New multiplayer requires plenty of teamwork

Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Genre: Tactical shooter
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris

By Gieson Cacho // The Mercury News (TNS)

This is how you ruin a co-op experience in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. My teammates are running around like an unbridled mass of chaos and stupidity running into a gated facility inhabited by soldiers and drones armed to the teeth. We shoot at them, we die, we respawn and die again as we try to revive each other. This would have made sense, but unfortunately, the site we’re attacking isn’t even the objective.

That’s a few kilometers away, and my teammates in all their wisdom drove to this place by mistake and ended up fighting for no reason at all. One person just started shooting and then another person did and we all assumed we had to attack this area.

This is the danger of previews for games played online. Sometimes you’re stuck with people who don’t have the same priorities as you do. I wanted to get through the missions and try a little bit of everything in the short time I had with the game. On the other hand, my teammates wanted us to coordinate our outfits so we all dressed in a garish plaid and lie down with armadillos.

My complaints don’t mean that Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a bad game. Far from it, if you were with the right group, it has the potential to be fun. Ubisoft Paris brings in more of a survival element and combines that with the loot-based mechanics of Tom Clancy’s The Division. Despite the shared mechanics, that doesn’t mean one is a clone of the other.

They’re distinctly different experiences. The Division is a cover-based shooter with fighting taking place in dense urban environments. Players sprint to cover, shoot enemies and try to manage the confined battlefield.

On the other hand, Breakpoint is more open. It’s a game that relies on ambushes and stealth. Ideally, players scout a zone with their drones and come up with a game plan. They mark enemies and spot trouble areas and then go into action. Most of the time, it doesn’t work out. Someone screws up and teammates die. Players have to maintain discipline and adapt to the situation.

To help push gamers toward team play, they can choose from four different classes: Field medic, panther (stealth-focus), assault, and sharpshooter. Each class has its own type of drones, gear and perks.

Much of the gameplay experienced in the multiplayer story campaign translates over to the player vs. player part of Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The development team said it learned a lot from the first game and designed the multiplayer maps in tandem with the single-player campaign.

From what I played, Breakpoint has the potential to be every bit as good as The Division 2. The issue facing developers is of course quashing bugs. I ran across a few during the preview event. Personally, the bigger obstacle is finding a reliable group. If players are depending on the competency of random allies, it could be a tough fight for a game that requires plenty of teamwork and coordination. As I mentioned before, not everyone you meet has the same playstyle and that can inevitably lead to conflicts.