Two years ago, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was not perfect, but certainly memorable . In addition to the bunch of problems familiar to Ubisoft’s sandboxes , the audience did not appreciate the fact that there was no plot as such in the game: Wildlands only provided a sandbox and funds, and the players themselves generated (or tried to generate) their stories.

However, from the second attempt, the French, as a rule, do better. Therefore, having gathered strength, the developers from Ubisoft Paris recruited more people to the studio, hired screenwriters and discharged Hollywood actor John Bernthal to assemble the perfect sequel.

Events Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint takes place four years after the Wildlands. The scene is the fictional archipelago of Auroa in the Pacific Ocean, which (the archipelago, not the ocean) is owned by the genius of modern engineering and billionaire Jace Skell. His company is manufacturing chips for drones and drones of the new generation for the US government: it’s a sin not to make money on such military contracts for more than one happy old age.

The plot of the story is surprisingly well set, but there are only a few pieces of similar scenes in the game

But in 2023, Skell’s technology suddenly fell into the wrong hands. The archipelago disappeared from the radar and stopped communicating, and the cargo ship, sailing past Auroa, sank. The CIA sent a special squad Ghost Recon for reconnaissance in closed territory, and there they met the soldiers, as they say, with the red carpet: a swarm of drones, as if in some kind of Star Trek Beyond , in a matter of seconds riddled with helicopters, and the whole squad scattered around Avroa. Midas went missing, Holt was wounded and could not fight, and Weaver was killed by the main antagonist – Cole Walker, who was just played by John Berntal. We play for Nomad – the surviving squad leader. After the events of Wildlands, he (or she, the sex of the protagonist can be chosen) was going to retire, but … not fate. Now you have to avenge your comrades and only then go to rest.

The plot itself, of course, does not shine with originality, but it copes with its task of introducing the player to the archipelago. Minor characters did not disappoint; the main villain is revealed in the best traditions of Metal Gear : he is disappointed in the government, the soldiers are not appreciated, so I fight alone against everyone. Other Breakpoint antagonists fade in the background, because their main goal is to yell at subordinates, kill civilians and threaten everyone around.

Walker is the best part of the plot, but only it, unfortunately, is catastrophically small. Moreover, the facial animation is a terrible mess: in comparison with other Ubisoft blockbusters, here it’s absolutely nonsense

To defeat Walker will have to enlist the support of the natives. Both local residents and former Skella employees, who know the technology of drones along and across, just will not help to free the island. As usual, in order to gain confidence in the right people, you will have to perform breathtakingly interesting tasks: bring something, help those, kill a dozen enemies there, kill another ten here. This routine from Wildlands has not changed much, except now everything is tied to the human plot.

The equipment system came here directly from The Division: all weapons and items of equipment are color coded and value, as in any counter MMO. And it works … debatable. Suppose I found the perfect sniper rifle and assault rifle with which I smash everyone into chips. Then I get a gun higher level, but weaker in characteristics. It would seem, why use it? Yes, you can fight what you like, only without the right level of equipment you will not be allowed into activity with the most delicious rewards. Let’s say they’re allowed in some hot spots only at the 150th level, but in twenty hours of the game I got only to the 90th. In other cases, you have to carefully choose from the huge list that trunk, which fits the favorite style of the game, and does not sag on the characteristics. That is, as the developers said, you can cope with opponents with any weapon … but what’s the point?

The cave, hidden from Walker’s drones, is our operational headquarters. Here you can collect tasks, and find associates for the cooperative, and fit into the PvP match. And in smaller camps, before the task, you can order all the necessary equipment and get some useful, albeit short-term buff

At the same time, the shooting itself was a success. Each gun is felt in its own way: recoil, accuracy, range, hitting enemies – everything is done at the highest level. If desired, each barrel can also be changed to your taste. To do this, you will have to redeem all the additional spare parts in the store and run in order for side tasks, but it’s worth it. And the drone is now not just an additional option, but a full-fledged gameplay element: in addition to intelligence, it treats wounded comrades and remotely euthanizes or kills enemies. He, by the way, replaces the towers so beloved by the French, revealing points of interest and remarkable locations on the map. A separate branch is reserved for pumping the device, and neglecting it is more expensive for yourself.

There is only one “but”: it will be necessary to assemble spare parts, recipes and schemes very often, and this quickly tires. After spending several hours trying to get a brand new submachine gun, I was extremely happy to find it, only on the next mission the same gadget fell out of the enemy, but with better characteristics. Such moments with a (essentially) waste of time are beating right in the heart.

You can travel the world both on your own and on transport – and, believe me, you will have to do this all the time, because the tasks are purposely scattered as far as possible from each other. However, when traveling, there is something to admire: the islands are striking in the size and quality of the study. Dense forests, mountain ranges, waterfalls, large factories and laboratories, abandoned shacks and underground bunkers. There are so many points of interest on the map that it’s easier to collect all the Pokémon than to inspect each one.

