So we have finally been able to get our hands on, and through, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. From all of the trailers, and press releases pushed out by Ubisoft, this is a game you knew you wanted to have in your hands. It looked most awesome because you would be running around destroying terrorists using the latest gear available from the Department of Defense. I mean, deep down, you totally want to be able to go all Harry Potter like and become invisible so you can sneak up on people, run a knife across their voice box, and continue on your way like nothing happened. Since the last Ghost Recon game that came out in 2007 and the releases of the Modern Warfare games, things have changed when it comes to FPS’ and honestly, it seems like GRFS really doesn’t know what it wants to be. This really isn’t a bad thing; it just kind of feels there may have been a shift in the flowchart mid game during development.
One of the first things you will notice when you pop in the game to play is a suggestion that you will want to install the game to hard drive because it is going to improve performance. If this truly happens or not, I do not know because I just went ahead with the install process and started the game when finished copying. When you run the single player campaign, you can allow a friend to join in for that level or go it alone. At that point the story begins and you get a feel for how you will be moving and shooting due to a quick level that is a tutorial in disguise, which I think is a nice touch and almost all developers should implement these days. Graphically the game is beautiful during gameplay. Bullets fly past your head and you hear it if you have a good surround sound system; explosions will lovingly explode on screen making your know you are in something good. And then, you are thrown into a cut scene. A cut scene that looks like it was produced from back when cut scenes were just starting to make their way into games. They are pretty bad to be honest. I don’t understand how you can go from a visually appealing gameplay environment, to something much worse because it is distracting from the game as a whole.
Back to the gameplay as that is where the heart of the action is. As a Ghost, your missions are to be in without a trace, do your job, and leave without a trace. And that isn’t as easy at it sounds because sometimes you can make it all the way through a mission without ever being found out, or you can make one wrong move and a passing guard will find you, or the body you just left out in the open. What makes this stealthy-ness full of awesome is that you can release a drone that will allow you to fly up and above the battlefield allowing you to target enemies. Give the command, and up to four enemies can be killed at once. A nice feature because your co-Ghosts are exceptionally effective in performing a synchronized shot. While you will be using this new tech to find all of your enemies before they can see you, sometimes you will end up making a move that will get you noticed and from there it is going to be a big firefight. You will have the standard set of throwable weapons to choose from as well as being able to throw out a sensor grenade allowing it to point out where the bad guys are on screen. A nice feature if you can’t see them with your night vision or magnetic vision modes. Knowing where the enemy is, you can easily shoot through softer items they are using for cover, killing them with ease. And knowing your terrain is a plus because you will be travelling all over the world. Starting off in the deserts of Africa and then showing up in the Arctic, down through London, and then back to Africa again, you are a Ghost and you will be expected to adapt accordingly. And adapting you will because on a few missions, you will be required to rescue someone and once you do, you need to keep him alive. Doing so means having him huddled under one arm as you protect him with your body, and you use your pistol in the other hand taking out any enemies that seem to just run towards you making for an easy kill scenario. I can only hope this is a problem with the AI because it happens every time you are put into this mode. It doesn't last long and it is part of a cinematic effect that seems like it wants to be those other FPS games that are out on the market, but doesn’t want to.
While we were unable to play any multiplayer due to a limited internet connection we are currently experiencing, the reports out there on other websites indicate this is a great mode, especially the Guerilla mode, which is similar to Horde Mode found in Gears of War. Sadly there were a few hiccups when it came to server reliability on game launch, but this appears to been fixed and now people are just killing everyone and anyone full of style. That style comes from the excellent Gunsmith tool that allows you to use your Xbox 360 Kinect to grab a weapon, explode its parts out into their various upgradable components, and mix and match as much as you please. Considering this is integrated into an is app as well, you can be in a meeting, Gunsmithing, and when you get home, your newly created death dealer has been uploaded for you to use as needed. Most effective Ubisoft.
In the end, GRFS wants to be something it doesn’t. It wants to be like all of the other current FPS games out there, but knows it can’t because it’ll feel like it is copying everyone else. This is always a bad thing if it is taken into account that they are doing it on their own. Which I think they did, it just doesn’t seem to have been executed very well. As we stated there are some distracting features in the game, namely lost AI freezing bugs, but they are not completely bad and this is a good game. If anything, get it for yourself, install it, and play it. We think you will like it and we hope that the next Ghost Recon that comes out is the same thing we see now, just polished a lot more than they thought they did when they released this.