PS3 Reviews: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review

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Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review

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Overall Rating:       8.0






Ubisoft Paris

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If you’ve often dreamed of being an elite member of the military who embarks upon top-secret, classified, highly confidential missions, you’re probably a Ghost Recon fan. And in turn, this means you should be excited about the latest entry, Future Soldier, which embraces the spirit and style of the franchise without trying anything too radical. It’s clean, relatively well polished, and ultimately fulfilling and rewarding…albeit a tad too familiar.

The team did a good job with the visual presentation, as just about every environment is highly convincing. There are a few small idiosyncrasies here and there but nothing to get in a twist about. The detailing is nice, one can sense the amount of time and effort dedicated to both the environment and special effects, and the general palette is extremely effective. We really feel the anxiety, the urgency, and the almost overpowering importance of the mission thanks to fantastic ambiance. The textures aren’t too great but the overall picture can be stunning.

The sound matches the graphics step for step and blow for blow; with every top-notch visual special effect comes a great audio effect, and this combines to deliver a believable, immersive experience. I think the soundtrack doesn’t come to the forefront often enough during the campaign, though, even if the music is nicely orchestrated. Then again, one doesn’t want rousing rock music when lurking in the shadows and being all stealthy, right? Anyway, the technical elements are definitely up to snuff throughout the production, even if they won’t drop your jaw.

Future Soldier is an enticing mix of cinematic goodness and quasi-realistic strategic gameplay. On the one hand, you’ve got the bad-ass sync shot, slo-mo breaching sequences, and plenty of high-octane drama that laces just about every field endeavor. That’s the crowd-pleasing Hollywood part. But at the same time, you’ve got the good-sized brain of this production, which involves careful planning, some trial and error, and capable AI. That AI can do some silly stuff now and then – both good and bad – but at least your allies are competent.

Stealth plays a major role. Many times, missions will require that you be stealthy, so you’ll always be practicing your silent techniques. Your comrades will always be ready to aid and assist; you can direct them as you see fit, and they will even perform their own maneuvers so they feel less like robots. As I just stated, they can do some crazy things every now and then, but for the most part, they seem awfully human. They will act and react, respond promptly to any given directive, and will prove themselves again and again on the field of battle.

You are part of a four-man team called the “Ghosts,” who are elite soldiers that are well above and beyond the standard infantry man. In fact, this is a major part of the storyline: The Ghosts are just different; they’re not exactly members of the National Guard, and they find it difficult to relate to the average G.I. Joe. This actually enhances the camaraderie among the closely knit group and surprisingly infuses the plot with more personality and emotion. The story still isn’t a high point (the focus remains squarely on the gameplay), but at least the characters can be intriguing.

And why are they called the “Ghosts?” Well, they can actually disappear, for one. It’s not complete invisibility but it’s an optical camouflage that servers its purpose in a great many harrowing situations. You just have to remember that it goes away the instant you perform an action, like sprint or even fire your weapon. Therefore, it’s still a challenge to remain undetected throughout a mission, and you’ll always have to coordinate a plan of attack from start to finish. This can include up-close stealth kills to tagging far-off foes – sync shot FTW! – and letting your buddies take care of ‘em.

The sync shot isn’t tough to pull off and the accompanying slo-mo adds some much-needed panache. I say “much-needed” because despite the attention paid to small details, the fair amount of authenticity, and the excellent atmosphere, many of the firefights do feel a little generic. The solid effects can’t spruce things up all the time, and despite your careful executions and satisfying results, too much of the experience almost feels too low-key. Maybe it’s just me but it often felt…anti-climactic.

The other possible downside is that it may seem somewhat repetitive to those who don’t find themselves absorbed in the experience. Sure, there are always multiple ways of approaching a goal or obstacle, but issuing orders and sweeping through areas that feature many of the same enemies can get a little blasé. There is plenty of depth, however. You can fiddle around to your heart’s content with all sorts of loudouts and weapon customizations, even though the game will usually give you decent recommendations.

The multiplayer is a nice change of pace, primarily because you’re playing against all humans and of course, that’s always a significant alteration. In competitive multiplayer, you will play matches featuring two teams of up to six players, and as is the case with the campaign, running and gunning is not advised. At the same time, because the consequences of dying are low, you might just opt to run around like a chicken with your head cut off and see how many you can take out before going down in a blaze of glory. I suppose that could be amusing for a while.

And unsurprisingly, the co-op aspect of the campaign is a blast, which is all the more entertaining because that campaign is quite long. Therefore, when you put it all together, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a rock solid package, capable of holding your attention for a great many hours. There’s lots of cool tech and gadgetry, the strategy is tight, the control is good, and the technical elements really shine in certain situations. The AI is a little wonky and the gunfights aren’t always knock-you-off-your-seat explosive, but the fulfillment level is high. Give it a try.

The Good: Good visuals and audio effects. Great atmosphere. Allies are quite competent. Slick hi-tech gadgets and weaponry is awesome. Long campaign. Co-op is a blast and competitive multiplayer is fun.

The Bad: Story is a little weak. Enemy and ally AI can be erratic. Some encounters can feel bland.

The Ugly: “Only ugly when your co-op partner does something mind-numbingly stupid.”

5/28/2012 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (15 posts)

Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 10:20:07 PM

Been playing the COOP with my Green Beret brother and so far he has died a bit more then me haha. Perhaps I spend to much time playing games. Pretty much agree with your review except my score as of right now is 8.5

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Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 10:45:36 PM

Is there 2 player co-op in this game? Cos that'd be cool.

