Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Available on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: M
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Online: Co-op and Multiplayer
Parent Talk: This one isn’t for the kiddies. The ESRB rates Future Soldier M for mature because of strong language, blood, and intense violence. Players are trying to prevent a US/Russia war by any means necessary. Shoot, stab, explode is the name of Future Soldier, so be sure you don’t play it in front of any little ones.
Plays Like: Rest easy GR fans, the strategy and stealth you expect from the series returns here. The debut trailer made it appear as though Future Soldier was turning into Call of Duty, it retains everything that made the franchise special. It closely resembles Advanced Warfighter 2.
Review Basis: Ubisoft sent us the Xbox 360 version. I finished the campaign, along with several online multiplayer matches, including co-op. I also played with the Kinect support.
The future has arrived. Ubisoft blends what made AW2 so excellent with refinements and all-new features. This is the best Ghost Recon yet. What makes it tick?
Many excellent elements. Altogether it feels like you’re playing one of the most technical shooters. The new weapons and toys, interesting storyline, superb set pieces, everything…when it clicks, it clicks. It’ll take some practice if you’re new to GR, but it’s very fulfilling once you’re past the introduction.
+ Choose how to play. Guns blazing may not be realistic, but you can choose either strategically popping one enemy at a time, or bypass everyone with stealth. Each situation is better-suited to one form, but having another option.
+ Superb pacing. From slow and casual missions, to all-out war and explosions, Future Soldier constantly surprises. The set pieces never seem out of place, or overdone.
+ The future elements blend perfectly. Adaptive camouflage helps you to sneak past enemies undetected, while the Warhound is the perfect moving cover that packs quite the punch.
+ Gunsmithing. You can customize and create weapons with the different parts. Ubisoft propped up this feature and length, and it turned out great.
+ Tagging enemies (a la Splinter Cell Conviction). You can tag up to four enemies, and your squadmates do whatever they can to eliminate the threat, so long as they wouldn’t be compromised.
+ Refined quick-cover. It feels just like Gears of War, which is good news because for the first time in GR, players can move from cover to cover with ease.
+ The AI. I only witnessed a few times where my mates would sprint along while their camo was active and other enemies didn’t see them, etc. These situations were few and far between.
+ 4-player co-op is excellent. Single player is fun, but co-op is the biggest draw.
+ Four different online modes are fun and challenging. If you game online, you’ll really enjoy Future Soldier.
+/- Kinect. It works as intended for issuing voice commands and weapon customization, but I never wanted to use it instead of the 360 controller.
+/- Graphic hiccups. They prevent Future Soldier from establishing a new visual standard. Bland textures are obvious when you move in close, yet set pieces look incredible. This mix-mash is consistent throughout the 10-hour campaign.
– The dialogue. It tries too hard to be serious. The group acts as brothers-in-arms in cutscenes, but the dialogue never shines. It’s forced, which is a shame considering how superb the rest of the package is.
Facial animations. They needed much more TLC. These people look like plastic men.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is one of the most impressive shooters this generation. There are hiccups, but they don’t overshadow the excellent experience. A wealth of co-op options, great online multiplayer and a superb campaign make Future Soldier exactly what I want from a tactical shooter.
Final Score: 9/10