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Ghost Recon Frontline: Release Date, Trailer, News, and More

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.

Further reading

Release date

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.

Platforms

Soldiers approach a drop in Ghost Recon Frontline.

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.

Trailer

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

A helicopter flies over a hectic battlefield in Ghost Recon Frontline.

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.

DLC

A sniper lines up a shot in Ghost Recon Frontline.

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.

Pre-order

Soldiers take cover behind a car in Ghost Recon Frontline.

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.

Editors’ Choice




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Xbox Recon Controller Review: Game Audio Mixing Made Easy

Turtle Beach Xbox Recon controller review: Game audio mixing made easy

MSRP $60.00

“Turtle Beach’s Xbox Recon controller is loaded with inventive and useful on-board features at a shockingly low price.”

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Robust audio control
  • Well-placed back buttons
  • Useful Pro-Aim feature
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Wired-only
  • Conflicting features

Whenever a new video game console drops, third-party manufacturers get to work. There’s always a race to see who can create must-own accessories that outsmart console makers themselves. That’s especially apparent with controllers, where companies take on the impossible task of improving gamepads that have been perfectly engineered by giants like Sony and Microsoft.

It takes a lot of creative effort to accomplish that lofty goal, but Turtle Beach has struck gold with its Recon Xbox controller. Rather than trying to outdo a regular Xbox controller’s basic features, it offers an entirely new vision of what a controller can do. Turtle Beach has essentially built a sound mixer into a controller, giving players a way to EQ audio, adjust game volume, and even control voice chat on the fly. It’s exactly the kind of innovation one might expect from a company best known for its headsets.

The Xbox Recon isn’t just a niche product for dedicated audiophiles; it’s an excellent console companion that rethinks the utility of a controller. Its wired setup and a few complicated options hold it back from being the ultimate Xbox controller, but a low price point makes it a serious alternative to Microsoft’s baseline Series X controller.

Meeting the baseline

With any third-party controller, there’s always an essential bar that needs to be passed: It needs to have all the basic functionality of its first-party counterpart. Companies like PowerA have created complex controllers for consoles like the Nintendo Switch featuring extra features at the expense of rumble and Amiibo support.

A close look at the buttons and joystick on the Xbox Recon controller.

The Recon cuts no such corners. It has everything one comes to expect from an Xbox Series X controller. The button layout is identical, with minor tweaks to some positions. The joysticks don’t feel all too different, it rumbles just as expected, and it even includes an eight-way D-pad, which is missing on some other third-party Xbox pads. Even with some slight differences, everything is in its right place.

In fact, the Recon even goes a little farther in some places. It includes cooling grips and features two mappable buttons on the back, neither of which are included on the standard Xbox wireless controller. Due to the fact that it doesn’t use batteries, it’s also a bit lighter than Microsoft’s controller.

The Recon cuts no such corners. It has everything one comes to expect from an Xbox Series X controller.

The only drawback here is that the Recon can feel a little more toy-like than the sophisticated Xbox Wireless Controller. That’s hardly much of a knock, though. Turtle Beach easily passes the first test here by creating a controller that checks every box and adds some tweaks of its own, all while meeting a comparable $60 price range.

Superhuman sound

If the Recon just stopped there, it would be a perfectly suitable third-party option. But the fact that I haven’t even talked about its core function yet speaks to how robust a package this ends up being. The Recon is built with audio in mind and includes several ways to tweak the sound in a mini command center at the top of the controller.

With a few carefully placed buttons, players can individually adjust game and chat audio separately. That allows anyone to essentially mix audio on the fly without diving into menus and making adjustments. Usually, one would need external tools to do this, so the fact that it’s built right into the Recon is tremendously useful. It even features a mute button that allows players to cut their microphone without fiddling for a button on their headset.

I can’t think of any video game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Beach has accomplished here.

I did notice that the chat control didn’t seem to work right on PC games I tested. When playing Back 4 Blood’s beta using in-game chat, bumping down chat volume had no effect. That left me unclear on where exactly I could use that feature outside of playing on an actual Xbox.

Going one step further with audio, the controller features four equalization presets that let players toggle between different sound profiles. Players can boost the bass, prioritize game chat, increase treble, or go for a more even mix via Turtle Beach’s Signature Sound option. There’s also a one-press button that activates Superhuman Hearing, which boosts quiet sounds like footsteps (though I found that it just turns up everything in general).