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Mr Bubbles IGR
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 11:23:18 PM

It is 4 player co-op. Best fun I've had in awhile playing with buddies over the net with the actual campaign and NOT just co-op missions.

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Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 11:50:33 PM

Yeah it looks like fun, hoping to get it eventually.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 1:06:45 AM

79transam and Jonah: Can you play the full single player campaign in coop? Jonahs comment here indicates so, but according to Bens review it looks like there is a separate coop campaign?

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 1:25:22 AM

So far every coop mission I have done is from the regular SP portion of the game. I have only played the first 3 missions on COOP and I am no on mission 5 in regular SP. But the first 3 were the same which I really like.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 @ 8:11:19 AM

Ah yeah that is awesome!

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Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 11:23:26 PM

I have put a few hours into Ghosr Recon and my only complaints are...

... The graphics are lacking in the texture department and the animations.
... Splitscreen is limited to Guerrilla mode.

Overall a blast though and I am thoroughly enjoying both the single and multi-player aspects of this title.

Oh, and the Gunsmith is amazing as its weapon customization puts everything I have seen to shame.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 12:39:18 AM

I pre-ordered the game to get the spiffy LE, right? Well... after going through the motions of entering the code and cycling through the horde of little trinkets I was getting, I got a "Thank you for using PlayStation Network." message then... nothing. My DLC was nowhere to be found. Not only that, but the code - having actually gone through - was then null and void. What could Gamestop do about it? Absolutely nothing. After such a great disappoint I pretty much just lost taste for the game. What very little I played seemed nifty enough, but I think I'm just going to go ahead and pass on this one.

... now to wait for Rainbow Six: Patriots...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 5:52:57 AM

this game really makes me wonder what the game has gone through over the years.
i mean the last game advanced warfighter 2 released in 07 if i remember right so thats 5 years this has been in development!
yet it is one of THE buggiest games ive EVER played!
freaking fallout 3 was more reliable than this!
every half hour its freezing on loading screens, ive lost the amount of times i or a team mate has clipped to things, or AI refusing to mark up on doors they just stand still like a stunned mullet!
or other weird bugs.

one that drove me insane was the mission where your camo gets hacked, right at the end where your in the church there are 2 guys with RPGs.
i take cover in the church they fire rockets into the wall they magically go through the wall without dammaging the wall and kill me.
how do objects go through another object without damaging it, and killing anyone on the other side?
so instead i ran outside and took cover elsewhere and the same thing was happening.
and also sometimes you would watch a rocket fly over your head, than a big explosion would happen right in front of me and kill me.
right, so the rocket just flew over my head but it exploded in front of me even though it flew over my head.

the damage system is SO inconsistent!
sometimes a grenade can explode a long way away and it will kill you, other times a grenade will explode right next to you and you will be fine.
the grenades are useless against enemies too!
so many times a patrol of 4+ enemies would be huddled in a group, so i throw a grenade in and only 1 dies.
they were all roughly the same distance away so why would only 1 die?
its really stupid, another instance tank shells.
when your hit with a tank shell behind cover you go flying back but dont loose any health.
but above as i was saying i was getting hit by RPGs in cover and was killed.
so tank shells do 0 damage and RPGs kill you.
again how the ^%$# does that work!?

another problem is the gunsmith ubisofts been making SUCH a big deal about!
EVERYTHING in there you have to unlock!
and 99% of the stuff cant be unlocked till youve finished 3/4s of the game.
so what the ^%$# is the point of adding something so cool than restricting its use to less than 25% of the game?
ok fine add a challenge to unlock SOME of the things, but not every single god dam weapon, every single god dam mod!

but really those things are nothing in comparison to this games biggest problem.
wheres all the team abilities, customization, tacticality, versatility that the franchise is known for?
i was really worried this was being turned into a mindless action game and i was right!
its so freaking linear!!!!!!!!!
its nigh on impossible to complete so many levels stealthfully!
a perfect example of how this game SHOULD of been is crysis 2.
that game has SO many ways you can tackle each level, and SO many different paths you can take.
this just says ok this is the brick road follow this.
no you cant go this way, or that way, or above or below, this is the way and the only way!
its so linear!

so disappointed!
i really expected this to be like crysis 2.
a well polished open world play as you want, but remember this IS a tactical stealth game!
but sadly what i got was COD with some cool gadgets!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 8:36:10 AM

Doh , i was hoping dragon dogma would get the next review , more people need to know about that great game .

I don t see Ben giving it more then an 8 as a reviewer but the fun factor of that game is so great that you easily forget it s shortcomings .

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 9:20:02 AM

My biggest complaint with COD campaign mode is the totally inept allies. Good to hear there are games that can do this properly.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 10:08:36 AM

has 4 player co-op campaign/horde mode. clan system and 4 players can squad up and head into a range of tactical mp game modes. this is co-op fans heaven and works beautifully

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 @ 8:11:48 AM


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 @ 10:10:28 AM

I actually really like this game. The single player is alot of fun and multiplayer is soooo refreshing. Its just different than other multiplayer shooters. Maybe it's that TPS are my preferred type of shooter over FPS, but there is just something about it that is a blast. The loadouts are really in depth and its just a fun game all around. Think i may pick this up as it has co op split screen and co op on line. Totally a sleeper hit for me.

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