Tom Clancy titles often stand at the top of military-based games. With all of the Battlefield’s and COD’s raking in billions, people seem to forget about the methodical pioneers that really set the standards for today. Ghost Recon, which is one of the TC main three (Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six being the other two), is now on its 11th title with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier (PS3, PC, Xbox 360). Now you’re probably wondering what exciting twists do they have to offer after 12 years of duty.
Future Soldier is the first Ghost Recon game since its debut to garner a Mature rating. So you can expect more violence, blood, and guts? Well, somewhat. Having played most of the previous titles on PS2, this one definitely is on the higher end of military-grade intensity. In the opening scene you and fellow Army Rangers have your skin melted off by a boobytrapped nuclear warhead. Couple that with more nukes on cities, witnessing and preventing war crimes on women in Africa, crushing Russians with a quadruped robot and you’re in store for some poignant action scenes.
Ghost Recon is generally a stealthy, tactical franchise. Future Soldier prepares you for its tradition with today’s prototypical weapons and futuristic arsenal as well. Your team of four prime Special Forces men carry out operations across the globe, chasing down gun launderers, rescuing undercover operatives, and sabotaging enemy strongholds. The plot is pretty cut and dry as with most TC games, where you carry out mission-after-mission, and are given main objectives, and side and bonus tasks. Along your route you will mostly travel massive outdoor terrains with the occasional enemy base to infiltrate or hang out the Black Hawk spraying the commies below. It’s noteworthy to mention this campaign is seriously long for a shooter but the game keeps you engaged.
Future Soldier‘s armory is pretty standard but the designers added a bunch of futuristic toys. Right away you get to take advantage of the active camo aka cloaking system. Yes, you get to walk around with stealth camouflage. It’s pretty effective and you only break cover if you fire or run. Another cutting edge weapon is the quadrotor which doubles as a stealth RC sabotage device. This is handy when stuck in situations with many enemies and adds the vantage point in the sky to pick your prey off. A vital plus in Future Soldier is that weapon customization is broken down to the damn trigger. This comes in handy as you unlock more and more to utilize in multi-player.
Speaking of multi-player, boy is it hard. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s 3rd person view. Or maybe it’s the small number of players actually online when I play on the PS3 (only about 20,000.) Overall, multi-player is great though. There are co-op and competitive modes that fit everyone’s needs. In co-op you are able to play the whole campaign with your crew. Or, if you are up to the challenge, there is “Guerilla” mode similar “Survival” mode in COD that’ll kick your ass. In the true multi-player zone, Future Soldier keeps with the generic modes: Conflict, Decoy, Saboteur, and Siege. They are all an acquired taste, and you know beforehand which type you like. “Conflict” seems to be the most popular but that’s where I got beaten the most.
If you’re sick of first-person shooters following the same formula as COD, Battlefield, Killzone, and Halo, then Ghost Recon Future Soldier may be your medicine. The third-person view gives you a wide spectrum of the playing field. Its attention to detail in the weaponry is refreshing and the cover system is among the best out there. With tons of unlocks and many gameplay variations, this title is surely a must cop.