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Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s Immersive Mode launches soon, but can it save the game?

Arrives March 24, promises a harder-core experience for tactical fans

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s forthcoming Immersive Mode has been revealed and detailed, a week after Ubisoft Paris told the game’s community that the post-release feature would be delayed. It launches on March 24 after it was originally flagged for a February release.

Immersive Mode is a harder-core version of the game’s player-versus-environment campaign, and it places a greater focus on survival and ability, as opposed to using high-level weapons and gear to prevail. To that end, Gear Score is removed in Immersive Mode. This metric, new to Ghost Recon as of Breakpoint, mimicked the Gear Score that has players continually changing out their weapons in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

When Ubisoft developers took a community survey following the first month of Breakpoint’s disappointing launch, the removal of Gear Score was one of the top four player requests. This means a player’s trusty weapon can remain effective throughout the campaign if they like, and allows them to customize and personalize it without tossing it one or two levels later.

Immersive mode will also allow players to loot weapons from defeated enemies. Breakpoint had limited this survival-style component with random drops familiar to The Division and the loot-shooter genre at large. Similarly, gear is now acquired from the world at large (in crates) in addition to mission rewards and other milestones. In standard Breakpoint, players either acquire gear from an in-world store, or gather a craftable plan from “intelligence” caches (effectively a collectible).

The mode will offer other changes that place a greater focus on patient, tactical gameplay. Players may choose to carry a single primary weapon (as opposed to the standard two) in their loadout, and to lose ammunition on discarding a clip, to more reflect the real-life limitations of weapons in the field. Players may also adjust their character’s stamina and health regeneration rates for a greater challenge, as well as the number of bandages (a healing kit) they can carry — it’s infinite in the standard mode, though one does take a while to implement. Players can also ramp up the risk of suffering a wound for an extra challenge.

Last, but not least, a quality-of-life change means players will only encounter NPCs and their own partied-up human teammates in Erewhon, the game’s hub world. Since launch, it’s been overrun by randos, which isn’t altogether obnoxious but does cut into the feeling of being outnumbered deep inside enemy territory. Ubisoft Paris reassures players that they can switch in and out of immersive mode at any time, and that players with different modes can still fight together in the same party.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s Immersive Mode arrives at a perilous time, when many among the Ghost Recon hard core have expressed they’ve lost interest in something that was underwhelming on its day of release. Immersive Mode was promised for a February rollout back in November, and the absence of any communication over that month had many throwing their hands up in frustration.

It’s also noteworthy that players’ biggest desire — the return of AI-controlled teammates, probably the most distinctive feature of Ghost Recon’s tactical gameplay — is still AWOL. Immersive Mode does not deliver AI teammates, which Ubisoft Paris noted all the way back at E3 2019 would have to be added to the game later.

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