Ghost Recon Online Closed Beta

The cover system and movement make gameplay very tactical.

We got into the Ghost Recon Online Closed Beta recently.  GRO will be a Free to Play FPS game, which made me extremely hesitant to even care enough to download the beta; However, I’m extremely glad I did because GRO is one of the higher quality first person shooters I’ve played in a while.

The standard FPS features are all present.  You can progress, unlock gear, match-make, etc.  The graphics are great and the quality is polished up.  What I want to emphasize about the game are the features that are unique to Ghost Recon Online as well as what I think the game does very well.

Cover System and Movement

Movement happens from a third-person perspective allowing for a different feel than a typical Call of Duty experience.  Using the spacebar while sprinting (shift) allows you to slide, even into cover.  The cover mechanics are well done.  Pressing space bar against almost anything allows you to stick to it and move.  When you reach a corner or edge of the object you are covering behind, press the right mouse button to zoom in and ‘peak’ out.  Using your mouse, if you try to aim around the object (a natural tendency), unlike some games where your body slides out from cover you actually lean further out instead.

Crawling, kneeling, peaking, covering, vaulting over, and sliding, are all present.  GRO’s movement capabilities are usually reserved for single-player games and rarely brought into the online competitive scene.  I want them in all of my FPS games from hereon out.

Tactical Gameplay

Gameplay is slower and much more tactical.  The whole point is to play as a Ghost squad.  Maps are designed for advancing or holding your ground, which allows every kit to hunker down and wait rather than run and gun.  The way the guns feel, and the way the game favors stationary shooting, it’s in your best interest to advance cover to cover.

Gun play

I think the guns feel much better than Battlefield, but maybe not as good as Call of Duty.  Spraying, at least with the guns I used, wasn’t efficient.  I preferred to switch to semiauto mode and pick away at targets since I could retreat to cover easier.  Spraying was affected heavily by recoil.

Cash Shop and the Future

I don’t know what the Cash Shop will bring for the future of GRO.  You can definitely by guns and gear, but you can buy them with points you earn while playing instead of spending real money on them.  Clearly there are “pay to win” elements in there like “Magnum ammo” (pictured below) that increase the damage your guns do, but they too can be bought with in-game points.  I really hope they don’t ruin the game with the shop because this is a game I would buy.

 

Below is a video I took while playing today.  I’m not very good, but I show some of the movement, peaking, and gun mechanics.

 

I highly recommend the game in its current state. I’ve been having a lot of fun and can’t figure out why this game is going free to play when the quality and gameplay are shockingly good.  Visit the official site and sign up for the beta.

  • Once you introduce items like “Magnum” ammo that has a significant damage boost, everyone who is serious about playing will want it, and as such it actually is standard ammo. Since it is a necessary consumable people will likely need a lot of it, so I imagine keeping supplied only on in game currency will be difficult if not impossible.

  • Game seems like fun. It seems fresh somehow. I want to give it a try.
    Problem is that the sign up for beta key is greyed out.
    I’ll give it a try later on.

    Hmm and by try I mean just get a feel for it.
    Why do i have the feeling this pay to win ammo is just the begin of along chain of pay to win items.

    Better weapons introduced on a regular basis for a ridiculous amount of ingame currency, so people end up buying them. (battlefield free to play anyone?)

  • What I really disliked about Battlefield Heroes was their timed-use items. You’d buy a weapon for a few days or a week. It looks like GRO items are permanent.

  • Except for ammo,as the picture looks like there is a set number of rounds in a purchase, which in a shooter could be a big deal.

  • Indeed, the 20% ammo increase is expendable. I would be very curious to find out if you can switch it on and off mid-game or if it’s used once purchased until expended.

    //edit

    Actually, I’m going to buy some and try.

  • Btw I remember you had an item about Monday night combat and that you liked it.
    They released a free to play version of it called super monday night combat.

    How do you like the changes they made?
    I played I MNC and did not like the new game at first.
    After a day or 2 I got a hang for it and playing daily now.

    It has become more MOBA like with less player damage.

    Only thing I do not like is how some classes like the sniper and assasin class cost a lot compared to classes like support and gunner.

  • I beta’d Super Monday Night Combat and logged a few hours. I enjoyed it a lot. Both Graev and I played MNC on the Xbox 360 originally, so it’s a bit different on the PC. In the beta I had access to everything (I think), so I’ll have to give it a try now that it is out of beta to see how the payment model has been integrated.

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