Gaming

A first-timer’s perspective on Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Of all the games in the series I tried first, it’s this

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I haven’t had a chance to play any Tom Clancy game in many years, and I wanted to scan the field first on which one I should start with. I decided that I should probably give the Ghost Recon franchise a good crack at it, and went with the latest release.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is the latest installment in this action-packed series. It is set three years after the events of its predecessor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands and features a returning cast of characters. 

Ubisoft promised some key differences in terms of the overall story arch and terrain while bringing the same gameplay older players know. It hopes to bring something fresh for the newbies like me who plan on getting invested in the franchise.

Except maybe that was all it was — an idea

In terms of terrain, I really couldn’t say anything more. It’s honestly fantastic to see how much effort animators put into the vivid imagery seen on the overworld. From the trees and the humidity of the forests to the fiery crash sites and abandoned camps, it looks realistic in every sense.

The realistic rainy mountain view provided the realism I needed for this game

In terms of story arch though, it seems fairly different. The game takes place in Auroa, a forest-laden island in the South Pacific. It follows the franchise’s lead character “Nomad” after his team’s drug bust in Bolivia from Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The team was sent to Auroa to investigate the sinking of a US cargo ship near the island.

While it does present something relatively different, I felt that the way I progressed through the game seemed bland and confusing. Throughout the game, I come across military-like entities, secret mountain camps, and several characters that reveal little important information on my objective. More often than not, I’m off fighting enemies than figuring out how to get survivors out of the island.

It’s the kind of rescue mission that just puts more emphasis on the action-packed scenery, and also on deep-rooted conflicts in the past. I had to read up on the premise of Wildlands before bridging the pieces together on the relationship between Nomad and the main antagonist, Walker. And for some reason, that’s one of the main takeaways I had from the storyline of Breakpoint.

You’re only sure of where you’re going in the beginning

The main setting for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint of the mountainous Auroa

The moment you jump right into the game, you find yourself by your totaled helicopter ride. As you gain consciousness, you slowly become aware of the basic controls of the game. Apart from that, you get a glimpse of your objectives and the general locations of these objectives. Seems pretty straightforward to start the game, right?

The thing is, that’s honestly the only straightforward thing I found. The moment you are off doing your objectives, I felt like I knew where I needed to be. From checking out crash sites to going to the hidden camp of Erewhon, this open world game offered you the simplest objective to start out.

Every other mission after that, it was basically left to you to decide where to go. The good thing about the missions HUD for the game is it actually tells you which one follows the main storyline. But, I ended up exploring everything else just to see the whole map first.

In-game mechanics that are either simple or weird

As much as I wanted to explore the main storyline at first, I literally needed a tutorial on how this game operates. First off, this is the only game I’ve played in my life where I literally had to access the map every 20 minutes. You know how games with missions show you a pathway towards the locations of your missions? Breakpoint doesn’t know this, as you are basically coming into every location-based mission blind.

One-stop access hub for your missions, objectives, and navigation to different screens (top)

I appreciate that you can see where each mission is on the map, and that you can tick on it so there’s easier access to it. But the moment I leave the Map screen and proceed with the game, I should have memorized how to get to that place first. It’s tedious to open the Map every now and then, and that’s just weird to me.

Second, I enjoyed the fact that you could organize your loadout before every battle. As you keep fighting and completing missions, you gain experience to unlock certain loadout slots. To me, it’s actually important to prepare for all your missions. Plus, the loadout screen seems simple and easy to understand.

 

A wide variety of weapons at your disposal

Finally, combat is just what you expect from any game involving weapons. I have to admit that aim in this game was fairly difficult to master, but nothing a quick sniper can’t fix. But honestly, you’d be spending a ton of combat time healing your injuries than actually shooting people in the head. I spent a lot of time hiding just to heal wounds to fight again, and thank God the stealth mechanic works well.

Bringing it all together

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is a peculiar game to start getting into a series for the first time. On one hand, you’re taken away by improved visuals, additional combat mechanics and the same style of combat you see from any other shooter game. As someone who particularly likes the combination of shooters and adventures, it’s something to try.

But, as a storyteller, I felt like I needed something worth investing time in. The storyline for Breakpoint felt different than its predecessors, but it never fully takes a deep dive into more pressing conflicts. As great as the action could be, it gets in the way of the more crucial element of the game.

