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Ghost Recon: Breakpoint review

 

Ghost Recon: Wildlands was a middling open-world shooter, but it wasn’t entirely devoid of potential. With more diverse missions, a greater range of tactical gadgets and abilities, and a better thought-out story, it might have succeeded in justifying its ludicrously huge world and absurd number of activities. As a sequel, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint adds none of these things. In fact, Breakpoint adds nothing of value to the Ghost Recon template.

Instead, it transplants into Wildlands’ structure several systems from other Ubisoft franchises, systems that have no place in a game like Ghost Recon. Meanwhile, it actively removes some features that were present in Wildlands, while making others considerably worse. In case I’ve not made it clear, I don’t think it’s very good. At least the story isn’t likely to trigger a political incident, although this is mainly because it’s unlikely to trigger any spark of emotion whatsoever.

Wildlands’ real-world setting of Bolivia has been switched out for the fictional island of Auroa, an offshore Silicon Valley where your friendly neighbourhood techbro Jace Skell tries to make the world a better place by building killer drones. At the game’s outset, Skell’s operation is hijacked by a former Ghost named Walker (played by Jon Bernthal), who plans to use Skell’s drone army for nonspecific Nefarious Means. Players assume the role of Nomad (which, incidentally, also means “Walker”, suggesting the writers struggled to come up with two generic soldier names) deployed as part of a large team of Ghosts to investigate the situation on Auroa. But the Ghost’s helicopters are shot down by the island’s automated weapons system, and Nomad finds himself alone and hunted through the forest by Walker’s gang of mercenaries who call themselves the “Wolves.

”There is some potential in the new setting. The amorality and unaccountability of modern tech giants, particularly in their associations with the world’s military organisations, is a rich seam to explore in a tactical shooter. Sadly, this potential is squandered in favour of a more generic military tale exploring Nomad and Walker’s relationship, which is detailed through long, unskippable flashback cutscenes. Jon Bernthal does a splendid job inhabiting the role of Jon Bernthal, but it’s hard to take his character seriously when every NPC around him looks and acts like a mannequin with a mop on its head.

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