If you didn’t know what games to get for the 3DS when it launched, then let me give you my take: Ghost Recon Shadow Wars is one of the better titles, thanks to its deep strategy gameplay in a line-up of fighting, action and cheap thrills.
In Tom Clancy’s world, the Ghost Recons are the top forces within the U.S. Army. It’s their job to prevent a war from breaking out in the face of corrupt presidents and politics.
But it’s not your usual Ghost Recon FPS that you’d find on consoles. This is a turns-based strategy game, where you take it in turns against the computer or in multiplayer mode to move your army. I’m glad Ubisoft took this approach because honestly, I don’t think FPS games work too well on the DS.
Although the top-down graphics aren’t up to much or even particularly clear, this doesn’t detract from the brilliant and addictive gameplay.
In the main Campaign Mode, the harder the setting you choose to play it on, the more XP you gain for your recruits as you upgrade and level up your army with better equipment and health. You have six recruits to choose from, and during some missions you may only get to take four of them with you – so choose wisely, as each recruit has different skills and attributes.
There’s also a Skirmish Mode, where you can choose any unlocked singleplayer mission, as well as a solid multiplayer mode where you get to share the same DS and take it in turns with a friend, controlling an army and fighting against one another.
There’s quite a lot on offer here and the Campaign is REALLY long too, which is not to be sniffed at in times when a few minutes can pass before the credits are rolling.
So what about the 3D feature? Well to be honest, the 3D is all very unnecessary in this game; you can’t really tell it’s even on that well, and I don’t see why you would even want it on in a game of this style – the graphics are small and everything is top-down, so it’s not like the graphics have something to prove.
I feel the game could be improved with an online Wi-Fi feature for people to play against other players’ armies, and it would have been nice to include the 3DS’s Play Coins feature so that players could unlock new maps or skins for their army.
Shadow Wars it is a long, addictive and mature game – but it won’t appeal to everyone, and if you’re after a quick fix it might not be for you. Also, this is one for the adults more than the younger players for it does include some mild violence and it can be often quite difficult.