May 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM ET
Hardcore gamers tend to turn up their noses at Facebook games. Click, click, clicking your mouse to ... grow and harvest cauliflower? Pshaw. Where are the guns? Where are the flying bullets? Where is the blood and the blood-pumping intensity?
The publisher behind the "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon" military tactical shooting games has set out to try and remedy that. Today Ubisoft launched "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Commander." They call it "a fast-paced strategic combat experience that challenges everything you know about Facebook games."
Yeah, you won't be harvesting a field full of carrots here.
Ubisoft brought on development company Loot Drop, created by well-known developers Brenda Garno Brathwaite and John Romero, to create "Commander," which is being pitched as "a gamer's game."
That is, "Ghost Recon: Commander" is a tactical combat game (viewed from the top down) in which players develop their own "Ghost." As an elite Special Forces operator you use stealth, guns and some nifty gadgets as you try to wrest command of the battlefield. The game features 10 replayable missions with three difficulty levels, lots o' weapons for players to choose from and a chance to engage in some deadly mercenary action with your Facebook friends.
Perhaps more importantly, the Facebook gameplay ties directly into "Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier," which launches tomorrow, May 22, on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and in June on the PC.
Play "Ghost Recon: Commander" on Facebook and you can unlock exclusive weapons, weapon skins and bonuses to use in "Ghost Recon: Future Soldier." Meanwhile, playing "Future Soldier" can earn you exclusive characters in "Commander."
This kind of cross-platform gaming integration is something players are seeing more and more of. Ubisoft previously launched Facebook game "Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy," which tied into console game "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood." Meanwhile bonus content and upgrades could be unlocked in games like "Fable III" and "Crackdown 2" by playing Windows Phone games "Fable Coin Golf" and "Project Sunburst."
The thinking is, core gamers can't always play on their machine of first choice -- when they're at work for instance, or on the bus. So they might just play a game on Facebook or on their phone if it advances the console or PC game they love.
Alas, players aren't exactly giving "Commander" rave reviews here on day one. It seems bringing a more hardcore game to Facebook has its problems.
"Laggy, laggy, laggy ... unplayable!" wrote player Christos Kalogridis on the game's Facebook page.
Jason Irons complained: "Not everyone can afford a Alienware or Razor computer to play this game properly as only 23% own them so can you PLEASE make this for NORMAL Computers and Laptops and not for certain people!"
"We're working really hard on optimizing it," came the company's response.
However, it seems some players are having a better time of it.
Joshua Cheney put his exclamation key to work writing, "Most AWESOME facebook game EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good job on the game it's really FUN!!!!!!!!!"
Winda Benedettiwrites about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games andother things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And for more video game news andreviews be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page right here.