Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review
If you thought this would be just another third-person-shooter you'll be so wrong. The new Ghost Recon outing feels like one big rollercoaster ride that's paced from super slow to OMG-fast. Both the XBOX360 and PC versions have been put to the test and while some rough edges need to be polished, it still is one of the better games of this year.
When Ghost Recon: Future Soldier debuted to the press and public, everyone got slightly worried that the game was taking a more "Call of Duty-ish" perspective with the incessant amount of action going on. Thankfully, the game's release tore up that fear because Future Soldier is an unforgiving game should you decide to play it like Call of Duty or Battlefield - all guts and no tactics is the quickest way to fall.
All it takes is one or two good shots from an enemy and you'll be down like a sitting duck. This forces you to think strategically, to plan ahead and keep your head down all the time. Often the best way to play this game is to never raise the alarm and take down enemies one by one.
To take matters further, you'll need to consider patrolling guards who might stumble over a dead body, or even a flying helicopter from seeing a fallen enemy on the ground. Each move has to be precise and heavily calculated with stealthiness in mind. In some cases it's better to not even open fire at all.
When there's a need to drop someone or a few others at a time, you can always rely on your team mates to do a sync shot for quick clearing of an area. This works out a lot like Sam Fisher's room clearing shots but has been re-labelled as a sync shot. Whatever tactic or decision you go with, the amount of flexibility available in this game makes it stand out from the other linear shooters available today.
Of course, a Future Soldier is not without his gadgets of war. Crouch low and your camouflage turns you almost invisible to enemies. For spying and field reconnaisance there's the trusty drone bot that you can fly around the area to spot enemies and plan your next set of moves. Finally, you've got a wide array of weapons to choose from.
In a sense you're able to customise the type of equipment you wish to bring into a mission and to unlock more choices, there are achievements during the game that when you accomplish them, new items will unlock for you to use. They can be as useful as a heartbeat sensor, or as aesthetic as special camouflage paint for your weapons.
To break the linear stealth action, Ubisoft has cleverly mixed in some intense moments where the Ghost team has to struggle through while under heavy enemy fire. Explosive carnage and crazy firefights are a welcome sign any time just to keep the game interesting and this pacing has been done extremely well here. There hasn't been a dull moment so far.
Graphics in the game is superb. Even on the XBOX 360, the game looks amazing but the PC version takes the hot seat for looking the best. This is of course only if you have a really good system to boot. Then again, even on medium settings the game still looks good.
In terms of multiplayer, the one disappointing issue was how the PC version started to feel like a lazy port from the console. The menus for multiplayer on the PC were extremely clunky, despite having the exact same look as the console version. Disconnects happened pretty often and it's annoying to switch in and out of games when one person in the group needs to go change his graphic settings or something else.
Otherwise, Future Soldier has some interesting gameplay modes, notably the survival type challenge known as Guerrila. This mode sets you up in a specific scenario where you either have to defend against enemies, or capture a specific objective. The same strategic tactics are still relevant as you keep your objectives within your sights.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier presents itself as a very strong shooter title with heavy emphasis on strategy and tactics. This is the staple of the Tom Clancy franchise and the added action sequence only enhances the experience to show you that not everything will always go according to plan and that as a a part of the Ghost team, you're supposed to be up for the challenge.
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