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GRO French Beta Footage


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Hey everyone,

Quick intro here, I am the Core Gameplay Lead Designer for GRO and to echo what Theo has said, we've been watching these and other forums a lot to gauge and follow community reactions to our game.

That said, scanning the net this morning I was able to dig up some player made GRO videos from the Close Beta 1 being held in France that I wanted to share and provide some commentary on. Hopefully this will give you guys a better idea of what the game play is like.

* Some good examples of players trying to pin others down behind cover while other members move to flank.

* Also I love the ending on this one. Good lesson there... don't stay in 1 spot peaking up and down. :)

* 50 sec mark you see Recon spamming his ACS ability a bit much. On Activation there is a significant chunk of energy consumed. Ultimately his poor timing on its use leads to his demise. If he would have just saved up a bit more and waited till he got under the bridge to use it I think he could have taken that guy out.

* Also not sure what he was thinking trying to use a sniper rifle at Point blank....

* Starts around the 40 second mark

* Not a bad overview of the front end but the UI team has already made so many improvements its hard for me to look at such an old build.

* What I really like about this video is that this guy has picked up on some of the advanced moves you are able to do in the game.

* Around the 40 second mark you can see the Assault class peaking well over 90 degrees around a corner. The more you peak the more you expose yourself, simply controlled with the aiming of the mouse.

* 55sec the guy leaves cover and dives for the next then prone rolls to safety.

* 1:15 there is a lot of team cover hopping. By design this is something we really strived to achieve in a natural way. No team communication needed to see this kind of tactical coordination happen.

* 1:20 the player starts using the Q key to swap the camera to the other shoulder.

* A lot of good team tactical movement.

* 1:40 you can hear an enemy recon using his cloak ability which foreshadows this player's demise. It really helps to make sure your team moves and clears two different paths at the same time to prevent flanking.

* The start of this video is great example of a player realizing he is over-extended. If this was your typical run and gun gameplay he would have just jumped through the window but instead he waits for backup before advancing the line.

* Around 35 sec into the video, you see the reward for his caution. He is able to flank an enemy holding the second front and together his team is able to push and take the next objective.

* I like about this vid because it captures a person playing for his first few games. You get to watch his play style evolve as he learns the mechanics of the game.

* He starts off just spamming his oracle like a newb.

* By design Recon with SMG is the best class for move and shoot gameplay and during the first game this guy isn't using cover at all. Despite him doing well on kills, note that his team outnumbers the enemy but somehow they are losing overall.

* 6:50 the start of a new game and this same guy is starting to use cover

* By 9:00 mins in, this guy is now doing squad based tactical movements. :)

* 10:25 his use of the oracle has changed. He picks a critical moment that helps his team move and clear the enemies spotted.

PS. I am pretty sure these videos break the TOS for the CB and I am guessing will likely be removed in the near future. Till then enjoy.

Edited by Tinker
Removed content violating NDA
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Thanks for posting that... Is there any chance that we'll see a "hardcore" mode in the beta, maybe with some of the more arcadeish stuff turned off like all of the red markers on enemies, the cloaking, the cluttered HUD/AR system, the bubble shield, etc? Thanks.

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Thanks for posting that... Is there any chance that we'll see a "hardcore" mode in the beta, maybe with some of the more arcadeish stuff turned off like all of the red markers on enemies, the cloaking, the cluttered HUD/AR system, the bubble shield, etc? Thanks.

It's something we've been considering and discussing so I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

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Some Original Ghost Recon Fans may have a difficult time relating to GR:O, but I like its highly stylized approach to game design. I also very much like the pace of the game-play depicted, and that ranged combat appears to prevail. In these respects GR:O seems true to Ghost Recon. Some of the HUD and interface aids may also be effective in getting new Fans to play using more realistic maneuver fire and bounding cover based tactics.

For the experienced Player the HUD and interface do seem quite heavy, and distracting -- with large assets, different 2D styles and anamorphic depth cues applied to elements that present at the same depth; these can take a lot of the illusion of 3D depth out of the game. So less art, more information, more alpha transparency, consistent depth cues applied to same depth assets, and the option to turn things on/off would be a boon.

I get the sense that GR:O may actually offer enough depth of play to even seduced OGR Fans -- though I think a 'Realism Mode' that optionally disables some of the futuristic aspects of the game rather then some sort of simplistic 'Hard Core' arcade high damage mode would go the extra distance to in turning even some of the most unshakeable OGR Fans into GR:O Fans.


