Monday, 28 March 2011

Nintendo 3DS: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars Review

For those of you who don't know, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a new turn-based, tactical combat game for the Nintendo 3DS. The characters take it in turns to move and attack various enemies in the battlefield.

The main storyline focuses on a Russian Ultranationalist called Yuri Treskayev who is amassing a secret army of drones in the hot desserts of Kazakhstan. It is up to the 'Ghosts' - an elite special operations fighting force - to stop Treskayev from coming to power.

There are three gameplay modes: Campaign mode is a single-player mode in which players must control a squad of six Ghosts as they complete a series of thirty-seven missions. Completing the required  objectives in each mission earns the player Hit Points (HP) which can then be used to upgrade equipment and weapons.

The other two game modes are Skirmish Missions and Multiplayer. There are twenty Skirmish missions to complete, each one features a fixed team of Ghosts. There are also a total of ten Multiplayer missions which can be played by two or more players.

The six main Ghosts that you control all vary in rank and the type of weapons that they use. The respective soldier ranks of the main Campaign Mode squad are as follows:

Commando: The Commando (Duke) is equipped with an assault rifle and a hi-tech shoulder mounted missile launcher. He is a very agile member of the team and makes use of all the weapons at his disposal very effectively. There are two types of Commando soldiers, anti-vehicle or anti-personnel.

Sniper: The sniper (Haze) is an expert in long range weapons including heavy sniper rifles, which are very good at getting through the enemy armour, or light sniper rifles, which allow Haze to move faster on the battlefield. His secondary weapons include a choice of either AP or EMP grenades.

Gunner: The gunner (Richter) has a high-powered automatic weapon. This causes an excellent amount of  damage to the 'hostiles' and features good return fire, but does slow Richter down overall. Like Haze,  the gunner has a choice of grenades for his secondary weapon.

Medic: The Medic (Saffron) has effective personal defence weapons and a wide choice of medi-kits, including a 'stim kit', which can give injured characters a chance to perform their attack again, or a 'boost kit', which provides extra power points to the rest of the squad.

Recon: The Recon (Banshee) is has a special camouflage system that prevents any direct attacks against her unless she is revealed by an adjacent enemy. Banshee's main weapon is some silenced carbines, and she also has a choice of EMP grenades or knife for secondary weapon.

Engineer: The engineer (Mint) is equipped with an assault rifle as his main weapon. His secondary equipment is either a deployable gun turret or an armed, mobile drone. His main function within the squad is to repair damaged vehicles and drones.

Weapons and characters can be selected by using the stylus or by pressing the 'A' button on the 3DS D-pad. All the main characters have strengths and weaknesses which must be utilised correctly for players to succeed through all the combat missions. However, they may also be joined by other teams occasionally and can issue  specific orders to these squads as well.

The graphics are very good. The cutscenes look fantastic and realistic in 3D. However, the graphics in the actual game are shown from a Birdseye perspective and often look quite small and unclear on-screen.

Overall, this is a brilliant game and will no doubt be a very popular 3DS launch game. The turn-based combat system may not appeal to everyone's taste but it does seems to work very well here.

If you are a fan of tactical combat games then Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars definitely has a lot to offer. Overall rating: 9/10.

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