Spooks! It’s Ghost Recon: The F2P MMO

I kill you! For free!

So, that major new PC game Ubisoft were on about the other week? It’s not Assassin’s Creed Online. It’s not World of Rayman. It’s not Multiple Splinter Cells. It’s not Silent HunterVille. It’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, it’s a third-person tactical shooter, it will be free to play, and it will be PC-only. Is Mr Clancy OK with that? I bet he doesn’t like giving stuff away for free.

Find out more and watch the first video of GRO, as I’ve decided everyone will probably start calling it, below.

It will be funded by minipayment ‘premium items’ but no word yet on if those are purely cosmetic or make you into more of a hard nut. Sounds as though it’s going fully for the shooter hardcore rather than casual players – so more in the vein of Battlefield Play4Free than Battlefield Heroes. The games industry spent most of the last year speculating that Call of Duty would go down this route, so it’s interesting to see other companies getting there first. What does happen to GR:O and BF B4F in the event the mysterious new COD project, Beachhead, is in a similar vein?

Right then, traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaailerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr:

And here’s a distillation of what we know so far about Ghost Recon Online:

– It’s “developed by Ubisoft Singapore, and offers all the best qualities of the Ghost Recon franchise in a downloadable, dynamic, PC-based online game.”

– Closed beta kicks off this Summer. Isn’t it Summer already?

– It’s “the most social, connected and customizable Ghost Recon experience yet,” which probably means it’s not going to be much like GRAW.

– You choose between three different classes of Ghost, with customisable weapons and tech.

– Persistent progression stuff, so it’s in the cloud or whatever.

– The maps and graphics “rival the quality of those traditionally seen only in retail games.” It’s unlikely to be a browser game, then.

You can apply for the beta and stare at some more screenshots here, now. Like, right now.


  1. Teddy Leach says:

    Ooh, I like me a bit of GRAW.

  2. Hoaxfish says:

    the most social, connected and customizable Ghost Recon experience yet

    Ah, so this:
    link to rockpapershotgun.com
    (at least the bit around 2:30 in the video)

  3. p4warrior says:

    Does anything with a gun qualify as “tactical” nowadays?

    • skurmedel says:

      More or less, this series hasn’t been very tactical since it acquired the Advanced Warfighter (whatever that is) part. Same goes for Rainbow Six and the Vegas-series.

    • Malleus says:

      The PC version of Advanced Warfighter still “had it”, to a certain degree.

    • Sweedums says:

      @Malleus – I agree, I enjoyed the GRAW’s on PC… never played the toybox versions but they looked very different. The PC version was at least difficult, though I never really liked the yellowy brown mexican setting…. i miss the forests and jungles of the older games in the series.

      EDIT: also of note, 24 seconds in, theres a man sporting a shotgun with a scope. There is no hope for this game now.

    • skurmedel says:

      Noticed that too. Reminds me of Raven Shield, where you could do put a scope on almost everything. Drum-fed shotgun with slugs and scope. At least it didn’t pretend it was actually useful for anything.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Er, what’s weird about a shotgun having a scope? I could run down the street and buy a shotgun scope if I wanted to.

    • Malleus says:

      Not hardcore enough – in Raven Shield the ‘scope’ was an ACOG, but in Crysis you could put a friggin sniper scope on the shotgun! :)

  4. Crimsoneer says:

    This could be really, really quite cool.

  5. SAeN says:

    Colour me interested but I don’t think this looks like the Ghost Recon I know and love.

  6. Miker says:

    That was a lot more impressive than I was expecting. Though I did wince at the part where the guy with the riot shield sprinted an unnecessarily long distance just to bash a guy with said shield.

    • Ian says:

      That’s what recon is all about.

    • Jimbo says:

      Dude got the shit reconned out of him.

    • Sweedums says:

      I guess they’ve nailed the “ghost” bit too, what with the invisibility and such. Imagine that, Invisible people walking around with riot shields, how can such incredible power be fought?

