Creating an army of collectible units and sending them down set lanes to attack enemy bases is all the rage right now. Even the Tom Clancy brand is getting in on the act, though ShadowBreak livens things up by giving the player control of a high-powered sniper rifle.
Everybody wants to make a Clash Royale clone these days, even Ubisoft. Soft-launched in Canada and coming soon to iOS and Android devices everywhere, Tom Clancy's ShadowBreak fits that bill to an extent, but with a cool twist that's totally Tom Clancy.
Players form a squadron of soldiers from a selection of different disciplines -- snipers, foot soldiers, rocket launcher guys (official term, probably) -- and deploy them on a map split into two different lanes. The deployed units automatically advance down their lane, with an aim to take out the enemy's bases before the enemy takes out theirs. It's pretty basic lane strategy stuff. Some units position themselves on the side of the map, attacking from fixed positions instead of advancing, but the basic idea is the same.
Gotta catch them all.
The big difference is what the player is doing while all of this automatic action is going on. Instead of simply sitting back and tapping buttons, ShadowBreak players take on a much more active role -- covering the battlefield from a sniper nest.
If Blizzard hadn't already used it, Tom Clancy's OverWatch would have been the perfect name for this game. Using a variety of deadly scoped weapons, the player can zoom in on the battlefield action and help clear a path. They can take out enemy units barring their forces' progress or take out support units trying to pick their team off from fixed positions.
The only problem? This is a player-versus-player joint, so the person on the other side of the battle map has a sniper rifle as well. In order to survive, players must hop back and forth between sniping positions in the hopes of staying one step ahead of the competition.
Matches are a cat-and-mouse game between the two player-controlled snipers. Has the enemy got me in their scope, or am I safe to take out a few minions before hopping to the next sniping spot? In my case, the answer is always, "Fuck, they got me." Maybe you'll do better.
ShadowBreak is the first game bearing the Tom Clancy name to be developed specifically for mobile devices. Not a bad start.
Tom Clancy's ShadowBreak is currently available via Canadian iTunes. Since it's free-to-play, all you need is a Canadian iTunes account to get in on the action.