Where Eurogamer Got it Wrong

Eurogamer eventually got around to reviewing Ghost Recon Phantoms, unfortunately as is often the case with reviews, there are a few issues. In fact, we wonder if reviews of Ghost Recon Phantoms are even worth the time, isn’t a review something you read to decide if a game is worth spending your hard earned cash on (or your folk’s hard earned cash). Ghost Recon Phantoms being free to play, is a review even relevant? I mean, download and play the game for a couple of hours and make up your own mind!

Having said that, time is precious and if you can pull some information on whether a game is worth your TIME, never mind that it won’t cost you any money, then I guess a quick scan of a review could be worth it. Unless that is, if the review is unfairly harsh, and dissuades you from trying what is in essence a really good game, that could fill your evenings and weekends for a long time to come…. which brings us to Eurogamer’s review.

So let’s get to it, in a “They Said”, “We Say” type of fashion…

1. Eurogamer on futuristic weaponry

There’s that assault shield that makes you go all Benny Hill. There’s a bullet-deflecting force field that feels a bit 1950s sci-fi. There’s a microwave weapon which I wouldn’t take seriously even if it was in XCOM.”

What We Say

HELLO! This is Ghost Recon, you know, the series that always basis it’s arsenal on FUTURE tech, but not so far in the future as to make it slip into the realms of science fiction. Having trouble believing that this tech is actually in development, or even in active use? Google the Active Denial System Eurogamer, see, no need to retire for some XCOM, although, perhaps that’s more your level? So please, before slating a game, get your facts straight, and know the series. 

2. Eurogamer on impotent weapons

“The thing is, even with all this lurid fetishisation, many of the guns are remarkably impotent. This is a game in which you can and will shoot a man twice in the back of the head with an assault rifle and watch him walk away..”

What We Say

Ghost Recon Phantoms uses an incredibly complex array of algorithms to calculate the hit damage of every round fired. Which in my case is sometimes a rather quick calculation because the hit damage of fresh air is nil no matter what concoction of weapon and attachments I may have meticulously put together. There are some guys posting on Ubisoft’s forums that I swear must have advanced maths diplomas as they explain the weapon, armour and ammunition stats and how they combine to arrive at hit damage. ANYWAY, back to Eurogamer’s, point. Shot in the back of the head and survived?! Surely Not?!! Uhm, Google it, there’s almost 2 million results.

Oh wait, Eurogamer said shot TWICE in the head, my bad. But wait, Granny survives being shot in the head twice! Case rested.

3. Eurogamer on GUI issues

” Problems arise when the game decides that, no, you can’t look down your sights when you’re too close to an obstacle, so moving back and forth in cover can give you quite jarring jumps between first- and third-person. The many labels on your HUD can also be invasive and more than a few times I’ve found a player name, a wire-frame corpse or a text overlay obscuring the already quite small part of an enemy soldier that I want to insert my bullets into. Quite often, I’ll dive into cover and find the word CLIMB floating in front of my face, as if the very walls are shouting at me with all the urgency of Brian Blessed.

What We Say

I’m not sure how many hours I have logged on Phantoms, but it’s a lot. And without a word of a lie, Eurogamer, you have given an entire paragraph in a short review to issues that are so minor and so infrequent that I have never even noticed them.  Okay, maybe the sights thing a couple of times, but have you tried to lift an assault rifle when it’s stuck between your belly and concrete cover before? Back up dude!

4. Eurogamer on Weapon Tiers

” Presumably to avoid any serious imbalance, higher-tier weapons don’t confer that much of an advantage

What We Say

Presumably you have never come up against anyone with a P90, or ventured into the Ubisoft forums where hordes of gamers or constantly complaining that the P90 is over powered in a 36 page thread. But no, Eurogamer, you have not experienced this, because you have reviewed this game before gaining the level of competence that would pit you against the top tier of player, and weaponry. You see, the matchmaking system that Ubisoft launched with Ghost Recon Phantoms avoids pitching players against players who are using significantly higher tier weapons – it makes for a more enjoyable game, yah see? At ease, soldier, you’re still learning.

