24 Hours in Auroa: Ghost Recon Breakpoint Technical Test

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These are comments sent to Ubisoft after playing the Ghost Recon: Breakpoint technical test, originally written in October 2019.

A year later, after a bad launch that diverged from the Ghost Recon Wildlands formula and attempted to shunt-in Division 2 weapon level mechanics, the game was in better shape.

It was still too blue, with a dull brutalist metal and glass architectural look compared to Wildlands’ gritty, grounded, lively one, but I had a good time playing with friends, and the game now, after the Motherland Update, is better still.

Some of the suggestions here did get added in later updates, and I hope more of them become part of the series in the future. Ubisoft should take the ideas from the Spartan Mod and implement them in-game in a further update, to make it even better. Images are from playthroughs after the technical test.

HyperTextHero’s avatar Joan Rambo in Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

I spent about a day in the tech test. My background is designer/photographer with a passion for video games and around 35 years of playing experience, from Atari 2600 to current generation PCs.

A few of my favorite games: Rogue and Nethack, Falcon 3.0, Jagged Alliance 2, Daggerfall, No One Lives Forever, IL-2 Sturmovik (both original and current iterations), Far Cry 2, Arma 3, Elite: Dangerous, Metal Gear Solid 5, Grand Theft Auto 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. I liked Ghost Recon Wildlands, too, especially in high difficulty setting, and my main issues with it were the pop-in distance for AI, long-range ballistics and the inability to move/hide downed enemies.

Breakpoint has a lot of potential, which I am not sure it can meet given it will be launched in a few months, but it is a step in a good direction for the series, mechanics-wise, I feel. I do prefer less-futuristic timelines, and would love to see a world and game like this set in the 1940’s or 1980’s that can combine elements of the future (see Metal Gear Solid 5), at some point.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions.

Playing with friends is the best part of the game.


  • Nice introduction. The part you fall off the last branch of the tree reminds me of Rambo: First Blood.
  • Well-done main character voice work (have only tried the male character voice at this point.)
  • Superior facial animations that match the voice work. Characters show emotions.
  • Good general movement animations, especially sliding, falling and rolling down hills. Also like the car driving animations. They feel heavy, and I like that they roll down hills if you are not careful, and are quite fragile and show damage, including engine explosion and secondaries if you hit something too hard.
  • Quick reaction forces on foot, in jeeps, and in helicopters come look for you. I have not seen a helicopter land to drop off the force yet — that would be good.
  • Excellent gun sounds, both shooting, reloading and critical shot landings on enemies, which are very satisfying. Very happy to have this. Good sound is so important. The shotgun seemed too quiet but it may be a glitch. Incoming enemy gunfire is weaker, it seems, not as good as The Division 2 or Arma 3, though I may need to get shot at more to be sure.
  • Music is subtle and appropriate — very good.
  • I like the mechanic where you can take out an enemy with one shot if on the head and several, more if higher level than you, on the body.
  • I like how some items, like pineapples, look like they are part of the environment.
  • Lighting is quite beautiful, though nights seem too bright or washed-out. Reducing default gamma helped.
  • Spotted enemy icons disappear when you are not looking in their direction. Very nice.

The drones were quite terrifying.


  • Not sure if this tech-test is representative of what we will see in a few months, but I feel Wildlands graphics looked much better and ran with better frame-rates. I do like the more gritty feel of the landscape and the lighting in Breakpoint, which has its moments especially in storms, but overall it seems a more drab world.
  • There is not enough variety in random enemy encounters. There should be a great number of different patrol types and situations, such as a lone scout sniper, two people with bikes (current), three with a jeep (current), two flying a drone, sniper and spotter that can see you from long range, 3 all the way up to 15 or 20 people in a single patrol, walking in file or spread out, fishing, hunting, etc, etc. See Arma 3: Pilgrimage award-winning user-made mission for examples, especially the system where a line of text appears on your screen saying “You see footsteps, 3 to 7 people, headed north-east.”, when you are near a patrol — this was great and I wish it were in Breakpoint.
  • Lack of variety and detail in buildings. The modernity with smooth lines and empty spaces seems to be a shortcut to get the game done more quickly, which I understand, but it also takes away from the world. More containers to find things in would help — drawers, chests, cupboards, fridges, under beds, hidden compartments behind paintings, under carpets, etc.
  • Instead of the The Division-like weapon levelling system, guns should degrade and break, like in Far Cry 2, with the accompanying wonderful animations in that game, which have not been equaled, unless you regularly maintain it with oil/parts you find in the world. If you see a soldier with a particular weapon, that is the weapon class you should get if you take him out.
  • No traps. After the introduction I thought may be able to make some like in Rambo: First Blood. Sharpened sticks attached to branches that snap into a path when a vine is tripped on, etc. I understand this would be a difficult mechanic to code. Maybe for the future.
  • You should be able to climb, hide in and shoot from trees. See Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • The grunting of your character when he falls seems exaggerated when healthy. Should be more subtle, with loud grunting when more fatigued and injured.
  • Would be nice to be able to fully customize character faces, like in Fallout 4 or Elite: Dangerous.
  • Silencer on/off icon status is confusing. Make the icon a visual representation of the silencer attached to a barrel when it is on, and the same of the barrel without a silencer when it is off. Make both icons the same color instead of one being greyed out.
  • Would be nice if landscape/buildings were more destructible. See Crysis or Battlefield series.
  • Though it looks good, there is no need for the smoke/bivouac checkpoints, it seems silly that we would announce the location we would be sleeping to the bad men in the island we are hiding in. Let players set up a bivouac wherever they like, perhaps with time and amount limits (maybe you need to find a tent before you can set one up).

