I was getting increasingly confused by Ghost Recon Breakpoint. But this won’t be an article listing endless grievances so hear me out.

In a moment of epiphany I was left with a Cache mission pin but with no “Press M to show on map”. I actually started reading the location description … “East Argyll. North West of waterfall X”, etc and started hunting around. I found a remote building with Skrell credits. The Cache pin disappeared. That must have been it ! Then I thought I’d try a Blueprint. Again there was no “Press M to show on map” but I quickly found the base where the Blueprint was listed as being, based on the description on the pin. I started on a trek to that location. Now the temptation is to get distracted by everything on the way and forgetting the objective. This is sometimes necessary to collect resources (more on that later) but can get out of control. I concentrated on the objective and found myself checking the map a lot more and noticing landscape features as well as examining my approach to the base which was on a mountain. I started following a mountain stream which had waterfalls realistically cascading down ridges. Another example of Ubi’s excellent landscape design. Then I was recognising the ley of the land leading up to the base and …. BOOM ! *It* happened. Suddenly I was immersed and and genuflecting in front of the games absolutely enormous landscape design. And this is great design. It feels and looks like an organic landscape. But more importantly I could suddenly see what the game designers were up to. Tactical advantage using terrain is everything, just as in Operation Flashpoint or ArmA. The guided design to encourage hunting around and examining the realistic map (with contour lines and everything) really brings this game alive and appears to be a primary design decision (the core game loop). This is not a game to blindly run around. You will just keep on dying !

So I got to the base and carefully chose an approach that would lead me to higher ground over the base. On the way I spotted a gap in the base defences leading me straight to a generator. As this was at night I took the chance to sneak in and take the power out thus killing the lights. But, oops ! I was spotted almost immediately (this was a Wolves base), but this time rather than stand and fight I retreated quickly (the better part of valour and all that). That paid off as I was not suddenly dead.

I retreated to the aforementioned rise above the base (terrain planning). However the Wolves were quickly on top of me even though I had used prone camouflage (covering myself in dirt or snow).

I could see one of the enemies torches bearing down on me. Quick ! Up and away ! But which way ? I blundered a bit towards the edge of a cliff half thinking of jumping off but found myself sliding down and ended up stuck half way down the cliff face !

That blue dot at the bottom left is me stuck half way down the cliff face while the Wolves hunt for me above. Damn Ubi ! This is really dramatic !

I soon noticed the tank-like drones starting to come towards the bottom of the cliff. I was trying to work out how to get down without killing myself in a fall. After examination with my drone I was forced to make an attempt before the drones came too close. Miraculously I managed to slide down to the bottom (this was an almost vertical cliff face!) and made a break for it and immediately went into prone camo. Just in time as a tank-drone made it to the base of the cliff to where I had been stranded seconds before.

I basically repeated all this (without the cliff part) until the base was cleared.

So the key dynamic with GRB appears to be this relationship between stealth tactics, the map and the terrain which I think Ubi have mastered really well. It’s the same thing that people play ArmA 3 for but here the game is much less of the often frustrating simulation that ArmA can be. In fact I’ve been waiting for a game such as GRB for a long time. I suggest players give it some time. Ignore internet reviews and forum noise because there is a genius (a genie?) waiting to be released from GRB. The landscape rather than being a flashy accessory finally seems to have actually become part of the game.

A last point about resources. All those boxes start making sense once I mastered the weapon dismantling cycle needed to keep things like mines stocked up.

Give this game some time. Trust me its worth it.

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