Ghost Recon Frontline: Is Ubisoft's "Tom Clancy" franchise in decline? – RealSport101

Icon 0
Icon 10월 18, 2021

Should Ubisoft start using a new name on their shooters?
The last few years have been a mixed bag for fans of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games. Rainbow Six Siege continues to excel as a tactical shooter and The Division has only grown from strength to strength as a series – there’s a new movie in the works, too!
However, when you look at the other properties that fall under the Tom Clancy umbrella – Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell, for example – it’s been poor. We haven’t seen a Splinter Cell title for over eight years now and Ghost Recon Breakpoint failed to live up to the expectations set by Wildlands.
Looking forward, Ubisoft’s recent announcement of Ghost Recon Frontline seems like another step in the wrong direction. Is the "Tom Clancy" franchise a franchise in decline and should Ubisoft just pack it in and stop using Tom Clancy’s name on all their shooters?
In recent years, the Ghost Recon franchise has been going through a bit of an identity crisis.
Ghost Recon started out as a franchise that was all about a fictional special forces group known as "Ghosts". Their missions are classified and they do whatever it takes to complete them. This was then adapted by Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – and the several games that came after – in a way that thrust the "Ghosts" to the forefront of military technology. This made sense as they were supposedly meant to be the most elite special forces group out there.
Ghost Recon Future Soldier launched in 2012 and that was pretty much it for a good five years. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Ghost Recon was back with Wildlands.
This brought us back into the modern era – as opposed to the futuristic tech on display in Ghost Recon Future Soldier – and showcased the "Ghosts" as an off-the-books group that did the dirty work the military couldn’t.
The narrative established in Wildlands was continued in Breakpoint, a lacklustre sequel that felt overloaded with new features to mask the lack of any real improvement on standard gameplay. However, it looks like Ubisoft are taking another run at it and making Ghost Recon a battle royale game in the shape of Ghost Recon Frontline.
This already feels like a concept that doesn’t fit the Ghost Recon franchise – but what makes it worse is that Ubisoft appears to be changing the entire identity of the series for their upcoming release.
Ghost Recon Frontline is a first-person shooter in a series known for its methodical third-person gameplay. Stealth isn’t a concern anymore, either. Ghost Recon Frontline’s initial footage shows explosions and firefights that would be far better suited to a series like Battlefield or Call of Duty.
As you can see below, Ghost Recon Frontline boasts "unbound tactical freedom" in the form of air-dropped barricades and drones. The Ghost Recon series is about a fictional special forces group with the nickname "Ghosts" – as in stealth-based operations – and the word "Recon" in Ghost Recon would also suggest an absence of gunfights and open warfare.
Ghost Recon Frontline, whether it looks like a good game or not, shouldn’t be included in the Ghost Recon franchise. It feels like Ubisoft has chosen a name out of a hat to slap onto their new battle royale in an effort to draw people’s attention.
Ghost Recon Frontline isn’t the only recently-announced Ubisoft game that’s been under fire from the fans, though.
Tom Clancy’s XDefiant was announced in July to an unimpressed audience and it feels like another step in the slow decline of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games. XDefiant is an arena shooter that draws on the rest of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games to create a mish-mash of properties that looks uninspiring and doesn’t really respect the franchises it’s drawing from.
The Defiant in Tom Clancy’s XDefiant are factions based on Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, and The Division. As an arena shooter, it looks fine, if nothing outstanding from the pre-alpha footage we’ve seen so far.
However, as a Tom Clancy game, it doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before – in the worst way possible. As a free-to-play title, you know that Ubisoft is using the Tom Clancy name to cash in on yet another trend in modern games. Ghost Recon Frontline is trying to cash in on the battle royale genre, and Tom Clancy’s XDefiant is trying to cash in on the arena shooter trend.
Why would Ubisoft gamble with an IP when they can just tack "Tom Clancy" onto their games, right?
We’re certain there are a few reasons why they should avoid this. For example, the recent controversy around Ubisoft’s mobile app, Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad.
This was another "mish-mash" title that drew on all the properties under the Tom Clancy banner to deliver a title full of microtransactions and optional purchases. That’s almost expected from mobile games, though, as they’re often free to play.
However, the issues around Elite Squad arose when Ubisoft used the "raised fist" iconography for the terrorist faction in their mobile game. The "raised fist" is also used by the Black Lives Matter movement, a socio-political movement that fights for equality – one that is controversially branded as terrorists by some. It feels like a massive oversight that has left a stain on the Tom Clancy IP.
It has been shut down since, just a year after launch – but you have to imagine that these kinds of issues are going to pop up again in the future without proper safeguarding. Tom Clancy’s literature will never be without controversy as we move into a different age of warfare and international conflict – however, you have to wonder if Ubisoft is ready to throw away such an easily recognisable IP by combining this with games that feel so much like a cash-grab.
With all that being said, Tom Clancy isn’t a name that’s going to fade into obscurity just yet.
Rainbow Six Siege is a game that has stood against the test of time and remains one of the most popular tactical shooters out there. It has capitalised on the recent trend of Battle Pass systems and seasonal content – continuing to thrive alongside a solid esports scene.
There’s also a lot of excitement around the next Rainbow Six title: Extraction. This seems a little more gimmicky than Siege – mainly because it is somewhat based on one of Siege’s LTMs. However, it should capture a portion of that audience looking for an expansion on Siege’s semi-unique tactical gameplay.
On top of this, Ubisoft has doubled down on the Division franchise and recently announced a slew of different pieces of tie-in media and new entries into the series. The Division Heartland is looking to capture The Division 2’s looter-shooter gameplay in a free-to-play title that should offer the franchise the opportunity to continue for a few more years at the very least.
Ghost Recon might be staring death in the face, but Tom Clancy should be a name we see associated with a handful of Ubisoft games for years to come. There’s still hope for another Splinter Cell game… Just about.


답글 남기기

이메일 주소는 공개되지 않습니다. 필수 항목은 *(으)로 표시합니다