A short film “Ghost Recon: Alpha” is the background to the game “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”, released in 2012 (Alaux et al.). The French company, engaged in the video games production, Ubisoft performed the adaptation of the given film. After a bad start of the game Prince of Persia on the big screen, Ubisoft came to a more serious approach to this issue. Ubisoft decided to perform shootings of the acclaimed video game series “Assassin's Sreed” through its own efforts and at its own expense, thereby fully preserving copyright movies. Such a move is quite expected, as this will not only allow to fully preserve the atmosphere of the game, save a unique image of the main character, but also to earn more money, since the film is created at their own expense (Graser).
Thus, Ubisoft has created perhaps one of the most expensive and impressive advertisements in the history of computer games. The film “Ghost Recon: Alpha” brilliantly displays the gameplay, especially innovations made by the developers, in a manner characteristic of Hollywood blockbusters. As a result, we have a successful PR move.
At a first glance, the film looks like a trailer for the next “James Bond”. And we will be right, because Ubisoft filmed a really classic military shooter, with its inherent dynamism. However, if you pay attention to some details, the whole perfection cracks. This will be discussed later, but for now let us return to the film itself, and start from the beginning, that is the plot. In “Ghost Recon: Alpha”, there is described quite a common story that actually has neither beginning nor end, just the event itself is described. The plot is simple: selling nuclear weapons among bad guys. And some of these bad guys are Russians, but rather the evil Russian general. The general is apparently angry about his country and tries to sell out certain legacy of the Soviet Union, namely the six nuclear warheads. Bad guys from the West come in a deal with him, being obsessed with the aim of taking over the world, well, or at least any country. Of course, such a deal threatens the US national security, and the entire population of the planet as a whole, so to save the world from nuclear disaster there is sent the "Phantom of the riot". They seem to be doing well, until there is an unexpected problem – incredible robot, wrecking everything in its path. In the end, the guys from the ghost squad lose their fighter, and rather than try to bring his body and bury him with honors at home, they just blow up the warm corpse with a hand grenade. Well, okay, it is understandable. It is a Secret Mission. The team members may even not exist according to the documents. Yes, it is difficult, perhaps, to take the body as themselves barely get saved. Yet the ghost squad soldiers managed to stop fleeing criminals. However, to stop is an understatement, because the bad guys just die. Suddenly, there is a helicopter, which with a magnet attached to a rope, clings the container with warheads and hides behind the Ural Mountains, which makes suggest that in the game “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”, we have to go in search of the lost cargo and punish all who are behind this crime for their bad deeds.
The film was created as a promotional video, lasting for more than twenty minutes. Ubisoft wanted to attract more audience for its new game “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”. For this, in the film there were shown new weapons, which will be embodied in the game. There is also a super new incredible clock with a holographic map, which displays a target as well as new types of small arms and various "ghost" tools. We would like to emphasize the ghostly camouflage, quadrocopter, sensor grenades, as well as the most incredible robot called "Bulldog". And now let us look at each of them in more detail. As we know from the film, the ghostly camouflage allows the player to hide from enemies, but at close range you can be caught. Thus, the creators suggest that the objectives are better to be eliminated at the distance. For this, you are equipped with the sniper rifle. Quadrocopters will help the player keep track of targets from the air. However, in the film it is shown that it can not only keep track of enemies, but also hit them with high-velocity weapons, mounted in the body of quadrocopters. With the touch of grenades, you will have the opportunity to highlight the enemies that are hiding behind cover. The latter, in turn, became open for the enemy’s attacks. On the one hand, now it is easier to hit the enemy, but on the other hand your cover now became vulnerable as well. The game became more dynamic what Ubisoft tries to emphasize in its short film. And lastly, there is an unusual self-moving setting "Bulldog". “Bulldog is a robot”, while having the form of a dog. The robot is equipped with a "vision" that allows you to manage it from a distance. Bulldog has a powerful armor and Gatling machine gun on the back, can produce a guided missile to destroy larger targets. At the end of the film, the viewer can see this robot in action, when it suddenly appears and starts destroying everything in its path in search of blood, as if it was really infuriated dog, deprived of the bone (PC Gamer).
Special effects are an indispensable part in military movies, and also the factor to attract audiences. Throughout the film special effects are incredible. When the robot dog, invisible cloak and huge transformer were appearing, I felt amazing. At a scenario, the warrior wore an invisible cloak and walked through a muddy ground, just as he crouched he looked completely fitted to the surrounding environment. He looks like a chameleon hiding in nature. I was trying to figure out how it was done, and realism made me feel very weird. There is another latest technology that is miniature reconnaissance aircraft is built with automatic navigation, patrolling, locking and silencing functions. Special effects are detailed; it’s better to seize the audience's attention.
The viewer, who is not familiar with the series of games, may not notice the fact that the game “Ghost Recon” is a team game, and it is shown in the movie. However, as it is written in the description of the game, the creators from the Ubisoft withdrew from the previous concepts and removed the ability to switch between team members during the fight. From the command function remains the ability to specify the target to strike at different enemies at the same time with other members of the squad. So, if you are injured, you can ask for help from your teammates, and they will "cure" you. All of the above is shown in the film and is present in the game. So to speak, it is a realistic gameplay trailer (MKAU Gaming Australia).
In a series of games, based on the “Ghost Recon”, the storylines are written by none other than Tom Clancy. Behind Tom, there are a lot of games, created by Ubisoft, but perhaps the most successful of these are the "Splinter Cell" and "Ghost Recon". The stories are based on Tom Clancy's alternative history, usually associated with the "cold war" or its remnants. In his stories, Tom expertly suited to the description of the technical component, detailing military operations, technical devices, used in them, battle tactics, and much else that is inherent in the so-called techno-thriller (Hembree).
