When Ubisoft debuted Ghost Recon Breakpoint, a fair number of series purists groaned when they saw footage of the Ghosts fighting off legions of killer drones. But if you’ve been paying attention to the cutting edge of the military-industrial complex, that future is already here.
When brainstorming ways to up the difficulty in Breakpoint and present new cooperative challenges to players, Ubisoft spoke with Matthieu Bonnery, a former operations officer in the French Ministère de la Défense. He told them to take a meeting with Milrem Robotics, a military contractor that’s been making drones since 2013. If you’re unfamiliar with the company, here’s what they’ve been up to recently.
Using this technology as inspiration, Ubisoft felt good about making drones a centerpiece of the adversarial experience in Breakpoint. Drones are the ultimate soldier. They are highly resistant to the environment and can operate on any terrain. They don’t need much downtime, and armed with machine learning, they can adapt to the threats they face. Their modular design means they can be equipped to handle a variety of tasks, and one militarized drone can carry more weapons and ammo than any fleshy super soldier you can name. If a drone is destroyed on the field of battle, you don’t need to send a letter to a grieving family. And perhaps most importantly for the power-hungry, morally questionable leaders in the world, a drone won’t second guess its orders.
To create some variety, Ubisoft designed more than 20 drones for the world of Breakpoint, each of which has different strengths, weaknesses, and operational objectives.
The flying drones are a problem no matter where you are. These militarized sentries are used to keep the wilderness and base camps under supervision. They often move in swarms like bees, and their unpredictable flight patterns make them a tricky target.
The toughest part about fighting the flying drones is they are smart enough to try and preserve line of sight, repositioning when you try to take cover. They also don’t give up pursuit easily. Even if you hop in a vehicle and high tail it out of a fire zone, they will give chase. Either you kill them or you die.
The ground drones may not have the agility of their aviation-based brethren, but they pack a serious punch. Many of the ground-based drones have multiple mounted guns, which allows them to target multiple players at once. Each of the ground drones carries different weapons, but all are well armored. You need to shoot off protective plates to reveal the glowing heart of these steel beasts. Each also has a glowing eye. If you deal enough damage there you can momentarily stun the drone, opening up a brief window to line up critical shots with heavy payloads like grenade launchers and rocket launchers.
The most dangerous drones of all are the hulking Behemoths, which provide one of the toughest challenges in Breakpoint. At launch, 21 of these monsters will be patrolling secured regions of Auroa, and they require strategy and precision to take down. Ubisoft wants them to feel like a mythological beast that should be feared, and the multiple Gatling guns and burst rocket launchers do a good job of commanding respect. Their rockets can shoot at up to four players at the same time, and when you drain their health enough they start indiscriminately unleashing mortar salvos.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint releases October 4 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can get your hands on the game in advance during the beta that kicks off September 5. To learn more about the game, read our previous coverage: