A Promising Departure from Pay-to-Win
Ghost Recon Phantoms is the latest in the venerable Tom Clancy series, this time in the form of the Free to Play Model and an instant download. Formerly Ghost Recon Online, it's finally making its way to launch this year. When you start, you will be able to choose from 3 Classes, Assault, Recon and Support, with each class having the ability to use 2 technological devices that allow you to provide tactical support to your teammates. Currently there are over 40 customizable weapons with a wide range of tweaks on top of that.
For the Assault class the first special devices are "Blitz" which allows you to knock down other players with a speed burst, it also provides you with a shield and passive protection. The other Assault Device is called "ADS - Active Denial System" which suppresses your enemies with damage over time and prevents them from using their weapons for a short timeframe. Using this with team coordination could be very effective and deadly. The starting weapons for the Assault class is the Assault Rifle and the Shotgun.
For the Recon Class, the first special device is called "Scan" which detects enemy units across the battlefield and temporarily reveals the enemy location to your teammates, even through walls. The 2nd device is no surprise: it's called Cloak, and it allows the Recon to blend in with the surroundings for a period of time, not 100% invincible but very close. The starting weapons for the Recon class are a Sniper Rifle and a Sub-Machine Gun.
For the Support Class, the first special device is called "Blackout" which disrupts your enemies with an EMP blast that not only depletes enemy devices but temporarily distorts them. The 2nd device for the Support Class is called "APS - Active Protection System" which is a sphere that deflects bullets for yourself and your teammates within the protective sphere itself. The starting weapons for the Support Class are Light Machine Gun and Shotgun.
The one thing about Phantoms is aggressiveness isn't the key to success, rushing and turning chaotic will get you killed, quickly. This isn't a twitch shooter, and it plays a lot like airsoft matches, but more lethal. The big thing with Phantoms is the team based system, when you are with your teammates you will have lines on the screen which is more or less like a GPS to follow and locate your team. Coordinating with your team and planning tactics is essential for success in Phantoms.
The gameplay itself is more slow paced then other shooters, so it makes for more of a strategic game than most. The cover system allows you to take advantage of all the terrain to ultimately achieve victory.
You are able to create your own clans in Phantoms or play solo. You are also able to monitor your progress and that of your friends with Phantoms advanced statistics tools. Players are able to choose either Ghosts or Phantoms and probably the best part of all is that Phantoms is Free to Play. From what we have seen so far, there isn't going to be a Pay 2 Win system, the Phantoms team seems to have balanced this well from what we have seen so far. If you are an FPS fan and especially a Tom Clancy fan, this game is worth a try, and it won't drain your wallet if for some reason the game isn't for you.