The new Ghost Recon hosted a beta period this last weekend, for the Tom Clancy faithful to jump in and see what's new in the world of Ghost Recon Breakpoint. It seems like one of the larger mechanical changes going from Wildlands to Breakpoint is already causing a ruckus: the added loot mechanics.
While you can pick up guns with better numbers and statistics tied to them, Breakpoint is still trying to maintain a level of realism in its combat rather than turn enemies into walking hunks of bullet-absorbing sponge. The trade-off is that while enemies like drones will take a significant amount of bullets, headshots will still take out human enemies, even the high-level ones.
Some players aren't too happy about this change to the Ghost Recon formula established with Wildlands, though several point out that due to the nature of headshots, the gearscore doesn't end up mattering all that much. "To be fair, this might be the best looter shooter in a way," writes one Reddit user. "The fact that we can kill 150GS Wolves with a starting white rifle in the starting tutorial is amazing."
Others aren't so happy, however. "Nobody asked for this loot system, and throughout the life cycle of Wildlands the community feedback has been overwhelmingly vocal requesting a focus more on realism," writes another Reddit user. Rather than getting the gun and attachments you want, then it serving its role, loot and numbers might determine which gun you have to use in order to do actual damage against an escalating enemy difficulty level.
At a recent event, Breakpoint executive producer Nouredine Abboud put the difference between Breakpoint and other "shlooter" games, like The Division or Destiny, pretty plainly: "We are a shooter, they are an RPG."
Abboud reasserted that headshots and realism still had their place in the Ghost Recon world. But when it comes to loot, you have to question why include it if that's the goal? As Abboud puts it, the idea is to keep players invested. "Mostly it matters that people come to the game on a daily basis and see that it's changed in some way," Abboud told USgamer. "This is why the stats come in handy. By having stats, you have a feeling that you're developing the character. That's our goal: to have content on a daily basis."
We'll see whether players are willing to stick around and see how that content evolves over the course of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, or whether they'll stick to their guns in other games. Ghost Recon Breakpoint is out on October 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.