Ghost Recon is a series of games that has become the pinnacle of third-person tactical shooters. Fans eagerly await each new entry so they can traverse across open maps on foot or in a myriad of vehicles, military or otherwise. If the name doesn't give it away, Ghost Recon games also place a heavy emphasis on scoping out the terrain and then using strategy and stealth to take out enemies before they even know what hits them. Ubisoft has had plenty of time to master it, with the original Ghost Recon's 20 year anniversary coming up later this year. So how does the latest entry, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, honor its predecessor's legacy in time for the franchise to reach its 20th birthday?
When Ghost Recon Breakpoint was first announced at E3 2019 by Ubisoft, fans pretty much knew what to expect. The game was expected to be a new and improved version of Ubisoft's 2017 Ghost Recon: Wildlands, with a larger looting system like that in the Destiny series. Like Wildlands, Ghost Recon Breakpoint's open world sandbox added an extra level of strategic variety, most of the time in a way that players have no way of planning for.However, many felt the game suffered from an identity problem, oftentimes feeling like a game belonging to multiple genres but not really being a master at any of them. Now, is it worth playing in 2021?
Ultimately, it seems that Ghost Recon Breakpoint does what it sets out to do. It lets players loose to stealth or slam their way through the game map while they find better gear that bolsters their defense. The stealth and tactical elements in Breakpoint are fun, but the game itself has much more than just stealth missions and focuses too little on those other experiences. The story is the same old "could they, should they?" of scary sci-fi technology and robots that's been used from Terminator to Black Mirror, with just as much star power, as Jon Bernthal plays a leading role. However, even that wasn't enough to save the title from mixed to negative reviews from critics.
On paper, this game probably looked amazing. Ubisoft has clearly learned some lessons from Wildlands and applied them to this game, as Ghost Recon Breakpoint feels like its natural successor. Unfortunately, that means that the fetch missions and simple neighborhood takeovers have been brought over in the sequel as well, in no small amount. Some new features have also drawn ire from fans, with the gear score based looting system standing out specifically. The backlash has been so real, that Ubisoft announced it would be making changes to Ghost Recon Breakpoint from the gunsmith mode to the looting system last year.
If there is one thing that the last two Ghost Recon titles do well, it's the multiplayer. Letting players traverse the open world and strategically take down baddies by working together to coordinate in real time is extremely satisfying. This mechanic provides more than enough fun to get through the campaign if players can find someone to play with. That being said, this game could also be just as fun for those who would rather play by themselves, but the quality of story and mission content doesn't provide that level of immersion. Apparently, Ubisoft recognizes that single players are missing out, as it has added AI teammates to Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
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