Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Ghost Recon Future Soldier is part of the Tom Clancy line of games published by Ubisoft with a focus on tactical, squad-based warfare. Originally the Ghost Recon franchise started out with the focus on the PC platform in 2001 with ports to Mac, PS2 and Xbox. Future Soldier has changed this focus with the PC version originally being canceled in December 2011 blaming piracy only to be re-announced in January 2012 and finally being released a month after the console releases.
The campaign starts you out as part of a Ghost Squad sent to secure a bomb in Nicaragua. This acts as a brief tutorial on actions and squad controls before the bomb detonates and proceeds to kill your whole team. This cuts to a new team of Ghosts being assigned to find the people behind the detonation, as the campaign continues it turns into a globetrotting experience with missions in Zambia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Norway and finally Russia.
While the campaign was fairly linear each mission gave you the freedom to handle the situations in your own way, whether its slowly taking out every enemy yourself or flanking around and getting your team to take them out. As the campaign progresses you also unlock new tech, these ranged from new weapons to a land and air drone or a walking robot that is controlled by the player and fires mortar rounds and TV-Guided missiles.
One area that could have improvement in the campaign was the development of a single common enemy, Future Soldier bounces between targets through each mission with only a common enemy seen at the end of the game. This leaves the the story-line very patchy and lacking a flowing story line.
Multiplayer has a range of online multiplayer modes including cooperative and competitive game types, these include Conflict, Decoy, Saboteur and Seige.
Conflict is where the 2 teams compete against each other to complete randomly located objectives. Each time a team completes these objectives they gain points with a draws decided by how well the team has worked together.
Saboteur is where 2 teams compete over 1 bomb that they need to secure, transport and detonate in the opposing teams base.
Decoy is similar to the Conflict gametype but has 3 objectives in it. Of these 3 objectives only 1 is the main objective that is only revealed when the objects are completed. This leads to a more engaging gameplay.
Siege is also similar to the Conflict gametype but does not allow respawning. This gametype staggers spawning so defenders spawn first and can setup around the objective then the attackers randomly spawn. Attackers can win either by completing the objective or eliminating the defenders.
Multiplayer focuses on team work and rewards you for better teamwork. This is also shown by allowing 3 types of soldiers to play.
Rifleman is a class that focuses on Assault Rifles and LMG’s with improved armor to sustain more damage.
Engineer is a class that focuses on the gadgets. These include a scope detector to warn when the enemy is scoping on them. The Engineer also uses the Drones as their specific gadgets.
Scout is a class that focuses on stealth. They are able to use the active camo seen in the single player campaign. Their weapons are Sniper Rifles and SMG’s.
One of the features that sets this game apart from other games is the Gun Smith area. This allows for a complete customisation of the gun before the mission and to try it out in a firing range. The parts that can be customised include: optics, triggers, magazines, under-barrel attachments, side_rail attachments, gas systems, barrels, muzzles, stocks and the paint. These customisations are unlocked and earned throughout the campaign with each mission having challenges. The gun smith is extended with the Xbox 360 market as through the kinect players can customise their weapons with voice and hand gestures.
With the large focus on team work in both single and multiplayer the control of the rest of your squad during the campaign is important. This area was well thought out in Future Soldier with the ability to designate targets for each member to take out. The only restriction to this is the split of the controls to aim at a target to then designate it and the controls to look down sights. With the need for 2 separate buttons to look at the enemy this is more tailored to the consoles.
During the game the graphics were bland. This is seen with the lack of details when up close to objects in game. The bland graphics are also seen in the background with the skybox which is very single toned with little to no detail.
From a PC perspective the menus are restrictive with the ability to select option. In-between mission the areas for information on the next mission is set out in a grid, although to select information it is only possible to step through the previous menus till you get to what you were after.
This is also seen in the pause menu where for a PC game many of the options that are deemed standard are not available.
Easy to control other squad members
Port from Xbox 360
Overall Ghost Recon Future Soldier had the opportunity to be a great playing experience with a focus on tactics but due to a rough port from Xbox with a number of parts left in and the vague graphics during the game it was a sub-par experience.