Ghost Recon Breakpoint launched last week after months of anticipation, but it seems reviewers aren’t as impressed with the game as they were with the possibilities teased by Ubisoft’s pre-launch reveals. Screen Rant gave Ghost Recon Breakpoint 2.5/5 stars, and that’s not even the least favorable review the game has gotten.
Breakpoint’s review scores are some of the lowest yet for the franchise, which was never one of the most beloved game series to begin with. While the original Ghost Recon received generally positive reviews when it launched in 2001, the series has seen a downward trend since then. In 2017, Ghost Recon: Wildlands was released to the worst reviews yet in the series, not only for its gameplay shortfalls, but also for what was widely regarded as a racist portrayal of its Bolivian characters. It was so bad that the Bolivian government even lodged a formal complaint against Ubisoft, the game’s publisher.
Aside from Jon Bernthal’s Breakpoint character appearing in recent Wildlands DLC, the two games have little in common, and Breakpoint fortunately seems to have toned down its more problematic elements. That hasn’t saved it from garnering even more negative reviews than Wildlands, though, with a current Metacritic score of 56 for the PS4 version from 18 reviews. One of the most frequent complaints about the game is what VGC describes as its “identity crisis.” According to several reviews, Breakpoint is at odds with itself, combining elements of different games, from its open world structure to its survival elements, without ever bringing them together into something unique. Reviews also point out its weak RPG progression, which many say feels tacked on, and compare it unfavorably to other Ubisoft games like The Division 2.
Another common thread in Breakpoint’s reviews is that its microtransactions cross the line from being irritating to actively making the game worse. Ubisoft has now removed some of Breakpoint’s most egregious microtransactions, such as XP boosters and skill points, but says they’ll return at an unspecified date. While they were called out as potentially damaging the game’s difficulty curve in some reviews, they’re far from the only microtransactions available. With what Ubisoft called “time-savers” gone, Breakpoint players can still pay real money for multitudes of in-game items and cosmetics.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint may not be outright offensive like its predecessor, but by most accounts, it’s still a game with too many disparate elements that never come together in a satisfying way. It also leans hard on microtransactions at a time when they’re under fire from inside and outside the games industry. In some ways it seems like Ghost Recon Breakpoint was an attempt to restart the series after the debacle of Wildlands, but based on its reception, it’s just as likely that the next Ghost Recon will have to reboot it once again, and it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that’s not the best thing for it.