In announcing Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Ubisoft revealed that players who choose to venture into the story on their own won’t be accompanied by a squad of AI companions. Instead, players will make use of a drone capable of offering aid with the Sync Shot feature. This is quite the departure from Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which gave solo players three AI squad members to fill out a team of four.
During an interview following the Breakpoint reveal, Ubisoft developers explained the reasoning behind the drastic change between the two titles. The key reason seems to be to reinforce the feeling of loneliness, given Breakpoint’s core premise. Trying to convey the notion of being stranded alone in the wilderness doesn’t exactly hit the mark if AI companions are roaming about, as well. Community Developer Laura Cordrey addressed this in an interview with PCGamesN; she told the publication,
[There are] multiple reasons. Firstly, we offered the option to turn off AI companions in Wildlands, and players really liked that full solo experience. Secondly, with the story here [in Breakpoint], you’re stranded alone behind enemy lines, so we really want players to be able to dive into this fantasy. But we also offer the mechanics so that the game is fully playable in solo and co-op. Those who want to have the solo experience can, and players who want to have the four-player co-op experience can as well – we just want to offer as much variation as possible.
Cordrey’s comment appears to ignore Breakpoint also being touted as a co-op experience, where players can squad up in teams of four. How does this comply with the game’s narrative? Apparently, a pretty sensible explanation will be offered in-game. Lead Developer Sebastien Le Prestre revealed, “When you do originally crash land on the island you come in on one of four choppers. [So] for the narrative’s sake there are more survivors in the other choppers.”
Unfortunately, Cordrey’s and Le Prestre’s statements fail to address one potentially notable issue. How does one drone serve as a substitute for three companions in single-player? Will the drone’s Sync Shot feature also include multi-shot capabilities? Here’s to hoping such concerns will soon receive some form of clarification.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is slated to hit store shelves for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on October 4, 2019.