Edited by 101459
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Yeah I really find the AR distracting. Even if I was playing in a non-hardcore/realism mode I could really do without the blue dots moving around everywhere, the lines that occasionally pop up when you're near people, and messages showing you where you can use the cover system (and I have no idea what those percentages are supposed to be or why I need to see them all the time).

As far as hardcore/realism mode goes, I'd definitely lose the red boxes around enemies and any tech that can automatically spot enemies for you (oracle, radar, gps, uav, whatever you want to call it). The cloaking is a little over the top, but probably fine if it's only usable for 2-3 seconds at a time. But it would be better if anything that appears in a "Halo" game like the invisibility and the bubble shield not make an appearance.

I would just take a cue from hardcore mode in other games and follow a couple of basic rules: 1) Nothing (or very little) on the screen in the way of a HUD. 2) You need to spot enemies with your own eyes - no help from the game. 3) You shouldn't have to unload a whole magazine to take somebody down.

I'm not really a fan of how much you can see through cover when you're behind it, but the low camera angle is much much better than what we've seen in the GRFS previews. But still I'd bring it in closer and lower so you can't see what's going on on the other side of the wall you're hiding behind. The peek/lean looks great.

I think a hardcore/realism mode that follows these guidelines and clears the screen of clutter would turn this into a much more immersive, tactical game - something that I'd want to try out.

The map they're playing on looks much more like something I'd expect to find in an R6 game than in Ghost Recon. Are all the maps going to be like that? Or can we expect some non-urban/industrial settings as well?

Edited by MeanMF
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At around the 0:35 mark, the player is running forward and it sounds like he gets shot twice, but this doesn't seem to affect him at all. He just runs straight through it. At around 4:25 this happens again, although this time the screen turns a little red. Then his health appears to regenerate on its own - is that correct?

At the 1:05 mark, the player sees a big red square through a wall and gets a kill because of this. Later in minute 13 he uses the same technique to locate an enemy and try shooting them in the foot through a vehicle. That's the sort of thing that really needs to be disabled if there's a hardcore mode.

Most of the action appears to be north-to-south, and the map is quite narrow. Are any of the maps more open, with conquest points that aren't arranged in a straight line? Will there be maps that aren't in an urban/industrial setting? This map makes the game feel more like Rainbow Six to me.

Killcam in a GR game? Boo.

At around 7:35 the player takes cover behind a small building that appears to be plywood. Could he have been shot though this? I didn't notice anybody trying.

From around 9:00ish for at least a minute and a half the player camps behind sandbags taking advantage of the camera angle to watch the opposing team. Moving the camera lower and closer to the player while in cover would largely prevent this cheap tactic. "High stakes" mode which they (finally) added to R6 Vegas 2 is a good example of how to fix that.

From 12:00 through 13:00 the player gets the drop on and unloads on several enemies, hitting them repeatedly, but they run through it to safety. He's positioned perfectly to hold down a chokepoint, but can't do it because the enemies are bullet sponges and aren't even slowed down a little bit. Boo.

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Enemies with invisible power armour FTW. It's all the rage in shooters lately along with cheating AI. :)

As for the point blank sniping, I can understand this with the amount of people I see that think shotguns are sniper rifles and vice versa on L4D (using shotguns to 'snipe' distance targets (thus, needing to fire many rounds to kill any enemy at range) and using sniper rifles as shotguns (point blank range))

Edited by WytchDokta
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Welcome to the forums, LGDGRO, and thanks for posting the vids and annotations! :thumbsup:

Many of the clips have been taken offline by now (as you have rightly guessed), but I have watched them (and other footage) and will try to voice an opinion. Of course, as a hardcore fan of the original Ghost Recon who already considered GRAW 1 & 2 to be much too watered down from the real thing, my preliminary enthusiasm for GR:O is severely limited by the fact that the game series bearing this title is moving further and further away from what Ghost Recon used to stand for. So before I can even start to provide feedback on GR:O, I feel some reminiscence and a look at the bigger picture is in order.

The Lineage of Tactical Shooters

As a reminder, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (the real one) is the direct descendant of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six (the real one - as this series has also been taking a turn for the worse since RvS) - commonly seen as the progenitor of the entire tactical shooter genre. Ghost Recon took the tactical shooter to new heights by implementing real-time squad commands (as opposed to the pre-mission planning stages in R6) and introducing mid- and long-range enemy engagement on larger wide-open maps (in addition to the CQB elements already present in R6).

