Ghost Recon Breakpoint Xbox One review: Is this open-world shooter worth buying?

Take down a Ghost.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint is an open-world third-person military shooter that feels like a direct sequel to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. If you're an avid player of the latter, you'll remember Cole D. Walker from one of the missions. Unfortunately, Walker is now the antagonist and has taken over an island in the Pacific Ocean. It's unclear what his plans are, but it's up to you to find out and confront your former comrade.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint characters and story

Ghost Recon Breakpoint's story focuses on themes related to drone warfare, unchecked technological advancement, torture, and more. In my opinion, it's much deeper than what Ghost Recon Wildlands offered in 2017 because it's more than just a tale of taking out a cartel. You have to go up against another trained soldier you fought alongside years ago. It deals with current issues that affect the real world.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint features a deeper story than its predecessor.

A lot of the game's backstory is told through flashbacks. This helps explain Walker's mindset and why it's so difficult for you to challenge him. Given the non-linear nature of the campaign, you can attempt to locate Walker and neutralize him from the get-go, but it's an impossible task. It's better to take on other missions, explore the island of Auroa, and become an unstoppable force before confronting him. That way, avenging your fallen teammates is much easier and less frustrating.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint gameplay mechanics

Ghost Recon Breakpoint can be played on your own or with three other players. I've been playing it by myself – except for the Ghost War competitive multiplayer mode – and find it to be a much more engaging experience that way. At the beginning of the game, your helicopter crashes and you're left for dead. By liberating outposts on your own, it adds more meaning to your actions. Given your history with Walker, you're the only one who can stop him. In many ways, it becomes the complete opposite of what you expect from a Ghost Recon title.

Gameplay obviously revolves around shooting everything in your path, but you have to be careful about how you approach each encounter. You're being hunted for the majority of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and if you're spotted by a flying drone or Wolves patrol, it becomes almost impossible to recover from that unless you're playing on Arcade difficulty.

That's just part of the gameplay though. The rest of the time, you'll be gathering your own intel on targets, collectibles, and more. While constant investigation can feel repetitive after the first few hours, the spectacular shooting experience makes up for it. Unlike some other third-person shooters on the market, Ghost Recon Breakpoint feels great. Each weapon has its own quirks you have to master in order to be successful. There's also a powerful skill tree to unlock.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint immersion and variety

Ghost Recon Breakpoint features an excellent character creator so you can place yourself in the world. While it's not as deep as say Code Vein or Fallout 76, it still enhances immersion because you're the special operations soldier fighting this unknown threat. Since I'm South Asian, it was great to be able to create a proper character that represented who I am.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint focuses a lot on realism and survival. For example, if you're walking down a steep cliff, you're going to slide and roll, possibly injuring yourself. If you're sprinting a lot, you're going to get dehydrated and tired faster. You'll have to eat and drink, as well as refill your canteen, as you traverse the vast open world.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint features a lot of unique missions. The majority of them require you to rescue various individuals, but there are also side quests about hijacking vehicles, destroying convoys, and recovering memorabilia. Unfortunately, given the daunting size of the map, even these can feel repetitive after some time.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint graphics and performance

Ghost Recon Breakpoint looks stunning on Xbox One X. You won't be able to admire the game's beauty if it's a clear day, but once the environmental effects like fog and rain start to kick in, it becomes one of the best-looking titles on the console. The game's diffuse light is a sight to behold in my opinion.

Not only does the game feature high-resolution textures, but it runs at a relatively high resolution on Xbox One X. You can either choose to trigger Quality or Resolution mode on the console. In Quality mode, it seems like the draw distance and other effects are slightly better, but the presentation is quite blurry on a 4K display. In Resolution mode, you get a lot of the same perks, but the image is significantly sharper. While Ghost Recon Breakpoint isn't rendering at native 4K resolution, it seems like it's in the 1600 to 1800p range. Nevertheless, the image looks great on a modern display, especially with high dynamic range lighting enabled.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is locked to 30 frames per second (FPS) on Xbox One X despite featuring two graphical options. This seems like a wasted opportunity because other open-world shooters like Rage 2 run at 60 FPS on the machine. I would've liked to see a high frame rate mode because it would've tightened up the shooting experience. Increasing the frame rate reduces input lag.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint microtransactions

Ghost Recon Breakpoint features an endless amount of microtransactions that let you unlock everything from new weapon attachments to cosmetic items. At launch, Ubisoft included Time Savers like experience boosts and skill points in there, but quickly removed them due to their pay-to-win nature. However, just like the Assassin's Creed games, these microtransactions should make their way to the game eventually.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint features an overwhelming number of microtransactions.

During my playthrough, I came across weapons and attachments quite easily. After every enemy encounter, there are so many drops that you're constantly upgrading your gear. In order to find new magazines or sights, you have to find intel and go to the marked locations.

In my opinion, unless you want something incredibly specific based on real-world knowledge, you don't need to buy any blueprints through microtransactions. The weapon drops have appropriate sights attached to them that represent the bullet spread and range well. I never felt like I was at a disadvantage because I didn't purchase a particular accessory.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint final thoughts

Overall, Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a good game, and one that I didn't expect to like as much as I did. I found Ghost Recon Wildlands to be an incredibly boring experience, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint redeems itself with a better story, voice acting, and gameplay enhancements.

There's a lot to do in the game, and if you like to lose yourself in particular worlds for months, rest assured that you'll do so with this title. Ubisoft has promised a lot of post-launch support, with new raids and other events taking place on the island of Auroa, soon. You'll keep on coming back for more because Ghost Recon Breakpoint is somewhat addictive. You'll want to push just a little further each time to see what's out there.



The game was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X with copies provided by the publisher.

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.