Today, Ubisoft unveiled Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the next game in the Ghost Recon saga. The game looks like no other Tom Clancy game before it, so we were excited to go hands-on with it at an event in New York City last week. We’re happy to report that it’s already shaping up to be one of the most intense games of the year.
In the recent Ghost Recon Wildlands update, dubbed Operation Oracle, players meet fellow Ghost Team Leader Major Cole D. Walker. Played by actor Jon Bernthal, Walker is an ally who’s got your back on the battlefield. You probably don’t want to get too cozy with this new buddy though, as it turns out he’s also the main antagonist in Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
The next full-on sequel in Ubisoft’s open-world, tactical shooter series, Breakpoint sees Walker take a turn for the worse. On top of going rogue, the mysterious character recruits other ex-Ghosts to join his cause. If all that wasn’t evil enough, he also takes over Skell Technologies, the company responsible for crafting the advanced drone tech used by Wildlands‘ Ghosts.
With plans to reprogram and weaponize the drones for some nefarious deeds, Walker and his crew establish a base of operations on Aurora island. Home to Skell Tech’s headquarters, the archipelago is a vast, varied land with beaches, jungles, mountains, and its very own lava-spewing volcano. Breakpoint begins when your recon chopper crashes on the island, a terrifying act executed by a bee-like swarm of Walker’s hacked bots.
Wounded, disoriented, and left for dead, your Ghost must survive this scary set-up before he or she can even think about stopping Walker. That’ll be a long and arduous road, however, as Breakpoint drastically turns the tables on the titular special forces operatives. Without any gear, weapons, intel, or a clear mission objective, you’re left to fend for yourself, scavenging for resources and scouting your surroundings.
On top of the obvious threats, you’ll fight hunger, dehydration, and fatigue. Harsh environmental terrain and unpredictable weather also challenge your survival skills. While the stakes are high and the odds stacked against you, there’s some hope in the new Bivouac system. A sort of safe haven for your weary warrior, Bivouacs are spread all over the map. Once unlocked, these camps serve as spots to recharge, regroup, and repair. Players can use these respites to craft and upgrade gear from collected resources, tend to injuries, nourish their mental and physical states, and apply character buffs.
More than just a place to rest and heal, however, Bivouacs serve as your primary spot for planning, plotting, and prioritizing. Breakpoint won’t be handing you targets or objectives on a silver platter, so you’ll need to utilize this downtime to sort through found intel and determine your next move. The ability to change the time of day, as well as monitor weather forecasts, complements this element; a mission requiring careful stealth, for example, might be best executed at dusk, during a sound-muffling thunder storm.
When not watching the weather or munching on energy bars, you’ll use the Bivouac to select a class. Perhaps these camps’ coolest and most important feature, choosing a specialization – assault, sharpshooter, engineer, or panther – lets you tailor your character to the specific needs of a mission. Each class possesses its own buffs, weapons, and gear – such as smoke bombs for the stealthy panther – that allow players to experiment without permanently locking into a specific discipline. Classes can be changed at any Bivouac, ensuring you have the best build for the mission at hand.
Breakpoint‘s brutal world – and the Bivouac’s role in helping you survive it – stands out as the game’s most evolutionary feature, but it barely scratches the surface of what fans can expect from the final game. Four-player co-op returns, as does the ability to simultaneously drop a quartet of targets with the series’ signature sync shot; solo players can pull off the move this time, too, when accompanied by three AI drones. Speaking of autonomous bots, Breakpoint also promises a variety of mechanical menaces, from the standard drones that take out your transport at the game’s start to larger, tank-like smart machines.
Progression shared across all modes – solo, PvP, and co-op – as well as endgame raids are also on the agenda. Toss in dozens of military vehicles, a diverse line-up of enemy archetypes, and the ability to slather yourself in mud before stealthily slaying unsuspecting targets, and you can be forgiven for failing to remember there’s also an active volcano in the game.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint infiltrates Xbox One on October 4. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for future details.