5. Eurogamer on Gameplay

” If you’re content with the unremarkable combat, then fair enough.

What We Say

And that’s it. That’s Eurogamer’s sum total opinion and description of Ghost Recon Phantoms gameplay, TWO WORDS. Nothing about how if your team is going to win, it’s going to have to play as a team and not a group of run and gun individuals. Nothing about how your team is going to have to balance the number of each class in order to support their team-mates with their individual strengths as they push the enemy back. “Unremarkable combat”, really?

5. Eurogamer's Final Score

” 5/10

What We Say

5/10? Seriously? FIVE out of TEN? Let’s take a second here. The game cost’s NOTHING to play. Even the freebie aside, nobody can say it is not an extremely polished shooter, in fact, it is better than a lot of  shooters that cost real money. 5 is for a flawed game, 5 is for a broken game, 5 is for a game that fails to draw you in, 5 is a game that the developers have no intention of supporting. Ghost Recon Phantoms is none of those. The real shame is that a review such as this might just dissuade someone from downloading Phantoms and giving it a go, and the loser there is not Eurogamer, it’s gamers.

And as if to prove my point, up steps Eurogamer’s first commenter

Commenter Psi

Of course, you can use real money to buy a separate currency which can also unlock all the weapons and gear”

I’m out!

What We Say

Nooooooooooooo [echo to fade], come back Psi! I hope you lot are sitting down, because it is ENTIRELY feasible to play Phantoms without spending any real money. In fact, I’ll go one step further, it is feasible to play, enjoy and WIN at Phantoms without even upgrading your weapon AT ALL! But how can this be, surely you jest Rocky? You make an untruth to draw us into this game!

Actually no, I know this to be true because as an experiment that is exactly how I have played Phantoms, and I am still using the stock Recon weapon, stock armour, everything exactly as it was when I was a Lvl 1 Beginner. And guess what? I’m still, occasionally, finishing top as MVP and top in class. So please, don’t anybody think that in order to enjoy Phantoms, you are going to have to spend money. You don’t.

Still don’t believe me….

Commenter Firemonkey

I really enjoy it and haven’t felt the need to spend any money so far (I’ve been playing it for over 2 months now including during the beta).

Even without spending any money I quite often found if I worked hard I could end up at the top of the leader-boards against people that obviously had.

The combat is great when you treat it as it is and slowly push forward with your team mates. This is definitely not a fast paced run and gun game.

5 is too harsh. Seems like a 7 to me and as it’s free, then that’s a better value for money 7 then some of the full priced games out there

What We Say

Thank you.

If the Free to Play but Pay to Win mentally is really grinding you (forgive the pun), take the $30 you would normally spend on a game, and spend in on ‘nades and weapons. There, feel better now?

So have I been too harsh on Eurogamer being too harsh on Ghost Recon Phantoms? I don’t think so 😉

Author: Rocky

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  1. Actually I agree with Eurogamer- this game is shit. When GRO was in open beta, that was a great game and very enjoyable. But Ghost Recon Phantoms is all Pay 2 Win. Noobisoft forcing you to spent real cash on this game. Alot of bugs in this game, unbalace, weak servers, lags, hackers… stupid greedy DEVs… why I’m angry? Because these ***** banned me for nothing for ever and called me a hacker! AND I WASN’T HACK! I spent 1.5 years on this game, unlocked all weapons, armors, quallifications… BOM got banned! So **** this game, Noobisoft ruined it.
    In my option: GRO was better than GRP
    GRO: 8/10 GRP:2/10

    Post a Reply
    • Closed and Open beta of GRO/P was totally free. But I think this was the purpose of those phase. Even more the developers learn their lessons and they manage to improve the game.

