Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and its predecessor Wildlands were bold new steps for the tactical shooter franchise. Before, the series was known for carefully constructed levels that followed a squad of elite special forces soldiers that each had a specific role to play throughout the mission. The newer titles swapped this out for a structure that prioritizes player choice with an open world, full four-player co-op, and the ability to swap out entire loadouts at any time. This is still true of Operation Motherland.
Breakpoint added survival elements as well as more in-depth options for leveling up characters and personalizing playstyles. The new approach to the series has enjoyed a mixed reception from players, with many preferring the new freedoms and detailed variety that the new structure provides. Still, others miss the more structured and challenging format of the series’ origins.
However, the developers at Ubisoft Paris have gone to great lengths to continuously update the title to introduce new approaches, options, and modes to cater to as many players as possible. The newest of these is Operation Motherland, which lets players revisit the island of Auroa with a new approach for the title.
The new update sees Nomad and his squad of soldiers returning to Auroa just months after the conclusion of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint’s campaign. The end of the game’s narrative left the island a subject of international concern. Every superpower now keeps a close eye on its geopolitical state, going so far as to line its shores with navy ships. Then, a new military faction known as the Bodaks began operating across the island.
This leads the United States to send the ghosts back in to not only uncover what the goals of the Bodaks are but to also remove them from the island. This setup is an interesting one but also follows the recent trend of Ubisoft games building themselves on political themes, such as the United States’ penchant for covertly interfering with the political happenings of under-developed nations, without fully engaging with them and claiming that their games are non-political.
The awkwardness of this approach rears its head frequently throughout Operation Motherland. The actions and goals of the player are constantly contextualized within a global political balance without its narrative taking any time to analyze or comment on the moral ambiguity of such important decisions being made by one unchecked man with a gun. This creates a weird schism between the player wanting to complete objectives because it’s a video game and the game feeling like it labels the player as a hero for doing some pretty questionable things.
Questionable morals aside, Operation Motherland lets players jump into the mode with their pre-existing characters to start reclaiming the island by systemically working to recover all eleven regions of Auroa. When players first set up camp in one of the regions, they get an overview of the Bodak operations there before unlocking a few missions to destabilize the Bodaks in the region.
The missions include several different objectives like destroying enemy trucks, saving kidnapped scientists, or killing high-priority targets. Each region has three missions for players to choose from. After completing two of the missions, the player unlocks a fourth mission that, after completing, will give them control of the region. At that point, players can either complete the final destabilization mission before securing the region or they can just jump straight to taking over the region.
The other primary addition from Operation Motherland is the new optical camo ability that all players gain access to. A frequent piece of equipment throughout the series, optical camo in Breakpoint can be used at any time to turn players invisible and help them sneak around their enemies. While playing through Operation Motherland, players can level up their optical camo and choose from a handful of upgrades along the way.
Other new additions include the ability to level up to 99, some new gear, vehicles, and a weapon mastery system that allows players to spend skill points, making them more effective with particular classes of weapons. These additions all work to help players better specialize their approach throughout the game while also encouraging players to bring friends along to help synergize their squad.
All in all, Operation Motherland, for better or worse, is more of the same, just slightly remixed. With the Operation Motherland update, players who don’t appreciate the new open-world approach or want more structured missions will likely not be swayed to Breakpoint. That being said, any fans who did enjoy the main game will find plenty of reason to get the squad back together to run through Auroa one more time, just a little bit different.
The Operation Motherland update for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Google Stadia.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint - Operation Motherland
Operation Motherland, for better or worse, is more of the same, just slightly remixed. With the Operation Motherland update, players who don’t appreciate the new open-world approach or want more structured missions will likely not be swayed to Breakpoint. That being said, any fans who did enjoy the main game will find plenty of reason to get the squad back together to run through Auroa one more time, just a little bit different.