Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

The past sucks, right? Think about it: whereabouts do all your regrets, heartaches and terrible memories reside? Why bother lingering on it when you can look to a brighter, better, happier future instead? That’s what we at Ready Up do best and it’s exactly what we’re doing with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

Once again you’re cast into the role as the world-renowned and feared Ghosts, the crack U.S. spec ops squad that’s sent in to undertake the missions no-one else can. What sets it apart from its predecessors, as the title suggests, is that, rather than being set in the modern day, missions take place in the near future. This means that everything is new: the characters; the weapons; the tech. It’s a refreshing upgrade to what we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years.

With a new generation comes new technology and Future Soldier does not disappoint on this front. The Cross-Com has received a major update, highlighting and flagging up points of interest in the game world, making it insanely easy to navigate battlefields without having to consult the map like before.  A whole load of other nifty gadgets help you traverse levels with ease; sensor grenades that detect enemies behind walls; UAVs that emit sonic pulses and – by far the pièce de résistance – the Warhound, an unstoppable mech that fires mortars and homing missiles like there’s no tomorrow.  The balance is impeccable. There are dozens of different ways to tackle a situation, but you never feel overwhelmed at the choice on offer or feel that you could have finished a battle in a more efficient way.

Speaking of efficiency, your new crew have received a major advancement in their AI. No longer do they flounder around getting killed and shoot walls like the Keystone Kops while waiting for orders they don’t follow: here they are ruthless and deadly. They’ll never get detected when sneaking; they’ll synchronise kills with you effortlessly; if you get incapacitated, they’ll be over in a flash to revive you; they’ll recover a tactical situation quickly if you arse up a plan.  The fact that they do this without any orders whatsoever makes you feel like you’re part of a crack team of commandos; exactly the way it should be

However, as with all Ghost Recon titles, the guns are the stars of the show and here they shine brighter than ever.  The weapons aren’t that advanced from current armaments, but, via the Gunsmith menu, you can add some pretty nifty attachments to them, including x-ray scopes and heartbeat sensors. By far the best thing about them is how they shoot: punchy, beefy and oh-so-satisfying. The accompanying noise signifying ballistic impact makes it even sweeter. The fact that you’re super accurate is a refreshing change from the unable-to-hit-anything mechanics doing the rounds these days, making you feel even more like a badass elite soldier.

The narrative has also been majorly improved. Gone are the dull expositions imposed in the top-left corner of the screen of previous games: here the camera is promoted to the rank of a full character in itself, joining the team in the midst of the action, becoming just as bloodied and muddied as the Ghosts and involving you deeper in the action with its cinematic angles adding tension and drama to the story.

Every game mode is playable with others and it’s when you have a close-knit crew of brothers-in-arms that Future Soldier really stands out. Fighting through the campaign with your friends is a joy, co-ordinating your attacks and utilising different equipment to effectively meet your goal.  The main multiplayer portion of the game, Adversarial Mode, is just as compelling as the campaign. It’s as, if not more, satisfying  blowing away real people than AI and you’ll undoubtedly spend a great deal of time here. There’s also Guerrilla mode, the obligatory Horde section of the game. It’s not as exhilarating as Rainbow Six’s Terrorist Hunt, but it’s a worthy addition to the title.

Future Soldier is a solid, satiating and worthy evolution of the series. There’s enough new here to keep you intrigued, but not enough to leave you feeling confused and disgruntled. It takes the greatest parts of the best action games of the last five years – the third-person shooting of Gears of War; the back-to-back sections of Army of Two; the innovative cinematography of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days – and refines them into a game with awesome action and well-developed characters you actually like.







One response to “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”

  1. […] Originally published on Ready Up on 22nd May 2012. […]

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