E3 2019: 'Ghost Recon: Breakpoint' Shows Stadia Could Revolutionize the FPS
Cloud gaming platforms like Google Stadia have the potential to add immense new dimension to multiplayer games. Stadia chief Phil Harrison has promised battle royales with not hundreds, but “thousands” of gamers. Imagine controlling not just a player, but a whole army.
Features like Stream Connect, which lets you see what’s on your teammates’ screens, will make it easier to coordinate during ever-more sophisticated battle scenarios. Game developers like those gathered for the E3 2019 gaming expo in Los Angeles are beginning to design with these possibilities in mind, and shooters might never be the same.
Inverse experienced this firsthand at E3 during a demo of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, a tactical shooter from Ubisoft, one of Stadia’s main partners, that’s due in October for the consoles and will roll out as part of Stadia’s inaugural roster in November. The second you play the game, you’ll realize how crucial Stadia’s new communication features will be in this new genre of shooter.
While playing the game, for example, I couldn’t help but notice how many times my four-player team and I counted down to three. Whether it was to time stealthy, simultaneous kills on an enemy squad or mount an assault on a deadly drone tank, synchronized action was key to avoid being merked.
Google Stadia Stream Connect: How It Will Work
Google teased that Ghost Recon: Breakpoint would come with a “Stream Connect” feature only accessible on Stadia that will let players experience the game in a way that’s completely unique to the cloud gaming service. Matthew Tomkinson the User Experience Directer for the game tells Inverse that squads will essentially be able to connect to their teammates screen during a mission.
“At any moment players can choose to display what their teammates are seeing on their screen,” he said. “That’s super useful if you have a player in the background that’s playing as a sharpshooter. You can see if there are enemies behind you because your teammate is covering your back.”
"“When we’ll have games that are fully built around Stream Connect it’ll bring about things we have yet to imagine."
While this specific feature wasn’t available to demo at E3, I found myself yearning for it. I constantly looked over to my squad mate’s screen to make sure we were all in position. That’s a luxury that gamers don’t have when they’re playing online, it often results in miscommunication when all you have is voice chat. Stream Connect will change that.
Why Shared Screens Will Be a Game-Changer
During Stadia’s recent gaming announcement, the feature was demonstrated showing three smaller windows at the top left of a player’s screen, each representing one of the users on their squad. These additional screens give gamers three other visual vantage points that they can’t have unless they play Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on Stadia.
Rendering and displaying multiple screens is simply out of reach for consoles like the PlayStation 4, which have a finite amount of computing and graphics resources. Stadia, by contrast, will be powered by Google’s global network of data centers with massive arrays of graphics cards at their disposal. That will reduce player errors during online play, and make esports far more competitive as team dynamics become more important than ever. It will also likely lead to entirely new types of games that have yet to be imagined.
“For now what we’re seeing is the quick-win opportunities for us that enhance the gameplay,” Tomkinson explains. “But when we’ll have games that are fully built around Stream Connect it’ll bring about things we have yet to imagine.”
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on Stadia will be one of the first titles to take advantage of what could be the cloud gaming service’s most quietly revolutionary feature. It’ll be the first step in a new breed on multiplayer games that could drastically raise standards for the market. Ubisoft will release the game on October 4 and it’ll be available on Stadia once it launches sometime in November.