In a time when the Call of Duties and Battlefields of the world are dominating the military first-person shooter scene, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier offers a refreshing take on the genre, pushing gamers to be strategic while keeping the action well-paced and interesting.
Ubisoft’s latest FPS is not the kind of game that caters to the player who wants quick thrills and enjoys running and gunning. No, this is a game that forces you to think deeply and consider your every move unless you want to end up on the receiving end of a bulletstorm, and that my friends, is a good thing.
As players progress through the game’s campaign, it’ll be up to you to use the cover system to your advantage, putting yourself in position to either take down an enemy or plan out your next move. In fact, there are times when you don’t even want to shoot anyone at all, but simply move ahead to your next objective. Yes, there are times when less is more. Fortunately that cover system works extremely well, whether you’re trying to avoid fire or detection, allowing you to intelligently move from one spot to another, either by sprinting to that location, leaping over objects or using your cloaking abilities (by crouching) to safely advance.
During many of the missions, you’ll need to work closely with your teammates to take down the opposition. To get some intel of positioning, you can throw sensor grenades to find out where your opponents are located, or even use a drone that flies overhead with full control. The game’s tagging something comes in to play in these situations, where you’ll tag each enemy and then synchronize your teammates to shoot at the same time, thus avoiding detection or alarms. There’s something very satisfying about pulling these moves off, and you can even remotely trigger these sequences if say, you’re only aiming at three individuals and want to let your three teammates do the work. Speaking of teammates, I give Ubisoft kudos to their A.I. team for making your team pretty smart. They’ll be intelligent enough to use the cover system to their advantage, even going so far as to avoid shooting a target if it means giving up their cover. If you manage to find yourself getting downed, your team members will usually be quick to come over and bring you back to life.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a few times within the game that I engaged in an all out fire-fight, giving me that sense of tense action but even still, strategy was always key. More cool is the ability to play the entire campaign with 4 players, adding an extra element of teamwork to the equation. Communication is huge, really needing to talk to your squad about positioning and knowing when to pull the trigger. There were some instances where one of my teammates decided to shoot a little early or perhaps a little late, resulting in the enemy to spot us and immediately go into cover while trying to pin us down. These moments, while frustrating (not because of the game, but because of bonehead friends), were also some of the more enjoyable areas of the experience.
As for the typical online multiplayer, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier offers up Guerrilla Mode, which is the game’s version of Horde Mode, in which you’ll be tasked with controlling certain points, each one with its own wave of opposition. Deathmatch is also included which still keeps some strategic elements and Decoy Mode, which asks the two competing teams to take three objectives. However, two of them are not the real deal, so there’s a certain ebb and flow in the action as the two teams fight for control.
Through the game’s approximately 10-11 hour long campaign and multiplayer modes, there’s not too much to complain about. Sure there are some cases where the game’s textures don’t come in quite as well as the rest of the game and the dialogue is a bit generic, but overall, the experience is very enjoyable.
A tactical shooter with engaging gameplay, striking visuals and lots of firepower, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a great change of pace that FPS fans will want to heavily consider.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5