Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars – Review
Title: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Genre: Turn-based Strategy
System: Nintendo 3DS
Shadow Wars is a turn-based strategy game based on the well known first-person shooter Ghost Recon franchise.
Shadow Wars pits the player into a fictional conflict in the Eastern bloc. The single player campaign, while fairly bland story wise offers a very lengthy campaign. Thirty-seven campaign missions gives out around twenty-five to forty-five hours of gameplay depending on the mission difficulty selected.
The gameplay offers much more than your usual turn-based strategy game; every move and action must be well thought out as to lose a single ghost results in mission failure. Terrain offers more than simple line of sight. Gaining the higher ground gives a damage boost to you and applies a damage penalty to those shooting up at you. Taking buildings provides an armour bonus to those inside. Support fire allows two characters within range to return fire every time an opponent targets one of your troops, which means that effective troop placement can often lead to a more successful round in your opponents turn than your own. And of course, all these things work for your opponent too.
The troops you are provided with in the single player campaign are Duke (the commando), Haze (the sniper), Richter (the heavy weapon gunner), Saffron (the medic), Banshee (the recon specialist) and Mint (the engineer). Learning each of your team’s effective range’s and support abilities is just part of the game’s mastery. As you play through the single player campaign the liner character development trees open up more weapons and armour for the ghosts. These can be changed at the start of each mission and always provides a tactical choice. Some weapons do more damage at shorter ranges and can provide a shorter move and fire range and while some armour might offer a better defence it will decrease your movement points.
The missions in the single player campaign, while not offering a huge variety of mission types, and generally fall into a pattern are always challenging and enjoyable.
The game offers two other modes. Multiplayer is sadly only available with players using the same 3ds, with each player having to pass the 3ds between themselves as they take turns. In 2011, and on a turn based strategy game this just isn’t good enough. A networked Shadow Wars multiplayer would have been a joy and is dearly missed from the game. Also offered as a break from the campaign mode are skirmish missions. These missions are unlocked as you progress through the single player game and offer a wider variety of challenges than the main campaign.
Players of any turn based RPG/strategy game on any platform know what to expect graphics-wise. Don’t expect to be blown away, even by the cut scene graphics. The theme is cartoony and the in-game environments are bland, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s just how it works. It doesn’t take away from the tactical elements and that’s why we’re here, to set up L shaped ambushes and see your enemies driven before you. The 3D effects are pretty decent, but not essential for gameplay and if you are mobile, you’ll soon go for battery life rather than keeping the 3D on. They do add a lot to the environments though and allow you to properly see higher ground and the occasional cloud as it passes by.
The game offers no Streetpass, Spotpass or play coins extras, which again I feel is a missed opportunity.
In closing, Ghost Recon of old this is not, a pretty game it is not. What it is, is a lengthy, challenging turn based strategy game, that while it lacks a Streetpass or decent multiplayer features, still offers a sizeable amount of hours of enjoyment. A solid effort.
StealthBuda’s Score – 8/10
Quick-Fire Review: Fantastic turn-based action strategy. Ghost Recon in name only, but still good entertainment. Missing Streetpass or a network multiplayer.