Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
When Ubisoft revealed that a Ghost Recon game would be made available on the 3DS, I literally jumped to the ceiling...to later find out that it wasn’t going to be a tactical shooter. In fact, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a top-down, turn-based strategy game - a genre with whom I’ve always had some issues.
The thing is, I can play and enjoy them to a certain extent, but it takes a lot to keep my interest afloat. With Nintendo dealing with a thin and uninspired launch line-up, could the Ghosts live up to their reputation and save the day?
I won’t be spending much time describing the game’s premise, but let’s just say that you’ll control a group of six Ghosts sent to stop a Russian despot from building his empire, bring ultranationalists into power and eventually, plunging the world back into Cold War status. Typical Tom Clancy set-up, right? However, the story gets quickly relegated to the far end of the experience due to the text-based, non-animated conversations, which are basically campy comic book one-liners straight out of an episode of G.I. Joe. Heck, there’s even a character named Duke. Luckily, the gameplay is both challenging and fun. That’s of course, if you’re into the slow-paced genre.
If you’ve played other grid-based games (Advanced Wars for example), you will be right at home with Shadow Wars, although there are a few differences. Across the 35 missions available, each Ghost needs to be positioned for an attack while taking their class, stats, weapons and support/return fire abilities into consideration. Not to mention the map’s tactical advantages for cover, sight blocking, etc. During missions, the touch screen will display important information on the map and characters. After being limited to a few Ghosts during the first missions (which act more as a tutorial), all six playable characters will become available, giving you the ability to build and deploy the best team for the given task. There’s a sniper, heavy gunner, rifleman, medic, recon and engineer, so gameplay will be quite varied. At the end of each mission, PEC Points (a.ka. Persistent Elite Creation system) will be awarded based on the difficulty level and number of objectives - primary or secondary - completed. Much like past Tom Clancy titles, these points will help increase your rank and unlock content. In Shadow Wars’ case, additional skirmish (missions against the A.I with a predefined squad) and multiplayer missions.
Shadow Wars’s isn’t the most visually striking game on the 3DS. Sound effects and music are also quite simplistic. Thankfully, the gameplay makes up for it. However, the most disappointing feature is without a doubt the game’s multiplayer component. Completely ignoring the handheld’s local wireless and online capabilities, Ubisoft Sofia decided to go with a dumb hotseat mode. Pick a map, set the battle conditions, make your move, then pass the handheld to the second player for his moves. Did we go back in time and no one told me about it?
Yet another game where the 3D isn’t too shabby, but brings nothing substantial to justify having the slider all the way up. I played a few levels, but ended up turning it off for my eye’s sake.
I won’t lie. If Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars was simply known as Shadow Wars, I highly doubt someone would pick it up. Still, the offering is quite giving, deep and challenging enough to keep strategy gamers busy for a while. Just make sure to overlook the “jock approach” as well as the lack of a true multiplayer mode and you’ll be fine. Certainly Ubisoft’s best game out of its 3DS launch line-up.
+ Six classes help diversify the experience
+ Solid gameplay mechanics
- A hotseat multiplayer mode?
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Release Date : 2011/03/27
System : Nintendo 3DS
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Sofia
Category : Action
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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