Ghost Recon has had an interesting evolution over the years. When Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter came out, stealth actually wasn’t much of a consideration; instead, it was focused on team tactics and tacticool military gaming experiences like a slightly more tactical Call of Duty or Battlefield game.
Later, we got Ghost Recon Future Soldier: This was the introduction to focal stealth mechanics in the Ghost Recon Series.
Much later, we got the wild evolution to Wildlands: Going the Ubisoft open world boilerplate that we’re now seeing. Stealth actually took a partial back seat, and continued Ubisoft’s RPG system integration that every other Ubisoft game has started to contain.
Breakpoint brought stealth back, but became even more of an RPG.
With the continuing development of Ubisoft’s boilerplate for single player/coop games (open world, RPG mechanics, stealth-lite, over-the-top plotlines), what can we expect for the future of the Ghost Recon series?
Assuming trends continue, after we get the next DLC (titled Motherland) for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, we’ll want to be prepared for the genericizing of the game like others.
This means the next Ghost Recon game will come relatively quick: Within a few years. By following the formula, they are reducing investment in pre-development and just cranking something out with stronger RPG mechanics, lending to the homogenization of the Ubisoft catalog.
There is a slim chance, however, that we’ll instead get something new.
Depending on the contrarian voices and their power in comparison to profits and publicity, there could possibly be a “return to form” in some fashion; if there is a big enough flop on newer Tom Clancy (and XDefiant) releases, we could see leadership look hard at the formula that is being applied in deciding game mechanics.
This is going to be especially true in the case of Free To Play games, where MTX is going to be the defining characteristic of success.
I say this because not much is going to put a dent in the sales of games, just because there are so many die-hard fans who will purchase a game just because it’s part of their favored series, and play it long enough to not be able to request a refund. Combine that with people who have not invested into previous entries deciding to “pick it up because it’s different/new”, and I don’t suspect they’ll see much of an impact on actual sales of games.
It’ll take a larger action on the part of gamers to really influence direction on games over Ubisoft’s overlords.
In fact, there is one thing you can do here:
Don’t pre-order new titles from Ubisoft.
I myself have decided that I will be giving Far Cry 6 a shake, pending other sources reviewing it. I will not, however, be preordering it. In fact, I’ll only opt to review it if there is enough of a positive reaction from reviewers I personally trust (such as ACG).
So, we’re going to have to take a “wait and see” approach, and probably for some time.