Ghost Recon Online Preview: A Nice Tactical Shooter So Far
ByDate: 04-01-2012 Views:
Ubisoft has taken up the quest that a lot of companies have been up to and made their own free to play game. This one is based off of their popular Tom Clancy Ghost Recon series, which is a bit of an odd twist for the series considering the origins. The game ended its first phase of close beta, and they lifted the NDA during it, which means that people like me can write about it.
I was lucky enough to be selected for the closed beta, and I got a chance to test it out while trying a class that interested me and about 90% of the populace, which is the Recon Class. It is one of three classes in the game, but since it features the ability to go stealth, you can imagine how people will jump to play it.
While I picked the Recon class, which is more of a hit and run or sniper type character, the game features two other classes which are the Assault and Specialist. Each class has their own role in the team and has their own special skills that they bring to the group. Players are able to switch weapons and abilities chosen to try to make what their team needs in the fight. For instance on the recon you have the choice of using either a skill that helps you go stealth, or one that detects nearby enemy units. The role you pick helps determine which may be a bit more useful for the team. A recon that is going close quarters with an SMG is better at using a cloak than detecting nearby troops as it allows them to get behind the lines and take out the guys who are giving heavy fire to prevent the progression of the troops. Same thing can be said about snipers, which the detection skill they can find out who is too close and needs to be focused on by the team.
The game actually has a sort of character creation system for new players. When you pick a class, which you can actually switch between whenever you want, you're able to pick a minor amount of things to customize that character before you go out on a mission. Pretty much it boils down to picking a face and skin color, if they decide to go more in depth with that, is unknown, but for a shooter, you really don't need that much customization. But that also means you can change each characters look, so you can have your Specialist look different than your Assault and Recon.
What is sort of a bonus on the customization front is that the game allows a bit of a deeper customization than some other shooters. You are able to modify both your guns and your armor. For guns you can change things like the clip, muzzle and other features, but on the armor it is a bit different. When you modify your armor I don't really mean the color of the armor or anything like that, but you can put mods on them which you can get randomly from completing missions with other players. These can affect anything from hp regeneration to run speed. This offers players a bit more freedom in developing their characters, though the mods themselves are not permanent, but rather lose durability during fights. So that also needs to be accounted for before taking them out on the field.
An idea that is almost taken from the MMO side of things is that each class has their own levels. As you do missions winning or losing your characters gain experience, which will level them up and allow them to unlock skills and weapons. Even further into that, characters can actually level up using specific weapons; meaning that the more you use a weapon the higher your level is with it. I am not sure if it is different for the other classes, but for recon it increased the critical chance rate when firing at an enemy.
Combat in the game is done from a third person perspective with the ability to switch to iron sights when you need it. True to the Tom Clancy series, players are able to take cover behind objects and take out unsuspecting enemies. Taking cover offers its own set of bonuses which help in some aspects. The animations are rather fluid and you can even do things like run to a slide behind cover to get past enemies and secure a safe location to take them out.