Apr 10, 2012

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PAX EAST: Ghost Recon Future Soldier

PAX EAST: Ghost Recon Future Soldier

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier proved a lot of things at PAX East.  After a game has experienced the number of delays this title has, it usually falls by the waist side like Duke Nukem.  Yet to say that Future Soldier did anything but shine would be false.  While there is still some question as to whether or not it will have been worth the two year pre-order wait, it is definitely a title worth keeping track of over the next two months.

Ubisoft was showing off Future Soldier‘s “Guerrilla” mode through four-player co-operative play.  The concept is similar to Gears of War’s “Horde” mode for those looking for a comparison.  They key difference between Future Soldier and other horde-type gameplay is the fact that players must at the same time defend the headquarters they are stationed at.  Should a player allow an enemy to linger in the base for an extended period, the team will lose the round.  Players will be tasked with fighting off up to, if they can manage, 50 waves of enemies.  To make things a little more difficult, a “boss” wave will occur on every tenth level, which may or may not include vehicles.

Players will be able to spot hostiles to aid teammates and this will prove, and did prove, invaluable to the success of the team.  My own hands-on experience with the game proved how instrumental voice communication will be to the success of a team’s round, and was enforced even more by watching others use brilliant tactics and communication to get to the next wave.  Careful planning amongst a team regarding the use of killstreak rewards like radars and drones will only add to the team’s longevity.

The game might handle a little stiff for some when first diving in but after a round or two, players should be close to mastering the controls depending on skill level.

One of the more impressive aspects to the demo at PAX was the beauty the game displayed.  Sitting through a few levels, the folks at Ubisoft rotated maps every so often and allowed for players to see a good variety of locations.   One level featured a jungle setting that saw players defending a headquarters in front of what looked to be some type of mansion or big farmhouse.  A transition to the desert saw me defending a shack in possibly the Middle East or Africa.  The variances between the levels is drastic with the desert town setting really showing the type of color range gamers like to see when attempting to draw conclusions about a game’s graphical capabilities.  A few of the objects within the maps, like containers, did seem a little bland in the color department.   The HUD featured in Future Soldier is beautiful and really lends itself to giving players that “future” feel and makes up for the few objects lacking a lot of detail.  Future Soldier showed no screen tearing and passed my eye test easily.  Add to the futuristic HUD the new optical camouflage and the game wreaks of its name sake.

While the game releases May 22, 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and June 12 for the PC, the hands-on experience from PAX really provided hope to a lot of people that Ubisoft has not been all smoke and mirrors when it came to Future Soldier.  The demo provided gamers a lot of reasons to be interested in Future Soldier, especially those gamers looking for a twist on the modern shooters they receive every other month.  As someone who has been following this game closely for a long time, Ubisoft has made me look forward to it all the more.