Ubisoft is releasing a number of Ghost Recon games this year. There's console title Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, free-to-play PC shooter Ghost Recon Online, and now Ghost Recon Commander, a Facebook-based social experience designed to bridge the other games and tie them together.
Ghost Recon Commander, billing itself as "a fast-paced strategic combat experience", ties in to this year's Future Soldier, which is due on consoles this May and on PC in June.
As with the Assassin's Creed franchise before it, Ubisoft plans for the two games to work together as "companion games," with advances in one feeding into the other. Talking with Pocket Gamer, Chris Early, VP of digital publishing at Ubisoft, gave a high-level overview of how the two titles will link:
In the case of Ghost Recon, which has been one of our brands for many years, we have Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, a full-on, triple-A console game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, where you're going to sit at home on the big screen with your console, and play.
At the same time, we have Ghost Recon: Commander, which is a game on Facebook and mobile, where you'll be able to play a different game, but still a game in the Ghost Recon universe, so it's related lore.
What's more important, I think, from a gamer's perspective is you'll have advantages in one game that you'll unlock by playing the other game.
It's not just a one-time item unlock. The more you play each of those games, the more benefit you create in terms of the other gameplay experience. So, by playing Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, you'll be able to unlock characters you can use in the Facebook game, plus currency, experience points, items etc that you can use in the social and mobile game.
And - conversely - by playing the social and mobile game, if you're playing at work at lunch, or in a break, you're continuing the character progression. You'll unlock items and experience points bonus and currency in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
Early didn't provide any specific details about Ghost Recon: Commander during his interview, but he did stress that the social element of this particular social game is important, explaining that, as many Facebook games do, it would involve asynchronous play with friends. He added:
You'll want a lot of friends connected, and you'll want to play with your friends, because you'll actually need your friends to play the game. We've got some twists that will make it a new style of social involvement on Facebook.
Whether or not Ghost Recon: Commander becomes a can't-miss Facebook (and, down the line, iOS) release remains up in the air for now, as does its ultimate launch date. For now, it's "coming soon", but it seems likely that, at the very latest, it would be released on May 22, to coincide with Future Soldier's launch.