly working with Walker and the two offer Nomad a place by their side. Nomad refuses and evacuates Skell to Erewhon. Skell reveals that he was responsible for the sinking of the Seay due to it carrying dangerous technology off the island, but shows Nomad video footage in which Walker and Sentinel Corp owner Trey Stone discuss a project called "Wonderland." Skell then says that he will be able to hack one of the pylons that controls the drone perimeter, but needs the assistance of several Skell Tech colleagues who are currently scattered around the islands.
During the search for one of the employees, Nomad reaches out to the Outcasts, a group of former Skell Tech employees who quit Skell Tech and formed a resistance group in opposition to Skell's increasing interests in transhumanism, led by Haruhi Ito and her brother Diagoroh. While assisting one of Skell's colleagues, Nomad discovers Haruhi and Diagoroh were responsible for the Skell Tech bombing; they had intended only to severely damage the building as a protest against Skell's transhumanist projects, but they were not aware the building was occupied and had underestimated the explosive power of their bomb. Nomad berates them for their recklessness, but continues working with them after recovering Skell's colleague.
Maurice reveals the identity of a mole in Skell Tech who had been assisting him and attempts to meet her, but he is killed by the Wolves and the mole is kidnapped. Nomad rescues her, killing Hill in the process, and continues to investigate the Wolves' activities. Nomad eventually discovers that Walker's "Wonderland" project is an operation to use a submarine outfitted with drone-equipped torpedoes to assassinate key national figures, in hopes of triggering a third world war as a way of "cleaning" the world and ridding it of coruption. After finding and killing Walker, Nomad assists Skell in hacking the drone pylon, using the drones to destroy Walker's submarine before it departs.
In the wake of Walker's death, Sentinel founder Trey Stone consolidates his power over Auroa, Skell Tech, and Sentinel. Nomad returns to Erewhon and is congratulated for thwarting the Wonderland Scheme, but acknowledges that his work on Auroa is not finished. Skell observes the drone swarm above Auroa acting strangely, commenting that the hacked pylon appears to have developed emergent behavior.
Released in November 2019, Breakpoint's first raid event, Project Titan takes place on the previously inaccessible Golem Island, where Nomad is tasked with destroying Skell Tech's "Titan" drones and preventing Sentinel from manufacturing more.
Beginning with the release of the first mission on January 29, and the second mission on February 1, 2020, the expansion features two missions involving the Terminator. In the first mission, Nomad is tasked by Maria Schulz to locate a woman in Sentinel detention that managed to take down several armed drones on her own. Investigating the emergency center in Mount Hodgson, Nomad comes across a woman who identifies herself as Rasa Aldwin, a time traveler sent from the future to search for Nomad. However, as she explains her situation, a T-800 Terminator manages to track their location and they are forced to escape. Making their way to Rasa's workshop, she explains that forty years from now in her timeline, an artificial intelligence known as Skynet would be responsible for developing the machines for infiltration-based assassination missions. At the hideout, Nomad is provided with a rifle specifically designed to destroy the machines and sends Rasa to Erewhon. In the second mission, Rasa tasks Nomad to investigate the unexplained presence of multiple Terminators on Auroa and what their true purpose is for being on the island. After installing a tracking device on an array and discovering strange electro-magnetic patterns coming from a composite facility in Smuggler Coves, Nomad discovers that the machines have converted the facility into a factory to begin mass-producing Terminators in the present. Reaching the control room, Nomad comes across the T-800 that was originally encountered in the first mission and is now in control of the facility. After battling and destroying the T-800, Nomad seals the airlock leading into the production facility as it self-destructs; trapping the remaining Terminators inside. With all remaining Terminators on Auroa destroyed, and the threat posed by Skynet now abated, Rasa chooses to stay in the present at Erewhon.
