Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier | Gameguide Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – Gameguide

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I became a fan of the Tom Clancy series of games back in 1999 when I discovered Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear on the PC.  It was one of the most amazing, frustrating, but addictively enjoyable games I had played.  It not only introduced me to the wonderful world of killing people (as opposed to killing monsters and aliens), but also to the world of realistic looking graphics (though I hate to think what i’d think of those graphics now) and online gaming (via my trusty 56k modem, no less).  Next came the first Ghost Recon game and then came the XBox and my first experience of gaming with thumb sticks.  Then came the 360 and I embraced World War 2 though the Call of Duty Series, forgetting about Tom Clancy’s more realistic shooters and their one shot kills.

But with the Call of Duty series becoming bland, it was time to head back to Clancy land, which somewhere along the way had inexplicably gone third person.  Luckily I had just finished playing Max Payne 3, so was in the groove fro playing another third person cover shooter.

The third person cover approach wasn’t the only change from the Tom Clancy I knew of old, the one shot kill approach had been watered down a bit, and you could survive a few bullets.

To say that Future Soldier’s cover and shoot system is highly influenced by Gears of War, would be understating it, but where it never quite felt 100% right with gears, Ubisoft have created a game world where it just works and make you feel like you’re part of an elite military squad.

It’s hard not to compare Future Soldier with the Call of Duty series, especially with Black Ops 2 hinting at following it’s lead, with the near future setting and some tactical over views, but the one Call of Duty game that Future Soldier reminds me of is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  This is still my favourite first person shooter, and the benchmark I use for all military shooters.  After this game, the Call of Duty series lost it’s way with a heavy focus on online play and a single player narrative that just didn’t flow.

It’s in the narrative that Future Soldier shines.  From the first mission the story grabs you, makes it personal, and nails the pace of delivering it to you.  Missions range in flavour, and some of them mix up stealth game-play that rapidly moves onto explosive adrenaline fueled running street battles.  The addition of future tech and the tactical advantages it brings helps fill out the game and delivers it in a way that feels believable, giving you a nicely immersive experience.

One of the real strengths of the game-play is the tagging system, where you can tag targets for you team to take down, either on your command or your shot, meaning that you can take down four guys simultaneously, an essential for missions that require stealth.  Another strength is the diversity of approach for what is a linear game.  On at least one mission, I was shaving issues trying to figure out how to take down a larger group of soldiers without the alarm being raised by the discovery of a body.  After a couple of failed attempts, I tried another route, total stealth and managed – with slow and steady sneaking – to sneak past all the guards and onto the objective without killing any of them.  Whilst this may not sound like much fun for a modern shooter, it was immensely satisfying.

Graphically the game is pretty sweet, though there are occasional glitches, and the audio is amazing – though this was probably helped immensely by playing the game with a pair of Turtle Beach XP500 enveloping my ears with Dolby 7.1 surround sound and making the battlefield sound alive.

It was refreshing to once again play a military shooter where the single player campaign didn’t feel like an after thought, but that’s not to say that the online portion wasn’t well thought out, it was, and is immensely enjoyable, if somewhat of a learning curve.

I’m not sure that I’m ready to give up on first person shooters, but I’m certainly happy to be in the world of third person military shooters, and I’m stoked that I’ve rediscovered the Tom Clancy universe, and it’s as impressive as it ever was.

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