"A Ghost in the Future"
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the latest title in the Tom Clancy series of games, has finally come out, being at least 4 years in the making. The game that has been released is solid, but it feels as if the "future" elements presented in the game are just things thrown in - in an attempt to feel different.
When announced umpteen years ago, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was touted as "modern combat taken to the next level", a moniker that has definitely been usurped with the announcement of Black Ops II. The story takes players all over the world as they deal with and exterminate the threats of various criminals, taking them all over the world to places such as Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Russia.
I'm not a veteran of the Tom Clancy series, so I went into Future Soldier expecting to die over and over throughout my playthrough. Luckily, Iwas quite surprised to see that the game has basically become a squad-based third-person shooter. There are plenty of tactical options available to use, but the game still feels accessible, which is good for newcomers, although it may put off longtime series fans. Plenty of times I ran up to an enemy to shoot them point blank in the face, something I probably wouldn't have been able to do in previous Ghost Recon titles.
The controls of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier have a bit of a learning curve, but they become second nature pretty quickly. Still, I found the team work and grenade throw mechanics a bit weird. There's the ability to run from one section of cover to another by holding a button down, but it didn't work properly as often as I wanted it to. There are also a few quirks I have about how the camouflage is activated, and how it can be used. It can only be activated when not standing, which really doesn't make too much sense in some situations, such as when you are walking slowly.
While the gameplay offers freedom in terms of how objectives be accomplished, the game feels highly linear. Some mission objectives in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier have a requirement for the player to not get caught, but when allowed to get caught, there is barely any penalty other than new enemies appearing. New weapons and gadgets are introduced at a slow pace, which means the game is going to take a while before it truly opens up; it took well over 3 hours for me, and the menus shown in between missions seem to only be there for show.
The A.I. troops in single-player pretty much make the game feel as if it’s on auto-pilot when using the synchronized shot ability, but it's upsetting when you are forced to quit because the A.I. is caught on an object in the environment, and even more so when going through the trouble of setting up co-op and then you run into the problem.
Kinect functionality has been added for weapon customization in the Xbox 360 version, but it feels as if it's there to give the game another bullet point. In my smaller room with Kinect plugged in, why would I get up to edit my weapons?
Other than that, the graphics look nice, but they appear to be washed out at times. From what I've played, the levels feel like reskins of the same environments.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier isn’t a bad game in any sense; it’s just meant for a very specific audience. However, the changes made to the gameplay in pursuit of accessibility hurts the game more than it helps it, making it feel like an extremely slow-paced, squad-based TPS title.
GameDynamo's Score for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (X360)
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