      What does make people to feel frustrated? The tier system and the armor repair. Why? Most of the time they don’t make sense for people who have been playing closed and opoen beta. But I don’t think new players have that feeling.

      About the weapon balance. There are just 1-3 weapons which need a bit more balance. But since patch 1.11-1.12 we see already new balance of P90.

      The matchmaking is impoved and it is away better then june of 2013 – februrary of 2014. Now low level players are meet player with their gear. Top geared player meed top geared players. Skills is not gear. I am agree that you can play with low level weapon vs high level weapon player if you know what to do.

      Hackers in GRP are exist. But you can track them easy. People who knows the mechanic of the game knows very well the behaviours of the hackers. Knows how to recognise the suspicious shots then normal and abnormal movement. But I can say thet GMs and rest ot Anti-cheat team are doing their job so far. Well not every case can be solved immediately.

      Actually the most frustration of this game comes from the bugs that some old veterans are known as exist. Well so far some of them are fixed. And pretty sure that some others will be fixed in future.

      To be honest 9/10 I will put. Why? It’s free to relax. It’s free to play. You can test the game as long as you want. Then if you feel you like the game you can spend money. Even if you won’t spend moeny you can continue playing and supporitng the game. I know people who are playing this game since open beta and they didn’t spend any money on this game and they still are competitive and are top geared.

      What people wants really from GRP:
      – Competitive system in game. Extreamly needed for competitive players
      – Character cusomizations
      – A bit more bug fix on time (especially cover bugs, they are annoying)

      You want to become competitive? Well you have to spend money. Otherwise you have to wait like couple of months to get top gear for 1 class. But still does not mean that you gonna be on top.

      This is a team-work based game and you and your team depends by each other. So in competitive or not you need to found some players with who you willing to make a team. Otherwise don’t even start.

      If I am new player at this stage of the game? I will do a small research by watching youtube videos, reading forum posts. Try the game for a months without spending money. Then I will decied if I would continue playing the game or not and willing to support the game.

      Overall. Nice graphic. Nice feeling of shooting. Nice feeling of map environemnt. Nice character movements. Nice colors. Nice game play.

      Post a Reply
      • I agree with you with its an overall good gameplay, UBI even includes a firing range to practice with or try them out, even with the higher tiered weapons.

        Would you go to a car lot, buy a car, pay for it, and take it home before taking it for a test drive? I hope not.

        I also agree with you on:

        What people wants really from GRP:
        – Competitive system in game. Extremely needed for competitive players
        – Character customizations
        – A bit more bug fix on time (especially cover bugs, they are annoying
        – Maybe some sort of gameplay video capture program that would record the epic gameplay or significant moment in the game which we could post or view at a later date.
        – more maps, maybe a contest for a new map, details target, purpose…once in a while to provide more content or merely ideas that they may include in their next map or gameplay.

        Of course GhostViking is miffed, HE GOT CAUGHT CHEATING AND WAS BANNED FOR IT.
        It doesn’t matter what game, there is always going to be players that will ruin the gameplay by using hacks to win.
        My only concern is that most Anti-Cheat systems are totally software driven and their is no appeal process. I know of several cases that players got banned for cheating because VAC detected them as using hacks.
        Valve was supposed to have an appeal process and penalties issued according to the violation or number of violations committed, no sir they just ban you.

        I do believe there should be an appeal system in place for any anti-cheat system.

        FYI: Most people think video games is something those pimpled face teenagers do to pass the time. When I was a teenager my hormones were raging and video games were the last thing on my mind. A significant number of adults, men and women play video games, as a matter of fact I have ran into 1 whole family, dad, mom and son playing video games.

        GhostRecon Phantoms is good gameplay.

        Post a Reply
  2. Nobody is forcing you to spend cash on the game, if you read the piece above, you’ll see that it is perfectly possible to play and enjoy this game without spending a penny. You sound a awfully upset because you got banned from a game you rate 2/10. Hmmm.

