Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (May 22, 2012) attempts to spice things up a bit. While the game sticks firmly to its roots - heavy, tactical squad based gameplay - the setting changed to the not so distant future where invisibility cloaks exist and Russia again wants to attack America. Many might see this as an attempt to stay relevant in a world where Call of Duty, Battlefield and Gears of War all compete for gamers’ attention.
It's been five years since Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 and Ghost Recon's Future Soldiers have some catching up to do.
Around The World
The campaign focuses on the Ghosts’ attempts to thwart the Russians from blowing up the world, I think. It gets incredibly convoluted as you progress. You never really understand who it is you're looking for and why. A bomb explodes in Nicaragua killing several U.S. Soldiers. Your team is then sent on a globetrotting mission to find who's responsible. From this point I was completely lost. After a few missions you end up in Russia and ride it out there until the games’ conclusion. In an age where multiplayer reigns supreme, the campaign is a little meaty - it took me about 8-10 hours to complete on veteran - which is a bit more considerate than most shooters these days. I found the game to be at its best when you're commanding your squad to take out enemies from a distance using the Sync Shot mechanic without alerting other targets. Sync Shot allows you to mark 3-4 targets at once depending on the number of Ghosts in your squad and command them to take out multiple enemy AI at once.
All As One
As with previous Ghost Recon titles you are fitted with many high tech gadgets such as drones and a remote controlled robot that is stacked with missiles. The invisibility cloak often times makes no sense. Some missions feature you and your teammates with bare arms exposed which is quite hilarious and ludicrous to see. Regardless of that, the ability to be invisible does work- sometimes. Stealth missions for instance, but you can only stay hidden as long as you are crouched. If you get too close to enemies, you'll be exposed resulting in either a quick death or instant fail mission screen. Since the Ghosts in Future Soldier are fragile, firefights should be avoided. However, these do tend to happen when you either screw up a Sync Shot or the game simply decides to stop being tactical and delve right into being a straight shooter. Another annoyance is the overabundance of scripted scenes that just feel out of place for the series.
We Have A Problem
Ubisoft Red Storm does occasionally decide to divert from sandbox levels. However, a majority of these sequences falter due to over-reliance of cliches such as VIP escort missions, quicktime room breaches, stealth follow missions and machine gun turret sequences. You most likely played each of these missions in better games. Here they make Future Solider question both its identity and what kind of game it wants to be. The game also looks rather dated with ugly textures and horrible facial animations. The game features an invasive HUD that presents too much information on the screen at once. Another frustrating aspect of the game-when I selected the “Return To Checkpoint” option the game often froze. This happened over a dozen times. It occurred when I died or one of my teammates got stuck in a wall and I couldn't progress any further in the mission.
Here We Go Again
Multiplayer seems to struggle as much as the campaign in finding itself. The game lacks Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes. Instead we are offered Guerilla Mode-essentially a horde mode where you and your friends face off against waves of enemies. Conflict is a timed competition that rotates the locations of objectives across the map. Decoy pits two teams fighting over three objectives, one of which is a...decoy. Saboteur features two teams trying to blow up the other team’s base. Gunsmith allows players to customize weapons using parts that can only be unlocked through multiplayer progression. Four player co-op can be fun with friends instead of randoms. You can progress through the campaign and share the misery with someone you love!
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is mostly a disappointment. It consists of a lackluster campaign and a multiplayer experience that requires a lot of time and effort. The ridiculous HUD, game freezes and texture and animation issues don’t help matters. It’s unlikely that you’ll drop the shooter you’re currently playing for this. If you have a weekend to spare I recommend renting it and checking it out.
About the Author
Shawn "Dogmatic" Vales is a lover of both Music and Games. He currently resides in Maryland, plotting for world domination and rooting for the Redskins. His favorite type of games tend to be Adventure, First Person Shooters, Music Simulation, RPG's and Survival Horror. When not playing games, he's building up his music collection and Tweeting relentlessly.