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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review
|ESRB rating: RP
release date: May 22, 12
|» All About Ghost Recon: Future Soldier on ActionTrip|
And here we go, folks, it's time to dive into yet another shooter. Oh relax, will ya, it's not gonna be so bad. Now, as most of you probably know, the Ghost Recon franchise has been around for a while and we haven't seen a 'proper' release for PC and consoles since Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 - that's not counting Ghost Recon: Predator (PSP) and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (a turn-based RPG released for the Nintendo 3DS).
Ghost. Just another ghost.
Going to work, nothing more.
In Ghost Recon: Future Soldier you get to control a 4-man squad call-signed Predator, led by Joe Ramirez. The team heads to Nicaragua to disrupt a weapon shipment, but as soon as they complete their objective a bomb is triggered, taking out Team Predator. After that another Ghost team, called 'Hunter', was sent to investigate. The 'Hunter' team is being led by Cpt. Cedric Ferguson and was being supervised by Major Scott Mitchell. Mitchell tasks the Hunter squad to rescue an arms dealer called Paez in Bolivia, who appears to have the intel on where the unexpected bomb that killed Predator Team is located. Ubisoft's writers may not have thrown a particularly original story our way, albeit they did make a few interesting attempts to show players a sense of comradeship between the members of the Ghost team. Let's just say it's not the typical Brother-in-Arms type of scenario. The team members occasionally talk while on missions and the players can easily see how these guys survive under difficult circumstances. Sure, it's all a bit of a clich', but at least it's less of a clich' than the average shooter.
My first beef with Future Soldier is that it lacks that unique spark that supposed to reel you in straight away. Let me be absolutely clear on this. It's not an ugly-looking game and it certainly isn't short on production value. It also possesses a familiar flare and gameplay concept that should be recognized instantly by Ghost Recon fans. So, if you're accustomed to the tactical team-based action, you should feel right at home with Future Soldier. Sadly, at the same time, it feels like a standard shooter and far from anything new and original. It takes a while before its true qualities surface. One of its chief qualities is the gameplay, which emphasizes tactics a bit more than action.
One of the cool things, which Ubisoft spent some time on obviously, is the content. The game provides a rather lengthy single-player campaign (playable in co-op). Well, lengthy by today's standards. You'll be able to equip the team, supply them and tweak each and every weapon. Once you're on a mission, there's a lot to enjoy in this game. Although a lot of action takes place (complete with epic explosions and intense shootouts), the game still makes you use your brain during each battle situation. In that respect, tactics play an important part in the whole experience. Using stealth strategy and cloaking abilities on the battlefield is just one of the things you get to do. Tagging enemies is essential too, because you can pick out specific targets for each team member and then effectively execute multiple kills. Another interesting thing is being able to coordinate the attacks of your team in real time. You can also deploy drones for reconnaissance and that's frequently a very good way of getting to know the battlefield and planning out your next move. The technology, gadgets and such are futuristic, but still quite plausible, so it all feels like the real thing in a way. The only thing that spoiled the realism so to speak is the occasionally weird AI behavior. No don't get me wrong here. The AI is commendably helpful during combat, albeit it usually seems too helpful - they are often too accurate, which makes the game less believable. This occasionally kills the immersion because missions can be completed with almost no effort. On the other hand, the game is challenging enough for the average gamer, I suppose. During my time with the game though, I managed to go through the mission objectives with relative ease. This may not bother too many people, I'm pretty sure.
What a peaceful little village.
I've heard of 'peeking around a corner' but don't you think you're overdoing it?
Thanks to all these elements -- coordinating the efforts soldiers in battle and such -- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier delivers the kind of experience you'd expect and that's a good thing. It can be extremely fun, particularly if you're playing multiplayer co-op. You can easily plan out and execute an attack with other players just as easily as you do in single-player. There's a basic class system involved too, giving players an opportunity to select the kind of solider they want to be in battle - heavier and more traditional fighter, or a more stealthy and lighter soldier with cloaking abilities and so on. There are several modes on offer, such as 'Decoy' which feels less familiar than other modes. It has one team playing as the attackers, while the other team assumes the role of the defenders. The attackers have to complete a set of goals in 10 minutes, after which an additional objective is given. Another mode is available as well. It's called 'Conflict' - an objective-based Deathmatch type of mode where the teams complete random goals and have to capture specific areas. All in all, the multiplayer has enough to occupy you for a while.
Fundamentally, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a shooter with standard cover-based mechanics. This shouldn't discourage you from giving it a try, because unlike the majority of shooters today, Future Soldier makes you scratch your head a bit before sending the Ghost Team into action. It's a cool game that blends solid action with a well-designed system for tactics and stealth-based combat. All the weapons, gadgets and items you get to use in combat are there in abundance and will keep you engaged for plenty of hours. Both the single-player and multiplayer segments offer a fair amount of content and missions for players to take part in, so it's safe to say you'll spend a lot of time with this game.
8.3 Very Good
An overall engaging shooter experience involving cool stealth-based combat and a lot of single-player and multiplayer fun;
Basically nothing innovative, some missions are too easy thanks to unbalanced AI, story's unmemorable as are the characters.
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