Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review

T3 4
  • Blending action and an intelligent storyline is always difficult, thankfully Ghost Recon has its feet firmly on the ground, when it needs to

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review

    Love

    • Co-op campaign mode
    • Looks fantastic
    • Engaging storyline

    Hate

    • Some of the strategy is gone

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has certainly been a long time coming, plagued by development pickiness and the constant desire to get it perfect the game has only now just reached the shelves.

    Is that really such a bad thing though? The extra time gives the developers the breathing space they need and – as we hope in the case of BioShock: Infinite – it also ends up with the game being ultimately, everything you hoped for.

    Luckily in this case, the plan has worked. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a game about adapting to your surroundings, something which Ubisoft has also done with the Ghost Recon series in a world where CoD reigns supreme.

    Don’t panic though, that doesn’t mean all intelligence has been ripped from the game in favour of big explosions. What it actually means is the game looks so much prettier that its predecessors.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Plot and Characters

    The plot is pretty simple, a Ghost team has been wiped out after trying to recover a nuclear warhead. You and your team are then tasked with both finding the warhead and avenging the death of your comrades.

    It’s emotional stuff and is in many ways the closest you’ll get to actually playing out a Tom Clancy novel.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Gameplay

    This is where opinions will begin to be divided. There will always be those hardcore Ghost Recon fans who liked feeling in total control of their team.

    While this feature is still a key aspect of the tactics needed to complete the game it is no longer the most important. Instead Ubisoft have done some spring cleaning with the CrossCom, replacing the HUD for a visually impressive Augmented Reality display which throws information onto the sides of buildings and into the sky.

    It works perfectly and immerses you instantly into the world of future warfare combining technologies that both seem feasible and downright impossible.

    The most obvious example would be the adaptive camouflage, crouch and the camouflage is engaged almost removing you entirely from sight. As we mentioned in the preview it looks fantastic and demonstrates some hugely impressive work from the developers.

    Elsewhere there’s the remote drone, back and as vital as ever in helping you gain tactical superiority. Finally of course there is Gunsmith. First shown off at E3 last year Gunsmith ha the unique feature of letting you use your hands to custom-build your own weapon.

    It’s enormous fun and is, despite the appearance, is more than simply a gimmick letting you create genuinely different weapons and allowing you to create set ups for different situations.

    While there have been some significant changes Ghost Recon remains a wonderfully difficult game to play, punishing you mercilessly for sticking your head above cover for too long and forcing you to play the tactical game.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Multiplayer

     

    With a fully fledged co-op mode those who want to team up with their mates will be able to experience the campaign at its best. The already tense storyline is taken to a new level when you know that any mistake could be your fault.

    Online and it’s another original take on the multiplayer genre by Ubisoft. There’s no sign of typically dull gaming modes. Instead Ubisoft has come up with a series of challenge based game modes that honestly feel inventive in a multiplayer world that has become at worst, repetitive.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Verdict

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is very much more than just a new lick of paint. While still retaining all the elements that make a Ghost Recon title great Future Soldier manages to make it relevant to today’s world of CoD fanatics combining a blistering thriller of a storyline with some very well done set pieces.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier availability: Available now

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier price: £49.99

  • Can Ghost Recon: Future Soldier live up to the Gunsmith Kinect demo that wowed the crowds at E3? Here are our first impressions of the game...

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review

    Love

    • Co-op campaign mode
    • Looks fantastic
    • Engaging storyline

    Hate

    • Some of the strategy is gone

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is the rebirth of the Ghost Recon franchise since its last outing in Advanced Warfighter 2. Of course to say rebirth implies that Future Soldier is in some way correcting a mistake, which it isn’t.

    The first Advanced Warfighter won a whole heap of BAFTAs and rightly so, its mix of tactical strategy along with Hollywood style set-pieces makes it a classic shooter that everyone should play at least once.

    So why, you must be asking, are we calling it a rebirth? Well for a start Future Soldier is being developed by an entirely new team at Ubisoft, keen to put their stamp on the critically acclaimed series.

    Secondly, this new team has drastically changed the way it wants to approach Ghost Recon. Neither of these is a bad thing, but while Advanced Warfighter 2 was excellent, it would be accurate to say that it was brilliant in many ways because it was a carbon copy of the first.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Features

    Of course when you’re cleaning out the closet some things are going to have to go, and lo and behold, Crosscom has had a facelift. Instead the entire HUD had been replaced with an Augmented-reality layout, as seen no doubt through the eyes of the Ghost. The integration of tactical information along with the conventional HUD is cinematically very impressive.

    Second up is the drone. In this respect die-hards will be pleased, if anything they’ve made it better. In a swift throw of the arm you can send the drone flying into the air from where it’ll show you a birds eye view of the surrounding area. Added features such as a range limiter and interference all lend to the reality of the battlefield.

    Last but not least is the way you command your men, all now simplified through a few simple presses of the button. Whereas before you would aim at a location, then choose an action and finally give the command, Future Soldier believes that everything should stem from movement, so keeping your men supporting, flanking, and attacking is all actioned with around 50 per cent less button pushing.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Gameplay

     

    The levels we played saw us thrown around the world through various stages of the game. While we are aware that it’s a revenge story, anything more than that is a vague haze.

    It’s important to note that the general reaction to the demos have been positive but have resulted in one outcome: The graphics needed work. While it’s true that some textures we saw frankly looked archaic, there are elements of the game that demonstrate clearly that these glitches must be bugs still to be worked on.

    As proof of this, crouching enables ‘optical camouflage’ allowing you to become invisible. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and at times looked better than anything available in games today.

    Next up is the way Ubisoft has approached realism, we turn a corner and come under heavy fire, the camera instantly begins to toss to and fro in a manner that can only be described as nauseating. It’s an effective reminder for those who wish to approach Ghost Recon with a ‘Rambo’ mentality, and while it was almost unusable in the demo, the developers assured us that by release the camera wobbling will be perfect.

    Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Verdict

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is late. Not only is it late but it also doesn’t look finished, and with a May release date it would appear as though Ubisoft has a lot of kinks to iron out. That said, the good far outweighs the bad here, just the fact that they’ve built this game on essentially the same engine as its predecessor is, to be frank, a miracle.

    This is not Ghost Recon ‘dumbed down’, the intelligence is still there as are the tactical elements - they’ve just been approached from a new angle, one which potentially could work very well indeed.

    So while it clearly has a few teething problems to sort out, Future Soldier is shaping up to be the thriller of the summer, and we didn’t even need to mention Gunsmith.

    Ghost Recon: Future Soldier availability: 25 May 2012

    Ghost Recon price: £TBC
     

    Check out the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier trailer...
     

    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/gh/xs_Ghost_Recon_lead_624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/gh/xs_Ghost_Recon_1_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/gh/xs_Ghost_Recon_3_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/gh/xs_Ghost_Recon_4_624.jpg

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