Archive for September, 2019

6 Reasons the Ghost Recon Breakpoint Beta was a Disappointment

Posted in Commentary, Played & Explained with tags , , , on September 13, 2019 by Rabidgames

If you’re like Rabidgames and you loved Ghost Recon Wildlands and you looked forward to finally jumping into the Beta of the successor Breakpoint, chances are the Beta leaves you numb and wondering what happened there.

1) There are no AI team mates – yet(?)

Running around with the AI, positioning them, lining up sync shots, laughing at them getting stuck – that was the bread and butter of Wildlands for yours truly. For some inexplicable idiotic reason, Ubisoft first decided there shouldn’t be AI team mates in Breakpoint, but then woke up and ensured us to add them … post-launch. But without them, the Breakpoint Beta is fucking boring. It feels like Just Cause on Valium or Metal Gear Solid without the iconic villains – just more of the same open world shooter experience. No AI, no buy.

2) Breakpoint will be always-online

For no fucking reason whatsoever. This isn’t The Division where everything was built from scratch around co-op in tight places (and even there always-online is a questionable choice). This is a very different game with a considerably bigger world and stealth. Imagine playing with some gung-ho shit brain who spoils your plan or wanders off to watch a fucking sunset at the other end of the map. The decision to make Breakpoint always-online seems like a rushed marketing decision, not like a gameplay idea.

3) The world feels shallow

Sure, we only see some regions in the beta but what we see reminds too much of Just Cause 3’s nothern region – mostly emptiness with some enemy structures. There are hardly any towns or villages, just ruins and outposts. A bit boring.

4) Movement feels incredibly clunky

What happened there? It feels like GTA IV all over again, where you had to anticipate movement. Imagine you have to stop 2 seconds so your character stops where you want them to stop. Of course, bikes and cars still handle weirdly in Breakpoint, too.

5) It’s a potential grind-mill money trap

Imagine taking the Division trinity core gameplay mechanics of levels, loot & missions and making you grind for shit in Breakpoint. It works in The Division, sure, but The Division has always been designed as a looter shooter RPG. Ghost Recon hasn’t. Those changes disrupt the core gameplay loop.

6) Level gating kills the sandbox experience

The beauty of Wildlands was that you could start the game, and after 30 minutes or so, you could just go anywhere on the map. Anywhere. Some missions were hard, yes. Some outposts were too hard, too, sure. But 99% of the map waited to be explored without any immortal beings shrugging off your bullets as if they were rain drops. Breakpoint might change that. Not only via the swarms attacking anything that wants to go somewhere “they” don’t want  you to go (that actually are a pretty cool element), but also by making sure your Lv.1 Nomad dies after a Lv.666 Shitdrone blows fart drops in your general direction.

Rabidgames shakes his weary head: Why, Ubisoft? You had a winning system. But then you threw it away. changing a sandbox into a grindbox sucks.

Now, that’s not to say it’s all bad. The camouflage and injury mechanics are pretty neat, being hunted by drones and Ghosts across the map can be fun, the story is grittier and less a shallow patriotic tale about the good US intervening in a bad foreign land, and exploring a live volcano in the full game sounds pretty promising. But there are too many buts in the game right now to recommend buying it. Shame.

Redeemer or Just About Halfway There

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , on September 6, 2019 by Rabidgames

Redeemer’s Enhanced Edition is a weird thing: We’re talking about a game that can’t decide what it wants to be – Diablo clone, beat ’em up or twin stick shooter, all ingredients are there. But all feel halfassed.

To be fair, Redeemer is not bad per se. But it also doesn’t excel in anything. Yes, some finishers are quite brutal, but you only sometimes see them up close. Most of the time, the camera is far away. The story also starts out nicely with an interesting intro, but then you just run around and slaughter without anything happening for the next 20 minutes. Of course, Redeemer also has a progression system, but guess what, that has also been implemented half-heartedly.

Once you played some levels and maimed, stabbed, executed and shot 100 enemies, you either keep doing the same and see the monotonous gameplay as a lesson in meditation or finding your zen in violence or whatever, or you think whatever, put Redeemer away and play something with more identity. It’s probably a easy choice for most of us.

Rabidgames’ verdict: GO BUY if you can’t get enough of isometric game with gratuitous splashes of blood and violence.

DO NOT BUY if you don’t feel like playing a game that is trying quite a few things but doesn’t excel in anything really.