Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Available on XBox 360 (reviewed), PS3 & PC
Ubisoft mission command sent over the
latest for the Xbox 360, supporting some small section for optional
Kinect play. The Game they sent: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier
for us to take a look at. All of our gear was combat loaded and ready to
go, all stowed in a way for the anticipated tactical operations coming
up, to review this game.
Donna (BooBear) Millheim finished up with G-2, having witnessed the
Optional Kinect controls for gunsmith load outs and customization,
giving her thoughts on a couple of the operational procedures in game
off I went on mission.
Before that I looked over the games jacket, trying to see if there was
anything more to know before mission jump off. Just looking at its
history one would think it was a real FUBAR. From time to announcement
and original targeted date of the 2009-2010 fiscal year, it was delayed
at that point to the 2010-2011 fiscal, and onward again to March quarter
of 2011… I saw it for what it was, it wasn’t a FUBAR…why give a mission
a green light if the operational readiness of the team is not there?
They trained up, and now the time was right…. though not without a
cluster F***s that hindered the first experiences.
The game or at least this copy of the game defaulted into having the sub
titles turned on. Silly me, I thought I could just go into the options
menu while playing and turn them off. They are for me rather
distracting. For some of our staff Like Donna Millheim, she likes having
the sub titles. But it would have been nice to be able to turn them off.
That was not going to happen, at least not in the menu that I thought I
would be able to use to do that. No, you have to go out of the mission
and go to the Extras menu and that is the place to find the options to
turn off the sub titles.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier has managed a very delicate
balance between all out action fire fights and the high tension of
stealth tactics. Getting in and getting out.
That is why we love the Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Series, it strives and
delivers tactical action and strives to innovate, stimulate and
entertain on each outing. Sure that can be said for other games that
come out, but for this series and Tom Clancy’s Ghost recon Future
Soldier, it really shows. The total package does not make it a military
simulator or full blown tactical shooter. Instead it marries several
elements together; doing its best to balance them all and bring in new
fans, and keep the longtime fans pleased.
The stories as it is are more along the lines of multiple missions
strung together. Each one of the missions offers interesting situations.
Part of them are tracking things down, the opening brings us yet another
nuke on the loose. This soon Segway’s into another Ghost team heading
out on different missions to some of the deadliest hot spots on the
planet. The missions to hunt down high value targets, sometimes on a
rescue mission, and sometimes in the middle of the mission things and
priorities change. Just like the real world.
The game does a spectacular job at showing that uncertain feeling of a
fluid mission. A lot can happen. Sometimes the game feels like it’s on
rails giving the player little choice in the matter on where to go and
how to get the job done. In this it forces the player to be part of an
elite unit in the game. It may not be for everyone, and it took me two
missions in to really start to appreciate the overall experience the
game relays. It’s a balance the designers tried for and for the most
part have accomplished it.
Most of the missions have a stealth element, sometimes stealth is
paramount and required to get to a certain point, if you are found out
its mission over. After these points the team somehow inevitably is
found out and queue the fire fight. This seems like part of the
adventure, to be found out and fight your way out. That’s ok; it is a
good adventure, though it would have been one heck of a mission to try
to get through a section without being found out at all. In and out like
The main campaign sports 12 missions and 8 locations, the terrain and
situations that take place are varied enough to keep it very
interesting. We are talking desert like areas, refugee camps, suburbs
and the ice and snow of the Arctic. One of the other things that they do
so well here is mixing in civilians, when the bullets start to fly and
everyone is taking off in all directions in a panic, it can get very
tense. When you accidently shoot a civilian it hits you, the anger the
frustration. The game throws a few curve balls your way to keep you
thinking. Including like stated earlier, stealth elements, where you
must not be discovered, there are also points of the mission that a
countdown timer pops up and things really kick into gear. That part of
the mission has to be accomplished in that short time or it is over.
Soldiers get all the toys, and The Ghost recon team gets the cream of
the crop. To aid in stealth there is the Optical Camouflage. As long as
you’re moving slow and steady and no one is close to you, you get the
upper hand and move through areas without firing a shot…if you are
Moving stealthily through an area, if you happen to come up on an enemy
combatant and they have their back turned you can use a silenced weapon,
or you can move in close and take them out hand to hand.
Busting in on the enemy or coming in on several combatants in an area,
what is a Ghost to do? Using a Tag feature in the game and tagging
targets, when all of your team has aimed at a target you tagged, you can
do a synchronized shot this takes out all of the targets within a second
of each other. The sync shot can also be set up by use of a drone. If
you have never played A Ghost Recon game before, the Drone is a flying
unit armed with a camera that you can send in and see what’s ahead. This
time around it does a lot more; tagging enemy is one of them.
Other than the standard fragmentation grenade, there is a sensor grenade
that once thrown highlights all enemies within its range of influence.
Then there are the guns, and Gunsmith. With Gunsmith mode you have an
insane amount of options to customize your weapons. Through game play
you unlock extras and extra weapon parts. There are various attachments
and components to swap out that effect the weapons performance. You can
replace triggers, the weapons barrel, the stock, the sights…and it goes
on and on. Once you get the perfect weapon for yourself you can try it
out on the firing range before using it in game, so you can see if your
changes are working out for you the way you hoped.
Within the Xbox 360 version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier,
there is an optional Kinect feature for Gunsmith. It is both voice
operated and motion activated. Even after taking the tutorial for this
section three times, the section was not as responsive as I would have
liked it to be. Again, the Kinect use is only an option; you can turn it
off in the options menu. I turned it off and enjoyed the heck out of
trying out different configurations in Gunsmith.
Control of the character and combat all is very smooth; the cover system
works rather well. When the bullets are flying putting something solid
or something that will slow down those rounds coming at you is the smart
tactical choice. If you are a running a gunning gamer, you won’t last
Graphically this is not one of the best games I have ever seen. Human
heads on your team seem a bit boxy. I would wear face masks too if I had
a square head. Environments look believable and varied enough to keep
you interested. With wind storms and other affects that bloom on screen.
Blowing stuff up looks good. Sounds, oh the sounds if you do not have a
surround sound system you may be missing this robust sounding game.
Bullet hits and gun fire all have a solid sound, with echo in certain
environments. Stellar sounds indeed.
The different game modes round this title out very well, from its single
player campaign, to the incredibly fun multiplayer experience. First
off, multiplayer wise, you can play the campaign mode co-op with three
of your friends. To really notch it up if you just crave the combat,
there is Guerrilla mode. In this mode you infiltrate and capture an
area. Then the real fun begins, you have to hold that area and hold of
up to 50 waves of enemies. With each wave ramping up the difficulty it
tends to get insane very fast. Guerilla Mode supports you and three
players online, or two players using split screen play.
For faster paced action there is the tried and true 12 player online in
6 Vs. 6 combat. During these matches, you can choose from 3 different
soldier classes. Each one of these soldier classes are vital in their
role in a multiplayer match. They are Scout, Engineer, and of course the
rifleman. Online at this time has 10 maps for all the multiplayer
mayhem. This was the same multiplayer that was in the closed and later
open betas with plenty of tweaks along the way. It is just as fun if not
more so now. Especially if you get with a team that does actual tactics
rather than rushing off on their own to die miserably.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier hits the scene sporting some
minor battle damage, but it does not over shadow the fact that this is a
pretty awesome freaking game. We can call the optional Kinect feature a
failed experiment, turn the feature off and you will enjoy the game with
no problem. Coolness if they ever smooth it out better. For now this is
one Ghost team that will have to go on mission without the Kinect Tech.
In the end it’s a solid game that Ghost Recon fans can sink into the
game and enjoy, the multiplayer action is well worth the price of
admission. The single player experience juggles so many different
elements; one’s opinion may conclude that the designers tried too hard
to include several different types of gamers. The action between stealth
and full on fire fights is understandable, because that’s just how it is
in real-life and it would be boring as hell to just have a military
based game with nothing but stealth and no gun play. Some of it seems
forced at times and that may be what takes just enough away from making
this a perfect game. I like the mix though; this is a worthy addition to
the Ghost Recon Franchise. See you on the battle field.