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Ghost Recon: Breakpoint trailer, release date and gameplay

The Ghost Recon franchise has been a big part of the gaming world dating back to its origins in 2001, when the first game debuted on PC, GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. Since then, the series has received multiple mainline titles, including 2017's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which featured a controversial story set in Bolivia. While the gameplay was generally well received, the storyline drew ire from the country itself because it showed their nation in an unfair light. Now, two-and-a-half years later, Ubisoft Paris is back with a direct sequel to Wildlands and looking to avoid the same mistakes.

Announced via a lengthy livestream back in May, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is set for a fall 2019 release and builds upon the core gameplay of its predecessor, while also adding some new elements to the series. With a new, purely fictional setting, as well as some game-changing survival elements, it should shake up the tactical shooter formula. Still, there's much to learn in the months leading up to release, so it's time to take a look at everything you should know about Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.

Release date and special editions for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Eager fans won't have to wait long to get their hands on Breakpoint. During the announcement back in May, publisher Ubisoft announced an Oct. 4 release date for the game. With the game coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, as well as Google Stadia in November, most dedicated Ghost Recon fans will have plenty of ways to play. While the gaming world will certainly have a loaded release schedule during the holiday season, early October makes for the perfect time to get into the Wildlands sequel, so mark your calendars.

That's not all, though. In typical AAA fashion, Ubisoft will offer fans multiple editions of the game. Outside of the standard version, you can pre-order the Gold Edition. $110 USD will get you three-day early access, two future pieces of DLC, one-week early access to three upcoming character classes, a "Special Operations Forces Pack," and a collectible steelbook case.

There's also an Ultimate Edition that includes everything mentioned above as well as DLC car and gun packs and a bonus mission.

Finally, the Ubisoft Store-exclusive Wolves Collector's Edition has everything in the Ultimate version plus a Cole D. Walker figure and some other physical collectibles.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint's pre-E3 reveal and trailer

Back on May 8, an accidental game store listing spoiled the official reveal of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. A day later, Ubisoft officially announced the game via a lengthy, detailed livestream. After the initial announcement trailer — which heavily featured antagonist Cole D. Walker, played by The Punisher's Jon Bernthal — the content team jumped into an exciting demonstration of the game, complete with details about the game's new survival elements, character classes, and the upcoming beta. Fans learned all about the new, fictional island and the story of how the infamous Ghosts ended up stranded there.

Some interesting new features were highlighted during the stream, including the ability to suffer injury to specific body parts, an ability to carry downed teammates to safe areas and revive them, and details on four-player co-op and PvP modes. Just over a month later, during Ubisoft's E3 press conference, the team released another new trailer focused solely on Walker as he gives a gruff monologue to his soldiers, essentially saying that the Ghosts are coming and it's time to put an end to them.

Don't miss the Ghost Recon: Breakpoint beta

Alongside the E3 trailer, Ubisoft revealed dates for the upcoming beta, set to take place about a month before the game's release. On Sept. 5, fans who sign up at the official website will have a chance at receiving an access code, but those who pre-order the game prior to release will automatically gain entry into the four-day demo. While the developer has yet to reveal exactly what content players will have access to, there's some history that might shed some light on what's to come.

Before Ghost Recon: Wildlands released, players had the chance to participate in a beta as well. This quick look at the game featured a mission, the ability to play and explore in two of the 21 Bolivian provinces, and full co-op capabilities. One would expect that Breakpoint's beta will have a similar layout: a basic mission and some gated exploration capability. Whatever ends up being in it, it'll surely be enough to whet the appetites of Ghost Recon fans.

Let's build some character classes in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Character classes are new to Breakpoint. Unlike Wildlands, players will have the ability to pick from a series of classes, no two being the same. Ubisoft announced this during the May livestream, specifically highlighting the Sharpshooter build and the stealth-based Panther. At launch, the game will feature four different classes, so there's a couple that the developers have yet to reveal. With these characters, you'll still be able to fully customize them, like in the previous game. There will be an arsenal of weapons, clothing, and gear to craft — yes, craft — throughout the game, so you'll be able to change your build's look as you progress.

Not sure who you want to be in Ghost Recon? That's no problem. You'll have the ability to switch classes when you'd like and mix-and-match them when you play alongside friends. This game seems to put more of an emphasis on the actual characters, giving them a sense of variation that wasn't present in its predecessor.

Bolivia is in the past: Breakpoint is in Auroa

If you enjoyed Wildlands, you likely heard the criticism surrounding the game's depiction of Bolivia. Painted as a third-world, drug-riddled nation run by a psychotic cartel leader, members of the real country were less than ecstatic. It was so egregious and offensive that Bolivia actually filed a formal complaint with the French embassy (since Ubisoft Paris led the development). Ubisoft argued that it chose the South American nation for its landscapes and culture, but that everything else was a product of fiction. Still, the damage was done and this clear misstep marred the launch of an otherwise good game.

Because of this, it's refreshing that the developer chose to set this new game in a fictional place. In Breakpoint, you and your fellow Ghosts will land on the archipelago known as Auroa. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, genius Jace Skell uses this place as headquarters for his tech company. While on your search for Skell, you'll navigate Auroa, traversing everything from swamps to snowy mountains. Having such a diverse local will add a new dynamic to this series, as survival won't just be about taking out enemies. It'll also be about fighting off the harsh elements and learning to take advantage of your surroundings.

