The Best of the Best
Playing through Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad made me realize just how many games the titular author had under his name. A real-time strategy game by Ubisoft, the main draw of Elite Squad is that it brings together several games published under the Tom Clancy trademark. Characters from Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, The Division, and even H.A.W.X. make it into this game.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad requires you to think on the fly to ensure your team’s survival. As the squad’s commander, you’re tasked with hunting down and destroying the terrorist group known as UMBRA. Under your leadership, the elite squad you build will be all that stands between peace and the total destruction UMBRA wishes to create.
Taking Down UMBRA
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is a game of attrition. You pick your squad of five soldiers and send them out on a mission. Once deployed, they’ll automatically use their abilities and weapons against the oncoming enemies. Each of the seventy-seven characters have a unique skill with a recharge time. For example, David Crenshaw calls down a jet for a strafing run, Montagne will draw enemy fire and Megan can deploy a turret.
Enemies have their own abilities too, which can make some more dangerous than others. They attack in waves and the goal is to take them down as quickly as possible. This is where you come in. While most enemies will be dispatched by your squad automatically, you do have some abilities that allow you to interact with the battlefield. Whether it’s aerial bombardment or ordering your team to focus on an enemy, your decisions will greatly influence the outcome of the battle.
Apart from the main campaign, there are also events where you take on more challenging enemies to recruit higher-ranked squad-mates. There’s also the arena, which unlocks at level fifteen. There you can battle against other players’ squads. Additional features include daily missions, guilds, and loot boxes as well as more content on the way.
The Price of Freedom
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is not without its faults, however. While the core gameplay is solid and enjoyable, I found it to be too simplistic. I would have liked deciding when my squad used their abilities. It would have also been nice to choose where they take cover, not that cover really does anything in the game. It’s more of an aesthetic element than something that provides any actual benefits. Elite Squad could have also benefited from some extra game modes.
My biggest gripe is the lack of interaction between the characters. There are a few cutscenes that play out like a comic. But this is a crossover of the entire Tom Clancy series of games, you would think some interaction amongst these iconic characters would be in order. But no, apparently Sam Fisher doesn’t have anything to say to the entire Rainbow 6 squad.
While I enjoyed my time with Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad, there’s a lot that could be improved upon. The game concept is great but the execution is flawed. Gameplay is addicting but not really engaging. There are plenty of characters but little interactivity. Ubisoft created a great time-waster but Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad could have been much more. Here’s hoping the extra features coming can fix that, but for now, fans may find the game lacking.
Is it Hardcore?
Sir, yes sir.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad can provide a fun way to waste your time, just don’t expect anything else from it though.