Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a week away, with a planned release on October 4, 2019. Following the success of the Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Ubisoft is building a brand-new open world for the Ghosts. This mission pits them against ex-Ghost Cole D. Walker (portrayed by Jon Bernthal) and his Wolves on the fictional island of Auroa. Breakpoint is all about survival, taking the team to the brink in the narrative.
Breakpoint also has an increased pushed towards realism and brand-new RPG-style loot system. Both of these changes were the focus of player feedback in the Closed Beta for Breakpoint, and most of that feedback was negative. Players disliked the loot system, noting that it shifted the arcade-style play of Wildlands towards something closer to The Division 2. You can still kill high-level human enemies at any time with a headshot, but Auroa has a number of drones that are hard to tackle if your gear isn't up to snuff. The animations also had more weight to them, but the drawback was movement was less precise; even if you stopped, your character had to take another few steps to kill that momentum.
With the beginning of the second beta phase, Ubisoft wanted to let players know that it answered some of their issues. "While we were excited to see how many of you enjoyed your time on Auroa, we understand that there is always room for improvement," said Ubisoft in a post explaining a few of the changes made.
The Changes Are Here
First, Ubisoft highlighted the new responsiveness of your character, showing how many of the animations from the Closed Beta have been shortened. There's less inertia, and other actions like weapon switching or moving to a prone state have been tightened up. Chests can be looted much quicker and players get into vehicles much faster. At the same time, Ubisoft has added to ability cancel actions like looting and commandeering vehicles. Driving has also been changed to be more like Wildlands, with slopes being less of a problem from vehicles and handbreak drifting becoming easier to control.
Ubisoft has tweaked the difficulty levels, making Arcade and Normal easier. On Arcade, the aim assist is stronger, life regenerates faster, and enemies do a little less damage overall. On the other end, Extreme difficulty has been made harder by removing map indicators for enemy position. Guided Mode, which gives players indicators about mission objectives on the map, is now the default option; players have to switch to Exploration mode, which only offers hints for mission objectives.
I admit that Breakpoint now feels like it's a bit closer to what Wildlands was in terms of movement. One of the things I really enjoyed about the latter game was how it was almost disconnected from reality, where I could hop in a car and go careening down a mountain without dying in a fiery crash. Breakpoint tried to lean closer to realism, but the Closed Beta iteration retains some of that weight, while still being more arcade-like.
The Players Revolt
Despite the changes, players still seem dissatisfied with the current state of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. "I’ve only played a few hours but it leaves me feeling so confused. Somehow the game looks way better than Wildlands, but also worse somehow? The tweaks to movement and animations make everything feel awful and non responsive. The loot aspect is so bizarre and completely out of place with how it should feel," says Reddit user Xbox_Cointelpro.
Breakpoint's narratives involve the player being a Ghost being trapped behind enemy lines alone, but the game itself is always-online, with a hub area that features other players. Some have asked for fewer players to appear in the hub area, which Ubisoft did implement for the Open Beta. Still, those who want a more immersive experience would like the ability to turn off other players completely.
"This has been said before, but there should not be other players in the hubs. The point of the game is you're alone, fighting to survive. Walking into a place and seeing a ton of decked out special ops guys absolutely ruins that. This isn't The Division, please change this before the release," said Reddit user MapleSyrupJedi.
Even the hopefuls seem to be mixed, with positive feedback still couched in other issues that need to be fixed. "Movement feels really nice now. I appreciated the tanky feeling of the last beta, but this is more what I'm used to after Wildlands," wrote Reddit user Outbound_Flight. "For as much as this game wants to be The Division at times, The Division did looting better and unobtrusively."
There's a large number of players that simply wanted Wildlands 2: the same game with a few improvements, not the shift towards loot and RPG-style play. And many who enjoyed Wildlands believe that Breakpoint might eventually reach a good spot, but only some significant time after launch. "Breakpoint has real potential, but only after a solid extra year of support. I also think they kinda screwed the pooch on making mechanic changes based on fan feedback rather than improvements," wrote Reddit user Nonsensicals.
"Maybe the next one will be a worthy successor to the Wildlands," said Ubisoft forums user CapstarZ.
Ubisoft has time to institute more changes, but Breakpoint's launch is only a week away. It's hard to tell if the feedback will depress Breakpoint's sales potential, but even if it does, Ubisoft will likely continue to polish the game as best they can to bring players in. Wildlands was supported up until this year and Ubisoft has already detailed the first year of Breakpoint content. We here at USgamer will be going up against Jon Bernthal's army of rogue operatives, and for all you need to know about the sequel, head over to our Ghost Recon Breakpoint guide.