Facebook tie-in games for triple-A releases were all the rage a couple of years ago, but fewer publishers seem to be putting time into them nowadays. Ubisoft is keeping the faith, though, with a new Facebook game titled Ghost Recon: Commander, which will connect with the upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
John Romero and Brenda Brathwaite's studio Loot Drop is working on the game. Brathwaite is serving as lead designer.
The game's Facebook page has already opened. IGN reports that game pays homage to classic strategy series like XCOM, but fills your squad's spots with your Facebook friends. Any friends who take you on missions grant you XP that will be delivered upon logging in to the game.
The game is turn-based, but the AI activates as quickly as you make your commands. If you're commanding your troops quickly, the AI will keep responding, making it seem like a real-time strategy title. If you stop to think, the AI will stop too. This explains why Loot Drop CEO John Romero teased on the Facebook page that the game is "turn-based but can feel real-time if you want to play that way."
Commander doesn't artificially rope off progress by only letting you play some at a time; instead, you can continue as long as your soldier has health remaining. Once it's depleted, you'll have to wait for him to heal, so your ability to move through the game will rely more on your skill. You could also spend money to recover faster, or on equipment upgrades. Players will personalize their soldier with the base camp, purchasing buildings for stat boosts.
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Ubisoft VP of digital Chris Early told PocketGamer that playing Future Soldier will unlock characters, currency, XP, and items in Commander. Conversely, playing Commander will unlock items, XP bonuses, and currency in Future Soldier. "The more you play each of those games, the more benefit you create in terms of those other gameplay experiences," he said. Early also mentioned eventual plans to bring the game to iOS devices.
The game is set to launch around May 22 to accompany Future Soldier, and will initially sport ten missions with multiple difficulty levels.