I want to keep this impressions brief, simply because Ghost Recon Breakpoint plays its hand fairly early. It isn't great, and as far as I can tell, is in need of divine intervention. While there were rumours out of early playtests that Breakpoint was rough around the edges, based on four or five hours of the Open Beta this weekend, any hope of a transformation should be swiftly shelved.
While there's no mistaking that Breakpoint can at times look fantastic, especially when the lighting is just right (pretty dire on console, I might add), the rest of the game offers very little. Simply put, Breakpoint is a mess of ill thought out ideas that, more often than not, shatters any immersion you might have had in the game if you lean towards realistic military shooters.
Don't be fooled, enemies might look cool, but they're useless.
Despite the game starting with promise as you begin to take down your first enemies, it soon descends into a poor mans Crisis, all but abandoning the cohesive design of Wildlands or the tactical, satisfying movement of The Division 2. Within minutes, not only does it become quickly apparent just how dull the story is and how badly it's acted, but the jungle - it's core setting - is painfully bland and devoid of life.
Despite Ubisoft's attempts to shoe-horn RPG elements into Breakpoint and turn it into some weird loot-em-up, it feels entirely unnecessary: this is neither Borderlands or Warframe (far from it). So why, in a game that's effectively RPG-lite, is it implementing gear score as some sort of progression crutch? The nature of its loot system feels clumsy and designed in such a way to try to create a carrot on a stick for the player, when there's absolutely no need for one. My gut tells me that the likely reason for this is not only to create a primative gameplay loop, but also because of the newly added Drones which, for all intents and purposes, are little more than bullet sponges. Designing some enemies in this way - despite players navigating to Ghost Recon for its one shot, one kill play style - once against adds weight to why they implemented a terrible loot system. Incremental, laughable improvements on your weapon won't make any difference to the fact you can kill every human opponent in a single head-shot, but it will reduce the time-to-kill against dull mechanical foes. Either way, it all feels bullshit.
This leads me onto the AI within the game, and the fact that every single enemy is as dumb as Donald Trump. Filled with repetitive dialogue, and regularly getting stuck on terrain, enemies seem completely incapable of noticing something as obvious as their partner getting their brains blown out. It's complete and utter nonsense, and sees any challenge the game might have had drain away in an instant. If you only cast your eye towards The Division 2, where enemies across all difficulties are incredibly smart, it's fascinating to see just how shit they are here. At what point did Ubisoft think that this was acceptable in a modern day shooter, and why the fuck aren't they sharing resources across their studios? When you can comfortably ambush a squadren of enemies, or bait a single soldier to his death (which leads to the subsequent death of everyone else who stupidly follows), without a single enemy ever noticing, something, somewhere, has gone very bloody wrong.
What's so annoying about all the above, is that it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the shit you have to deal with in Brokepoint. Animations are either missing or choppy, enemies reguarly bug out and fly around or are incapable of even seeing you, vehicle handling is bizzare, it's not particularly well optimised (even on my rig framerates regularly dropped), PvP rarely works and the UI is worse than The Division 2's (quite the achievement). To add insult to injury, it also looks like the game will see heavy amounts of monetization in future updates, with most of its stingy systems and features seemingly steering the player towards parting with their cash.
As you can probably tell, I thought Ghost Recon Breakpoint pretty bad and is without doubt one to avoid. Unless Ubisoft deliver a day one patch that transforms it from the ground up, do yourself a favor and save your money.
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