Ghost Recon Breakpoint just had a closed beta that ran over the weekend, offering players a sneak peek at two of the story’s main missions, a bunch of sidequests and a large portion of the map. This game is intent on being realistic, gritty, and above all else tactical. Sometimes, that actually works out and you get really intense enemy encounters in a hostile open world. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to make up for all of the game’s problems so far.
Welcome to the island of Auroa, where tourists are heavily frowned upon. Skell Technology operates on this island as a military contractor, but has recently fallen under suspicion of engineering an assassination. Nomad and his Ghost Recon team head to Auroa to investigate the island only to find out that an old buddy and his new army have taken over the island.
This old buddy is former Ghost Cole D. Walker, whom fans might remember from the Operation Oracle update in Ghost Recon Wildlands earlier this year. You might also remember him better during his tours shooting down zombies or wearing a white skull on his chest - as Cole is played by The Punisher himself, Jon Bernthal.
Auroa is a fairly by-the-numbers open world. Cole’s army of Wolves are everywhere on the island, having taken over Skell Technology drone production for their own gain. Even if you don’t encounter them, the Wolves’ many drones flying around the island are always a danger. Being discovered and hunted down by one is by far my favourite experience from the beta - it’s incredibly intense.
Exploration is pretty great in this game. There’s a guided mode which gives players an ever-present objective marker if you really want some sense of direction. However, you can turn that off and rely on reading maps to find your way around Auroa and reach an objective. This really lends itself well to the ‘tactical’ experience Breakpoint is going for.
Now we enter the bad bits of the beta. Keep in mind that this might have been an older build of the game though, and thus we might not see all these issues in its full release. Unfortunately, it comes out in under a month, so…
First off, this game has a frankly enormous amount of graphical bugs and glitches. I played the game on PlayStation 4, and I was actively horrified at what I was seeing. It’s nowhere near as bad as the constant T-posing of Fallout 76’s beta, sure, but good grief. I experienced all sorts of graphical issues, from framerate drops and textures not loading in, to pixelated lighting and NPCs literally floating down from on high.
Certain character animations look appallingly bad. Because the game’s trying to be realistic, characters have different animations when running or walking through water, leading to some pretty hilarious character movements. Running animations make characters look like they’re sprinting with a giant stick up their butt - not to be crude, but it’s honestly the best description I can give for it. It really kills player immersion when you see cheap animations like these all the time.