The Ghost Recon franchise is just one of many to come from the Tom Clancy label at Ubisoft. Unlike the other Tom Clancy games, which range from first-person shooters to stealth games and looter-shooters, the Ghost Recon games have gone in the direction of open-world, cooperative sandboxes after evolving from more tactical, squad-based third-person shooters.
In a move that will be divisive among fans of the series, Ubisoft revealed the upcoming entry Ghost Recon Frontline will be a free-to-play, first-person battle royale game. This is a large departure from what the series has been in the past, and may appear to be yet another attempt to cash in on the craze surrounding battle royales, but Ghost Recon Frontline does have some fresh ideas.
Here’s everything we know about Ghost Recon Frontline so far.
There’s no firm release date set for Ghost Recon Frontline as of now. There was a closed beta test exclusive to players in Europe, and only on the PC platform, in October 2021, but that’s all we’ve seen so far.
We expect Ubisoft to host multiple beta tests, hopefully leading to an open beta where anyone can participate, before finally launching. If it is in a playable state, though, then it wouldn’t be out of the question to see this title hit sometime later in 2022.
Ghost Recon Frontline will be playable on just about everything with the exception of the Switch. You can jump into this free title on your PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X or S, PS4, or PS5, or even stream it through Stadia and Luna. They have also made sure to confirm that it will also support full cross-play between all platforms, so you can play with your friends no matter what systems you have.
The reveal trailer for Ghost Recon Frontline is incredibly brief. We get a few fast cuts of action as the text informs us that this is, in fact, a battle royale game where we will be going up against 100+ opponents. We also see that this game will be played from a first-person perspective, but also have customizable characters. We see squads of three doing mostly familiar battle royale things, like collecting loot, sneaking around a big map, and engaging in firefights.
Where things get more interesting is when the trailer introduces the objective of finding intel on the map. We see multiple teams fighting over a location to secure that intel, calling in ordinances like automatic turrets and later on even a makeshift wall for cover and expanding tower for elevation before one squad loads up into a car to drive off to the extraction. Helicopters are also seen various times, but it’s unclear if they’re another deployable-type perk or can actually be piloted.
The map the game will take place on is called Drakemoor. This play area looks very large, with a variety of environment types like mountains, deserts, and forested areas, plus a few named zones we spotted like Power Station, Quarry, Lake Resort, and Brewery. There will also be a dynamic weather system that promises to spice up areas and influence gameplay.
As far as what this battle royale will play like, we currently know that there will be two game modes at launch, with additional modes releasing in the following seasonal updates. The two modes shown off so far are Expedition and Control.
Expedition mode is the primary focus of Ghost Recon Frontline. This is the battle royale-style game where up to 102 players can join in, each in squads of three much like Apex Legends, with the goal of finding and extracting the intel. A team needs to get three pieces of intel before calling in a helicopter to extract them from a designated spot on the map in order to win. However, calling in that helicopter will send up smoke that other teams can easily spot to try and stop you.
Aside from picking up intel from locations on the map, teams can also steal intel from other teams by taking them out, meaning there will be a constant tug of war as teams scramble to steal intel, hold on to theirs, and manage to extract from the map. Another unique element is the fact that there’s no zone or storm that pushes in as time goes on. As far as we can tell, the entire map will be open for the duration of the game.
As for how many pieces of intel there will be in total on the map, how many teams will be able to extract during a match, or what the game’s time limit will be, we still don’t know. Outside of seeing teammates get picked up after being downed, we also don’t know if getting killed is the end or if there is any revival or respawn mechanics.
Control is a much smaller, almost traditional PvP multiplayer mode. The player count is cut way down to just two teams of nine each in much smaller maps. This game will play like a type of king of the hill game but include all the weapons, classes, and equipment you can use in Expedition. This seems to be a secondary mode to the main Expedition mode for faster, more action-seeking players.
Regardless of which mode you play, another feature of Ghost Recon Frontline is the Contractor system. Contractors are effectively classes you can choose from before a match that have their own unique and randomly generated history and appearance. It’s unclear if you’ll be able to completely customize a character from the ground up, but you will primarily want to choose your Contractor based on their specific specialization and perk. They will also have a progression path you can work your way through to unlock new options for your loadouts. Right now we know there will be the Assault, Support, and Scout class Contractors. We assume more will be made available either at or post-launch.
It seems that your Contractor will play some role in what gear you can use, but the details on that are still up in the air.
Multiplayer is the only way to play Ghost Recon Frontline. Unless Ubisoft is hiding some major component of the game, we don’t think this will be a game you can play offline at all. That’s probably disappointing to fans of the old Ghost Recon games, which always allowed you to play solo, but considering this game has no campaign mode, it makes sense.
Being a free-to-play title, there will no doubt be some type of microtransactions that you can spend your real-world money on. We did see many different outfits, skins, and weapon decorations in the trailer, so presumably, those could be one of the things we spend our money on. Battle passes are also something we would expect from a game like this, but again we can only guess for now. We just hope that Ubisoft is able to monetize the game in a way that feels fair and doesn’t disrupt the balance.
Since it’s a free-to-play game, there’s no reason to pre-order Ghost Recon Frontline. There is the one closed beta we mentioned earlier for Europe, but if more beta opportunities come around in more regions, we’ll share the details on how you can register to get your hands on this latest battle royale before it eventually launches worldwide for the low cost of absolutely free.