Tuesday, 5 June 2012
BacK2GraW Reviews... Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Well after a lot of hype here is the official lowdown on the latest Ubi release: Ghost Recon Future Soldier!
Based in the near future the Ghosts are charged with stopping a major plot to destroy the civilised world (as if we hadn't already guessed!), which takes them from the refineries of Nigeria to the Arctic Circle. With that out the way lets get down to business!
The story is, unfortunately, the biggest weakness of the single player mission, due to its lack of real depth and somewhat predictable movement. However, what this game lacks in the epic novel department it more than makes up for in the epic game play department!
The move from the last issue of the series (GRAW 2) to this current format was never going to please the old school tactical shooter fan, however there has been considerable effort on the part of the Ubi Devs (read: Redstorm) to create a balance between the modern day craving for run and gun and the older gamers desire to use a bit of brain over brawn! The Single player is by and large fairly straight forward in its difficulty but instead of going down the linear route (like BF3 and MW3) they have offered us a wonderfully developed semi open environment in which to complete objectives.
This small addition to the game allows for a far more tactically minded approach to taking out key targets and allows the player to remain hidden for large duration's of the game. Stealth is the key my friends and this game allows you to be the ultimate chameleon!
With the recent development in military technology our Ghosts are equipped with an adaptive camouflage that allows them to become almost invisible to the naked eye (or should i say AI?). Whilst this seems fine and dandy it only works when crouching, laying prone or moving very slowly. So what benefit is this to us then? Well this camouflage allows us to get into positions for the ultimate team maneuver... the Sync Kill!
Sync killing involves marking individual targets for each of the 4 man squad to take out simultaneously. It is apparent that you should utilise this feature at every opportunity because fortunately for us the enemy never seems to be in groups larger than 4 (how convenient!). If they are in groups larger than 4 it is best to transform your style into stealth mode and slip past the unsuspecting militia!
Another excellent feature is the stealth take-down animation. Basically if you can get close enough to someone without them noticing then you are able to produce a savage and surgical kill using either your bare hands or your Bowie knife.... most satisfying!
I'm not going to list the gadgets in full because this isn't supposed to be a spoiler but lets just say the technology available to the Ghosts is vast! From recon drones to all out assault robots this game really does cater for the soldier in you! Each gadget also has the unique ability to designate targets so that you can perform team kills whilst controlling the tech itself! Pretty cool.
As you are probably getting the idea by now, this game is really a team based shooter and what a relief it is to see that forcibly, yet politely, built in. Gone are the days of trying to get others to help in objectives, oh yes, Future Soldier demands it. From the pre mentioned sync kills to gaining confidence by having team mates around you at key objectives this game oozes class in the play-style department.
Whats that you say? Are there any flaws? Well... yes and it is quite a big one. The Game Engine.
Graphically this game is along way behind some of the leading AAA Shooters, due mainly, I imagine, to the fact it was scrapped last year and rebuilt because the head sheds at Ubi were not happy with it. This has lead to an exceptional game-play experience but a somewhat disappointing graphical experience.
Whilst still an advance against the older games in the series, the buildings still seem a little rigid and the cut scenes are often slightly out of sync with regards to sound and movement of the characters. This obviously causes a slight flinch from the more experienced gamer but whether the casuals out there will notice is negligible.
I must stress though that the above flaw is added because I want to provide the most balanced review i can and not make this post one long winded advert! Saying that though there is something i would like to state for the record:
THIS IS THE BEST SHOOTER GAME SINCE COD 4!
Those of you that follow my YouTube channel will be aware of my feelings about this game after I recently posted a video that gave an overview of my thoughts about the entire release, and I was waxing lyrical!!
I honestly believe that even with the misgivings this game contains, it is, in my opinion, a genuine masterpiece of gaming design. From the team-play aspect to the unquestionable links back to the previous games in the GR series it screams excellence and I truly believe it is the game that is finally able to rival the Call Of Duty Series.
For those of you on the fence about this game, let me just make this clear. It is a worthy addition to the collection of even the most picky of gamers and with the DLC that is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks, it will only go from strength to strength!
The King is Dead... Long Live the King!!