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Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Watch Dogs Legion Recap

June 16th, 2019 by Crowbar Comments

E3 2019 was surprisingly small compared to previous shows. With EA and Microsoft showing their games off-site, Sony and Activation were no shows, it gave certain developers to really shine on the show floor.

This year was much less about “the present” and much more about the future. My decision to come to E3 was last minute so I was unable to schedule my usual appointments. However, I did spend some time with Ubisoft, THQ Nordic, Bethesda, and Namco Bandai.

Ubisoft had an intensely strong showing for their press conference this year and it transitioned well to the show floor. I played Ghost Recon Breakpoint and watched a hands on demo for Watch Dogs Legion. In terms of showing off their big name titles, Ubisoft left some to the imagination but showcased the features that made their games appealing. Unlike Square Enix who said a lot about Marvel’s Avengers but only showed scripted intro mission gameplay that still told us nothing about the game.

Of the two Ubisoft titles I played, I was the most interested in Watch Dogs Legion. I liked the presentation because it highlighted the new features. I never played the second game and wasn’t a big fan of the first title. However, the tone, the setting, and the new gameplay features make me actually WANT to play Watch Dogs.

The ability to recruit anyone is a completely bonkers concept. The process is typically “scan a civilian, see their schedule and stats, do a mission for them, then use them. You can switch to different operatives on a whim (after a short load time of course).

On top of that, you can also level up every person you recruit to give them better skills. No one’s class is predetermined. Based on their passive abilities, you can choose what class they become. There are three shown, a stealth, brawler, and gunner class. During the demo it was much more gameplay focused than story focused.

Seeing different abilities work to infiltrate Scotland Yard was cool to see. On top of that, there was melee gameplay and gunplay that is well developed to the point where they both feel like viable ways to play the game. Driving is also better. These were features that were inherently missing from the first Watch_Dogs game. They felt like last-minute additions, this time around, the game was developed with these in mind.

There are also customization options through purchasing clothes throughout London and enhancing that cyberpunk feeling of punk rock in a high tech world. It worked, it was great to see an old woman who was a retired assassin user a taser on the militarized police force.

Next, I played Ghost Recon Breakpoint. While it wasn’t quite the Keanu Reeves level of surprise, Jon Bernthal showed up and gave us a rundown of his game. With his lovable Pit Bull Terrier (who honestly stole the show). Breakpoint is going the “service” route similar to The Division with more focus on squad-based tactics that Ghost Recon is known for. The gameplay was simple but it is far more tactical than The Division. Scouting an area before storming it is a great idea for confrontations in Breakpoint.

 

My squad worked together, for the most part. We were told by the developer to NOT use the car we spawned near because it would alert the guards. It did and made the mission more difficult because of it. We used drones to scout a building and various abilities and weapons to turn the tide in our favor.

Breakpoint will give us a different side of the Tom Clancy Universe of games when compared to The Division. Jon Bernthal is typecast as grizzled army guy so its basically if Frank Castle never left the armed forces. Overall, it was a great demo that gave us a taste of what’s to come without being a broken experience in 20 minutes.

Compared to previous years that I have attended E3, this is by far my favorite showing. Usually, at these events, games tend to look unfinished, and while that was still the case, Breakpoint and Legion felt the most complete in terms of being demo versions. Watch Dogs Legion drops March 6, 2020 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint releases October 4, 2019. Both games are multiplatform being released for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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Crowbar is an angry young man, but he knows his games. We all have our passions and his come alive when his digital self is hammering baddies, solving puzzles or flying. He also has a penchant for dressing like giant penguins, but we promised him we wouldn't mention it.