  7. Nick says:

    At least this has a reason to have a net connection.

  8. Jake says:

    These guys have storm shield things and invisibility – is this sci-fi or is it just boring old normal-fi? I like sci-fi.

    • subedii says:

      Since Advanced Warfighter the series has pretty much been based around a “realistic envisioning of near future combat technologies” expected to be deployed to the battlefields of tomorrow.

      So really more fantasy I suppose.

  9. Huw Dawson says:

    Only three seperate classes? Team-based shooters need to learn from TF2’s example – the best gameplay comes from multiple very varied classes which require different skillsets to use well. And no, just because one class is Sniper doesn’t mean that this requirement has been fufilled, it just means that one third of your team is being totally useless to the cause of actually winning objective-based rounds.

  10. Huw Dawson says:

    On a disparate note – I want Silent HunterVille. A multiplayer cat-and-mouse style sim featuring a fight between warships and the submarines tasked to destroy or elude them? Yes please!

  11. Frye2k11 says:

    I hope they make it work, free stuff can only ever be positive. Keep in mind what they did to IL-2 and Silent Hunter though. No respect for their own treasures.

    • Xercies says:

      I have to say no, free stuff can only be as positive as the product they are bringing out. Just because its free doesn’t mean its automatically good, it could be rubbish and be free. As most Free 2 Play MMOs have shown us.

    • Dana says:

      What they did to sh and il ?

    • skurmedel says:

      Silent Hunter got that UbiDRM. Il-2 I don’t know but I’ve heard Cliffs of Dover have a lot of issues at the moment.

  12. Electricleash says:

    Ughh…. sigh, really Ubisoft!? really?!

  13. Malleus says:

    At least now we know for certain that “Ghost Recon” is gone and never coming back. Ahh, I miss the days when the ‘Tom Clancy’s’ brand meant some kind of quality…

    • Felixader says:

      I think the quality was and is actually quite good, it’s just not any kind of Ghosty or Reconny any more.

    • subedii says:

      They’re ghosts, but they’re ANGRY, LOUD ghosts.

  14. I LIKE FOOD says:

    Free to play, third person, on pc?

    62 on metacritic – tops.

  15. nayon says:

    This looks surprisingly interesting! And PC-only will hopefully mean that it won’t be consolized crap.

    The name Ghost Recon means nothing to me, so I don’t care about franchise dumbing down.

  16. AndrewC says:

    These Free2Play games are really a GROwth industry, but while initial interest will be high, will this game be able to GRO a community? Or will poor matchmaking make the player-base GROan?

    Huh? Huh?

  17. Toby says:

    While it can turn out to be a good game to play. I’d rather pay for a game and have access to all of its content rather than paying for micro transactions.

    That being said. I still like seeing the F2P games increasing in quality.

  18. Drakon says:

    Holy opticammed ghostreconator batman, I didn’t expect this.
    Sure, it’ll probably be shit but it took me pleasantly by surprise. I might even sign up for the beta, and I don’t usually bother with those.

  19. Bhazor says:

    Whatever happened to Ghost Recon being a slow paced, hyper realistic stealth focused squad tactics game?

    • nayon says:

      It got Ubisoft’d, just like Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell

    • Matt says:

      Don’t forget Might & Magic!

    • subedii says:

      What happened to those franchises in some ways makes me feel fortunate nobody ever decided to make a SWAT game for the new console generation.

    • skurmedel says:

      The squad is still there, it’s just 2 blokes now following you, or showing the way, politely opening all the doors for you :D

  20. Lagwolf says:

    Looks like Battlefield 4 Free is gonna get a competitor.

  21. Fumarole says:

    I don’t quite know what to make of this yet. Riot shields, optical camo and rolling (does the rolling help?) make me think I might pass on it. At least I still have the original and friends to play it with.

  22. skyturnedred says:

    Potentially fun, but we’ll see. More interested in this than the free BF. But how much MMO is this exactly? Huge persistent world? PvE or coop? Or total player vs player mayhem? I wanna know these things.