    Post a Reply
  3. Well put Rocky. I have seen MANY players doing well without buying their way to the top. And I gotta admit even when you buy stuff (I did and have and will again i am sure) doesn’t mean you will win you need a good team to support you as well. THAT is the most important asset in the game and it costs nothing. You can own everything and you team can cause you to lose every game.

    Post a Reply
  4. Hi my screen name for Ghost Recon Phantoms is:Tango54.

    And this is what I have to say to Eurogamer”

    I have been one of many that was invited to play both the Alpha version and the Beta version of the game:

    Like most I thought how good can a free game be?
    After playing 480+ hours I can tell you that it’s quite good.
    First let’s look at all the weapons, ALL THE WEAPONS USED are actual weapons in use today
    Their specification are pretty close to the weapons that are fielded today with many of the armed forces the world over.

    The matchmaking is excellent as they allow new players(noobs)to get used to the game before they jump into the pit with players who have advanced skills. to develop tactics of their own and gameplay strategy.
    This I like a lot, since Ubisoft, as it doesn’t pit advance players with noobs. If the matchmaking wasn’t done this way people would get frustrated and would not play it.

    Unlike MW3 where you pay 59.99 for a game where they nickel and dime you for any extras you should be getting for free. Also on certain games you will find advertisements for products that pay to advertise in the game. Like Chrysler did for the jeep in Black Ops2,and they have the gaul of selling the game for 59.99 to us and the millions of dollars in revenue pulled in from the advertisements.Hell they Chrysler marketed a jeep with the Black Ops2 association. No products being advertised in Ghost Phantoms.

    Eurogamer mentions small insignificant issues, but what about issues that major game producers NEVER FIX. Like their spawns in Ghost where 99% of the time you end up spawning in front of or behind the enemy. The game look, the characters appear almost cartoon like in their multiplayer as opposed to the singleplayer gameplay,why is that? Their claim to all new engines for the game, such as MW3,Black ops/ops2,Ghost. Game makers always think their game is going to be the best and give you tidbits of the prettiness which ends up usually on the singleplayer maps alone.
    Their claim of all new maps,#@%*/! liar. Most of the maps are taken from past games they published.(what they think were that stupid that we won’t notice it.)

    I personally have played over 2 thousand hours on MW3 and I can tell you with that any patch’s applied was all lipstick and mascara, no real fixes. Ghost when it came out was to be the next and best thing, really , it is a total flop on pc, as I don’t play console. In a short time the game went from a substantial amount of players to very few. As a matter of fact 1 game mode was removed because NO ONE PLAYED IT ANTMORE(NOT ENOUGH PLAYERS).

    I COULD GO ON, BUT SUFFICE TO SAY THAT Eurogamer never committed anytime to the game at all or they had somebody review the game that never played a video game, EVER.

    My friends and I read reviews, talk amongst ourselves about each game before buying one, one of my friends has the financial resources to buy all video games and uses a PC as his platform(OWNS more than 500 games), he told us Ghost would flop and why, in the end my friends and I were out 59.99 for GHOST AS IT WAS A CRAPPY GAME.

    Finally, I wouldn’t say GRO isn’t without its problems, but they are significantly minor compared to what Infinity Ward/Activision need to do to fix their games which we must pay for with hard earned money.

    Post a Reply
  5. Thanks Tango, great comment. Just to be clear though when you talk about all the problems with “Ghost”, you are referring to Call Of Duty Ghosts, right?

    Post a Reply
  6. Absolutly this game is totaly shit. This is equal “Tanks” programers or managers absolutly push to pay for nice playing easy way to do this balanced not exists I pay with totaly pro gamer and I cant play with ppl like this I cant do nothing to change my “balanced lvl”. When you buy weapon this weapon is good but if you make weapon with element like this what you can only buy is just shit.
    Game is only for make money nothing more.

    Post a Reply

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