Ghost Recon: Future Soldier: 'Soldier' in need of followers

The Ghost Recon franchise, while being critically acclaimed, has always faded into the background in the shooter brigade, overshadowed by the mainstream popularity of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises.


Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

From: Ubisoft

For: Xbox 360, PS3

Four stars (out of 5)


Ghost Recon Future Soldier is Ubisoft's attempt to change all that.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier casts you as a member of an elite special ops squad, tasked to take out or capture high-value targets across the world. What sets it apart from its direct competitors is firstly its third-person perspective, and the technology and gadgets used.

Each mission introduces a new toy to play with, ranging from weapon attachments through to a remote-controlled UAV and a walking machine named "The Warhound", which rains down death and destruction upon the unfortunate souls who happen to get within its range. The Warhound level is a real standout.

While there is some attempt at a vague story initially, each level is more or less a stand-alone mission.

There is very little progression throughout the game, and the events never really feel linked from one mission to another. Ubisoft has attempted to give the characters personalities but they will hardly leave a lasting impression on you in the way that a game such as Max Payne would.

A lack of a story can only be overcome if the game plays fantastically, and Future Soldier comes through.

Each mission has a different feel to it, some are fast-paced run-and-gun affairs through busy cities and others are stealth missions through enemy encampments.

The stealth missions are a particular highlight, requiring smart use of the UAV and the camouflage suits your team wears.

The graphics during gameplay are exceptional; it's certainly one of the better looking games released recently. Strangely, the quality is worse in the CGI cutscenes between missions. The problem is, you probably aren't going to see the greatness of the graphics all that much.

This is because of the vision modes that the game gives you.

Simply put, they are too useful to ever go without. The same problem occurred in Batman Arkham Asylum, where the game encouraged you to almost always be in detective mode.

Here, using vision modes helps identify enemies and their positions via their electronic signatures, and when playing on harder difficulties they are all but essential to survive. Also, the marking system the game uses (press RB/R1 to designate targets for squad mates to take out) prove far too effective, meaning that in some levels your contribution to the actual firefight/bodycount will be minimal.

While this may be realistic, it might put off those who like to be involved in the action.

Future Soldier comes with the multiplayer modes that are expected in this generation, as well as a four player co-op mode.

The co-op mode would be a blast if you could get four people working together; finding a meaningful game with strangers online might be tricky.

These modes add life and replayability to the game after the reasonably short single-player campaign is complete.

Future Soldier is a very good game in its own right, but probably won't gather the following that Battlefield or Call of Duty does.

For those who are tired of those series, Ghost Recon Future Soldier might just provide a decent distraction.


- Simon Bishop.