DBCM (Death By Crummy Mechanics)

User Rating: 6 | Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint PC

I seriously like the Ghost Recon franchise. I like that there's a Tom Clancy universe where someone like Sam Fisher can cross over from Splinter Cell to add a stealthy dimension to the whole affair. Tactical shooters are a great role playing experience that has its payoff in being sneaking and being clever in the pursuit of a mission goal. In many ways I've really enjoyed GH: Breakpoint and particularly its precursor, Wildlands.

What I don't like about it is the clumsy mechanics on the PC (not sure if they're as bad or worse on consoles). It's a real annoyance when you have to face the loot crate or intel object at just the right angle in order to interact with it. But having to position yourself just perfectly in front of a vehicle to make a getaway or stow a captive can be fatal when you're in a firefight. Doorways can become a life or death passage (kind of profound, actually) when you get stuck unintentionally hugging either side of the door for cover; this doesn't work well when you're trying to escape a barrage of gunfire by running into a building only to die as the bouncer checks you at the entry and you get stuck there for a second or two. I suppose the maître d' inside the building might be packing a Glock, in which case you'll need the cover...but it doesn't matter when you get splattered all over the velvet rope. And I can't tell you how many times I've tried to escape a Wolf encampment by helicopter and ended up selecting the passenger seat instead of the pilot seat. I either sit there while they splatter me all over the inside of the cockpit or I try to change seats which ends up taking an excruciating amount of time...and they splatter me anyway.

But the absolute worst DBCM (Death By Crummy Mechanics) is found on any ladder. See, you're supposed to press the space bar to descend from the top of a ladder (don't get me started on the awkward hitch that happens when the game mechanics try to decide whether you want to slide down the ladder or climb down it). But you also press the space bar to jump from a helicopter and parachute down. The unpleasantness is when you try to base jump from the top of the ladder and end up killing yourself by doing a belly flop on the asphalt from the not-so-glorious height of 8 ft. More than one arduous mission has ended with me creating sidewalk art in this fashion.

The thing that gets me is that Wildlands didn't really have any of these issues. There were minor issues with mechanics but nothing as dramatic as Breakpoint has. Back to the drawing board, Ubisoft. Your franchise might lose its appeal to me if you continue to make tactical ghost warfare feel as graceless and awkward as a junior high school dance.