Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review- The Ghosts Refuse to Stay Dead
Tom Clancy has always known how to appeal to hardcore fans of military fiction, incorporating realism into everything he’s ever done. Primarily an author, he’s dipped his hand into the video gaming world several times now as well. His latest title, which simply means games that have his name on the tagline, is Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Being a huge fan of every single Ghost Recon title thus far, I knew I’d have to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you something- I was not disappointed.
Future Soldier throws you into the role of a member of an elite group of soldiers called Ghosts (much like the other GR games) and asks you to use teamwork and, honestly, really freakin’ cool weapons to complete various missions. This time around you play as a Ghost known as Kozak. Accompanying “Kozak” are three other ghosts: 30k, Ghost Lead, and Pepper. Your team is tasked with finding out why a bomb was detonated when another Ghost team codenamed “Predator” attempted to secure it. The game’s tutorial is played as one of the members of Predator who (spoiler alert!) dies when the bomb goes off. All that hard work learning how to walk and shoot and you just… you just die.
As you play you’ll find there’s much more to Ghost Recon: Future Soldier than walking and shooting. Sometimes you are required to be quiet, to take out enemies or just to sneak around them without being caught. Sometimes you can just do it for the heck of it, and there’s nothing more satisfying than that. In no way are you expected to do anything without the proper equipment, either. Future Soldier lends you a plentiful amount of killing devices. You’ve got shot guns, personal defense rifles, light machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles, it’s all there. On top of that, the game innovates with a system called “Gunsmith.” Basically, you build your gun from the ground up. You can take your single shot rifle, add a bipod, an automatic trigger, change the gas, put a drum magazine on it, and use it as your own personal LGM. That makes killing all the more fun.
The gameplay gets a quick and easy 10/10 from yours truly, but I hate to get into the characters. The storyline is fun, it’s not top of the line, but it keeps your head in the game. The characters, however.. they’re lacking. Characters will throw jabs at each other or at the enemies, providing a good laugh here and there– but there’s no real development. Once or twice I recall being deeply connected to the characters in your squad, but I can’t say I was ever really into what they were going through. They’re a close knit family, but it’s hard for the player to ever feel like he’s accepted into the family. Kozak himself isn’t even acknowledged that often, other than when he is wounded or dead. “Kozak’s down,” or “Kozak’s KIA!” I guess you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I don’t want to turn anyone away from such a good game, gameplay wise, but if you’re here for a story and the characters.. you’d do best to look elsewhere.
Now I’m going to talk about my personal favorite feature: the multiplayer. Nowadays multiplayer makes a game just as much as the single player does. Future Soldier comes with some basic game modes: Conflict, an objective based game mode where teams fight for control; Saboteur, where players fight to blow up each others’ base; Decoy, where teams have to guess which of three objectives is the REAL objective (the other 2 are decoys); And siege, where one team must hack the other’s computer while the other team defends it. These seem like basic multiplayer modes because they are, but once you get in game and realize the realism of what you’re doing.. it becomes another story. The multiplayer gameplay is spot on. You can duck and weave behind cover, playing it quiet and sneaking up on the enemies, or you can run straight in and take the fight to the enemy. If you’re lucky enough to find people with decent personalities you can even coordinate a decent team effort, sticking together and covering each other like a real squad. Characters provide a small amount of physical customization (head gear and head gear color) but the gunsmith truly shines in multiplayer. No two players are going to have the same guns. Future Soldier’s multiplayer offers a plentiful amount of customization for its guns, and you’ll always feel like you have a job in matches because you can practically make your own. You can mount your gun on a box or sand bag and cover, you can snipe, do a little CQB, anything you could imagine doing in a battle. If you ignore the game’s singleplayer, fine.. but do NOT ignore the online play.
All in all, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is an amazing follow up to Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. The characters don’t feel personal, but if you get past that then you’re going to be playing one heck of a game. It’s definitely something you don’t want to pass up. Give it a look, people. I want to see more from the Ghost Recon franchise.