Monday, April 4, 2011

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars |Review

Shadow Wars, the next chapter of the Tom Clancy game franchise and also one of the launch titles available for the Nintendo 3DS. The top down, turn based strategy RPG will take the player to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Siberia to take down the Soviet “Dead Hand” bases being used to build an army of drones. While I am currently swimming in 3DS game cartridges and cases like Scrooge in his vault of money, I am finding it harder and harder to put the portable down, particularly Shadow Wars for the reasons listed below. Sit back, put down the 3DS to give your eyes and brain a break to take in my impressions of the first Tom Clancy game the next gen handheld.

So what does Fire Emblem and Shadow Wars have in common? A lot, which I never thought I would say, but they are both turn based strategy RPG games. I have played HAWX, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six titles in the past, but this is one of the franchise’s most addicting and unique games, which potentially could have been a huge risk to put out, but many of us thank you for taking the risk. Though very similar to games like Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, and Final Fantasy Tactics, all games I respect highly, it does not feel like a clone but more of a tribute to the genre using what the team knows best, military conflict. The gameplay is kept familiar, so it is easy to pick up and get into, with long missions that use lots of thought, and something that you should know is that it has an ability to save in the middle of missions…huge plus! The graphics are good, not much better than the DS, but the 3D elements add depth to the environments, but not so much that the 3D is in your face, like most of the other release games for the handheld.

Those familiar with the genre will find the tutorial during the first couple of missions frustrating, as in between each turn there is a lot of text to go through in order to get the basics of how to play, sometimes what seems to be multiple times. Another thing that stood out was the graphics, mainly because it seemed grainy and very similar to the DS, which I thought would appear better being on the new next gen handheld. As stated previously, having the ability to save is massive in games like this especially when the battery doesn’t last as long as the DS, but some of the missions feel a bit too long with additional objectives being thrown at you before completion.

Small issues aside, Shadow Wars is a lot of fun to pick up and play, whether it is just to complete a couple objectives or if you have more time, to work your way through a couple of the 35 missions. However, if you are not a fan of the strategy RPG genre, I do not think jumping into this would be a good idea as it does play a lot like Advance Wars and less like the typical Tom Clancy titles we are accustomed to over the past years and releases.

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