Night falling.


  • Can’t shoot out any lights. Why? One of my favorite features of many games, including Wildlands.
  • Shots at distant targets feel off, as if the shot all of a sudden hits a glass wall and drops. This is made worse by the size of the distant dust and water splashes where the bullet hits, which are far too large and seem much closer than the distance portrayed in the world. Probably a limitation of the game engine, but check Arma 3 to see how it should be done.
  • Lack of variety in enemy dialogue. Wildlands also had this problem. Please pay writers, and voice actors and translators to record many, many lines of random dialogue that you might hear them speak in the open world. See GTA 5 for how it should be done. It becomes very annoying to hear the same conversation over and over again. If you can’t do this, instead of sound, just using writing, like sub-captions that appear in the bottom of the screen, instead of actual voices. Text works, and adds a lot to the world!
  • Many of the enemies seem like douchebags with poor dialogue. It’s okay to have the occasional imbecile speaking, but make them more intelligent people, please, including some humor.
  • Nothing to find other than ammunition and perhaps a random weapon or clothing item or consumable from an enemy. A map, scrawled piece of paper with a note about a location, or a poem. A postcard or letter or photo from a loved one. A ring that you can sell, you bad person, you. Etc. This would add a lot to the world. You need more writers in your staff.
  • You can’t seem to ever holster a weapon and run faster like in Wildlands? Or perhaps I missed it?
  • No binoculars? Or perhaps I have not found them?
  • Canteen disappeared from inventory, or perhaps I need to find a new one? The object should not be a consumable — you should be able to fill it from streams after you find it once.
  • The aircraft and helicopter in particular have no sense of momentum. It feels like you are flying a toy drone. See GTA 5 to see how good it can be.
  • I was going to say the frame-rate, but it seemed to improve the second time I played, though still nowhere near the fluidity of Wildlands. Hope it improves. Good frame-rate is vital for a good experience.
  • Melee animations lack variety and are all excessively violent, with the repeated stabbing in the face and neck. Wildlands was much better, with the kick in the groin, the back neck break, and so on. See Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Metal Gear Solid 5 for a good variety, including the one-punch knockout and my favorite, the tap-on-the-shoulder and then one-punch knockout.
  • Melee in general. You should be able to hold your melee weapon, and swing it in three or four different ways. Hit to the head is instant kill. If you could grab the side-weapon from you enemy’s holster from behind, or wrestle their main weapon out of their hand, and use them, for extra XP, that would be nice.
  • The cavern base/lobby is frustrating to navigate. Takes too long to exit. Frame-rate is very low with lots of players standing around. Could not find a shop there although it seems there should be one?
  • Extreme difficulty should be more difficult, but the Wolves should not spawn on top of you after you are spotted by a drone — you should have a chance to run and hide.
  • “Skin override” button made me lose my character’s customization.
  • Very annoying BIG WHOOSH sound when hovering over each class in class interface.
  • Interface is very confusing with a lot of options and too many icons with no text. If you use icons, please put text labels on them, even if it requires more translation work. Interface is very slow, with clicks registering late.
  • Skills and missions/quests interfaces are confusing. Did not know you needed to click and drag to move the screen around at first.
  • No mission editor in these games. Please at least provide one for Wildlands eventually. It would extend the life of the game indefinitely. See Jagged Alliance 2, Arma 3 and GTA 5.

With all best wishes to the whole team. I know it is a lot of work to make something like this, and I hope you keep at it, making it better and taking chances, too, even if they don’t work out.

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