Ubisoft has officially unveiled Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the next major entry in the long-running Ghost Recon franchise and a sequel to 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. During an extended world premiere event, Ubisoft showed off the many ways in which Breakpoint will build off of Wildlands’ foundation, and how community feedback directly influenced Breakpoint’s new gameplay features. The game will arrive on October 4.
We’ve rounded up all of the relevant information Ubisoft shared during the event. Among other things, Breakpoint will include seamless progression across PvE and PvP, an engaging story set on a massive multi-biome island, and an expansive post-launch content schedule which includes the first ever Ghost Recon Raid experience.
Upping the ante
Ghost Recon Wildlands players have technically already gotten a small taste of what’s in store for Breakpoint. Wildlands’ most recent update added in a free two-part DLC mission called Operation Oracle which introduces a former Ghost named Cole D. Walker (played by The Walking Dead/The Punisher actor Jon Bernthal). The mission also involves a powerful globe-spanning tech company called SkellTech, a company that sits at the heart of Breakpoint’s new story.
In Breakpoint, SkellTech’s highly advanced drone technology has been forcefully co-opted by a rogue paramilitary contractor known as The Wolves. The player’s character, operating under the codename Nomad, is deployed to SkellTech’s home region of Aurora, a massive island made up of multiple topographical regions including snowy peaks and lush forests, to shut SkellTech down. Of course, The Wolves have other plans, shooting down Nomad’s transport and essentially leaving him/her stranded without backup.
The player’s mission to stop SkellTech and The Wolves also becomes personal when they discover that the leader of The Wolves is none other than Cole Walker himself. During a post-reveal livestream, Ubisoft discussed how it wanted to introduce Walker ahead of his Breakpoint debut, hence why he shows up in Wildlands via Operation Oracle. Having Cole transition directly from ally to antagonist plays up the sense of betrayal the player (and Nomad) feels, and that villainous turn will be more thoroughly explained during Breakpoint’s story.
One with nature
Ghost Recon: Wildlands always strived to play up its sense of tactical realism. However, fans were always quick to point out the essential features it was missing, features like being able to pick up and move bodies or cut through chain-link fences. With Breakpoint, it’s clear that Ubisoft made a laundry list of the most-requested Wildlands features and ensured they’d be in the sequel at launch. The following are all features that Wildlands players have frequently requested and which will be in Breakpoint:
- Using an unlockable breaching kit to cut through chain-link fences and other barriers
- A “prone camo” feature which allows players to hide while prone in wilderness environments by covering themselves in mud
- The ability to pick up bodies, either to hide dead enemies or carry wounded teammates to a safe position
- Getting to use explosive armaments like rocket launchers
- Bloused boot cosmetic options (yep, that’s how meticulous Wildlands players are)
Breakpoint will also include a more realistic player damage and healing system in which taking damage can put players in one of three scaling “wound tiers.” Players can self-heal themselves as needed, and they’ll want to do so frequently since higher wound tiers inflict serious negative modifiers (like disabling the ability to sprint or use non-sidearm weapons).
Self-healing will be especially important for solo players since, unlike Wildlands, Breakpoint won’t provide solo Ghosts with AI squadmates. Players can link up with up to three human teammates via online co-op, but if they venture out solo they’ll have nobody watching their backs. Some players might actually see this as more of a positive change since Wildlands’ AI teammates weren’t the most reliable. Ubisoft also said it wanted to play up the ‘lone wolf’ dynamic for players who prefer going it alone.
Four different difficulty levels will also ensure that even solo players can have an easier time if they prefer. Of course, if you feel you’re up to the challenge, Ubisoft promises that the tougher difficulty levels will require some serious skill and coordination.
Even if you’re by yourself, you’ll have a number of tactical options at your disposal thanks to Breakpoint’s character class system. Players can pick one of four class archetypes (with more set to arrive post-launch) which define Nomad’s unique abilities and skills. For the reveal event, Ubisoft detailed two of the four classes, Sharpshooter and Panther:
- Sharpshooter – The quintessential sniper, you can utilize special long-range ammo and reload faster when wielding long-range weapons
- Panther – Enemies are dead before they even know you’re there. Your stealth capabilities and suppressed weapons pair well with your Smoke Bomb gadget which allows you to get the drop on nearby enemies or make a fast exit
Along with picking their class, character appearance, and gear loadout, Breakout players can also fine-tune how they deal with enemies who get too close for comfort. Ubisoft spent a lot of time creating a new series of dynamic (and awesome-looking) melee takedown animations.
These new melee takedowns not only look cool, but they actually change depending on your character’s melee weapon (a standard knife or Karambit blade) and how they’re initiated. For example, initiating a takedown from a prone position or while leaning against cover will result in entirely unique takedowns attached to those corresponding character positions.
More to come
Thanks to the alpha gameplay Ubisoft showed during the reveal event, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint already looks like it’s ready to blow fans away. However, Ubisoft already has an expansive post-launch game plan in the works.
First off, Breakpoint itself will launch on October 4, 2019 (pre-orders are live). After that, Ubisoft will release three major expansions every four months after launch as per its year one roadmap. What exactly those new expansions will add isn’t yet known, but Ubisoft did detail one specific post-launch feature: Raids.
Yep, it seems Ubisoft wants to inject a little MMO into Breakpoint much like it’s doing with The Division 2. Ubisoft was careful not to reveal too much about Breakpoint’s Raid experience, but it did confirm a few details. The first Breakpoint Raid is set in the bowels of an active volcano, and it will pit players against some of the most deadly SkellTech The Wolves can muster. Also, unsurprisingly, the Raid cannot be done solo, you need to link up with three other players to attempt it.
Oh, and in case you were curious, Ubisoft says it has no plans for a battle royale mode in Breakpoint (for now).
During the tail end of the livestream, Ubisoft also confirmed when fans will be able to find out more about Breakpoint. Another presentation will be shown during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference on June 10. After that, a PvP-focused deep dive will be shown during Gamescom in August. Ubisoft will also be hosting a private beta for Breakpoint ahead of its full launch. All Breakpoint pre-orders come with beta access.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint launches for PC and consoles on October 4.