The game incorporated a ruthlessly realistic One-Shot-One-Kill philosophy with an effective wound and limping system (and no health regen) for the rare gunshot wound survivors - aspects that by themselves force players to be cautious and tactical from the get-go - and a uniquely unrestricted first-person perspective featuring minimal HUD elements and without even so much as a weapon view to distract from the wide-angle 90 degrees FOV (just 30 degrees shy of human binocular vision, sadly widescreen and HOR+ wasn't yet heard of back then) which pushed immersion to the point where it actually came close to proprioception (i.e. play original Ghost Recon and you'd swear that you can actually FEEL a bullet hit).

There's a myriad of additional reasons why the original Ghost Recon is so beloved and played to this very day, and many (obviously myself included) still consider it to be the greatest tactical shooter ever. Quite an acclaim for a game from 2001, and motive for 10 years of relentless calling for a true successor.

Having said all that, I think you may now better understand some of the rather antagonistic sentiment brought against GR:O from diehard Ghost Recon fans. After all, the new game was announced with loads of PR lingo desperately trying to tie it to the original (and you can even hear original GR's music in GR:O), yet you and I and everyone else familiar with the series know that it is hardly the primary intention of GR:O's development to please old-school hardcore Ghost Recon fans, but rather to get even more of the casual TPS players onboard with the brand.

Arcade Shooter to the Rescue?

Fool's Errand

Which finally brings me to feedback on GR:O. It is of course too late to altogether scrap third-person-perspective and cover system from the game, both of which I consider absolute no-goes for any tactical shooter, because an over-the-shoulder Hollywood cam (that allows you to see what you shouldn't be able to see) will always stand squarely in the way of realism and immersion, and the fixed cover system not only ruins any attempt at realistic map design with its (apparent) requirement for waist-high walls/stacks of sand bags/chunks of rock/etc. everywhere (not to mention being an absolute nightmare for user-created maps and modding), but in combination with third-person-view also invites the camping-safely-while-peeking-over-cover gameplay as shown in the last video.

Augmented Demented Reality

But now that we've established that - due to fundamental design decisions - GR:O simply cannot be a tactical shooter anymore, we are free to salvage what we can to at least make it a TPS a little more attractive to Ghost Recon fans. As mentioned before, the first obvious candidate for improvement is to (at least optionally) get rid of those overbearing HUD and AR elements that do nothing but cluttering up the player's narrow window into the game world. The unrealistic situational awareness of third-person POV is quite enough of a bane for immersion, and those visual crutches as constant reminders of playing an arcade game remove the player even more from the feeling of "being really there".

A Galaxy Far Away

The same goes for the displayed science-fiction fantasy equipment like invisibility cloaks, force fields, x-ray vision, and those queer impenetrable riot shields (don't even get me started on the silly neon-lit uniforms). Not only do they bring (hopefully) unintentional comedy to a GR shooter, their utter absurdity also kills all remains of a claim on realism, thereby granting players the final excuse not to become immersed in the game at all. Needless to say, they also destroy all requirements for tactical gameplay - after all, invisibility, x-ray vision, and bullet-proof force fields have a good chance of trumping real-world tactics in the fight for survival. GR:O's "Free-2-Play" setup with purchasable weapon upgrades etc. will do its part to further shift the focus from rewarding tactical players to benefiting those who simply buy the best equipment, so at least make the sci-fi fantasy arsenal optional.

Squirt Guns Vs Superman

As the videos also show, getting hit by a bullet (once it finds its way through force fields to its invisible target) doesn't actually do much in terms of affecting the player. There's an impact sound (is there?) and if hit by an entire salvo of projectiles there may be some temporary blood-substitute on the camera's virtual lens for a split-second. Other than that, life just goes on for the most part. Only when hit point-blank by what appears to be an entire mag of ammunition on full-auto does a player actually go down and is out of commission for a brief moment, just to respawn a couple of seconds later. There is no incentive whatsoever to be careful, which translates to no incentive for tactical play at all, so everyone just runs-and-guns to their next demise. Please (again, at least optionally) bring back One-Shot-One-Kill plus wounds and limping to help reintroducing conscious thought into gameplay.

Sandbox or Shoebox

The devil-may-care attitude towards in-game death and resulting shoot'em up behavior is increased by the tiny and narrow maps. Dying and subsequent respawning never moves a player far from the center of action, so the penalty for spray-and-pray gameplay, repeatedly getting killed and respawning over and over, is minimal to non-existent. If all that you have to fear from death is the short delay of running a few steps down a narrow corridor again and again, why bother thinking of strategy - why bother to think at all? If you provide large and wide-open maps that allow for remote spawn points, people will actually try not to get killed that often, even if just to avoid the long travel back into action. Another obvious benefit is that there would be more areas for opposing forces to collide, exchanging currently quite linear frontal assaults for emergent gameplay.

