Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Playstation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Red Storm, Ubisoft Romania
Genre(s): Tactical Shooter
Released: May 22, 2012
ESRB Rating: M-Mature
Hello all and welcome once again to The Backlog. Today we’ll be taking a look at the latest Tom Clancy offering from Ubisoft, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. I have not played a Tom Clancy game for several years. The last one I played was HAWX, and Advanced Warfighter before that. Both of those games were fun to play and fairly easy to pick up, and Future Soldier is no different.
The fifth installment of the Ghost Recon series picks up in the middle of a Central American country riding in a convoy. Turns out that convoy is a trafficking weapons and is taken out by a Ghost Team which you are quickly put in control of. The traffickers are quickly dispatched, but while investigating the convoy, a dirty bomb goes off and kills the entire team.
Obviously this doesn’t sit well with the higher ups, and Major Mitchell sends another Ghost Team on a series of missions to track down who was responsible for said dirty bomb. First stop on the GRFS world tour, Bolivia to pick up an informant. Naturally, all hell breaks loose and you have to dispatch some Bolivian military types to pick up your informant, and then kill some more to extract him.
Following Bolivia, the team takes a trip to Zambia, Africia to track down a warlord. Unlike the first mission which had more of a run and gun element to it, this mission required more of a stealth style to quietly avoid or eliminate enemies without raising alarms as you track the warlord to his destination inside of a refugee camp.
It is during this stealth portion where you get your first introduction to sync shooting. What this entails is lining up enemies in scope view(the game shifts from a third person view to first person) and pressing R2(I imagine this would translate to the right trigger if you are playing on the 360) to mark the target for one of your squad mates. You can up to four targets, one for each team member, and when you are ready to fire, your squad follows suit. You can also mark less than four targets and press R2 again to give the order to fire without actually firing a shot yourself.
Back on topic of the mission, once the the warlord reaches his base, you are informed that the intel you need is inside and the warlord no longer serves any purpose. Mark the riflemen on the ground and the roof, and take out the warlord with the sync shot(the sync shot comes in very handy, trust me). Once that is finished, the team has to get out of the camp and catch a ride to the nearby airstrip where more fun, excitement, intel and soon to be dead bodies await. Oh, and you get to shoot down a cargo plane with a sniper rifle, which is pretty damned cool.
The game basically continues in this fashion, a mix between stealth action and shoot’em up gun play. New technology is introduced along the way, whether it be camouflage uniforms that blend in with any environment, to sensors and drones that can detect enemies that you can’t even see behind cover, this comes incredibly handy as you might expect.
The environments in the game are very detailed and offer some destructible elements, to varying degrees. Meaning that you can find cover behind a wooden crate, but you would be better off looking for a big slab of concrete or a large rock if you can find it.
One of the more fun toys I played with was the War Hound. Basically, this is a walking robot that looks something like a miniature version of those walking robots in Star Wars. It is great for mobile cover, and comes equipped with mortar rounds and guided missiles. Remember when I said that it was pretty damned cool to shoot a cargo plane with a sniper rifle? Well using the guided missiles is even better. I could play an entire game using the War Hound and use those missiles to take out vehicle after vehicle.
One aspect of the game that I have not spent a lot of time with but looks very promising is the Gunsmith feature. In Gunsmith, players can customize just about any part on the weapon. Barrels, stocks, muzzles, under and side barrel attachments, magazines, scopes or sites, triggers, even the the paint job, are all customizable once you start unlocking parts. Parts and guns are unlockable by completing missions and challenges within the campaign mode. As I said, I have not spent a lot of time with this feature since I had not unlocked any parts at the time, but I do plan on remedying this in the future.
It’s always enjoyable to play a good shooter, well, if you’re into shooters I suppose. If you’re like me and you enjoy a good shooter, then you should find Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier definitely worth your time. With a realistic campaign story and environments, Future Soldier offers something straight out of classified military dossiers. While I don’t get into the multi-player aspect of these games since my internet is crap, this is one of those games that would be a blast to play with friends or with some folks online, especially with the sync shot.
As you can tell, I really like this game. I’ve enjoyed the Tom Clancy games I have played in the past, but I do believe this is the best of the bunch so far. This is an excellent game, but not quite five star classic material. If you like shooters, you owe it to yourself to take this one for a spin. Until next time, Game On.