Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars review: This Nintendo 3DS game is set to become a cult classic
- Stellar level design: This game is expertly made by a talented strategy veteran
- We bought a 3DS -- this title could easily be on the DS, with little way of telling the differences
After you get tired of how cute and awesome your 3D Nintendog puppy is, you'll come to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars to play a real game.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
The Nintendo 3DS already has a cult classic on its hands. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars seems destined to fly under the radar. It makes minimal use of any of the 3DS' unique features, so it may not strike people as quite as interesting as some of the other launch titles. This is unfortunate, however, because it's a rock-solid, turn-based game of tactical combat.
Read our Nintendo 3DS vs. Sony NGP (PSP 2) comparison.
The plot is pure Tom Clancy. There's a sinister Russian politician causing trouble in Kazakhstan to further his political ambitions (which in turn are a threat to US freedoms). Enter some soldiers that find themselves in the middle of desperate situation, and proceed to solve the problems by killing just about everything.
If you've ever played a Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem game, you know what you'll be getting out of this game. Individuals are arrayed on a grid-shaped map like playing pieces in an elaborate chess game. Each mission asks you to complete a number of objectives (usually involving shooting things). At the end of each mission you're rewarded with points to upgrade unit abilities and then it's on to the next mission.
Within that framework there's a lot of room for tactical thinking. Houses, fences and foliage provide varying degrees of cover, and taking the high ground will yield advantages over those beneath you. Each individual in the squad has his or her own speciality too. There's the medic, the heavy arms tank, the stealthy cloaked woman and the long-range sniper.
If it all sounds pretty standard, that's because it is. We have seen this kind of game before, and Ghost Recon doesn't rock the boat. Even the use of 3D is restrained, though it does make the game look better; when the slider is off the game looks like an early DS title.
There's no StreetPass, no gimmick with the cameras, and multiplayer is limited to a half-hearted hotseat mode. It's not to say Ghost Recon is limited. Far from it, there are a wealth of levels, and bonus maps to unlock, but for a 3DS game it seems limited the first time you boot it up.
But where Ghost Recon excels is in execution. The lead designer is Julian Gollop (the man behind X-COM and Rebelstar: Tactical Command), and you can tell it's been designed by a genre veteran — everything in this game reeks of experience and maturity. It's well-paced, the level design is spot on, music fits the bill perfectly and controls are clean.
Those that complain that the 3DS' launch library is uninspired have missed this game. It's original, cleaver and addictive. It's hard to recommend buying a whole console for, because it makes such little use of that console's technology, but if you already have one, then this should be high on your shopping list.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Craig Wright backpedals, refusing to prove he's Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto
- Steam updates user reviews to better reflect trends
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
- Minecraft steps into virtual reality as Samsung Gear VR Edition appears in Oculus Store
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- FTDeveloper - OSB/BPELNSW
- FTPMO AnalystNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior Inside Sales Rep | National systems integrator & MSP | $60-70K+NSW
- FTSharePoint DeveloperSA
- FTVendor Manager / Team Lead - ITIL / ITSMVIC
- FTSolution Delivery Manager ( RTTM)NSW
- CCVMWare ConsultantWA
- CCEnvironment ManagerVIC
- CCProgram Technical Director- Migration to SAP HR PayrollNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCSales Development Executive - Flexible Working HoursNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - HealthcareVIC
- CCLead Administrator - Network and SecurityNSW
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- CCPortfolio Manager - Customer Service SystemVIC
- FTSupport AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Developer - .Net, MVC, C#NSW
- FTSystem testersACT
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Portfolio Services ManagementNSW
- CCSenior Analyst Designer / AWS and AzureVIC