The sound mixer that appears on the Xbox Recon controller by Turtle Beach.

All of that comes together to give players complete control over the game audio. When playing Last Stop, I could quickly switch my EQ to prioritize voices on the fly. During a musical montage, I could just as easily flip the bass on to round out the orchestral score. Players will most likely select their favorite presets and leave it at that, but I found myself flipping back and forth just for the sheer novelty of it all.

I have to emphasize how impressive it is that all of this is happening without any sort of software or driver installation. All of these options are housed within the controller itself. I can’t think of any video game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Beach has accomplished here. Being able to adjust microphone monitoring or boost bass just as one would tap a button to jump is extremely impressive and makes the Recon a true, one-of-a-kind controller.

Perks and quirks

With all its bells and whistles, the Recon still has a few notable quirks. Most importantly, it’s a fully wired controller, which is its main sticking point. For those who don’t want to thread a mesh wire from their Series X to the couch, that might be a tough sell. It doesn’t help that players need to use wired headphones here too, adding some cable juggling. That’s made the Recon more of a go-to for my PC than my Xbox, as playing tethered is more common in my own PC setup.

It’s filled with great features, though each adds mounting complexity to the device.

The controller also features two mappable back buttons, which are perfectly unobtrusive, though that’s not without some issues. The triggers can’t be mapped to back buttons for some reason, nor can button combinations. On the plus side, players can set up four different mapping profiles and flip between them quickly. I had A and B mapped to one profile and the right and left bumpers set on another, for example.

The backside of the Xbox Recon controller, including its back buttons.

The back buttons also have some odd interactions with the Recon’s other special feature (yes, there’s more): Pro-Aim. When the option is enabled, players can hold down the right-back button to reduce stick sensitivity. For example, one could press it while aiming down sights to drastically drop the sensitivity in an instant and allow for precise aiming. There are even four different presets for Pro-Aim. The only issue is that you can’t really map a control to the back button and use Pro-Aim at the same time, or else you might jump every time you try to aim. It’s an amazing feature for a controller, but one that butts heads with another option.

That’s the story of the Recon in general. It’s filled with great features, though each adds mounting complexity to the device. Trying to tab through EQ presets or map buttons on the fly can be a bit of a circus, and you can’t always utilize every feature at once. Compared to the elegance of a normal Xbox controller, the Recon can definitely feel confusing the first few times you use it.

Turtle Beach's Xbox Recon controller standing up on a table.

But that’s a necessary trade-off considering how much the controller can do with no external software. Turtle Beach has loaded a $60 controller with on-board features that other companies had yet to dream up. Considering that the price and build quality is perfectly up to snuff with Microsoft, you really only need to take advantage of one extra feature to get your money’s worth. Even if you only end up using Pro-Aim or something as small as the mute button, you’re getting more functionality than a normal Xbox controller. It’s shocking that this won’t run players $100, but you won’t hear me complaining about a good deal.

Our take

While third-party controllers can be a risky proposition, the Xbox Recon cuts through the noise by doubling down on Turtle Beach’s strengths. The audio-first controller gives players lots of handy features that make it easy to tweak the sound mix on the fly. Even with some notable quirks, Turtle Beach is doing something truly unique here, which makes the Recon stand out in a field that’s only going to get more crowded.

Is there a better alternative?

For a basic wireless controller, the baseline Xbox Series X is still your best bet. The hybrid controller-mixer setup is somewhat first-of-its-kind, though.

How long will it last?

It’s always hard to say with third-party controllers, but Turtle Beach is known for quality products. It will be surprising if you don’t get a few years out of it.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Xbox Recon is a surprisingly useful controller for players who use headphones while in-game or for anyone looking for some extra button customization.

Editors’ Choice




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Ghost Recon Breakpoint: How to Kill Cole Walker

Wondering how to kill Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint? You’re not alone. This tough-as-nails antagonist has proven to be a source of frustration for many players, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to take him down early.

The leader of the Wolves private military group is much more powerful than any enemy you’ll face in the game, and you’ll need to utilize a few tips and tricks if you want to defeat him and finish the campaign.

