Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Prejudices, they love me. On the one hand, they are a gift from nature and a sign of our intelligence. How stupid would we seem if, with every wall we encountered, we let go of the prejudice that we cannot walk through it? But of course there are also a lot of negative sides to it. You would think that since my best friend is half Mexican and is sometimes called a youngster of North African descent at night by drunken passers-by, by now I would know better than to rely on superficial information to judge a person or product. Unfortunately, when I first saw screenshots of Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, I was once again a victim of my bias.

Because Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars looks like shovelware, software that is hastily made with little concern for quality to capitalize on a well-known name and an audience willing to buy. Graphically, it looks like a DS game and the game concept, a turn-based version of the first person shooter franchise Ghost Recon, sounded like a lackluster attempt to get the series on the less powerful portable console, the 3DS.

Gallery:
Small scene shots from Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. Manage cookie settings

It cannot be denied that the graphics have to be inferior to the other 3DS launch games. The game also makes no use of the new 3DS features, so it is very likely that this was originally a DS game that has been transferred to Nintendo’s latest system. The graphics can be set in 3D, but due to the top-down graphics, the effect provides no more than to bring some relief to the landscape.

“Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a turn-based strategy game that rivals Nintendo’s own Fire Emblem and Advance Wars franchises …”

But underneath this old-fashioned graphic jacket is a damn strong game. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a turn-based strategy game that rivals Nintendo’s own Fire Emblem and Advance Wars franchises. The game is very deep. You take control of a team of six characters, each belonging to a specific class, from sniper to engineer to recon soldier, and with them you go through a story about the rivalry between the US and Russia (nuclear weapons) in typical Tom Clancy style. , ultra-nationalism and political conspiracies). The story is not very interesting but luckily the addictive gameplay that always begs for one extra turn before going to sleep makes up for it all. The tactical situations that arise as a result of the story are what counts, and it is certainly good in that area.

The advantages and disadvantages of the different classes to which your team members belong are already clear after the first few missions, as well as the way of thinking you need to learn. Distance damage, lines of sight, return damage percentages, special moves; these are all factors that you will be introduced to during the first missions. By the way, they only become really useful a few hours later when the difficulty level goes up. But even after many hours of play on the counter, you are still introduced to new aspects of the game that help you devise the perfect strategy for a mission. You can also upgrade the characters, change their load-out and sometimes you get a choice mission in front of you in which you have to decide with which characters you will complete them.

However, this doesn’t mean that every mission requires hours of thinking and preparation. You rarely have to think more than a few steps in advance, but some caution is advised. This ensures that the pace during the missions is quite high. Sometimes too high and it often happened to me that I gave a command too quickly. At times like this it is quite annoying that you cannot go back one step in your turn. The missions are sometimes a bit long for a portable game, but thanks to the possibility to save at any time, that is well balanced.

All this makes Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars a very pleasant surprise. The game could indeed have been released on the original DS, but shovelware is not at all to speak of here. The gameplay is deep and the playing time is long. These two factors alone are too often missing in games these days. This is a title that every lover of tactics and turn-based gaming will find themselves in.