Hands-On With The Wii U's First First-Person Shooter

Ghost Recon Online for the Wii U is a first-person shooter for Nintendo's next big thing packed with tons of cool bells and whistles. It also demonstrates some of the big hurdles the new console will face when trying to satisfy hardcore gamers.

I'm a long-time first-person shooter fan, so I was very excited for a chance to get my hands on Ubisoft's shooter for the Wii U.

The early experience, customising my weapons, controlling a remote drone and seeing the video feed on the controller, were all very impressive. But the thumbsticks, designed to be more like what you'd find on a 3DS than a PS3 or Xbox 360 controller, didn't seem to be able to deliver the same sort of experience I've come to expect from my console shooters.

I'm sure a bit of tweaking to the settings would have solved some of the issues, and the developers say they still have work to do on their end before the 2012 release, but what bothered me the most was how flat those sticks feel. Unlike with the thumbsticks on a PS3 or 360, you're sliding around two buttons on a flat platform. I might get used to it, but for now I'm much more comfortable tilting miniature joysticks under my thumbs.


Comments

    There's no good reason why they had to gimp the sticks.

    It's just another example of why I think Nintendo has lost the plot and should just can the Wii U.

    No way on earth i'm buying a "next-gen" machine without a decent pad, local multiplayer, 3rd party support from the big publishers (including the Activisions, Capcoms, Konamis etc), comprehensive online back catalogue (Yoshis Story! G.Boy & V.Boy games etc and all the games Oz missed for some reason -Contra Rebirth!) seemless online play without friend codes; and online stuff like: download packs for games, game demos, movie & tv rentals, movie trailers, specials/discounts on download games & packs, video chat etc. All this stuff should be a given.

    And I'm not a Xbot or PSbot. I love Nintendo games and have owned every piece of Nintendo hardware since the mid 80's (yes, including the Wii).

    But I think Nintendo just doesn't care at all about what we want, if they can't even get the basics right, stuff that isn't hard, stuff thats been done before, stuff thats been standard for years.

    My love of Mario isn't enough to make me buy a crippled new console.

      Ah the sweet sounds of the greedy gamer.

        Not really. It's getting to the point where the only reason to buy a Nintendo console is to play Mario/Zelda/Smash Bros etc.

        It's not greedy if we pay for it. :\

      But that is the thing, Nintendo don't want to make what's been done before or standard, they are trying to push something new and different.

      Decent Pad - This is one persons experience with the controller, there are others that dont have issues with it (See You tube). There might be changes to the final controller, until people are given a chance to get hands on finalized software and hardware then we can make informed decisions, but making it of the back of early software/hardware and one persons opinion is counter-intuitive.

      3rd Party Support - They havent said they WONT make games for the Wii U either. Once those games already announced for the Wii U sell its only a matter of time before the others want a piece of the action. Simple market mechanics. None of these developers are bound to one console. They are bound to the console that can make them a profit. The Wii U can be that console. The Graphics are there, The Unique controller is there, the Brand is still strong. Many things in the Wii Us favor. We will see closer to launch just how much support the Wii U gets. No need to jump to conclusions. For now its pretty darn good.

      Friends Codes - Are gone according to many sources. No need to bring this up again. You can look online and see for yourself. Or you could wait till the Wii U is released. Choice is yours

      The other stuff you talked about there is no solid info on so i wont comment till there are more announcements.

    "Tweaking to the settings"? The game is a year from release. I'm sorry, I've played great games that appeared awful months from release that still had time to work out its bugs. I mean, Red Dead Redemption had horses that just skated along the ground and felt near-offensive to control. Dismissing a game so vehemently or any console's capability while still under development and an entire year from release seems to be incredibly irresponsible and unnecessary cynical reporting to me.

    Those slide pads do look awful. They make sense on a portable because you need to save space but that Wii U controller needs proper analogue sticks and the right stick and face buttons flipped around.

    here's how they fix the controller. turn the circle pads into thumb sticks, and movee the right thumbstick below the buttons, i mean, think about it, the right thumbstick is ALWAYS below the buttons, it's been on every console, don't change it nintendo!

      Oh no! Not change!!

    Heres what u do nintendo. U re-release the wavebird as the standard controller as it was perfect and spend more money on the actual hardware and game development instead of a stupid gimmicky controller

      I like how some individuals with no experience in developing video game consoles think they know better than the video game giants themselves when it comes to making them. Yes, the controller pad being flat is a potential issue, but to already determine it a failure at this point in time is rather foolish.

        In a hard core gamers perspective the controllers a failure.

          What constitutes a 'hardcore gamer'? Someone who plays a shitload of games and wants a standard pad, or someone who plays a shitload of games and is open to new innovations?

            Someone who wants a pad that still works when two people are playing at the same time.

              Please explain how it wont work when two people are playing at the same time.

              If you want 2 players split screen play like ps3 or 360 one gets the Wii U controller with the screen deactivated, the other gets a classic controller/Wiimote Nunchuck. Thats two players like any other console.

              OR

              Both People use Classic COntrollers/Wiimote Nunchucks and dont use the Wii U Controller. So EXACTLY the same as ps3/360 (ie split screen)

              OR

              One person uses the Wii U controllers screen as the play screen and the second player gets the Classic Controller/Wiimote Nunchuk and the full TV screen to themselves. A Little unfair for the person on the WiiU controllers, but hey thats 1 more option then you get from any other console.

              Please explain where 2 player local multiplayer is not possible? I can see 2/3 options/choices where other consoles only have 1.

              This is one persons view of the Wii U COntroller, there are others that dont feel the same. Lets wait till more people experience before we pass final judgement. Its really jumping the gun if one considers this controller a fail on ONE persons opinion.

    Cant understand why they went for those type of Analogue control. Its not a portable.

    They did say changes and tweaks still possible before launch so maybe they are seeing what people at E3 thought about them. If the general consensus is that the flat analogue controllers arent desirable lets hope Nintendo listens and installs proper Analogue sticks. Theres no reason why the final version cant have proper analogue sticks. Maybe they used the slide type because they look more stylish.

    Nintendo, if you want a stab at the hardcore market you better be sure you get the dual analogue input right. Either use proper sticks or make the slide pads as close to proper analogue sticks as possible.

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