Dissecting by nature does not bother even alone, because around constantly something happens. Mercenaries take the hostages of the scientists, refugees are trying to fix the car, regular patrols … there is no reason to search for a shootout. The soundtrack is also pleasing: here Ubisoft skillfully use music to emphasize the mood of even the smallest and most casual scene. Only the graphics are frustrating: the version for PS4, especially in comparison with the same Horizon: Zero Dawn or Red Dead Redemption 2 , looks faded (everything is much better on a PC).

If you move away, squint and do not shake your head, all the roughness of the graphics disappear by themselves

But to hell with him, carefree to ride around the local beauties you still will not give anyone: all around the enemy roadblocks. A lot of them. A lot . So much so that there is a feeling as if somewhere below the ground is a conveyor belt for the production of soldiers. In addition to infantry, the territory is guarded by turntables, drones and drones: when they appear, you need to immediately fall on your stomach and sprinkle yourself with earth (no kidding, this is a separate mechanic). And then, if you notice, to a hundred mercenaries next to you will be added ten more elite fighters from the “Wolves” detachment, who not only shoot harder, but are also armored to the very heels.

There are a lot of various techniques: flying, and land, and floating. True, car physics can compete with physics in the original Watch_Dogs in curvature, and it’s better not to land from helicopters – you’ll be guaranteed to crash

Compared to the previous part, AI noticeably wiser. Now the units communicate with each other, try to get in from the side, use drones, worry about killed colleagues and call for help if they are at a disadvantage. Walker’s troops are divided into familiar types: sniper, infantryman, machine gunner, commander, artilleryman, attack aircraft … and so on and so forth. There is no need to look for a special approach to them, absolutely all enemies (yes, they kept their word) are killed by a shot in the head, but, playing alone, it’s still not worth it to carry on an open battle. The enemy still crushes not with skill, but with a number and without five minutes of fabulous accuracy.

Sometimes in dialogs you can choose an answer option. This does not affect the plot, but still creates the feeling that you (both as a player and as a character) are important for the development of events

Additional problems are provided by the crooked implementation of the shelter system: the hero simply cannot hide normally. During aiming, he either protrudes from behind a hypothetical wall, or looks directly into it. The camera sometimes also crashes, and while you are at war with buggy mechanics, the enemy already goes behind and kills with five shots. Opponents are hiding behind all kinds of sandbags, like professionals in their field, and they always know exactly when you are targeting them.

The same misfortune with all vegetation: during skirmishes it is almost impossible to make out a mercenary sitting in the grass – but the sharp-sighted AI is always in the know where you are. In theory, the flora, on the contrary, should play into our hands and disguise the protagonist, only the snipers do not care: their eyepieces are no worse than those of drones and drones.

Therefore, you will have to die often, especially in battles against high-level opponents. After death, you are thrown back to a control point about five hundred meters from the task, so another run and, for example, an accidental meeting with a patrol, are considered to be provided for you. Killed enemies after death come to life with you, so cleaning the location alone often drags on for several hours. Without a drone, especially in open spaces, sometimes you don’t even understand what enemy forces you will encounter.

The sixth sense always tells the Walker soldiers that they are aiming at them – and they immediately rush into the foliage, if any, in sight. Get ready to crawl for a long time with the fifth point at the same position to finally find the desired angle

However, all the voiced shortcomings fade into the background when you play with friends. Fighting with the crowd is just as fun as in the Wildlands: it is in the cooperative that you can find the promised field for experimentation and unprecedented freedom for improvisation. For example, a difficult task for one person to protect an engineer from waves of elite enemies when playing with associates turns into a whole adventure. A fighter miners the terrain and distracts the main blow under the guise of a doctor and a sniper, who arranged a position on a cliff. Panther is kept close to VIP. The operation begins, the first waves, everything goes like clockwork. Then a helicopter flies into place and notices a sniper lying in the distance; two cars with machine guns loaded with soldiers were immediately pulled up to him. Now the war is going on two fronts, and the detachment needs to change the action plan at the moment just to survive.

If you do not have comrades, you can ask for help from other operatives in the shelter, but stumbling upon a Russian-speaking player is not an easy task. And this is a big problem, because the game does not have text chat, exclusively voice; if you don’t know a foreign language – sorry, you have to communicate through the wheel of gestures. And it is absolutely empty at the beginning of the passage: that is, in order to communicate normally, you have to buy them in the store.

Be prepared for the fact that new associates will run headlong into the most difficult tasks and die from a stray bullet, and then poke at you on the map with a request to raise them to their feet. You can call someone from the camp to run together, but attempts to express themselves in detail (and most importantly – quickly) with gestures in the heat of a shootout turn into torture. Therefore, going to raids (about the same as in The Division 2) with strangers is still fun.

Of course, there are microtransactions in the game: boosters for leveling, new weapons, cosmetic improvements. But this is more a lifeline for the most lazy than a necessity. Good guns fall out on their own, like equipment; Rags, masks and other ruffles are also unlocked as tasks are completed.

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