Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (X-Box 360)

May 23, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The Ghost Recon series has been one of the shooter genre’s elite franchises, with an emphasis on squad tactics, near future tech, and effective mechanics. The latest installment is Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which not only lives up to the previous games, but proves to be one of the best shooters available. GR: FS provides a wealth of content, whether you want to play alone, with friends, or against the world. A story driven campaign headlines, one which you can explore by yourself, in split screen with a friend, or with up to three friends on-line. Then you can tackle competitive multi-player in a number of modes, with the usual suspects covered and some fresher modes offered. But that isn’t all, as you’re also able to test your skills in Guerilla mode, which tasks you to survive 50 waves of enemies. You can recruit up to three friends to dig in and battle the ever stronger waves of hostile forces, or with one friend via split screen. As you can tell, Ubisoft has loaded GR: FS with all the content fans could demand and then some. So now you know what is here, but is it fun?

The campaign offers twelve levels of intense action, with the kind of tactical options you’d expect from a Ghost Recon game. While not a realism driven soldier simulation, GR: FS does ask you to formulate some tactics and not just run from checkpoint to checkpoint as in other games in the genre. You can still powerhouse through at times if you want to, but you’d miss out on what makes Ghost Recon special. If you use stealth, work with your squad, and exercise patience, you will be amazed by some of the incredible kills you’ll be able to pull off. The melee combat is improved, as is the cover system and the latter really enhances the experience and irons out some of the previous games’ wrinkles. The story isn’t as impressive as the mechanics, but it isn’t that bad and is on par with the genre standard.
The competitive side of things is also more tactical than your typical shooter, as you’re able to endure much less damage than in most games. So those players who love to just bull rush others and throw caution to the wind will find themselves waiting to respawn over and again. The most success is usually found by implementing stealth and just being cautious, sneaking up on enemies, killing them, then ducking back into the shadows. This approach isn’t as effective in the more objective based modes, but those are still a lot of fun and require constant shifts in strategies. The Guerilla mode is a lot of fun as well, serving as an ideal showcase for the in depth squad tactics you can engage in. While the wave survival format isn’t breaking new ground, the mechanics are fresh to the concept and the brains over brawn game design shines here. I also want to mention that the Gunsmith mode allows you to tinker with all the game’s weapons, mixing and matching all kinds of components to craft your ideal weapon. You can then use your evil creations in any of the game’s modes, so very cool stuff.
In the end, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is an all you can play experience, with enough content to keep even the most diehard genre fans satisfied. I appreciate that Ubisoft has delivered a shooter that caters to players of all types, those who want to play alone, with others, or against others. And while some of the big name games in the genre are content with sparse side modes for co-op, GR: FS gives you the complete campaign plus the Guerilla mode. So regardless of how you want to play, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has you covered. In a crowded, competitive genre, even good games sometimes slip through the cracks, but Ghost Recon: Future Soldier stands firmly at the front of the shooter crowd.

Video: How does it look?

While diverting your attention isn’t usually wise, if you do soak in the visuals, you’ll be impressed. The game’s world is rich with detail and depth, with simply stunning moments around almost every corner. This really helps give the world that “lived in” texture and that enhances the entire experience. The characters look excellent as well, with a lot of detail and perhaps best of all are the myriad of well replicated weapons. GR: FS not only keeps pace with the other shooters on the market, it clearly leaves most of them in the dust.

Audio: How does it sound?

To me, shooters need a visceral sound design to really amp up the experience. This is especially true when it comes to the guns, as no one wants to feel like they’re firing off a cap gun. GR: FS has the kind of kick you want from your weapons, but the feel of the gun is dependent upon which weapon is in your hands. So when you unleash a hail of bullets with an automatic weapon, it feels right and much different than the wicked snap of a single fire weapon. The explosions, gunfire, and random dialogue all sound terrific, not much else we could demand here.

Disc Scores