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access_time March 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM in PC/Mac by Ramon Aranda

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Preview

Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier was to have been released earlier this year.  However, the developer decided to postpone it in order to spend more time polishing up the game.

Earlier this month we met with the publisher to get some hands-on time with the latest build of the game, which was centered on its co-op offerings.  And while we’ve seen many shooters in recent times adopt co-op as a feature, not many of them have used it quite right – something Future Soldier hopes to address.

During our demo, we were allowed to play two of the game’s campaign missions – Mission 10, which set in a village that required that our team take out hostile artillery and Mission 6, which took place inside a hangar at an airport.  The entire campaign can be played with up to 4 players.

Jumping straight into Mission 10, which already required we understood the mechanics and controls pretty well, our team of 4 slowly snuck its way into a village.  Here’s where things begin to pick up.  Rather than simply unloading our ammo into the enemy’s faces, we had to sit back and strategize first.  To make a point of this, we first tried to go head on and take out the enemy; only to find out that they had plenty of reinforcements and were also smart enough to take cover and attack us as a team.  We died quite quickly.  In subsequent attempts, we first had to setup a gameplan.  In one area, we noticed a set of armed men across a river and also on top of a roof.  Using our mics, we assigned each player to a specific enemy.  Once you have an enemy in your sights, the HUD shows you who is aiming at whom, making it easy to be on the same page.  From there, we counted down, and fired at the same time, killing everyone and ensuring that no one else was alerted.

After our initial success, we ventured forward, again trying to plan out our attacks.  A duo would head in one direction while another would go the opposite way.  It’s important to have a line of sight and shoot at the same time, as leaving anyone alive, will cause them to call for backup.  There were a few times where someone either forgot to shoot, or went the wrong way, got spotted, and forced our team to go into an all-out firefight.  The game doesn’t punish you per se for not being stealthy, but it sure makes things more difficult; and that’s where half the fun is.  You truly do need to not only work as a team, but communicate clearly.

The level design allowed for various types of entry points and plans, which makes each attempt different from the last.  When everyone takes their shot, you also have a small window of opportunity where time slows down just enough to get off another shot towards an enemy – especially helpful if there were more than four enemies nearby.  Mission 6, was a bit easier but helped us figure out how to best shoot in unison and how to make use of the slowed time.

Ubisoft also showed us the Guerilla game mode, which is in essence a battle to survive waves of enemy soldiers.  When starting off, you don’t simply start shooting at an oncoming wave, but rather you’re expected to take control of an outpost.  Once you do so, you’ll then need to fight off 10 waves before moving on to the next area.  There are four stages total with 50 waves each, so expect to take up to an hour playing each one.  Again, teamwork will be key, as players will have to be aware of each other in order to bring them back to life, should one of them fall.  The action gets pretty hot and heavy right off the bat and it’s no easy task.  Seriously, in can get pretty damn hard!  As you progress through waves, teams will begin to earn perks and weapons that can be used to mow down the enemy.

So while we’re seeing plenty of military shooters these days, Ghost Recon Future Soldier appears to be differentiating itself from the competition and is looking pretty solid.

While players will need to wait until May to get their hands on Ghost Recon Future Soldier for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, Ubisoft plans on releasing a beta this April.


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