However, let us return to the analysis of the details, which we were talking about in the beginning. The first thing that catches the eye is the implausible Russian gangsters. We think that this cliché has been out of date for a long time, but for some reason, the creators of military shooters like “Call of Duty”, “Battlefield” and of course, “Ghost Recon”, continue to supply their games with such characters. And the stupidity of the enemies sometimes rolls over. We do not know how it is in the game, but in the film it is clear that they sometimes do not even try to hide behind some cover, while "ghost" detachment successfully fires back from the corner or any box. Well, it can be forgiven, but why the so-called leaders are always dressed differently and stand exactly in the middle between their subordinates? And when one of the members of the ghostly troop said that he seems to have determined who the boss is, it makes smile! It is obvious, when all are wearing masks and camouflage uniforms, and one person is in coat and smoking a cigarette, as if he was not at a secret arms deal, but on the balcony at home. And what is all for the same idea to gather in an open area, where you can be killed out of 250 positions, and your guys do not even have time to understand from where the shoots came. Now, let us get to the "Ghost." Who ever thought of placing an American flag on the uniform of a secret elusive ghost squad? Well, it is not serious. And what about this computer, with which you can launch nuclear weapon? What kind of system is this, where the weapons of mass destruction are triggered by pressing the “YES”. To expose the danger to the world, one needs just to choose between two options: "YES" and "NO" in the menu that appears. They would have added the word "CANCEL" to make it like in the Windows OS. And, judging by how long a black guy is fiddling with the computer, turning off the bomb is more difficult than to solve the equation of quantum mechanics, when you are 13 years old. However, these shortcomings are smoothed out through the incredible shooting, excellent graphics and good staging. And for the majority of the audience, they will be invisible, because for the gameplay is the only important thing. According to the statistics, most of the players passed the plot of the game, skip the screen to quickly put a half a kilogram of lead into the mad Russian general that it is unclear how, under the nose of the Russian authorities, in Chelyabinsk area, but sells six, not one, not three, but six nuclear warheads. In general, the plot is built in the style of Tom Clancy, the alternative history.
Nevertheless, the short movie looks expensive. By shooting the film, there was involved the operator Trent Opaloch, who shot such films as: “District 9”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Chappie”. This fact alone suggests that the guys from Ubisoft approached the case with Hollywood pedantry. We are not saying that one of the producers was none other than the winner of "Oscar" Ridley Scott.
It has been said that the short film “Ghost Recon: Alpha” is a full-scale advertising of the new games in the series “Ghost Recon”, designed to show that the creators made a big step in the development of their games and can afford to present a new product, having spent a number of resources and tools. It will definitely bring its fruits, attracting more players to complete the game, to feel in the role of a member of a non-existent for ordinary people squad, to battle a variety of enemies and save the world from danger. Everyone watching this film will want to get up from the listening position, and plunge into the gameplay. However, this film cannot be considered as an independent work, and it would be foolish to pick on him because of the details described above. In any case, even if “the Ghost Recon” turns from the team game, soaked with tactics, into another "pop" shooter along with the “Call of Duty” or “Battlefield”, it will remain in the memory of the players as a powerful representative of the genre, where the player can plunge into the simulator of the undercover unit fighter.
The acting, as it was expected, is not full of stars of the first echelon. However, among the actors there are some experienced mummers. For example, an American of Ukrainian origin, Mark Ivanir, played as the ghost squad leader, took part in the filming of two parts of the movie “Undisputed”, as well as “The Terminal” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, in the role of the Russian mafia. Overall the acting is what it should be in the action movies, not more no less. We should also note a perfect pronunciation of the actors who played Russians. We never faced Western movies with such thoroughness of the Russian language, although we could be wrong.
As has been mentioned, the company Ubisoft has invested a lot in the production of this film, so stating that the sound in the film is made at the highest level does not say anything. In fact, the sound does not make the ears tingle, and, most importantly, does not lag behind the picture. The film is filled with a huge number of shots, so that the sound producers had a lot of work, but they coped with it perfectly. As good as the special effects are the film soundtracks. On the basis of visual, the soundtrack can drive the atmosphere of the film better. A combination of both, the film will become more fully to attract audiences. In this film, when the scene is in an extremely tense, no any background music and quiet only can hear rapid footsteps and voices. During the scene of launching an attack, the soundtrack is become increasing rapid up. The feeling of gradualness irritated sensitive nerves of the audiences. So to speak, it is a realistic gameplay trailer.
Cloudy military color dominates throughout the movie. Actions occur in cold Russia, and hence there should be an appropriate atmosphere. We would even say that the color of the film is a little beyond the brink reality. We think that such a move was made to approach the film as much as possible to its game prototype, create a feeling that the characters are on the verge of real and virtual worlds.
As a result, we see the result of a quality work with the involvement of Hollywood professionals in the field of computer graphics and dynamic shooting. Even the Russian language in the film sounds true. Therefore, we can say that this has been a successful PR move. However, fans of the series should not expect that Ubisoft will continue to please the fans, taking more videos on the theme of the secret Special Forces, as the today’s creators are concerned about the promotion to the big screen of perhaps the most successful offspring “Assassin's Creed”. So a short film “Ghost Recon: Alpha” is perhaps the last word on the subject of the legendary, dare I say it, for all fans of the series “Ghost Recon”.
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