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Breakpoint features open-world gameplay that will be familiar to Wildlands players, but includes “a lot, lot more” content for those playing solo, including more cut-scenes and dialogue options, its developer told VGC.
The game takes place in a near-future setting when AI-powered drones have transformed warfare.
Either solo or in four-player co-op, players explore the fictional, private island of Auroa. The island, which is described as “advanced facilities meet wild and untamed nature”, is the base of operations for drone technology giant Skell.
When rogue spec ops forces known as ‘The Wolves’ take control of Auroa, the Ghost Recon team is sent in behind enemy lines.
The game’s chief antagonist, Lt. Colonel Cole D. Walker, is played by Punisher actor Jon Bernthal, who recently appeared in a DLC episode for Ghost Recon Wildlands.
Steep slopes, accumulating injuries, and fatigue are new challenges for players to tackle, while the Ghosts can now blend into their environment with prone camo and set up camp with teammates to manage equipment, change classes and fine-tune strategies.
Character progression is consistent across both the main campaign and player versus player.
Ubisoft has promised a “robust” post-launch content plan for Breakpoint including new story arcs, classes and features, and in a first for the series, Raid endgame content.
A beta test is planned, Ubisoft said, and players can sign up on the game’s official website.
Q&A: Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Ahead of Breakpoint’s reveal, VGC met with associate lead Sebastian Le Prestre and community developer Laura Cordrey.
What can you tell us about the development team behind Breakpoint? Is Ubisoft Paris leading?
Le Prestre: Yes, the lead studio is Paris with a further seven involved. We have over 1,000 people working on this game. Our executive producer is Nouredine Abboud (Wildlands, Future Soldier).
Why release another Ghost Recon just two years after the last?
Le Prestre: It’s been a packed two years. When we released Wildlands we had a huge game but we didn’t commit to any post-launch support. But as the game evolved and as we gathered community feedback, we started pumping out some title updates and it became the philosophy of our studio to support our games as we went along.
The inspiration literally came from working on the game and listening to the community. So looking at the amount of content we delivered for Wildlands without committing, you can only imagine our plans this time around with the raid, episodes and more.
“When we found out Jon was available it was an obvious fit. When he started reading the lines he brought the character to life and gave us chills.”
Some might see a risk in splitting the community with such close releases, but it seems you’ve planned a smooth transition with the recent Wildlands DLC starring Breakpoint’s villain?
Cordrey: Yeah, it’s a really nice transition. We made a very concrete decision about the story that we wanted to tell in that last update for Wildlands. We recommend that you play it because it ties really nicely into what we’re bringing to Breakpoint.
Obviously we’re really happy with the reception that we had with Wildlands and with Breakpoint we simply wanted to offer another huge game for our players with a completely different storyline to what we’ve had before. The tone is very different, there’s a different atmosphere.
Le Prestre: Exactly. We’ve been actively listening to our fans with Wildlands and we’re bringing them a lot of features that they asked for in Breakpoint. That’s going to be a big selling point for them because they’re going to see a lot of cool new stuff in Breakpoint, but also a lot of stuff that they asked for in Wildlands. Our community is 15 million players strong now and it’s really important for us to listen to them and hear what they want to see.
Ubisoft loves identifying and integrating modern trends into its franchises, and Breakpoint has a focus on drone tech…
Le Prestre: This being Ghost Recon, of course we worked with military weapon experts and now, drone experts. So yes, we are basing ourselves on real-life knowledge but again, although this is based in reality it’s still a work of fiction. We want to bring that realism to our players, but we don’t want them to think that we’re sending a message with it. We just want people to have fun based on this beautiful universe that we’re creating.
What does having Hollywood talent in Jon Bernthal bring to the game?
Le Prestre: We wrote our story, decided who we wanted the character to be and then when we found out Jon was available it was an obvious fit. When he started reading the lines he brought the character to life and gave us chills. That’s the added value for us: as a lead antagonist he has that credibility that we were looking for. This is more of a brother versus brother narrative, so having Jon personify that was perfect.
You can create characters that you think are interesting, but if you don’t find the right person to embody them it just doesn’t work. We were looking for a gritty character who could put fear into the player. There are not many actors who could be credible in that role but Jon was more than credible and we’re thrilled to have him on board.
Does Bernthal’s involvement suggest there’s more here for solo players?
Le Prestre: Absolutely. There’s a lot, lot more. We had a storyline in Wildlands, but here we’re bringing so much more. We’re going to have episodes, daily mission stuff, we’re going to have raids, the ability to keep your progressions across PvE and PvP… you’re going to have more options than you had in Wildlands. We’re just bringing so much more.