Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier PDF Print E-mail

Instead on mindless gunplay, Ghost Recon Future Soldier (GRFS) allows fans of first person shooters to exercise their tactical skills. 

Gamers who prefer to sneak up on the enemy and execute silent kills will love the co-operative stealth gameplay this title has to offer, which is the 13th title in Ghost Recon series.

In the campaign, you play Kovak, a member of a team of stealth soldiers or 'ghosts'. Your team is assigned a task of finding those responsible for taking out another ghost team and running off with a nuclear warhead. Things aren’t as they seem and very quickly, you will find yourself flying around the world diffusing a tense political situation.

Gameplay is a balance of stealth and combat. There are sections of the game where the objective is to only use stealth, while the vast majority of the game is a frenetic gunfight. Tactically, GRFS plays very different to games like Modern Warfare – even in a firefight it is important not to rush up to baddies. Using your camouflage cloaking, the cover system, deploying one of your many gadgets and using your team mates are critical to success.

The entire campaign is played with a four-man team. In single player mode, team controls are almost non-existent - you can only instruct your teammates to focus fire or send someone to heal a team mate who is down. Strangely, this lack of control works incredibly well. While the AI is smart enough to engage in open firefights themselves, focusing fire on specific targets makes it much easier. Also, in the stealth sections you can tag baddies from a far and perform synchronised stealth shots. Balancing the use of stealth to thin out the ranks and then engaging in frenetic combat makes for a really enjoyable combat experience.

The highly publicised Gunsmith mode allows you to customise your weapons. Even though there are "millions of weapon variations", it is much easier to use the automatic "optimise for range/power" function. Gunsmith also has full Kinect integration. Unfortunately, moving the gun parts around, combining them and then testing them out using hand gestures is just not enjoyable.

The multiplayer consists of four six vs. six game modes with objective-based gameplay; a four-man Guerrilla mode; and a 50 wave horde mode. The multiplayer characters are class-based and creating a team with a combination of the rifleman, scout and engineer is essential to your team's success. For example, the scout needs to throw out sensor grenades to find opponents before you can take them out. Unfortunately, the multiplayer strips out many of the successful stealth vs. combat elements of the single player and the results feels like a poor version of Modern Warfare. Overall, it is a rather average but enjoyable multiplayer experience.

In Future Soldier, Ubisoft and RedStorm have taken the best stealth and combat characteristics all of all the Tom Clancy series titles, including Rainbow 6 and Splinter Cell, to create a tactical shooter with perfectly balanced gameplay. It is definitely one of the best shooters out this year.

Pros: Four-man co-op campaign; good balance between stealth and combat; powerful vehicles to control like the "Warhound".
Cons: Story was hard to follow; multiplayer is average; lag was evident; framerate issues during busier combat sequences; silly Kinect integration into the Gunsmith mode.
Score: 8/10
Achievement difficulty: 5/10
Time to completion: 12 hours

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