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
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
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
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
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.