Tiny Cartridge 3DS

Julian Gollop’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

The Nintendo 3DS game I’m looking forward to the most isn’t Kid Icarus: Uprising or Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition — it’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, a squad-based tactical game from Ubisoft’s Bulgaria/Sofia team led by Julian Gollop, the celebrated designer who brought us X-Com: UFO Defense.

There’s a pitiful amount of info and media available for the game, but Ubisoft has revealed that Shadow Wars will launch alongside the 3DS in Europe on March 25th. If we’re lucky, perhaps it will hit North American stores on March 27th when the 3DS launches here, too.

I’ve gathered a bunch of the details and press assets Ubisoft has trickled out recently for your convenience.

Story Overview:

"As the commander of the Ghosts, the most elite special operations fighting force in the world, your mission is to stop the Russian ultranationalist Yuri Treskayev from coming to power. 

From the hot deserts of Kazakhstan to the towns and villages of Ukraine and the frozen lands of Siberia, you must discover and disable the secret Soviet-era ‘Dead Hand’ bases which Treskayev is using to build an army of drones to seize power. You will have access to full resources to build, train, and equip your team, using increasingly high -tech weapons and armor.”

Features:

  • Eye-popping 3D cutscenes and in-game effects, where enemies and objects appear to be jumping out at you
  • Use the Touch Screen for quick and easy mini-map navigation
  • Choose among six unique classes, each with their own special skills: Commando, Sniper, Recon, Engineer, Gunner and Medic
  • Unlock new skills and equipment by progressing in the game
  • Equip your ghosts with the most advanced combat gear — and even drones
  • Explore various environments with an Eastern European flavor 
  • Story mode with 37 missions for more than 30 hours of gameplay
  • Unlock 20 challenging “skirmish” missions with 3 levels of difficulty
  • Eleven one-on-one duel maps let you determine who the real special ops squad leader is
  • Play on the same 3DS

Eric’s Notes:

  • Use of steroscopic 3D seems to be incidental and not adding anything substantial to gameplay, appearing only in cutscenes and “effects”
  • No mention of an online multiplayer mode or any online other features — many 3DS launch titles that seem like they should have online multiplayer support don’t (e.g. Winning Eleven 3DS, Madden NFL Football 3DS), as developers had limited time to prepare their games for launch
  • Hotseat multiplayer mode is nice, but I hope there’s multiplayer for two systems, as well as a Download Play mode with a single copy
  • No word on possible StreetPass features
  • The maps shown so far look like fun environments to infiltrate and plan strategies around; they remind me of Gollop’s Laser Squad Nemesis
  • The rest of Shadow Wars, at least judging by the feature descriptions, makes me think of Gollop’s Rebelstar Tactical Command, except taking place in Eastern Europe and with predator drones

I’ve no idea why Ubisoft hasn’t released a Shadow Wars trailer yet when it’s put out videos for other 3DS launch games. You’ll be able to preview some of its gameplay in motion, though, in one of the tiny boxes shown here:

And here are several Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars screens, ordered from the most recently released images to the older ones. The images released months ago seem to reveal more about the tactical, turn-based nature of the game than the newer shots!:

So, that’s almost everything I can find on my most anticipated Nintendo 3DS game. Keep in mind that my most anticipated Nintendo DS game when that system launched in 2004 was Vicarious Visions’ Spider-Man 2, and I returned that junk after 2 days. Also, I have a tendency to hype games most other people probably won’t enjoy (e.g. Contact).

For the TL;DR folks, there’s little to suggest that Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars will be an amazing launch game other than Julian Gollop’s involvement and some turn-based tactical elements reminiscent of his work on X-Com and Rebelstar Tactical Command, but that’s compelling enough to make me want to pick this up.

Preorder: Nintendo 3DS (March 27, $249.99)

See also: X-Com creator (and Ubisoft?) working on a launch title for Nintendo 3DS

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