    Are there any kind of real tactical shooters still coming out, or was SWAT4 the last one?

  23. subedii says:

    “Using the most advanced weaponry!”

    *Goes charging in and bashes someone on the head with a shield*

    • bleeters says:

      It’s a pretty advanced shield, though. It has lights on it and everything.

  24. Njordsk says:

    please stop making game ubisoft.


  25. notjasonlee says:

    that looked pretty terrible. from a graphical point of view, that is. especially the animations.

  26. Ogun says:

    Loved the original Ghost Recon (sod it, I’m reinstalling it now) – Have had a quick go on some of the others over the years but none of them were quite the same thing, this looks almost entirely unrelated.

    And the “Tom Clancy’s” prefix is meaningless, they’ll sell that to anyone. Has anyone tried to read any of the books lately? Politely flipped through one that someone lent me on a plane last summer and the damn thing might as well have been written in crayon.

    Grr, moan/whinge/complain about a video, I don’t give a monkeys really – One day someone will make a game that’s sufficiently reminiscent of the stuff I used to enjoy (tactical combat where you could be reasonably sure at least half of your enemies were smoking bongs), but this isn’t it.

  27. vodkarn says:

    “It’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online, it’s a third-person…”

    • Flint says:

      I’ve got absolutely nothing against 3rd person view, but it does seem like a really bizarre choice for a PC-only online shooter thingy aimed for the more “hardcore” types.

    • aldo_14 says:

      But if you want to charge $5 for a hat, it’s perfect!

  28. Creeping Death says:

    “Is Mr Clancy OK with that? I bet he doesn’t like giving stuff away for free.”

    A few years back Tom Clancy actually sold the rights to use his name in video games for a lump sum, I believe around the time of EndWar. So he no longer gets any say in what his name is attached to, or royalties.

    So I doubt he really cares :P

    Ah, here’s an article about it; link to news.cnet.com

    • zeekthegeek says:

      It’s actually worse than that: He licenses his name back from UbiSoft now for books, all other rights belong to them.

    • Pinky G says:

      I didnt know that story creeping death. Thanks for the link. Astonishing.

    • Baggypants says:

      So when do we get Tom Clancy – Just Dance with Rabbids?

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Tom Clancy’s Horse Porn with Mustard.

  29. Rii says:

    Well that was singularly unimpressive.

  30. Mark says:

    Looks interesting, but I’m a realist: it’s going to be microtransaction-funded, which means that to stay competitive you need to keep paying them money. I’m not going to do that; in fact, I don’t think I will ever do that. Sure, I’ll play the free version when it comes out, but after a few days I’ll just get bored because the quality won’t be reflective of a retail release and I imagine a great deal of the content will be locked off, so I’ll uninstall, and that will be the end of that.

    Prove me wrong, Ubisoft.

  31. Mudshovel says:

    Gears of Ghost Recon anyone?

  32. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Ubisoft Singapore. The people that made Splintercell: Conviction?
    Free might be too expensive.

    • godwin says:

      Pretty sure that was Ubisoft Montreal. The Singapore studio is new, somewhat tied to the local Digipen campus. I do not have high hopes for this.

      What happened to GRAW 3 anyway?

  33. wcaypahwat says:

    Could be worth a look-see. I’ll probably stick with Shadow Wars, though.

  34. wazups2x says:

    Sick of all these Pay-to-win games.

  35. bill says:

    That doesn’t look like the ghost recon i remember. That was about army rangers sneaking through the countryside and taking people out quietly. This seems to be crysis 2. I think you put the wrong trailer.

    But, I have no money so i’m happy that all games from now on will be free.

    • subedii says:

      Crysis 2 is exactly what came to mind with that trailer, with all the cloaking shenanigans going on.

  36. Hatsworth says:

    “World of Rayman”
    Reminded me that Rayman Origins won’t come out for PC :<