Sony

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint (PS4)

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Ghost Recon: Breakpoint seems anti-conservative. Torture bad, the narrative says. In flashbacks to Iraq, the antagonist played by Jon Bernthal is stuck in the mid-2000s, projecting Bush-era aggressiveness. He’s repulsed by those who won’t abuse prisoners. Protagonist “Nomad” keeps a firm heroic posture in story sequences. Then in-game, Nomad bashes heads in with pistols to interrogate. Torture okay – sometimes.

Nomad and team rush onto a remote island, certain to turn this situation into an international quagmire given the number of bodies. Said island is owned by a disgustingly rich tech inventor (with the same autistic-esque personality as Ready Player One’s Halliday), only to find drones and other experimental devices were improbably hijacked by a disgruntled Bernthal. How Bernthal roped in hundreds (if not thousands) of men to his cause isn’t clear.

In hunting Bernthal, Nomad’s tough guy demeanor butts against the geeky employees within. Those Nomad speaks to display cowardice or worse, derision toward killing. It’s written like a dorky high school movie where the jocks and nerds take to their corners. Only here, the tech firm’s people speak like whiny millenial stereotypes. When Nomad comes near, employees call out their feelings of anxiety or telling him his presence makes them uncomfortable.

Clearly, the social contrast is played for laughs. Employees live in “Designs by IKEA” homes,  while Nomad toughs it out in the wild. With Normad’s Bear Grylls survival routine, Breakpoint settles into a primetime right wing editorial. “Kids today don’t want to shoot people, only tinker with their phones, and look what that accomplished,” spouts a now red-faced, ranting host. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint isn’t standing up to drone warfare to calling out torture after all. Rather, it’s mocking those who tried to do right with technology.

1/5

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