Even before I got my hands on the final, US version of the Nintendo 3DS, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I had played the vast majority of the launch games at preview events and knew which were the ones that had promise and which were, well, fodder. One game that never made it to any of those preview events was "Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars." I had seen it in the list of launch games for the 3DS, but admittedly didn't expect much more than a half-hearted FPS on a handheld not really suited for FPS games. Seems I was way off.
Ubisoft has commissioned design know-how of Julian Gollop, the creator of the classic "X-Com" series, for "Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars." And it shows. Just watch this walkthrough trailer. Seems that this new "Ghost Recon" is a major shift for the franchise. Instead of being a real-time, squad-based FPS, it's actually a top-down, turn-based strategy game.
In case you're unfamiliar with the "X-Com" series, a similar comparison would be games like "Fire Emblem," where you have a squad of specialized soldiers attempting to gain the upperhand on an overwhelming force. There's the long-range stealth expert, the technical maestro and, of course, the guy who blows things up.
Sadly "Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars" remains one of the few 3DS launch games I haven't had the chance to play myself, but based on that video walkthrough, it has jumped to the top of my list of must-play 3DS titles. I'm definitely curious to see whether the 3D effect works well for the top-down camera, but even if it doesn't, a new, tactical turn-based strategy game from the designer of "X-Com" is a rather nice consolation prize.