Hopelessly Hoping

There are of course a lot more possible ways to lift GR:O another few inches towards the foot of real Ghost Recon's perennial pedestal, and if you study the forums here at GhostRecon.net or scour the web for fan feedback you can undoubtably find thousands of additional suggestions and even pleas for future Ghost Recon development, starting the better part of a decade ago. But where has all this enthusiastic community feedback lead the series? For example, can you name even a single new feature in GR:O that is based on fan input? Just ONE?

Ubisoft willfully neglected us since they pillaged, plundered, and raped Tom Clancy's Red Storm Entertainment back in 2000, and it was just by a lucky twist of fate that Ghost Recon's development was finished before RSE's last dying breath, before greed and incompetence slowly but surely turned both the legendary creator of the tactical shooter genre as well as its pinnacle achievements GR and R6 into a tragic farce. Since then, two once shining examples of gaming brands have been whored out to within an inch of their lives for the sake of making yet another quick buck again and again.

After almost 10 years of Ubisoft committing countless atrocities against a unique gaming philosophy and totally ignoring its fan base, it sure becomes increasingly difficult to try and see that captor of "intellectual property" clenching both Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six in its claws in anything but a negative twilight. For Ubisoft to rebuild some trust and sympathy within the fan community would take LOADS of convincing now, starting with a lot more open communication, but sadly very much still points to the contrary.

And yet here we are, still clinging on to the few last fragile remnants of hope that someone somewhere inside Ubisoft's dark castle of ignorance might finally hear our desperate pleas and come out to shine a ray of light on our gloomy tactical niche in a world reigned by the blind mediocracy of consolitis-afflicted arcade shooters. Please, folks, at least try to make this one semi-count as a Ghost Recon game.

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This is all very confusing to me... We have a senior UBI employee come join us and post links to beta tester created videos from a closed beta, which I presume are all in violation of whatever NDA those testers signed. Meanwhile some other UBI employee is having all those videos restricted to protect their beta test process and intellectual property. I am not sure about the current legal status of all the silly US DMCA restrictions, but in their hey-day I am sure UBI would have a IP infringement claim against their own "Core Gameplay Lead Designer." All very confusing for me :wall:

Anyway, I am glad Apex had a chance to watch and comment on these. If the descriptions I have seen are accurate, then I think he has done a good job of capturing my sentiments.

Sad that UBI's left and right hands still seem to not know what the other is doing (or had done 10 years ago).

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A couple of additional thoughts/questions...

First, was there an expectation or hope from the development team when these videos were posted that fans of the pre-GRAW GR games would react positively? To be clear, I'm not trying to make a point - that's a serious question. I'm wondering how big the disconnect is between the fanbase and the development teams working on GR games these days.

Second, this game will now be in direct competition with Team Fortress 2 now that it's free. I'm wondering what the plan is for keeping up with TF2, especially considering the huge community that game has, the much wider variety of classes and gameplay, the heavy focus on teamwork there (much moreso than in any of the videos above), and must-haves for the PC community like dedicated servers and modding tools.

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its a game how about we just enjoy playing it and not pick it apart before we even get a chance to play it huh? This is the main problem with people nowadays. its F&^*^&* free. STOP BITCHING. Jesus we are spoiled. back in the day you got usually 1 title every couple years so YES they were a little tighter upon release BUT since most of us have ADD and can't keep the attention span longer than 5 minutes Game companies have resulted into mass game production and just dishing out enough to keep the ADHD heads happy. If it ain't ain't tactical enough for you go play Combat Missions or ArmA.2 they just released that as a F2P game. I am looking forward to playing this and am hoping it isn't too rough on system specs. Remember ITS FREE. You ain't paying for it just enjoy it for what it is.

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its a game how about we just enjoy playing it and not pick it apart before we even get a chance to play it huh? This is the main problem with people nowadays. its F&^*^&* free. STOP BITCHING. Jesus we are spoiled. back in the day you got usually 1 title every couple years so YES they were a little tighter upon release BUT since most of us have ADD and can't keep the attention span longer than 5 minutes Game companies have resulted into mass game production and just dishing out enough to keep the ADHD heads happy. If it ain't ain't tactical enough for you go play Combat Missions or ArmA.2 they just released that as a F2P game. I am looking forward to playing this and am hoping it isn't too rough on system specs. Remember ITS FREE. You ain't paying for it just enjoy it for what it is.

