Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise has had tactical shooter fans step into the shoes of the elusive Ghost battalion for nearly two decades. Stealth operations, gun fights, and high-octane set pieces are a few features that give the franchise its identity, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint promises to maintain tradition when it releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 4. The following a few titles that Ghost Recon veterans and curious shooter fans should check out before the game launches, if only to show off to their online teammates when Breakpoint launches.
Advanced Warfighter 2
Though the original Advanced Warfighter is by no means a lackluster game, Advanced Warfighter 2 improves upon its fundamental gameplay by emphasizing tactical combat over traditional run-and-gun mechanics. Of particular note is the title’s Crosscom 2.0 system, which allows players to view what an ally’s perspective at any given moment in order to properly plan out attacks and position units. Of course, quality of life improvements like the option to have a medic in one’s squad and the ability to slide into a crouched position in multiplayer help make the title feel smart and refined. Advanced Warfighter 2 is available today on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Ghost Recon 2
Like Advanced Warfighter 2, Ghost Recon 2 learns from the shortcomings of its predecessor and delivers features that have remained staples of the franchise. Cooperative campaigns and missions are introduced, for example, alongside competitive Solo and Squad modes. Fan favorite mascot Captain Scott Mitchell makes his debut in the game, too, and it’s here where the franchise begins to draw inspiration from real-world conflict. For those that don’t know, the title takes place in North Korea after a massive famine strikes the country. It’s surprisingly relevant 15 years after its debut on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 and goes to show how the Ghost Recon franchise doesn’t back away from pushing the envelope.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier may not have the best AI, but its unique setting and cool gadgets help it stand out among other entries in the franchise. Turning invisible for the first time thanks to the title’s adaptive camouflage feature is a treat, as is performing one’s first synchronized take-down, or “Sync Shot.” Drones can be used to provide reconnaissance and give players a helpful view of whatever conflict lies ahead. Fans of multiplayer survival modes should look into Future Soldier‘s Guerilla mode, which has players secure an enemy station while fighting against waves of hostile soldiers. This Ghost Recon title may not be perfect, but it does enough right to warrant a visit on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Let’s be honest: most Ghost Recon titles made for handhelds aren’t so great. The one exception to this is Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, as this 2011 Nintendo 3DS-exclusive entry borrows elements from prominent turn-based franchises like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars and offers fans of the franchise mechanics that they may not associate Ghost Recon with. Finding cover and maintaining firing positions is key here, as one wrong move could allow an opponent to discover the player’s weak spots. Shadow Wars can get fairly challenging at times, though thankfully it allows users to upgrade each one of their units according to health points, abilities, equipment, and more. Like Future Solider, the title is quite lengthy, making it the perfect Ghost Recon game to take on the go until Ubisoft finally decides to port one entry in the franchise to Switch.
There’s a reason while some fans and critics believe Wildlands is the best Ghost Recon game to date, as it successfully reinvigorated a dying franchise by returning to the tactical roots from which it came from and borrowing from other Ubisoft franchises. Like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, Wildlands gives its players options that suit a variety of playstyles. Fans can survey the terrain they’re in before approaching an enemy encampment in order to find the best way to take down everyone stealthily, or they can rush into an outpost with guns blazing.
Speaking of the game’s landscapes, there are nine different types for players to learn and use to their advantage, including forests, mountains, and deserts. In this way, Wildlands isn’t merely just another open world game. Diverse environments encourage fans to explore and experiment as they venture through the campaign solo or with a squad. Terrains help the franchise come alive in a way it hasn’t realized before and elevates the genre as a whole.
The fact that the game continues to have a healthy player base on PC goes to show how well Ubisoft has been supporting it since its launch over two years ago. DLC like the Predator-focused Special Operations mission and the Operation Watchman pack with Sam Fisher bode well not only for the future of the title itself, but for the series as a whole. Wildlands is available right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint has potential to be one of the franchise’s best entries yet, as it shows signs of appropriately rethinking the property’s realism. Sleeping, eating, drinking, and treating injuries will be an essential part of the experience, and ignoring any of these factors could mean death. That’s not to mention that the game’s open world will be larger than the one featured in Wildlands and a variety of different landscapes like rocky cliffs and muddy swamps will be included. While it’s too early to tell whether or not Breakpoint will be a game worth buying, there are plenty of reasons for Ghost Recon fans to be excited.