The spring 2020 DLC Deep State features a tie-in with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, with actor Michael Ironside reprising the role of Sam Fisher. Fisher is deployed to Auroa alongside his friend Victor Coste, under the guise of working for the latter's private security company, Paladin 9. While Coste is ostensibly working alongside Sentinel to provide logistical support, the duo are actually investigating the kidnappings of military specialists that are traced back to an individual on the island known as "The Strategist." Fisher and Nomad decide to team up when it is discovered that Midas is alive and is being held by the Strategist for a top-secret program known as Project CLAW; an artificial intelligence hive mind that enables human-controlled drone swarms that can be used for military applications. After making contact with and enlisting the help of system analyst Hollie Mackenzie, entomologist Willem Van Dyke, patent legal advisor Stephanie Burgess, and former US Army general Reggie Paxton, Nomad and Fisher discover that The Strategist is Leon Fairrow, a billionaire industrialist and head of weapons manufacturing conglomerate Lomax-Fairrow. Fairrow and his partner, US Senator Michael Lomax are part of a conspiracy that involves high-ranking members of various US government agencies and private development firms to create the drones. Fearing that Fairrow was not reliable and concerned about the kidnappings, the CIA and the Department of Defense had asked Fourth Echelon to investigate. After infiltrating Project CLAW's research facility and facing off against an array of drones, Fisher and Nomad manage to capture Fairrow and rescue Midas, who is evacuated to Erewhon to recover with Holt. Meanwhile, using a short window provided by Mackenzie in the drone swarm that is protecting the island, Fisher and Coste manage to evacuate onboard the C-147B Paladin with Fairrow in-tow and force him to testify before Congress; in the hopes that his testimony will convince them to officially launch a US military invasion of Auroa to remove Sentinel from the archipelago.
The fall 2020 DLC features the return of Scott Mitchell from Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier as the commander of the Ghosts and Nomad's superior. Mitchell informs Nomad that, in the wake of Wonderland's and Project CLAW's failure, Trey Stone has allied with remnants of the Raven's Rock and Bodark, whom Mitchell had previously encountered in Future Soldier. With Raven's Rock's help, Stone intends to launch a massive attack on the United States called "Operation Kingmaker", in which he will utilize drones loaded with chemical weapons provided by Bodark to conduct a mass assassination of U.S. officials, allowing Kingmaker's designated survivor to take control of the American government. Mitchell tasks Nomad with hunting down and eliminating Stone's allies and destroying key components of Kingmaker to thwart the attack. After Nomad has dealt with Bodark, he tracks Stone to a Skell Tech factory, where Stone reveals he intends to launch the chemical weapon drones against the entire Auroa archipelago in revenge for the Ghosts thwarting his plans. With the assistance of the Outcasts and Haruhi Ito, Nomad is able to stop Stone, killing him and destroying the drones before they can activate.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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".
After the game's release and in response to its poor critical reception, Ubisoft announced plans to rework Breakpoint with the introduction of "the Ghost Experience". The Ghost Experience allows players the option to disable some game mechanics, such as the gear score, and independently alter others.
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. 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. Ubisoft also announced at E3 2019 that the game would feature a Terminator-themed crossover as part of its DLC schedule.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. The game was described as "underwhelming" and "miserable", with criticism for its mission design, characters, dialogue, and microtransactions. 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." The game underperformed in sales and was considered a commercial disappointment by Ubisoft.
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.
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. 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. 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.
The PlayStation 4 version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint sold 54,733 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, making it the second bestselling retail game of the week in the country. Three weeks after its release, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemont was quoted as saying the game's overall sales figures had been disappointing.
|2019||Game Critics Awards||Best Online Multiplayer||Nominated|||
|Gamescom||Best PC Game||Won|||
|Titanium Awards||Best Spanish Performance (Guillermo Romero)||Nominated|||
- Additional work by Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Kiev, Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Odessa, Ubisoft Bordeaux, Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Belgrade
- 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".
- As depicted in the Ghost Recon Wildlands DLC event Operation Oracle.
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