It's not just "a game" - it's supposed to be a Ghost Recon game, and those should get some extra attention at GhostRecon.net, wouldn't you agree? If developers post closed beta gameplay footage and announce - as e.g. Theo did - that they want to listen to community input, I think they expect a little more than "it's free, so why pick it apart". I'm also having a hard time accepting that everyone here is afflicted by ADHD and a 5-minute attention span - on the contrary, if people still stick around Ghost Recon after all these years, I think it's safe to assume that their attention span must be extraordinarily long.

If games were to be solely developed for ADHD gamers, which admittedly seems to be the case more and more nowadays, we wouldn't need fan forums in the first place, as that kind of customer will probably jump from one game brand to the next the instant they spot a shiny new box in the video game shelf at their local store, and I wouldn't expect them to participate in prolonged discussion. Delegating Ghost Recon fans into this consumer category isn't doing their unique long-term dedication to one tactical shooter "niche" series justice.

The "if it ain't ain't tactical enough for you, go play [brand xyz]" line is just as much out of place at GhostRecon.net. We mainly discuss Ghost Recon games around here, and we try everything within our (apparently very limited) power to help shape future titles of this series to our liking. Constructive criticism should not be condemned as hostility but appreciated as a clear sign that somebody really (still) cares.

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Did you have any comments about the game or are you just here to complain about the other posters?

Are you gonna complain about my post or contribute to the thread?

The ADHD comment is a general comment about the state of gaming players not necessarily;y the GR community. Example of it is music. some of us "older" people still have LP's or cd's we have had for years and still listen to them. BUT the majority of younger people I (i use I as in me) seem to like something for a short time and a month later move on to the next best thing and the gaming industry is no better. I see it when I drop into a gamestop and see brand new titles less than a month old turned in already. Games on Steam that were released 6 months earlier (or even less) for 60 bucks now on sale for 9.99. This isn't because they have a deal with the manufacturers it's because the interest in the title has wained beyond the price tag which happens all the time now. Games don't hold values because the people buying them don't hold value in them. Now alot of you here don't fall into that catagory and I would like to say I as well but the majority of the gaming communities are ADHD short term game fanatics.Love it one minute and throw it away the next. And with that said this is how I think game developers design and sell games. Makes sense as to why DLC is big. It regenerates interest to keep people from moving onto a new title.

All i am saying is if we support a title and comment on real problems that seriously affect gameplay. Now I watched the same videos and I saw a great running game. Seemed people were pretty equal on the battlefield and didn't really see any major flaws that would have me complaining about it. I didn't see lag, disappearing guns,warping, firing thru solid surfaces nada. So I don't understand the hit list of negatives about videos when you weren't even in the game to experience it

As for my post I stand by it. If I was to critique all your mods and items made the same way you critique a game that hasn't come out you all would be mad. All I am saying is it isn't Ghost Recon. Just like it isn't Advanced Warfighter its FUTURE SOLDIER an all new IP built on a name. With that said you take the game itself and judge it.Now if you wanted a game that WAS like Ghost Recon you would have to have a series like Call Of Duty. Where the gameplay hasn't changed except new graphics and a couple new gimmicks. THAT is an example of a game that didn't change much from title to title even tho multiple companies have worked on the series. To expect FS to live up to some weird GR expectation is nonesense and counterproductive.I would be more worried from the latest reports that the PC community is even gonna get a version of it. Like I said you may not like my post but I stand by it. People whined about GRAW the same way and look at some of the great stuff the community has made for them. Great games in their own rights but I would never compare them to Ghost Recon. Only in name.

Edited by twcrash
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Are you gonna complain about my post or contribute to the thread?

I have contributed quite a few questions to the thread, which I'm hoping that the developers will answer at some point. But when people come in and threadjack the discussion to turn it into a flamewar with the posters, then the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Did you even read the thread before posting? Clearly not since you're talking about GR:FS in the GR: Online forum. If you have something to post about the game, then post it. If you're just going to complain about other posters, then start a new thread in the off-topic forum.

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Obviously you missed ITS FREE in the post.. I know Apex and I wasn't flaming him. I do disagree with the ever growing tactic of tearing apart games.As a whole.. people in general have forgotten to just have fun. Like I said I equate it to the GRAW series.Saw the same thing for it with the complaints and the tearing it apart.If I had listened to that and never played them I would have missed out on a great set of games,mods and community made missions Also i still see alot of people playing it compared to other titles that have come and gone. So excuse if if I dont share your opinion of flaming a game for the sake of flaming it.

Also I apologize of the intermixing of GRO and GRFS. I for some weird reason see them as the same titles and dont distinguish sometimes when I start typing. My post here is actually concerning GRO and the videos.I know GRFS is different. At least I hope it is but I am getting the feeling GRO is gonna be the PC's version of GRFS. a TOTALLY different subject.

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