Ghost Recon Online is not Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (a gameI’m more excited by than any other game that I can remember). Ghost Recon Online is a free-to-play shooter that puts more emphasis on player classes and customizations than previous Ghost Recon titles. It features simple gameplay and a storefront closely modelled to that of games like Combat Arms.
Unfortunately getting into a game was a test of patience. Three sessions of 90 minutes or more were met with constant disconnections and server issues. Judging by the public chat room and the closed beta forum posts, I was not the only one...but it seems it was still a pretty isolated problem. In-game moderators chatted with me about the issues and promised to try and fix them, but the problem was not resolved within the week-long period that the program was open.
The games that I was able to join were simple and straightforward, based on capturing two points of the map. As far as I could tell there was only one area to spawn in for each team, resulting in quite a bit of spawn camping - an issue that Ubi is aware of and supposedly rectifying.
The cover system was pared down - but still instantly recognizable - from Splinter Cell: Conviction (and the upcoming Future Soldier). You could slink along cover, peek around or over it, and vault it if it was low enough. Swapping cover didn’t seem to be an option, although it’s possible I just didn’t see a prompt for it. The maps were simple and symmetrical with objects strategically placed, Gears of War style.
Shootouts were...iffy. The guns felt nice, and recoil was moderate - standard Ghost Recon fair, I suppose. Hit detection was quite literally hit-or-miss. What your brain tells you is a kill shot might not register that way, leaving you open to attack. It took away from the immersion (and more importantly: the fun) when getting the drop on an enemy didn’t have a positive outcome for you. Thankfully, controls for iron sights make aiming more precise for those wonky firefights, and a handy sprint button is available to get you back into action quickly should you expire in battle.