'We're looking forward to seeing what we can do on Wii U'
Ghost Recon Online is the new free-to-play online shooter in the Tom Clancy series. Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, it's heading for PC and Wii-U this year in what the publisher calls, 'a downloadable, dynamic' shooter.
It certainly looks good fun from what we've seen and if you'd like a chance to try it out yourself, we're currently giving away free beta keys (over 16k have gone so far) so you can try it out for yourself.
We recently caught up with series producer Theo Sanders to talk games as services, the difference between retail and free-to-play development and whether consoles, PC or indeed mobile is the true next generation platform.
How did the idea for Ghost Recon Online first come about?
In the late 00's, we started seeing games delivered as a free online service proliferate out of Asia into Western markets. But there was something wrong: the model was being exported wholesale - including the idea that gameplay and quality weren't particularly important. The "recipe" was basically to do it fast and cheap.
We saw an opportunity there - reasoning that core gamers in Western markets, accustomed to AAA games, would only accept the concept if game quality was not part of the compromise. Ghost Recon was a great fit to pursue that strategy, having some of the deepest multiplayer roots in the Ubisoft portfolio.
What kind of maps, levels and missions can players look forward to?
Ghost Recon Online is going to launch with four maps in a variety of settings. The idea is that we learn about what works and what doesn't and then deliver more content to the community post-launch.
The initial maps take place on an oil rig in the North Sea called Shearwater 51, and in three locations around a near-future incarnation of Moscow: the top of a skyscraper belonging to the Korolyov Corporation, inside a metro station where the off-limits areas are being used for covert purposes, and finally in an urban street setting.
What are the main differences and play styles between the three classes?
The game is all about teamplay and advancing (or holding) the space in each map. That's also the best way to conceptualize the role each class plays. The Assault is about breaking the front line and helping his team advance through the game space.
The Specialist excels at creating an advantage at control points, protecting his team or disabling enemies within a small area.
And finally the recon is there to find the weak points and communicate intel: either sniping from a distance, or infiltrating the enemy positions.