09Ghost Recon Frontline is a free-to-play multiplayer game that will kill the franchise if Ubisoft allows it to. The franchise started out as a single player experience. Sure, you have multiple soldiers to control, but it’s you against the mission. Now, it’ll be loads of people against the mission, and that mission will boil down to killing as many other players as possible. It’s a travesty of what the original games stood for, and while I do think that there’s a place for multiplayer in the universe, I don’t think that it can exist without the promise of another single player experience on the way.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint Operation Motherland has proved that people enjoy playing the single player experience of the Ghost Recon franchise. I for one cannot put it down, and that’s because it’s so engrossing. There’s just something about traversing the island, picking up all the missions, and completing them how you want to that I resonate with. So few games work this way, forcing you to complete tasks in a linear fashion that allows for very little creativity. I want more of this, but we’re not going to get it if the dynamic gameplay experience boils down to a team deathmatch.
I do believe that the team working on Frontline can do something good with it. I think we’ll see more of a Ghost Recon experience there than we expect, but I’m just so devastated that we’re not going to get another single player game first. The free-to-play element of Frontline means that it will require constant supervision, a live team, and seasonal updates. This is what Ubisoft wants to take off. It means that there’s no lengthy development processes, and the game can be given a small update every few months to keep investors happy. It’s a business model, not a game.
Ghost Recon Frontline could be good, but I don’t believe Ubisoft will allow another single player game in the franchise to come out if it takes off. I think it’ll kill the core of what makes Ghost Recon so great, and there’s nothing we can do about it other than play Operation Motherland and be extremely vocal about how good it is.