Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online’s Tactical Cover Shooter’s Open Beta
From now on, I will just refer to it as Ghost Recon Online or GRO. Also, all screenshots for this are taken from the game’s official website. Find the website here.
GRO is a squad based tactical cover shooter. Two teams are pit against each other, mostly in capture the point style maps so far. Will there be more maps later on? Most likely. The game is free to play with a cash shop.
Most of the time, you’re in the third person, over the camera style. You go into first person mode when aiming down gun sights. In the game, you must effectively work together with your team, utilizing cover, suppressive fire and special abilities to defeat the enemy.
What is a tactical cover based shooter? It means get your ass in cover or you’re going to die horribly. Crouch, go prone, whatever you do, don’t try to charge in like an action movie star. Remember, this is an open beta, stuff might change later on.
Unless you are this guy, he has an energy shield shield.
First off, I guess I’ll talk about the cash shop. For the most part, what’s available in the cash shop is available for the in game currency you get for playing matches. Bundles and boosts are the major things not available.
So, what can you with in game currency buy? (Note everything can be bought with real money I believe, nothing is restricted only to in game currency). Guns of course.
You can also buy helmets, which is only for cosmetics I believe, vests for defense, and upgrades for your guns and vests. Now, vest upgrades deteriorate over time. At least that’s what I think the durability on them means. I haven’t bought one yet so I don’t know. They provide minor stat upgrades such as more health.
Gun upgrades don’t deteriorate but you can’t save them. If you get replace one, the old one is removed. Some upgrades for guns includes scopes, barrels and silencers.
Now, there is a leveling system in this game. It seems to be used for matchmaking, but it’s also used in a more annoying way. Every piece of equipment has a level requirement. That means you can’t buy what you want, you need to level up to there first. Are higher level weapons better? Sort of. Usually, higher level weapons deal more damage per shot but are harder to control. If you’re a good aim though, higher level weapons should be better. Although it’s very easy to make a case for weapon choice just being personal preference as most weapons aren’t just flat out better than another.
The final purchasable items are consumables, primarily, grenades! Grenades are pretty cheap. Assuming you use them tactically, you should always have enough in game points to buy more of them. The other major consumables is an ammunition that just does 20% more damage. It’s good if you need a boost but proper playing will always be more important.
Now, onto the actual game. Cover, you want to be behind it.
Being out in the open is pretty much just asking to get killed. Being behind cover also gives accuracy and stability bonuses. So, if everyone is behind cover, how do the teams advance? They do so much like how you would think. There is a crouching and a prone position, both reduces your height profile. Using those in conjunction with cover fire will allow you to safely advance.
Yes, you must work with your team to effectively get anywhere. While voice chat is supported in game, the UI gives you a lot of information about your team so teamwork just kind of happens as a need to progress. For instance, there are blue lines directing you to any nearby teammates. Also, any enemies a teammate sees will be marked for you as well. Therefore, even if you don’t directly communicate with your teammates, information is being provided to you by the game.
All of the maps I’ve played so far are capture the points. One map only had a single point while another was more like a tug of war of points. Matches tend to be best out of three. Each game within the match usually lasts under ten minutes depending on how much back and forth there is. Capturing points is as simple as having more of your team in the capture zone.
Points you can capture are shown up top, in the center of the screen, along with the time remaining. It’s simple to see that the borders show how far along the capture is, and the center shows which team currently owns it.
There are 3 classes in the game. Unfortunately, they all must be level separately. Each class has 2 special abilities that they can use to help break stalemates.
The classes are: Assault, you’re gun type. They have a riot shield special or a heat special. The heat special makes every enemy in the targeted area that is not in cover take damage.
Specialist: These guys work with electrical stuff. Stuff I say. One of their abilities is the barrier shield, shown earlier. Another one is a blackout that disorients enemies and their electrical equipment.
Recon: Your sniper type. On one of maps, these guys are so annoying. The map is a long stretch that gives them a lot of sniping opportunities. They can cloak, and they can reveal enemy positions.
Elite sniper arseholes.
I find the game very fun, even though I am horrible at it. It’s not as fast paced. Twitch skills mostly come into play if you run into an enemy while trying to get into position, otherwise you’re moving along slowly, hoping the other team doesn’t see you. With proper teams, the matches could be very interesting. Without proper teams, the matches are still fun because the game lets you know where nearby people on your team is, and you can decide how best to react to their positioning.
So, if you feel like giving it a try, go to their website and download it. And prepare to flank while other players lay down suppressive fire or are being suppressed.