Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Phantoms
An excellent free online multiplayer FPS reminiscent of Battlefield
Ghost Recon Online is a free-to-play multiplayer PC shooter set in the future.
If you're new to the Ghost Recon franchise, the premise is that there are an elite group of soldiers in the future called "Ghosts." They are armed with futuristic weapons like a microwave gun and more traditional assault rifles.
After you've created an account with Ubisoft for Ghost Recon Online, you will be given a download link for the game launcher. The game asset download is 6GB so grab a snack while it downloads. Once you launch Ghost Recon Online, you are given a quick tutorial about the controls and basic gameplay mechanics.
Most levels in Ghost Recon Online are point captures where you and your team will have to stay at an certain point on the map long enough to 'capture it.' Capping more points increases the amount of time you are given to capture additional points. Ghost Recon Online is best played with team combat because run-and-gun tactics won't work to your advantage.
You will rely heavily on cover so use the environment to your advantage. If you are spotted by the enemy, your silhouette will be visible to the entire team so move quickly to another spot for cover. The element of surprise plays a critical role in helping you get kills. You are able to cling to cover in different stances giving you better cover.
There are different classes of solders you can play, such as 'Recon' or 'Assault.' Choose the one that fits your style of gameplay the most. There are tons of weapons to unlock and achievements. Ghost Recon Online encourages players to play every day with weekly challenges and rewards.
After a set of rounds are over, you are given points for experience and in-game money used to purchase and upgrade your equipment. You can also use real money to purchase Ghost Recon Online's premium currency.
Graphics and performance
The graphics in Ghost Recon Online are good and the game as a whole runs surprisingly well on lower end hardware. You'll still want a good GPU to play Ghost Recon Online with the highest settings but even low settings are acceptable.
Environments in Ghost Recon Online are rich and detailed. Character models are fully realized and additional equipment is displayed on the character model. Since you can customize your character, it makes it easy to recognize different soldier classes.
Keep in mind that Ghost Recon Online requires a persistent Internet connection and increasing the graphics quality can cause lag also.
Areas for improvement
One of the biggest problems with Ghost Recon Online is with balance. Some maps favor one side by providing better cover or a choke point where enemies can camp and pick off opponents. Newbies will also be outclassed by more seasoned players. Higher level players have access to more powerful weapons than those just starting out. Ubisoft needs to optimize their netcode to alleviate the lag that the game currently has during lots of combat.
While Ghost Recon Online is far from perfect, its fun gameplay and satisfying leveling system make it a solid online multiplayer shooter.