Ubisoft has announced the development of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, a new multiplayer, third-person, cover-based tactical shooter that will be offered free-to-play on PC.
Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, the publisher says the shooter "offers all the best qualities of the Ghost Recon franchise in a downloadable, dynamic, PC-based online game".
Described as "the most social, connected and customisable Ghost Recon experience yet", the game's set to enter closed beta this summer.
Ghost Recon Online offers players the ability to choose between three different classes of Ghost, customise their weapons, deploy cutting-edge military technology and share intel with their team, says Ubisoft.
The publisher also promises a "rich lobby platform" for hosting "social and persistent progression features", and it says it will back the game with a full set of services, including regular events and game content updates, customized content based on community feedback, and live support.
"The online features complement Ghost Recon Online's rich graphical environments and maps, which rival the quality of those traditionally seen only in retail games," the official announcement reads. "And while the game is free for anyone to play, players also can purchase premium items and fully personalize their experience."
Key features include (in Ubisoft's words):
Become the Ultimate Ghost
With a persistent character system, you will be able develop and evolve your Ghost as you level up in Ghost Recon Online. Unlock new equipment and skills as you rise through to ranks.
Classes and Abilities
Pick from 3 Classes of Ghosts - Assault, Specialist or Recon to suit your play-style and battlefield strategies. Deploy Class-specific Abilities to gain the upper hand against your enemies.
Alone You Fight, Together You Dominate
Dominate your enemies as you complement the strengths of your squad mates with the unique skills and equipment of your Ghost. Intuitive squad systems make playing as a team easy and effective.
Deep and engaging multiplayer modes
Engage in fierce and visceral 16 player online firefights with your friends and enemies. Test your skills in various games modes and maps. Track your performance via the game's persistent ladder rankings and player statistics.
AAA Quality, For Free
Ghost Recon Online delivers a premium quality PC shooter experience and you can download and enjoy the core game content for free. You decide if you want to further enhance the game experience by purchasing game items with either in-game points or real currency.
"Ghost Recon Online takes the best attributes of the Ghost Recon game franchise and brings them online, making the experience of being a Ghost accessible to millions of new players and fans," said Hugues Ricour, senior producer at Ubisoft. "This game was designed from the start to be a free-to-play experience. Our development teams are dedicated to making Ghost Recon Online a truly unique, top-quality online title.
"For Ubisoft, delivering games as a service means offering fans the opportunity to stay connected to their favourite gaming worlds, to participate in fan-based communities and play with millions of peers from around the world."
"The online market is an exciting new frontier for video games and for gamers," added Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft.
"With Ghost Recon Online, and other major upcoming projects, Ubisoft is creating online experiences that allow our fans to stay connected to their favourite brands and to continually receive new content and gameplay. This direct link with our fans will allow us to create new and ever better experiences for them."
Players can sign up for the closed beta and find more information on the game at www.GhostReconOnline.com.