Practically every genre in the MMO universe has been flooded to all hell with bog standard online games hoping to grab a slice of the financial pie. However, on occasion an MMO releases that pushes the boundaries and deserves attention. Today I took a look at one of those games; Ubisoft's first foray into the MMOTPS space, Ghost Recon Online. Below I've highlighted some of the games most defining features but if you really want to experience the quality offered in Ghost Recon Online, you've really got to experience it for yourself.
The entire game oozes a quality that I've not experienced in a free-to-play title before. As soon as I entered my first match I knew I was in for an experience on a higher level; everything from the graphics to animations seemed crisp and of great quality. I've played my fair share of MMO shooters, such as Wolf Team and Absolute Force Online, and within minutes I felt as if I was playing a sub-par game; but that was not the case with Ghost Recon Online.
It sounds great, it looks great, it plays great. The quality across the board can be compared to Ubisoft's previous entries in the franchise; without question.
Following in the footsteps of other Tom Clancy games Ghost Recon Online takes a realistic approach to the MMO shooting world; a refreshing chance from the arcade shooters that plague the internet at the moment. You don't need to unload an entire clip of Assault Rifle ammo into your enemy to kill them and the multiple points of impact allow for greater damage if aiming for vital organs.
Outside of the shooting; players move at realistic speeds and will get nothing but bullet wounds if they run around like Clint Eastwood on steroids. The weapons follow current models available to military forces across the globe and grenades actually have a realistic damage radius.
3. Team Work
Plenty of MMO titles boast team work as a heavy focus but it's very rarely the case. Ghost Recon Online is slightly different as it makes the same claim but actually follows through with it. There is no Team Deathmatch mode in sight, every game mode in the game supports team work and communication.
Then there's the real gem, the Recon class. Although each of the classes in Ghost Recon Online bring a little something new to the table; the Recon class represents the pinnacle of team-based shooting. Using special abilities Recon players are able to scan the vicinity for enemies, spotting them at great distances and even through walls; before relaying the information to their team mates.
Unless you're playing Battlefield 3 or PlanetSide 2; communication is usually non-existent in most shooting games. But yet again Ghost Recon Online excels as not only does it offer a variety of communication tools but it also rewards players for doing so. The typical chat options are there, giving players the opportunities to relay commands and information to team mates via text; but there's also in-game VOIP available. The in-game voice communication feature is easy to use and works even with the cheaper microphones, offering instant communication for the most vital of information.
1. Cover System
The highly coveted cover system is rarely seen in the MMO space; usually being reserved for AAA console titles such as Perfect Dark and Gears of War 3. Ghost Recon has long been considered the tactical cousin of the typical run and gun style games, and the cover system adds to that reputation. At practically any time during a match players are able to take cover using the default key "Space"; immediately placing them safely behind the nearest object or wall.
Once in cover players are able to move around freely, whilst still maintaining the buffs offered with this unique feature. Extra damage, accuracy; and reduced recoil are just some of the benefits of staying behind cover. We've all seen the negative aspects of a bad cover system, accidentally leaving cover and taking fire; or being unable to attack enemies due to poor design, but neither of these negative aspects feature in Ghost Recon Online.
You'll very rarely see me hold a free-to-play online shooter in such high regard but Ghost Recon Online has set a new bar that current competitors just can't reach.
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