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How to kill Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Step 1: Stealthily eliminate surrounding enemies

As you approach the bridge that leads to the base in the final mission, take out your drone and start marking enemies. You’ll see a few standard grunts across the bridge, some heavy units with mini-guns, and most importantly, an alarm-sounder standing next to a small building at the end of the bridge.

Use a sniper rifle to eliminate the first few soldiers, then take out the alarm-sounder with another shot. Once you do this, there is a good chance the heavy enemies nearby will be alerted, but you can still eliminate them before the rest of their friends know what is going on.

Next, pull out your drone again and keep marking targets. You’ll see a few more heavy units, and a watchtower close to your location, which is home to a heavy unit wielding a rocket launcher. Send your drone out into the center of the base and you’ll also see a Behemoth tank. Do everything in your power to take out enemies quietly without the tank seeing you because, if it does, you’re going to have to take it out in the next step.

Step 2: Take down the Behemoth

You can skip killing most of the enemies on the base if you want to go straight to killing Cole Walker, but the Behemoth tank must be eliminated before doing so.

The most dangerous type of drone in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the Behemoth can fire devastating machine guns up close and its mortars can hit you from nearly anywhere on the base. Your best bet for eliminating it quickly is to first use any available rocket rounds and aim for its glowing red spots, as these take more damage than the rest of the Behemoth.

How to kill Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint: Take down the Behemoth

Once you’ve fired your rockets, remove the silencer on your primary weapon and begin firing at the weak spots from behind cover. You will need to move every few seconds when a red glowing area appears around you, however, as this means you’re in a mortar round’s area of effect. If you are hit by this, you will die. After doing this for a minute or two, you should be able to destroy Behemoth, and you can enter the building Walker is hiding in.

Step 3: Set a trap for Walker

It might be a little anticlimactic, but we found this strategy to be, by far, the easiest way to eliminate Walker if you’re playing the final mission alone. Enter the doorway into the large room housing Walker and his Wolves, and immediately turn left toward the staircase. Put down several mines on the floor just in front of the staircase and sprint to the top.

How to kill Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint: Set a trap

Aim your weapon with the highest magazine size at the bottom of the staircase and wait for the Wolves to start chasing after you. Your goal is to kill all of them before they hit the mines, so Walker is the one who steps on them. It will likely take you a few tries to get the aiming and timing down, but a light machine gun can easily take out the pack before Walker turns the corner.

Once Walker arrives, start lighting him up with your weapon and back up so he is forced to start walking toward you. Don’t worry about the drones flanking him, as they will be destroyed when he hits the mines.

Step 4: Kill any remaining enemies

There is a chance that you won’t be able to progress in the mission after killing Walker. In this case, go to the mission in your menu and select the “retry” option. You won’t have to kill Walker again, but you will need to eliminate all the other Wolves in the room before you can proceed with the next part of the mission.

How to kill Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint: Kill any remaining enemies

The same steps can solve some other bugs, too, such as your character being unable to move, but if you encounter a situation where you can’t use your item wheel or drone properly, you’ll need to restart the game from your dashboard. If you ever choose to play the final mission again, Walker won’t be there, but you can still destroy the Behemoth, eliminate his men, and complete the mission.

How to kill Walker at the beginning of Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Players have encountered other ways to kill Walker if you want to skip most of the campaign. When you begin playing, your first mission will be to eliminate Walker, but it recommends a gear score of at least 150. If you want to avoid that requirement, you can follow his officers until you get to the Howard Airfield. This is where Walker is during the standard route’s final mission, so you’re skipping all of that gameplay to find him.

You can also kill Walker right at the beginning of the game by ignoring the game’s advice. There will be three helicopters you have to inspect, but ignore the second on your journey and go for the third to unlock the Erewhon hub area. Buy a grenade launcher, as YouTube user Gmoney Mozart shows in his video, and then head for the second helicopter. Shoot a few rounds of grenades at the aircraft, and you’ll kill Walker right away.

Co-op isn’t mandatory for this mission. We defeated Walker on our own, but the final Ghost Recon Breakpoint campaign mission will be drastically easier if you play with at least one other person. Not only will this person be able to deal extra damage against enemies, but they’ll also draw fire away from you so that you can focus on dealing with Walker. Since fighting Walker can quickly deplete your health bar, you might prefer to play with a partner who can share the pain.

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