How Ghost Recon Breakpoint Became A Colossal Failure

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A cautionary tale for Ubisoft.

Story Highlights
  • Beloved by fans for its tactical squad-based action, Ghost Recon Breakpoint diverged from its core identity.
  • Bugs, glitches, and a constant online requirement troubled the launch, which was very frustrating.
  • Ubisoft’s decision to end support for Breakpoint screams that the game failed to meet expectations.
  • With Ubisoft focusing on remakes and open-world titles, the future of Ghost Recon remains to be determined.

Ghost Recon is a series that has a special place in my heart. I have been a fan of the franchise since the early days of the tactical squad-based gameplay, and I continued to enjoy the more open-world approach of Wildlands.

However, the release of Ghost Recon Breakpoint was a significant disappointment for me. Ubisoft’s decision to take the game in a different direction resulted in a game that felt like a colossal failure and one that betrayed the core identity of the franchise.

The game lacked the tactical depth and strategic gameplay that made the earlier games so enjoyable. Instead, Breakpoint featured a generic open-world design that felt like a knockoff of other games in the genre.

Why It Matters: Ghost Recon Breakpoint flopped because it strayed too far from what fans expected and loved. This is a warning sign for Ubisoft and other game makers. If they focus only on making money and following trends, they risk ruining the games we love.

Where Ubisoft Fumbled: Breakpoint Breakdown

A Gearscore Grind

Breakpoint’s introduction of the gear score system completely changed the game’s focus, shifting it away from tactical strategy and environmental mastership. In this new system, success was determined by the numerical values of your gear rather than your skill.

This transformed Ghost Recon from a strategic shooter to a looter grind similar to those found in Destiny or The Division. This change felt entirely out of place within the Ghost Recon universe. Although there are several guides for this gear system, I still dislike this feature.

The Flawed Always-Online Requirement

Breakpoint was a game that always required an online connection, even for its single-player campaign. Many gamers criticized this decision, especially since the game had technical issues when it was first launched.

This requirement meant that players who preferred a solo experience couldn’t play the game without an Internet connection, which some considered punishment.

Disastrous Microtransactions

The requirement to always be online felt even more unfair when combined with the aggressive microtransaction system. Breakpoint provided shortcuts to obtaining better equipment through real-money purchases, effectively putting a price on progression. This was a selfish attempt to profit from players’ dissatisfaction with the core gameplay loop.

A Bugged Ghost Recon Experience

The day Breakpoint was released turned out to be a complete disaster. Servers were still down, the game was full of bugs, glitches, and performance issues. From the enemy AI malfunctioning to the textures failing to load, the technical condition of the game was not up to the mark for a premium AAA title. These issues severely impacted the overall gaming experience and left a negative impression on many players.

ghost recon breakpoint environment
A Bland Open World – Image Credits [Tomographic on YouTube]

Deviation from the Series Identity

In addition to its technical problems, Breakpoint deviated from what made Ghost Recon distinctive. The series has always been about precise squad tactics, strategic infiltration, and conquering seemingly unconquerable challenges with a highly classified team.

With its repetitive and dull tasks, the bland open-world format of Breakpoint felt like a standard Ubisoft formula imposed on a franchise that deserved a more visionary approach. 

Ubisoft’s Post-Launch Approach

Ubisoft’s post-launch efforts for Breakpoint did little to salvage the situation. They conducted a survey asking the community what changes they wanted in Breakpoint. While they addressed some bugs and implemented balance changes, the core issues, like the always-online requirement, remained. It felt like they were doubling down on a direction that needed to be fixed for the franchise. The game currently has an average score of 56 on Metacritic, highlighting how poorly it was developed and handled.

The Future of Ghost Recon

The future of Ghost Recon seems uncertain. With Ubisoft focusing heavily on projects like the expected Splinter Cell remake and Assassin’s Creed Japan being their most significant investment to date, it’s unclear where Ghost Recon fits in. However, we do know that the next Ghost Recon will be first-person. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of this at all.

There have been rumors of another Assassin’s Creed remake in the works following the success of Valhalla’s Dawn of Ragnarok DLC. This focus on established franchises makes me wonder if Ubisoft hesitates to take risks with Ghost Recon.

However, there’s a hint of hope. Skull and Bones, surrounded by negativity upon release, recently broke records as one of Ubisoft’s most recorded-player titles. This shows that gamers still crave unique experiences. Ubisoft will learn from Breakpoint’s mistakes and bring Ghost Recon back to its tactical roots.

Final Words

Ubisoft and the gaming industry can learn a lesson from Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The game’s failure shows that blindly following trends and monetization strategies can ruin beloved franchises.

The recent layoffs at Ubisoft, which resulted in 124 employees losing their jobs, raise concerns about the future of Ghost Recon. Even though Ubisoft is thriving and busy now, the question remains whether Ubisoft will give Ghost Recon a chance to redeem itself.

Ubisoft should remember what made Ghost Recon special. Gamers desperately hope Ubisoft won’t make the same mistakes with their upcoming Star Wars: Outlaw. We can only wait and wonder if Ghost Recon’s future will shine or crumble like Breakpoint.

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