Overall, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint serves you with the no-nonsense action in a personality-driven plot. Ubisoft promised something different than the last, and I honestly felt they fell short by a few notches. But, nothing like a good patch to fix those, right?

Me wanting something more out of this game

Gaming

Stunning cyberpunk game Ghostrunner out soon

Hack, slash, and dash through a cyberpunk dystopian landscape!

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If you haven’t had enough of some good-good cyberpunk games on the waiting list, you’re in luck. One More Level, 3D Realms, and Slipgate Ironworks have developed a first-person parkour action game called Ghostrunner. The game was revealed at Gamescon with co-publishers All in! Games and 505 Games encouraging players to apply for the game’s private beta.

Ghostrunner seems to be scratching the cyberpunk itch with players being able to explore a stunning cyberpunk dystopian city. The game lets players swiftly take down enemies with their katanas, show off death-defying acrobatic abilities, and hack into the network of the city with some help from the Architect.

Ghostrunner features NVIDIA RTX Ray Tracing which offers stunningly immersive visuals usually reserved for AAA studios. Not only that, the game features sick synthwave soundtracks by the acclaimed Daniel Deluxe to dash and slash to.

 

Ghostrunner will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for SG$ 40.00 / THB 899.00 / MYR 99.00 / IDR 345,000 / VDN 733,000 / PhP 1,619 on October 28. It will come to Nintendo Switch on October 27.

PlayStation Plus subscribers and all PC players can enjoy 20% off when pre-ordering Ghostrunner. Meanwhile, Xbox One players can hack into 10% off when pre-ordering the game. If you pre-order Ghostrunner, you’ll be get special perks of getting two katanas with one being exclusively designed for each launch platform and won’t be available when the game launches.

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Gaming

Left 4 Dead 2 gets its last ever update

Out now!

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Do you remember taking long high school breaks and playing Left 4 Dead 2 with classmates until the next class? Though the zombie shooter is already going up in years, the game aged gracefully, making up one of Valve’s essential titles for the modern gamer. In a huge surprise, Left 4 Dead 2 gets its last ever update.

Right now, Left 4 Dead 2 is a month shy away from its eleventh birthday. Before this one, the last update to the original Left 4 Dead’s sequel came in 2012. Now, to cap off the game’s lifespan, Valve is launching the game’s final update.

However, the update won’t come out from Valve’s own developers. Instead, the still-thriving Left 4 Dead 2 modding community created the update and Valve officially endorsed it.

Through the game’s official website, Valve announced the update’s premise. “It has been many years since the infection first hit. Radio silence, no sign of life, nothing but lingering hopes… CEDA is not going to save us. But there is hope! A few brave souls have continued the fight against all odds, and soon we can all benefit from their resilience.”

The Last Stand update introduces new content including its own map, story, and weapons. The update is now live. To promote the update, Steam is offering the game for free until September 28. If you want to own the game after the free period, Steam is also offering a discounted price (US$ 1.99, down from US$ 9.99).

SEE ALSO: Amnesia is back with its first sequel in seven years

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Gaming

Amazon is launching its own cloud gaming service

Introducing the Luna

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Most gamers today are looking forward to the fast-approaching release dates for the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. However, a dedicated niche of the industry hopes to come in from behind and take some of the spotlight — cloud gaming. Since the Google Stadia, cloud gaming has developed into its own comfortable niche for device-agnostic gamers. Now, Amazon is launching its own cloud gaming service, Luna.

During an expansive hardware event today, Amazon officially announced the cloud gaming platform coming sometime in the future. On launch, the Luna will offer gaming service for PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone, and iPad. Further, an Android version will also launch after the initial offering.

Right off the bat, the Luna will launch with over a hundred titles including Abzu, Control, and Resident Evil 7. Of course, the service will expand beyond the initial list over time. For example, Ubisoft is separately developing its own Luna-compatible channel dedicated for its own titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6.

Since Amazon owns the streaming platform, Luna will stream seamlessly with Twitch. Users can watch Twitch directly from Luna. Likewise, Twitch viewers can link directly to play from Luna while watching a game’s stream.

While on early access at the moment, Luna users can purchase a Luna controller separately for US$ 49.99. Alternatively, players can still use a mouse-and-keyboard or their own controllers.

Amazon has not announced official launch dates for the Luna just yet. At the moment, Luna will launch first in the United States for US$ 5.99 per month. Users can play on two screens simultaneously and at 4K resolution for some titles.

SEE ALSO: Google Stadia now works on most Android phones

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