This is the second open world take on the Ghost Recon franchise, and a direct sequel to Wildlands. This narrative follows an individual Ghost that’s been stranded on an island after being shot out of the sky. Their squad is dead, and the mysterious Wolves are the cause.
What makes this even more intense is that the character you play as has a direct connection to their leader. I mean, what are the odds! Once a brother in arms, Cole D. Walker now leads them as a stray commander.
While this sounds like an interesting story, it feels drawn out and just random while you’re playing. This is designed as a cooperative experience for a squad of four. I was able to achieve that just once, every single other time I was put with a single other player and no one else would ever join afterwards. It was hard to sync up mission wise, and very hard to get people focused on the task at hand. It wasn’t even that they were off doing things, folks just couldn’t get to the mission.
The game has the worst world traversal I’ve ever seen. This is despite there being a plethora of vehicles, the fast travel points are too minimal and it’s just a straight pain in the ass to get anywhere. Once you do reach a mission, it’s over in a couple minutes and then you have to spend another fifteen minutes to a half hour to get to the next spot. It’s boring, and actually just agonizing to get around in this. The pacing of the game is ruined, I can’t get into the story which in itself is rather lackluster.
It feels like nonsense, one minute you’re working through a mission and the next you’re having a random cutscene with some apparent close pal. Then, they’re all of a sudden a villain. That might be spoilerish, I don’t know, it’s all nonsense anyways when you play through it. That is, assuming you can even enjoy the travel to get anywhere. There’s no small build-up for further travel, and it just shoves you into this large scale island with little direction.
It’s nice to get freedom, at the same time newer players will just be lost. I was just tired of having to find transportation or getting injured and having to limp forever. It’s a pain to heal, and if you die you spawn again injured, often appearing right beside enemies or in the middle of a group of them. That just sucks quite honestly. If you somehow are able to actually work through this branching selection of random missions there are end-game raids.
I was hoping for something decent here, I quite enjoyed Ubisoft’s presentation of PVP in The Division 2. What we get here is something that’s slow, in maps that are too large, with just a few modes that are too familiar. It’s about as boring as getting around in this game, and after a few matches I won’t touch it again. It feels really tacked on, and a bit lazy quite honestly.
The game is actually quite good looking, the visuals are impressive and the world is expansive. You get a good draw distance, with lots of density. It was great on Xbox One X with two visual choices. There’s a fidelity option and one for resolution enhancement wise. Both have some minor issues that pop up such as screen tearing or rendering problems, but for the most part it’s quite good. Seriously, a fairly in-depth world that’s full of flora.
It’s a weird sort of island, featuring multiple biomes and futuristic city elements that are melded with nature. This also creates a sense of small little areas to fight in, with lots of empty space. Occasionally you’ll see a wild animal, but it feels like a lifeless open world. That’s aside from those creatures and the odd patrol group in the dense jungle that makes zero sense. It is nice that there’s a large selection of vehicles, it still seemed hard to come across them. Even in vehicles, the large land masses felt like they took forever.
I’d have my coop partner boat or fly us places so that I could go to the bathroom, prepare a snack, send off some Tweets, browse the internet on the tablet I’m reviewing and then have a little wait to arrive at our destination. Honestly, I’d prefer loading screens. Once near your location, you’d like still have to travel to the place, such an annoyance and beyond frustrating. If I cut my hours of game time down to actual content of action it would be minimal. Once you’re in combat there are ways of doing things, you could use stealth.
It certainly is easier to just shoot and after waiting for so long tactics are thrown out the window as you just want to keep on playing. While playing you’ll open boxes in the world for loot, it’s a weird and shallow system to enhance your characters. There certainly are many items available, and at launch everything was available for purchase. There’s a fairly extensive store present, and you can buy almost anything you want. I’m not sure what would drive you to do so, but go wild I suppose.
It just feels like there’s no point to switching up gear aside from doing it. The game also has a skill system where you gain perks, suppose that was neat. When it comes to general combat it was alright, nothing too wild. I was getting slightly annoyed that my perspective was constantly going to another shoulder despite my best efforts. The cover system works, there are a variety of weapons. It feels like a standard generic shooter quite honestly, loses a lot of the technical finesse that this series used to be known for.
It really does feel like it’s lost its way, and doesn’t understand what made the series so appealing back in the day. It’s become another run of the mill empty open world game that feels as though it has Fallout 76 syndrome, a phrase I’ve coined for a beautiful or unique open world that is lifeless.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an agonizingly boring experience that drags and features a story of complete nonsense. Coming from The Division 2 I was looking forward to what could have been a similar experience. The open world here is boring, and a complete pain to travel through. I’ve never had such a hard time getting somewhere in a game. It killed the pacing, and any enjoyment. Pair that with the matchmaking for a cooperatively focused experience that sucks, it’s awful.
How hard is it to sync players together and get us playing together smoothly. Why can only two people seem to end up together? It’s just puzzling as The Division 2 absolutely rocked the cooperative style and I keep making that note as the games are very similar while being from the same publisher. This was hard to play, I kept wanting to put it away and pushed for as long as I could before calling it quits. It just isn’t enjoyable in any way, it lacks a soul and I’m not even sure I know what they could do to patch this one up.
I’ll probably keep trying to play more of it after writing this, but it’s difficult. It’s hard to play something that you’re not having any fun with. The most enjoyment I had was a five hour long match with someone where we just made fun of the game the entire time, but by the end we were drained as it was hard to get stuff done. It was also exhausting to have to sync up story wise. The world does look really good in this, I enjoyed the visuals.
The Xbox One X enhancement is appreciated, that part they got right. You get a good sense of scale, and the environments are impressive. They’re just not used to their potential. The multiplayer in this is awful, wouldn’t suggest wasting your time trying it even. The story isn’t very well done, it’s all over the place and I saw no point in extra activities. There’s faction battles, but no point in clearing little bases as you don’t really get any benefits and you’ll find enemies there later again.
The gear system in this is just useless, and the game in general lacks its own unique soul. It wants to be other franchises, but can’t hold a candle to them. I’m not sure what they were thinking with this one, it’s disappointing and it really hurts the franchise. I thought it had potential, came into this excited and ultimately think I might need to re-think playing anything with the Ghost Recon branding on it for awhile.
Read our The Division 2 Review
View our Ghost Recon Hub
Ghost Recon Breakpoint Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft