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Ghost Recon Breakpoint: Hands On Impressions

Ubisoft invited us out to join a group for a briefing of Ghost Recon Breakpoint ahead of the official announcement. During our time, we learned about the story and gameplay. At the end of the briefing, the group watched a live, in-depth demo played by four members of the development team. Afterwards, I had a chance to play a section of the demo we saw on screen. The alpha-build demo lasted 15 minutes. Although the window of playtime was short, I was able to formulate some impressions on what I had played. 

I was paired up with two other journalists and one developer working on Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The mission titled “Without a trace”. As Nomad and his group of Ghost operators, we spawned on the location aptly named Devil’s Forest. We were tasked to infiltrate a compound and locate Paula Madera, a Skell Technology technician being held captive by the Wolves. Each member of the party was given a class with their own weapons. During the demo, I was able to try out the Sharpshooter class, a sniper and support specialist. The compound and our main objective were located in the middle of the forest with a low enemy presence.

Approaching the compound, I was able to tap and hold the crouch button to try out the new Prone Camo mechanic. Since we were traversing the forest, I was able to cover myself in mud to blend in with the environment and avoid detection as we approached. Even though it was an unnecessary measure, it was nice to see how the new mechanic worked. Arriving at the outskirts of the compound, I was able to do some recon with my binoculars and ping enemy units. Pinging enemies was simple and intuitive. My team instantly saw the pings appear on their screen as I was scouting the compound. One member of the team breached the fence, providing a safe, silent, and permanent entry point for the team. 

Coordinating with the team via headsets, we all decided to take out patrolling units using the Sync Shot mechanic. As we all chose our target, we orchestrated a three-two-one countdown before we synchronizing our shots. Our successful Sync Shot took down the enemies without raising any alarms. Using a silenced sniper rifle, aiming and firing felt clean and accurate. Even though my reticle may have been off slightly, the hitboxes were forgiving and I was able to land effective headshots. As time was scarce, we decided not to pick up and hide the bodies but continue deeper into the compound in order to locate Madera. Staying back, I continued to provide intel to our team and ping guards for my team to disable. As mentioned, enemy numbers were on the lower side so breaching the inside of the compound was relatively simple.

Swapping to my secondary weapon, a silenced SMG, I took down a few guards patrolling the interior of the compound. Having seen the demo played moments earlier, the team knew where to go. We did, however, alert a few enemies to our presence along the way. Using silenced weapons, we took out a couple of enemies and it did not seem to raise any alarms and we were able to advance without any trouble and arrive at Madera’s location.

Following a brief cutscene, the game gave us a dialogue option. Choosing one, Madera tasked the team with destroying two crates hidden around the compound. As our time was beginning to come to a close, a bit of chaos broke out. All members split up and began to head to the locations indicated on our map. Being a bit reckless, I found myself in the middle of a firefight with a couple of guards on my way to the crates. Strangely, or perhaps luckily enough, backup was not called. After disabling the enemy units we set the charge on the crates and returned to Madera. Sticking with my silenced SMG, I felt like the mid-range gun combat was a bit more refined in comparison to Wildlands. The aiming and shooting felt very smooth.

Another brief cutscene played out in which enemy, Cole D. Walker’s adversary, Flycatcher, approached the compound and set a lethal wave of drones loose. Injuring Madera, the Ghost team had to carry her to the extraction point while fighting off a wave of armed soldiers. Keeping in mind this was an alpha-build, rather than appropriately carrying Madera, my character violently grabbed her and began dragging her as if she was our hostage. Making our way to extraction, our team began strategically taking down approaching enemies. As we arrived at the front door of the compound, our time with the demo was over.

Having a guide who knew the layout of the map and proper measurements to take during our 15 minutes of hands-on time with Ghost Recon Breakpoint helped a lot. As players of Wildlands can imagine, there are multiple ways of tackling a mission. Being strategic and stealthy allowed us to move through the mission quite easily. There were moments where had we had more equipment unlocked, we could have formulated a better approach and keep resistance at a minimum. The demo was an early alpha-build so understandable rough edges were noticeable. Throughout the 15 minutes, I never experienced anything game-breaking or any major hiccups. 

Ghost Recon Breakpoint feels like a proper continuation of Wildlands. It features a lineup of quality of life changes and a refreshing change of scenery. From the hands-on time I was able to get, it appears that Ghost Recon Breakpoint is off to a stellar start and will likely win over the hearts of Ghost Recon fans. The small sliver of the narrative we experienced was intriguing enough to warrant a deeper dive as the release approaches. Ubisoft Paris has been clear that Ghost Recon Breakpoint will feature a robust narrative, along with PVP at launch. Look out for additional campaign notes as we approach the fall release.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint releases on October 4th, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.

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