A fictional Pacific archipelago, a mega-corporation and an army of killbot-assisted high-tech mercs. Ghost Recon Breakpoint, announced today and out on October 4th, looks largely like we expected from Ubisoft’s leak last night. A sequel to sandbox shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands, trading the ethically sketchy ‘US covert ops fighting the drug war’ setting for a more videogamey near-future scenario. As with its predecessor, it’s a co-op focused game playable solo or with up to three buddies, optional PvP, and even plans for a post-release raid on a villain’s volcano lair. See the debut trailer and a quarter-hour of action below.
As the theme of this game is being trapped behind enemy lines, it feels like they’ve cribbed some notes from Metal Gear Solid 3 and 5. There’ll be a more advanced injury and medical system, a mid-mission camping system allowing you to switch classes and refit, and more high-tech gadgets and guns to play around with. There’s also going to be a more advanced camouflage system, allowing you to roll around in mud to blend in with the terrain. This may come in handy, as apparently the enemies are more aggressively patrolling, will call in reinforcements quickly, and better geared.
As expected, the villain this time round is Cole Walker, a Ghost team leader gone rogue, who may or may not also be The Punisher. Maybe it’s just because he’s played by Jon Bernthal. It feels like Ubisoft are trying to make a big deal of his camo-cyberpunk look, with a high-tech mask, billowing cloak and a huge revolver. Wildlands players got to work with him before he decided to change careers to supervillainy in the game’s most recent DLC chapter.
Leaving behind the cartels has done wonders for enemy variety. There’s sleek angled black near-future military vehicles, and enemy drones ranging from little buzzing camera and gun quadcopters to full-sized robo-tanks, hauled in by even larger fliers. The human enemies appear more high-tech too, complete with big stompy guys with miniguns, fresh from The Division 2. The fictional environment has allowed Ubisoft to cut loose, as the post-release raid shown during the release stream featured a preposterous high-tech volcano lair to assault, surrounded by a moat of bubbling lava. It’s all very videogamey, but doesn’t make me feel dirty anymore, so that’s a step up.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint launches on October 4th for £50/€60/$60 for the regular edition, or more for the obligatory season-pass bundle. The official pre-order page links to stores, including Ubisoft’s own store and Epic. As with Wildlands and The Division 2, there will be seasonal episodic updates, much of it free, but some unlocked early or exclusive to the season pass, but Ubi’s road-map is vague at present.