Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a military shooter. With military shooters comes language and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has it. It is not as persistent as in Battlefield 3 but it seems to be a part of every cut scene. The game also contains plenty of violence. Some of the head shots can be gruesome as well.

Mashup. A mashup in the music industry is where two or more songs are taken and “mashed” together to make a single song. There are some very neat mashups out there – one in particular I found mashed the Beatles, LCD Sound System, and The Kinks. Three great songs that are good on their own but put together make a great song. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is no different. It’s a mashup of elements from other games but put together they work and work well.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a third person shooter developed by Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Red Storm, and Ubisoft Romania and continues the legacy set forth by previous Ghost Recon games. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier contains a single player campaign, co-op campaign, and two multiplayer modes. Also included in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is Gunsmith Mode, which gives you the ability to customize your weapon into dozens of combinations. Let’s take a look at these different features.

Single Player

The single player campaign feels familiar in some ways. It doesn’t feel like previous Ghost Recon games, but rather games like Call of Duty and Gears of War. While playing the single player campaign these familiar elements show loudly but felt right. One of these elements is the cover system. The cover system works great and feels very much like Gears of War. The way you move from cover point to cover point and the way you slam into cover felt like Gears. I don’t see this as a negative. If something is not broken, don’t fix it – and it isn’t broken here. Another area in which the game feels familiar is in the cut scenes between missions. This is where you get your mission briefing. There are satellite images of the planet with a commanding officer talking while the map moves and then arrows, enemy information, etcetera are drawn on top – very reminiscient of the Call of Duty games. Some of the in game action feels familiar as well. In one mission you take control of a machine gun mounted on the side of a helicopter and it is your job to take out the enemies from the helicopter. The amazing thing was that despite these similarities the game never felt stale.

Some of the new elements help keep the game fresh. In one mission I had to escort a VIP to safety. At this point the game changed to a shooter on rails. All I had to worry about was shooting the enemies and the game took care of the rest. It was a neat change up from the rest of the game. My favorite part of the single player campaign though was the amount of strategy and team work I had to use to get through it. This shined the brightest in the Sync Shot.

The Sync Shot is a tagging feature where shots are synchronized on enemy targets. This can be performed by the player on the ground or by the player controlled drone in the air. This was the best way to take out a group of enemies quietly since stealth is such a huge part of the game. Many missions will fail if you are detected and the Sync Shot is a way to make sure you don’t. In the time I played this game the Sync Shot never got old. It was fun each and every time.

The campaign lasted 12 missions and took about 10 hours to get through. Despite the familiar elements, when added to the freshness of things like the Sync Shot the game felt very good.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer had two modes: online multiplayer where up to 12 players compete in 6v6 matches with different objectives and Guerilla mode where you and three of your friends face waves of enemy soldiers.

Online Multiplayer

In online multiplayer you select one of three classes, the rifleman, scout, or engineer. While competing you earn experience points that help you level up and unlock many new items. There are 10 maps and 4 game modes that focus on cooperation and objectives. One thing I noticed about the multiplayer is you really need teammates working together. In games like Battlefield 3 you do much better if people are working together but in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier it is virtually a requirement. Completing objectives requires teammates using the different classes and working together to accomplish the goal. This is great if you have friends to play with but during my time with the game there were too many matches full of lone rangers. The objective based game play is fun but it is best if you get some of your buddies to help. There was some lag during my playthrough, but this may be attributed to the initial load on the servers from the game’s launch.

Guerrilla Mode

Guerrilla Mode teams you up with three friends to take on up to 50 waves of enemies which increase in difficulty. This mode reminded me of Gears of War 3 Horde mode. After every third wave you get a new perk like invisibility, missles and even air strike. Online leaderboards make an apperance here, which just add to the competetion. A welcome inclusion to Guerrilla Mode in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is local split-screen coop. For those who fondly recall lan parties, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier even has system link.

Gunsmith Mode

Gunsmith mode is an impressive mode where you have the option to customize your weapon with dozens of different attachments. It was enjoyable putting different scopes on weapons, muzzles and even side attachments. Once you get your weapon looking like you want you can take it to the firing range to test it out.

This feature in the game is Kinect enabled on the Xbox 360 and works rather well with both hand motions and voice commands. Take your hands, put them together and then move them apart makes the gun “explode” into the different pieces you can customize. This is a neat feature for anyone, but especially gun enthusiasts.

Final Thoughts

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a great resurgence for the Ghost Recon series. It has many elements that work well in other games but has its own freshness about it with elements like Sync Shot and Gunsmith. If your looking for a shooter that is different than Call of Duty or Battlefield then this is a game you will want to check out. The campaign is fun, multiplayer is good and requires more than just a blind run and gun. This is a game Tom Clancy should be proud his name is on.

Ubisoft provided Christian Gamer with a review copy of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier for Xbox 360.

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