Ubisoft has really done it now. After their announcement trailer for the upcoming Ghost Recon Frontline, fans had their say and they were not very happy. Firstly, both of their announcement YouTube videos got ratioed within the first 20 hours and the comments left for Ubisoft seem to echo in unison. It mostly comes down to this: nobody wanted another PvP, nor a Battle Royale, nor another Warzone. By the very nature of the multiplayer PvP, the announced game, according to many fans, is no longer Ghost Recon.
It isn’t hard to see where these sentiments are coming from. For fans of the franchise, no number of intricate explanations of how this game is online, free and PvP but not really a Battle Royale really convinces them that it isn’t the same old tired BR formula that is saturating the online multiplayer game scene.
Ubisoft has been on the receiving end of gamers’ wrath for some time. A recent study conducted by Rave found that Ubisoft was voted as the most hated gaming brand in 23 countries around the world, somehow dethroning the year-on-year reigning champion, EA. Judging by the reception of their latest announcement, it isn’t hard to see why. In addition to ignoring the community’s wishes and feedback, Ubisoft have been accused of running their most beloved franchises into the ground, or simply derailing some of them entirely.
A notable example would be the change the Assassin’s Creed franchise has undergone. Though many would point to the fact that it has now been turned into an RPG (something I personally seldom have a problem with), the issues of moving away from what made this franchise so beloved and so good, started way before the Black Flag and continued till today. This change is particularly glaring to fans who have been with the franchise from its inception, thus it is no wonder that many of the franchise fans of Ghost Recon had a major issue with the newest iteration of the franchise.
What is Ghost Recon Frontline?
According to the announcement trailer, Ghost Recon Frontline will be afree-to-play PvP shooter, touted by Ubisoft as an "authentic Ghost Recon experience", something many netizens have vehemently disagreed with.
The game will feature a number of different modes, however focus has mainly be on a map with 100+ players in squads of three, defending and fetching intel. Ubisoft stated that players aren’t tasked with eliminating one another, but rather with completing objectives on a vast map in order to gather and retrieve the said intel, then successfully exfil.
As with many free online multiplayer games, Ubisoft is planning long and continuous content additions and support, but the launch will introduce three different classes for players to choose from. In the game they’re known as "contractors" and so far, Ubisoft has hinted that the initial classes available will be assault, recon and support. Assault is supposed to bring more sustainability and close quarters fighting, while recon is able to detect and pester nearby enemies. Support will have fortification and other support and protection abilities.
Judging from the initial classes, we can assume that the success of missions will depend on the structure of the team, and no doubt the team combinations will be interesting to play with, especially if you’re doing so with friends. Our hope here at CCL is that what’s been imagined doesn’t merely turn into another Battle Royale, though ‘quicker’ modes will be available in the future, and we’re hoping that at least some will be fully co-op and some focusing on stealth.
The gaming space has been saturated by Battle Royale and online arena games, so the initial Ghost Recon reaction isn’t that surprising. This, coupled with the fact that the main Ghost Recon franchise focuses on tactics, rather than frontal assault, makes this decision by Ubisoft questionable at best. Nevertheless, I’m more than willing to give this game a try if it offers something a bit different to other online PvPs, though it is more than understandable why fans of the franchise may not be too happy with it.
For a chance to check the game out for yourself before the release, you can join the closed PC beta test. Do note however that this is a PC closed beta test only, so if you’re on any consoles this will not apply. You can still register and play on the PC even if your main platform is a console, however make sure you select PC when registering otherwise you will not get an invite to the beta.
The beta is currently only open to the players in Europe who will be able to participate in the beta from October 14th, so keep an eye on your emails for invites in the next week.
We’re looking forward to trying the game out and reporting back so watch this space!