Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Battlefield 3 and Gears of War were to hook up and pop out a game-baby? What would it look like? How would it play? Well Ghost Recon Future Solider is that long lost lovechild and although it isn’t perfect, it rocks.
Tom Clancy has a long history with tactical games, some a success, others not so much. Years have gone by since GRAW 2, videos were shown at two different E3’s teasing a futuristic Clancy game, many were excited, some were worried, fans screamed in the streets, and finally Ghost Recon Future Soldier arrived in stores. At first I was afraid to even get the newest Clancy game. So many shooters on the market, nothing ever really stood out, and GRAW 2 wasn’t really my thing. Then I heard whispers of how Future Soldier stands out in this cluttered shooter market, rumors of its pure awesomeness, my inner nerd freaked, and I went to the midnight release. That morning I ran home, booted up, and began my adventure into the latest from Mr. Clancy.
Future Soldier captured my attention right from the start. Never have I played a game that required so much teamwork in order to win, not only in the Campaign, but online as well. Tears of pure joy streamed down my face in shapes of AK-47’s as I tactically coordinated with friends to complete objectives while wiping out campers and teams that didn’t work well together. Fire raged inside as I died multiple times for making stupid mistakes. That is the nature of online play in the new Clancy game. Work together or die. If you are worried about your kill to death ratio go play COD, Future Soldier is brutal in every way. Three shots to the chest.. dead, one in the head.. dead, running solo.. Get tazed, hacked, reveal entire team location, then shot in the head. Ghost Recon is the tactical man’s dream. Every multiplayer mode is objective based, team deathmatch does not exist. Each game consists of 6 v. 6 and those 6 are split into two teams of three. Why three? Because there are three different classes. Recon, Engineer, and Scout. If you’ve seen the trailer and were worried about anyone playing scout spamming the camo, don’t, it breaks when you move, shoot, poop, pee, sneeze, if you so much as breath it disables. Every class is well balanced and you need to have at least have one engineer in any match. Engineers have UAV Drones and other equipment that can be the difference between a win or a loss. Ghost Recon ships with a handful maps, all about mid- small size. Again. Perfect for the team based gameplay that is the heart of Future Solider.
The campaign has its moments, however, as with most shooters, the story isn’t going to blow your mind. It’s a revenge tale: stop the bad guys no matter what, and kill everything in the way. Although it’s an overused formula, don’t be afraid to check it out. Especially in 4 player co-op. As you probably figured, the game really shines when playing with friends. From coordinating sync shots, to sneaking around the enemy base and tactically eliminating everyone in complete stealth, Ghost Recon keeps the pacing up and remains a fun experience. If you don’t have any friends, well first of all I’m sorry, secondly thats fine the games AI will beat the game for you. Seriously they’re that good, and it does take some of the fun out of the game, so I suggest you stop playing so many games and venture out into the world and find some friends! Then tell them to buy this game and get online and play the campaign with you.
One of the most defining features Future Soldier offers is Gunsmith mode. Simply put. It is amazing. This, on top of the great early press, is what sold Ghost Recon for me. It offers a chance to go into every aspect of every gun and change… wait for it.. EVERYthing. If that sounds like an overuse of every, good because it is every bit as good as everyone is saying. Being able to access this mode anywhere, anytime, adds to just how great the system is. Bored at work, Gunsmith, riding a train, gunsmith, is your roommate taking an overly long bathroom break… he is probably gunsmithing. If you don’t believe me you can try it out yourself before even getting the game, just go online to Ghost Recon Network.
Ghost Recon is full of options, opportunities to work together, and tactical goodness. It achieves the same quality in the control department as well. Yes it copies Gears of War and guess what.. who wouldn’t. GOW has the best third person shooting controls to date, and Ghost Recon does a great job implementing these controls with the ability to click into FPS mode on the fly. Roadie run, sliding, and being an all around badass behind cover is here in full force.
It isn’t pure perfection, offering up some solid landscapes and gun detail, but falling short on facial animations and an overall level of next gen graphics. Needless to say Ghost Recon won’t be bringing in any visual awards, it does enough to get by. Its menu system is very bland and flat, and if you have Kinect, the function works well but is a severe pain in the ass, as Gunsmith mode will default to using the kinect and won’t allow you to change it until you back out. There are some server issues and currently a good amount of online players still not understanding that this game is not COD, and while running around aimlessly might be what you’re used to, it doesn’t help your team and makes you look like a jackass.
Overall Ghost Recon Future Soldier is a well defined and different experience in the shooter department. If you have been itching to go full on tactical with your friends the wait is over. Future Soldier might not be a game changer, but it is a welcome addition to what has been a, lets all be honest, solo shooter market. Find some friends, grab your mic’s, gear up, and go get’em Ghost!
Ghost Recon Future Soldier comes in at a score 8.3/10.