On October 4, the new Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the follow-up to the extremely popular open world third person shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands, will be available for purchase, and it promises to take the series to a new level in terms of guns and gear, the latter of which will again be provided by 5.11 Tactical.
The previous game was very impressive from a gun person’s point of view. It included dozens of recreations of real world firearms in all classes and its Gunsmith mode allowed you to swap out a number of parts including rail accessories, optics, magazines, stocks, and more on some guns—all of which worked, more or less, as they do in real life.
There is one issue that suppressors make guns a bit too quiet (though not silent) and they make any firearm they’re attached to less powerful, as in they cause less damage to the enemy than they would if used loud, which is not how suppressors work. But…you can take out any helicopter with one shot from the game’s most powerful sniper rifle (but only without the suppressor), so there’s a bit of video game liberty taken in the series.
I especially liked the fact that the game included bullet drop. It didn’t correspond at all to the caliber a give firearm should be firing, but it was really great to see in a broad shooter game like this. Once you got a scope and rifle combination you liked, you could learn the reticle and get really good with it at impressive distances. My record kill in the game is a headshot at 600 yards, which is pretty pathetic by serious gamer standards.
But that’s the point of the game. You can play it a number of ways. You can be all stealthy and take out alarms, lights, and targets who are alone by sniping from a distance after scouting with your mini-drone to thin out the enemy force in a base, before moving in stealthily and doing the same for the guards with a suppressed pistol.
Or, you can drive a truck through the front gate with a remote explosive on it, blow up a whole lot of bad guy vehicles, and start opening up with a belt fed machine gun like Rambo. Or something in the middle.
And the fact that you can play on your own, with a group of up to three friends in online co-op, or in the game’s multi-player mode made it pretty re-playable.
While that game was set in the exotic landscapes of a fictional Bolivia and you were fighting a semi-religious drug cartel, Breakpoint is set on an island called Aurora in the near future. The mysterious island is the home of drone creators and tech giant Skell Technology. When the island loses all contact with the outside world, the Ghosts move in.
They find that The Wolves, a lethal ex-US Military unit of former Ghosts gone rogue and led by Lt. Colonel Cole D. Walker (Jon Bernthal) have taken over the island with some nasty intentions. They’ve reprogrammed Skell’s drones and made them killing machines.
Unlike the previous game, players start out at a disadvantage after the team of 32 Ghosts sent to the island is shot down in their helicopters during insertion with only a few survivors. (OK this is getting ridiculous. This is like the 100th game that begins with a helicopter crash…and like literally the fifth from Ubisoft.)
They’re injured with no support, few weapons, and being hunted. The game also makes the experience more difficult, as body armor is no longer cosmetic and actually helps your character survive, and the same goes for camouflage, which will conceal a Ghost when they go prone, addressing another big complaint about the ghillie suits in Wildlands which did nothing for concealability. And its not just wearing camo, you can lay on the ground and your character will actually cover himself with dirt and vegetation from his surroundings. It’s pretty cool.
Another huge improvement for stealth players in the ability to pick up and move downed bad guys, like in Splinter Cell. In the last game, if you happened to down a bad guy where another bad guy walks by in 10 minutes, he’d sound an alarm and there was really nothing you could do about it. If you played the Same Fisher level in Wildlands, you understand the teeth grinding frustration this could cause. This addition makes true stealthy playing possible.
And here’s another huge difference. If you play the game solo, you don’t get any AI teammates. For anyone who couldn’t stand the never-ending looped canned banter you were subjected playing the last game, this will be a true blessing. It also changes the strategy drastically, forcing you into more of a stealth style in many situations.
You also have to do things like gather water in your canteen from streams to recover from fatigue and eat rations to gain a health buffer. Oh yeah, your character also gets tired, giving it more of a survival game feel. You can watch about an hour of Beta gameplay in the video above. You’ll immediately notice how good the graphics look, especially in the character creation area. The detail is extraordinary.
While your health regenerated automatically in the previous game if you didn’t get hit, and faster if you crouched behind cover, you have to render self aid to heal injuries in this game, and instead of a low health meter making your screen red, your character actually functions less when they are injured, walking with a limp, etc. Again, this moves further away from a shooter and more toward an RPG or survival game.
And that’s just a few things I gleaned from watching gameplay videos on Youtube.
Some fans of the original have expressed concerns that there are too many changes in Breakpoint to what was a good platform that just needed more content, not really a revamp of gameplay, but we shall see.
Though I haven’t played the Beta, the array of weapons in the game seems to be broad, but they are harder or at least more complicated to unlock than in Wildlands. Another huge aspect that gamers loved about the previous game was the endless options for customizing your in-game character.
And like last time, Ubisoft has again partnered with 5.11 Tactical to again provide gamers with the same 5.11 gear used in the real world by tactical professionals everywhere. The partnership began with Wildlands in 2016 and continued with Far Cry 5 in 2018 and The Division 2 earlier this year.
5.11 also debuted a series of videos called The Ghost Recon Breakpoint Challenge, which utilize “four real special forces soldiers in scenarios that occur within the Ghost Recon Breakpoint video game. Lisa Master Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, Mike Glover of Fieldcraft Survival and former 20-year Green Beret, Dan Edwards, retired 25-year special operations officer, and Lee Harvey, retired Major in the United States Army Special Forces round out the group of survivalists who put the reality of Ghost Recon Breakpoint to the test.”
“The expansion of our partnership with Ubisoft and the Ghost Recon Series of games has been outstanding for the 5.11 brand,” said 5.11’s Chief Marketing Officer, Debra Radcliff. “The functionality of our purpose-built products is an authentic fit in Ghost Recon Breakpoint as one of the most realistic military video games of all time. Collaborating on the joint custom content projects has been a natural progression for the partnership and we’re excited to be releasing the videos we’ve worked on together.”
The assortment of 5.11 products featured in Ghost Recon Breakpoint includes: RUSH12™ Backpack, RUSH24™ Backpack, RUSH72™ Backpack, All Hazards Backpack, Apex™ Pant, TacLite® Plate Carrier, AMP24™, Tac-Tec™ Plate Carrier, Expedition Long Sleeve Shirt, Ascension Long Sleeve Shirt, and a variety of accessories.
“We’ve enjoyed expanding our partnership with 5.11 over the past few years,” said Adam Novickas, Vice President of Marketing at Ubisoft. “5.11’s gear is perfectly placed within Ghost Recon Breakpoint and their custom content partnership adds a level of authenticity to the game that we truly value.”
You can preorder Ghost Recon Breakpoint here. It will be officially released on Oct. 4.