The looter-shooter/live service model has taken over the games industry over the past decade or so. If done right, it has something to please everyone – the players, the developers and the publishers.
For players, it ensures that the game will continue to grow and improve over the coming months and years. Developers and publishers, on the other hand, are ensured a steady income as such games are easier to monetise than traditional, single-player journies. We have seen examples of this done decently (Destiny) and even done exceptionally well (Warframe).
Ghost Recon – Breakpoint is an example of how not to do it. The Ubisoft franchise launched to poor sales figures and disastrous reviews. It also drew a lot of ire from long-term fans of the series. The biggest issue they had was the game’s gear score system. Essentially, they had to constantly pick and ditch their weapons and equipment in search of a higher gear score. A higher gear score means more missions are available to play.
This constant change in equipment meant players couldn’t stick to a play style. For a franchise known for slow, stealthy and tactical gameplay, this didn’t fit very well. Players also had an issue with its always-online requirement. This meant that solo players couldn’t play the game offline. The game would even kick them out for having a spotty connection.
A Bad Fit For Ghost Recon
All-in-all, fans felt like this was too much of a departure from what made Ghost Recon enjoyable. Instead, it felt like a cynical attempt by Ubisoft to make it a clone of The Division. This looter-shooter franchise was built to be a live service, making it easier to monetise from the start.
A Bold Attempt At A Fix
In an attempt to fix all this, Ubisoft is coming out with a massive update on March 24, 2020, that will completely overhaul its progression system. This update will allow players to choose an “Immersive Experience”, which turns off the loot system and gear score, letting players upgrade their existing loadout instead. This means that all missions will be available to play from the start and won’t be locked behind a required gear score.
Players will also be able to reduce clutter on the game’s heads-up display and even control whether bullet injuries will cripple them or not. This, along with many other changes adds to the challenge and makes it reminiscent of the traditional Ghost Recon experience. Let’s hope all these changes please the game’s current player-base and even brings in new fans.
Ghost Recon – Breakpoint is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.