Breakpoint will punish the Punisher

Cole D. Walker, a former Ghost and current thorn in your side, should make for an tough antagonist. As you navigate through Auroa, you'll be opposed by Walker's faction, the Wolves. While trying to survive their advances on the road to Skell, you'll likely learn more about the antagonist's motivations and why so much has changed since his appearance in the Operation Oracle DLC from Wildlands.

In an exciting casting choice, Ubisoft Paris hired Jon Bernthal, best known as The Punisher, for the role of Walker. There's a certain Marvel anti-hero vibe to his character, which makes the seasoned actor a perfect choice. The deep, gravelly voice and penchant for wielding guns are the Punisher in a nutshell. While it's unknown when players will get their first glimpse of him on the battlefield, his presence will be a huge part of the game's story, and that should excite Bernthal fans.

Breakpoint will send you all alone behind enemy lines

Breakpoint kicks off when you and your fellow Ghosts are tapped to rescue a Skell Tech engineer, utilizing the cover of darkness to go in silent and unseen. Unfortunately, your mission takes a turn for the worst when a mysterious swarm of drones causes your helicopter to crash and subsequently burn. Stranded, hurt, and in enemy territory, the Ghosts must equip themselves and complete their mission, all while being hunted by Cole Walker and his team of Wolves.

All alone without any way to call for backup, it's up to the team to fight for their lives, but it won't be easy. Up against a heavily armored militia as well as some futuristic Skell Tech — including drones, drones, and more drones — you and the other Ghosts will need to scavenge for health, equipment, and weapons in order to take down Walker and make it off Auroa.

Breakpoint is more challenging than Wildlands

Surviving gunfights won't be as easy as it was in Wildlands. Ubisoft Paris has added some new features that will make you plan more and work harder to get through the game's tough battles. Breakpoint introduces a new injury system, which can impede your ability to aim accurately or run to escape battle. With this system, your characters can rack up injuries, whether via a bullet to the arm or an explosion that messes up your leg. If you can't find the time to heal up using bandages, your wounds will linger and affect your success during missions.

Injuries won't be the only thing you need to manage to survive. You'll also need to eat and drink to boost your strength. While you won't take penalties for neglecting these things, you'll still want to get some stat boosts prior to starting a mission. If you find yourself near a body of water, you can take a drink and receive a buff to your stats. Also, you can get a buff to your weapon accuracy by inspecting your weapon at your campsite. All in all, there's more of a survival-game feel to Breakpoint, and that should make it even more interesting.

What's a bivouac?

Survival won't be easy, but you'll have some tricks up your sleeve. Ubisoft Paris designed a campsite system based around the bivouac. If you're wondering what that is, you're not alone. A bivouac, by definition, is a "temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by soldiers or mountaineers." Throughout Auroa, you'll come across these camps which you can use to heal, repair weapons, and upgrade gear. Once unlocked, you'll have access to them for the rest of the game.

Tending to your injuries and your weapons aren't the only reasons to bivouac, however. When you're at these camps, you'll craft your plan of attack, plotting out your next moves while you look through intel. Through this, you'll come across new targets and objectives scattered throughout Auroa. Your bivouac is much more than just a place to heal. It's a vital part of the game, so you'll want to make it a priority to unlock them.

Shared progression and PvP at launch

Unlike Wildlands, Ubisoft's latest Ghost Recon will ship with PvP multiplayer modes. Fans of the previous game had to wait a while before receiving competitive multiplayer, so when the development team announced PvP for day one, it was met with relief and joy. Specifically, the team outlined Ghost War, a 4v4 mode where two teams face off. The game will feature shared progression across both PvP and PvE, so when you level up and unlock new gear in one mode, it'll show up in the other. There's no punishment for preferring one side of the game, so enjoy it in any way you choose. Your XP will count toward your character no matter what.

Speaking of punishment, Ubisoft has made it clear that you won't take a hit in PvP if you have lower levels and weaker gear than your opponents. While the team hasn't gone into detail about how balancing will work, it plans on ensuring that every player has fun regardless of level.

Breakpoint features yet another movie tie-in

Ubisoft loves cross-promotion with other franchises, even ones that aren't owned or published by the company itself. In Ghost Recon: Wildlands, gamers had a chance to take down the Predator in a difficult content drop released in early 2018. Now, the team's ready to add another IP to its latest game: The Terminator. At its E3 2019 press conference, the team dropped a very short teaser announcing the upcoming content. Sadly, the teaser basically showed nothing outside of a set of glowing red eyes, accompanied by a snippet of Brad Fiedel's score from the original movie.

What this themed DLC will entail remains to be seen, and there's no release date as of now. Still, it's nice to know that some interesting updates are coming in the future. Ubisoft plans to support Breakpoint for years to come, leaning heavily into the games-as-services trend, so this will surely be just one of the many content drops during the game's lifecycle. 

Despite the initial announcement, Breakpoint will have AI teammates

When Ubisoft mentioned that players wouldn't have AI teammates for solo players, opting instead to equip them with a controllable drone, people weren't too happy about it. While the Ghost Recon series offers a great deal of cooperative fun, some gamers enjoy playing alone. In Wildlands, that was easier to do because of three AI squadmates that helped keep you alive along your journey. After listening to feedback, the developers at the Paris studio went back to the drawing board, adding those computer-controlled pals back into its latest title.

Now, players will have the option to play solo just like they did in the previous game. At the Ubisoft E3 conference, developer Laura Cordrey made the announcement, which was met with a huge round of applause from the audience. While there aren't any details on how — or if — you'll be able to control those teammates, it's a big relief to know that they'll be there, waiting to help you put a stop to those pesky Wolves.