As many problems as Ghost Recon Breakpoint still has, it now also has Terminators. They’re actually a good addition to the game and part of a special live event week that kicked off on Wednesday and sort of ends on Thursday of next week.
The event is fun, especially if you like the idea of Terminators suddenly, seemingly randomly invading the unrelated game you’re playing.
Load Breakpoint up during the event and you’ll be alerted that there’s a Terminator mission available called “A Storm Is Coming.” That’s the first of two story missions being added to the game. It introduces the idea that there’s Terminator stuff happening on the vast, verdant island where Breakpoint takes place. Breakpoint otherwise involves a fight for the control of this island, pitting the player’s special forces soldier and local resistance fighters against a military firm called Sentinel. But, hey, drop everything, because Terminators have come back in time to commit some murder.
This intro mission sends players to a base to gather some intel about a mysterious woman who was arrested by Sentinel forces. It’s basic Breakpoint stuff. Go to the base, sneak around, kill enemies stealthily and eventually find a map.
Use the map to find a convoy, attack the convoy, get more intel and eventually you’ll wind up at a medical facility where you’ll meet the mystery woman, Rasa Aldwin. She’s from the future.
And she’s not just hunting Terminators. She’s being hunted by one.
Ubisoft got the Terminator licence but didn’t get the Arnold Schwarzenegger likeness rights, so the first appearance of a Terminator in the game is a little weird. The point is sufficiently made, though, and in a clear homage to the police station shootout from the original Terminator movie, you suddenly have to escape while a T-800 shoots everyone in sight.
A few action-packed moments later, players wind up at Aldwin’s hideout, where she gives your character a special gun that hurts Terminators. From there, things open up as players are given the ability to access a rotation of daily missions that involve hunting Terminators.
Whether Terminators are fun to fight is up to your tolerance for fighting enemies whose slow movement and bullet-sponginess has a Hollywood justification. It helps if you’re into absurd crossovers or just generally into the idea of having some new event occur somewhere in a big open-world game.
On Saturday, a second story-driven Terminator mission will open up in the game, presumably advancing this new mini-story and maybe even wrapping it up.
The two story missions will remain in the game, so there’ll always be some Terminator material to experience, but Ubisoft PR tells Kotaku that the daily Terminator hunt missions will go away when the event week concludes.
You surely would believe that all of this is tied to a form of a Battle Pass of unlockable rewards, because of course it is. It’s part of a modern megacorp’s video game. For the duration of the event, progress in any Terminator missions advances players through a so-so selection of Terminator-themed outfits, vehicles and other items.
Maybe some big Terminator fans will be excited about these, but other than the signature sunglasses you unlock early on, it’s hard to see them being much of a draw.
That said, the event itself is a fun twist and an enjoyable addition that livens up the dreary state of Breakpoint. The game is still mired with problems, including a superfluous stat-driven gear system that drives players to constantly waste time ditching weapons and armour for the more powerful stuff they’re constantly finding. It has fatigue and other survival systems that were initially annoying and were then patched to be irrelevant. And it’s got the problem of being yet another massive open-world Ubisoft game that feels too much like the others and not enough like its own thing. These are all things the developers say they’re aware of and have publicly vowed to address through iterative overhauls, but much of that change has yet to reach the game.
For now, though, Breakpoint is at least picking up on the somewhat goofy yet enjoyable precedent set by its predecessor Ghost Recon Wildlands, in which quirky crossovers with the Predator movie series, Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell and others popped up every few months. This time it’s Terminators. Next time? We’ll see.