Ghost Recon: Breakpoint had everything going for it on launch day. It had the legacy of the massively successful Wildlands game to build on top of, the new map of Aurora looked stupidly massive and the core concept of a soldier stuck behind enemy lines while being hunted by rebels who could give him a run for his money made for a fascinating challenge. Basically, this was the Rambo video game we’d been waiting for, a delightful digital recreation of First Blood’s iconic forest hunt wherein a posse of Sherrif’s were warned to let it go:
That’s the game most of us were expecting. Instead, Breakpoint felt…underwhelming. For all of its massive spectacle and gorgeous scenery, Breakpoint was all style and very little substance. It felt hollow, quickly got boring and making a military-themed shooter version of Destiny in the loot department didn’t win it any fans.
In true Ubisoft fashion, the developers went back to the drawing board to figure out what worked, what needed to be ditched and how the game could be fine-tuned to create something closer to what fans were expecting. The result? A more immersive Ghost Recon experience that gets right back to the boots on the ground action that it was always meant to be.
Breakpoint’s Immersive mode offers a wide range of options with which to choose from, further customising the experience to your tastes. Even with just a few of these modifiers on, I’m already loving the game and how I’ve shifted my style of play. Whereas I favoured a gung-ho kill ‘em all and let god sort ‘em out approach originally, I’ve gone full first blood now. I’m sneaking around bases, using the tools at my disposal to scout the environment, laying traps and stalking enemy soldiers like some sort of heavily-armed American panther.
I’m the Predator to cannon fodder, a smart and resourceful bastard using all the power afforded to me by these changes to play the game in a manner that makes sense to my bastard tendencies for digital destruction. I’m also fully enamoured with the changes made to the gear system, as I have a collection of guns that I don’t want to swap for random gear that provides incremental bonuses to my playstyle. If I wanted to focus on maths and watching enemies bleed literal numbers from their gaping skull wounds, I’d play The Division 2.
All this makes for a more grounded experience, and it has been fascinating watching streams of how other players have adapted to Immersive Mode changes, tinkering with them and finding a level of flexibility that suits their particular niche. Overall, it’s a grounded and more dedicated change that helps Ghost Recon Breakpoint find its voice in an ocean of Ubisoft live service games.
There’s still a lot of work to be done though. Breakpoint may look pretty, but it’s still a frightfully dull world to explore, something that its paint by numbers story, clichéd characters and pedestrian gear don’t improve on. Immersive Mode may give Breakpoint a distinct voice, but I’m still struggling to really hear it amidst the clamour of The Division 2’s post-apocalypse offerings, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s wonderfully over the top DLC and Watch Dogs Legion painting a picture of anarchy in the UK with an army of disposable protagonists.
Still, if Breakpoint can evolve further and hone its stealthy craft for sandbox subterfuge, the next year should be an exciting one for the latest entry in Mr Clancy’s long line of games.
Last Updated: April 21, 2020