Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review
- Posted May 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 EDT by Steven Williamson
- PSU Review Score
- Avg. user review score:
You must be logged in to rate a game
Not the most engaging of campaigns, but makes up for it with slick co-op play and a brilliant multiplayer mode
- Co-operatively playing through challenges and trying to "ace" campaign levels is great fun.
- Great level design, both in single and multiplayer
- Crazy amounts of customisation in Gunsmith opens up a ton of possibilities
- Unpredictable nature of battle is weakened with the range of enemy flagging futuristic devices.
- No stand-out moments in the campaign and we hated seeing yet another predictable on-rails chopper ride.
With bagfuls of high-tech equipment at your disposal, being a soldier in the future and turning up to do battle against significantly less-technologically advanced foes is a bit like entering this year's World Freestyle Skateboarding Championships with Marty McFly's hoverboard from Back To The Future.
The fact that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is set two decades in the future means that it's jam-packed with various futuristic perks that give you a substantial advantage over your opposition, who generally get by with good old fashioned machine guns. Consequently, the single player campaign inevitably feels a little stacked in your favour as you dip into your goody bag of high-tech gadgets to gain the upperhand; turning invisible using optical camouflage and activating the War Hound robot for a powerful mobile artillery assault that is virtually unstoppable.
It’s all very cool stuff that ultimately makes this fourth iteration of Ghost Recon feel like an evolution of its predecessors, but such is the huge helping hand that is given to players with all this new equipment, that it's taken the edge off the challenge somewhat, and it all feels a little less dramatic and intense than previous games. When you can simply crouch down and immediately be invisible to enemies, enabling you to get into great attacking positions, there's not always the need for clever tactics when technology can simply win you the game.
Nevertheless, over the years the focus of the Ghost Recon series has shifted further toward multiplayer, and this is really what Future Soldier is all about. In the campaign, it’s a totally different experience if you get together and work co-operatively with three other team-mates rather than rely on inconsistent A.I. allies who can never replace the real thing. Whack it up to the hardest difficulty setting and what initially has seemed like a fairly simple solo stroll through on Veteran level now becomes a series of enjoyable challenges that rely heavily on cooperation and teamwork.
With features such as synch shot, where up to four enemies can be tagged allowing players to shoot at exactly the same time to take them down quickly, efficiently, and often silently, there’s a firm emphasis on stealth play and utilising the various gadgets in your arsenal to efficiently neutralise the opposition. Missions are broken up into graded sections, ideal for short (15-30 mins) bursts of pick-up-and-play action, where you get the chance to customise your load-out and take out the bad guys before being scored out of 100 based on how well you’ve performed.
The better the score, the more unlocks and equipment you get access to, and the more time you’re likely to spend sifting through the incredible amount of ways you can optimise your weapons in the new Gunsmith feature. Each mission also has various challenges, for example, being rewarded by completing a level without killing a civilian or achieving 8 headshots with a sniper rifle in ‘X’ amount of time.
The campaign is really geared toward rewarding players for accuracy and efficiency, though admittedly it lacks the “big” memorable cinematic moments that we’ve become accustomed to with some of the major shooter franchises, such as Call Of Duty and Battlefield. Nonetheless, there’s still lot of satisfaction to be had out of moving stealthily through a heavily-populated town as a team of four, accurately taking down enemies with stealth kills and headshots before breaching a building in synch to release a hostage.
In terms of gameplay then, it’s business as usual for the Ghost Recon team with a variety of escort, extraction, attack and defend missions, where using stealth and stopping to think before you shoot is paramount to success. Locations are fairly predictable with the likes of a shanty town, a mansion and an airstrip among the battlefields, but level design is impressive with multiple pathways through most locations ensuring there’s opportunity for team tactics such as flanking, and plenty of opportunity to scout the environment with a drone to acquire Intel on enemy positions.
Hit detection is spot-on, so if you do get a headshot you can be assured the enemy will die, and the new cover system is impressive, allowing you to run and snap into cover intuitively. You can then point to the next place you want ... (continued on next page) ----