Ghost Recon Frontline borrows from battle royale with an authentic tactical military twist

Ghost Recon Frontline is not a battle royale game. Of course, it shares similar characteristics – up to 102 players, divided into teams of three, are dropped onto the same multi-biome map contained in which they will fight to the death – but this is not a battle royale game. . This is according to Ubisoft Bucharest, the team that has been working on the latest venture in the military sniper series for three years. Frontline is also free and will work with seasonal updates. But the developer is clear on what sets his new project apart from Fortnite, PUBG, and the myriad of other games born out of the zeitgeist genre that has evolved over the past few years.

“It’s very important to understand how we are different,” says Stefan Marinescu, Ghost Recon Frontline brand manager. “The battle royale is a genre. It’s not like we’re very far from it, but we are different in so many ways. We’re free to play, indeed, but we’re a tactical, action, massive PvP shooter, that’s what we want to call it. It’s our own very personal take on this massive PvP filming scene set in the Ghost Recon universe.

“We always wanted to have something different. We didn’t want to come to the market with the same thing as everyone else. That was always our vision of it. Within the team, we are players, and we are all shooting players. I was once a semi-pro in Counter-Strike, and a lot of other people on the team played a lot of other shooting games. We have that experience, and Frontline is our very personal take on the genre, and what an authentic, massive military shooter would ideally be according to our vision. That’s why we didn’t choose the same recipe. “

Worlds of choice

Phantom reconnaissance front line

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

“Once the extraction is activated, you have two minutes to defend the extraction point. At this point, you become visible. Everyone who is still alive in the game will see that you have requested a checkout, and they want to prevent you from leaving the island.

Stefan Marinescu, brand director

In practice, the differences between Ghost Recon Frontline’s approach to battle royale and the “same recipe” found in other games, as Marinescu puts it, are subtle but distinct. During the short, hands-on tour presented to me, Frontline reflects the special attention to detail and authenticity we’ve come to expect from the Ghost Recon series, but with a twist.

Here, players fill the skin of entrepreneurs, each corresponding to a specific class that brings their own expertise to combat. During the insertion phase, players will choose their agents and work out a plan of attack with their colleagues in teams of three. You will then be deployed as part of the game Drakemoor Island, in matches supposed to last around 20 minutes, where you will hunt objectives in the wild and gather information by hacking drones and investigating outposts. Ultimately, you’ll ask for the checkout – at that point, all other players in the match are alerted to your presence. From there it’s two minutes of chaos as you defend your information with everything you have, before everything goes according to plan, you escape with your classified information and your lives intact.

Through it all, Frontline is a last-person matter, much like its established battle royale cousins, but its reach when it comes to deception and cunning seems thrilling. Maybe you’ll hit the field with all the guns, gather as much information as you can, and get out of there in no time. Maybe you’ll hide in the tall grass, let another team do all the hard work, and then leap at the last minute. Or maybe you’ll join forces with another squad on the fly, form a fearless cabal of six, command and conquer with a power play, then split the loot on the other end.

Phantom reconnaissance front line

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

I suspect that often all will not go as planned as teams attempt to outdo each other in the moment, and I’m already imagining myself at the latter end of this latter scenario, turning my gun on my peers in a moment of excruciating betrayal. who ‘I make Fredo Corleone blush. Everything is fair in love and war, and all that.

“Each player on the map can see the information points via their own drones, but they cannot see each other,” Marinescu continues. “This means that, if you choose to collect information in a specific place on the map, you can converge with other teams. You can’t know for sure until you are there, but it’s a risk you need to calculate and take into account. Once you have enough information you can mine, and that’s when things can get a little crazy. ”

“Once the extraction is activated, you have two minutes to defend the extraction point – at this point you become visible. Everyone who is still alive in the game will see that you have requested an extraction and they will want to prevent you from leaving the island. It’s a type of risk versus reward that determines the winner of a match, and we have two teams that can mine. There will be a difference, even if both teams are winners. The people who get the first place will get better rewards, of course, that doesn’t mean that the second team doesn’t get good rewards, but there is a difference between them.

Custom fit

Phantom reconnaissance front line

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

“Frontline is by no means a paid game. Everything about the Battle Pass is strictly cosmetic, it does not influence the game in any way.”

Stefan Marinescu, brand director

At launch, Ghost Recon Frontline will be available on PC through Uplay, legacy and current consoles, and Stadia – and will be cross-platform across the bundle. As a free-to-play game, Marinescu says the reasoning here is simple: he and his team want as many people as possible to play Frontline, on whatever platform they own. Marinescu also points out that Frontline is not a sequel or derivative of the main Ghost Recon series, but is truly a standalone game – a game that follows the story of a former Ghost named Roy who seeks to expose the rogue trade. of a mining company on the playground of the island of the game.

Players will do this primarily in the aforementioned 102-player Expedition mode, but can also embark on a side-game mode called Control, which sees players arm themselves in shorter, less hectic 9v9 fights. Like many free-to-play games, cosmetics will play a big part in Frontline’s overall makeup, both at launch and over time, as the military shooter develops seasonally. To that end, Marinescu says cosmetic upgrades will never be considered unless they maintain the high standards of authenticity that Ghost Recon fans value, while stressing that cosmetic items will never give players a leg up on the battlefield.

“Gamers can expect a lot of cosmetics, and all of them will be grounded in today’s reality,” says Marinescu. “We are not building a fantastic game, we are building an authentic military game. That’s why we stick so closely to the Ghost Recon mainstay. For all Ghost Recon fans, it’s important to know that our entire arsenal of weapons, skins, everything is grounded in reality – and that’s the reality of today, not the future. We will have a lot of cosmetic stuff in the Battle Pass.

“One thing I want to mention, however, is that the game is by no means a paid game. Everything in the Battle Pass is strictly cosmetic, it does not influence the game in any way. So yes, we are very happy with our situation, because we think players will really appreciate the kind of military authenticity customization that we have prepared for. them.

Ubisoft will host a European closed PC test event for Ghost Recon Frontline on Thursday, October 14, 2021, with consoles and other regions scheduled for later dates.

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