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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online Hands On Preview

Good news on friend codes.

The last game in the Wii U demo area, Ghost Recon Online, caught me by surprise. Not only did I not expect to see it on the show floor, but I didn't expect it to be playable in any shape or form.

It was obviously in the very early stages of development: the graphics were a little unpolished and blurry, the game starts off with weird camera angles which was a bit of a distraction, and there were clipping issues. Trying to take cover was problematic for me two or three times; sprinting and then pressing A to slide is supposed to send the player sliding into cover but the slide was sometimes cut short, leaving me vulnerable.

The Wii U controller replaced any need for a radar on the TV and is now on the Wii U controller itself. There you can view the map as well as use certain elements like spy planes in real time without having to pause the game. If you think about it, you have the ability to control your soldier and the spy plane at the same exact time. You could also use the touch screen to switch between an aiming scope or laser sight and ammo clip sizes. The concern that I had was whether the unique button layout would do justice to a game like Ghost Recon. I walked away surprised. The two slide pads worked fine and though it definitely is a bit different than dual analog, it works equally well. The buttons rest comfortably below the right circle pad and it was never a hassle to go from circle pad to button. The triggers were also well laid out and very comfortable. If there was any gripe, it was with the other ZL and ZR triggers which were a bit of a stretch for my fingers, but nothing game-breaking.

In all it worked well, and showed that third party games have a great opportunity on the Wii U. The last thing I want to mention is that according to the Ubisoft rep, there are NO FRIEND CODES for the online play in Ghost Recon Online, possibly suggesting that Nintendo got rid of them with Wii U. Only time will tell with that one.



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