If there was one thing that I gleaned from Ubisoft’s presentation of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, it’s that this game is going to push your Ghost more than any of the previous Ghost Recon games.
While at first, I interpreted this to mean that the game itself would be difficult, I also worried that (especially with games like Sekiro dominating the limelight recently) the game would be too difficult and not as enjoyable for a wider audience.
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Thankfully, I had an opportunity to speak with Nouredine Abboud, Executive Producer on Breakpoint about this balance. What he had to say made me realise that Breakpoint will be challenging, but not in the way you’d think of normally when you talk about “difficulty” in games.
James – There’s a lot of discussion around games at the moment, is that sometimes games are a little bit too difficult. For players, how do you – do you find it hard to leverage a game being super hard versus being fun and how do you make sure someone ultimately gets through your game?
Nouredine – So on this, the answer is very simple. We still have levels of difficulty in the game.
James – Yep, so this one does have difficulties?
Nouredine – Exactly. So you can play on Easy Mode. The key thing here is less about what you actually do than what you feel. Somebody who plays on Easy Mode, also wants to have the freedom.
So for us, the Breakpoint idea is not necessarily about having a difficult game because again you have different modes, but about what we wanted people to feel. And in our unlimited quest to recreate the life of spec ops behind enemy lines, with Wildlands we were able to deliver it in the open world, and now we wanted to add another layer.
And the limits we found in the previous games was how you actually feel being behind enemy lines, and that’s how the idea of Breakpoint came. And game features like the impact of the terrain on you, the prone camo where you can hide in the mud, the carrying of bodies where you carrying the guys with you, were features we didn’t have in the previous game and that do not carry the difficulty but carry the feeling, the Breakpoint feeling.
Nouredine’s comments on how the game is difficult in terms of feeling as opposed to core game mechanics were especially refreshing, though I was still a little bit concerned that the survival ideas would boil down to micro-management of your Ghost as in other games that talk about survival when describing themselves.
Thankfully, in my chat with Sébastien Le Prestre, Lead Development Tester and Laura Cordrey, Community Developer, most of my worries about the survival aspects were put to rest.
James – I know sometimes when I hear about hunger and thirst in games I kind of roll my eyes a bit, because there’s a lot of “crap” out there that is survival orientated. Is it hard to balance mechanics like this without having to make you feel like you’re babysitting someone?
Sébastien – Yeah, exactly. Put it this way. One of our driving ideas in Breakpoint is that you are stranded behind enemy lines. You have no support; no real objective and you’re going to have to survive. It’s not a survival game. It’s still a military shooter. And so obviously we have to balance out the survival aspects with the actual gameplay parts.
You will never be in a situation where you will not be able to deal with one of the drawbacks of survival and stuff like that, if that makes sense. We’re balancing it so you know, you’ll always have an easy way, no it’ll be easy for you to get rid of a problem you have because of survivability.
It’ll really complement your gameplay and make it that much more realistic. We’re really going for that total immersion, and we really think it’s gonna work together super well with the gameplay.
Laura – And correct me if I’m wrong but like in terms like you know water, it’s more for Stamina….
Sébastien – Yes, we’re not going into that too much right now but for example yes, if we take the example of drinking water that means something you’d use more to say hypothetically regain some stamina that you lost because maybe you’re pushing your ghost too hard. These are all things that will complement the gameplay and really make it feel that much more immersive.
Obviously, this being Ghost Recon and us always having accessibility at the forefront, we’ve obviously got difficulty sliders that we’re able to adjust for the player, so they’ll be able to adjust their difficulty and consequence.
You’ll be able to explore Auroa on whatever difficulty you like when Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint releases Friday, October 4th later this year.
PRESS START SAW AN EARLY SNEAK PEEK OF GHOST RECON: BREAKPOINT AT UBISOFT IN PARIS, FRANCE. JAMES’ FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATION WERE PROVIDED BY UBISOFT.