Earlier today, we paid a visit to Ubisoft's sizable E3 booth to get a look at Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. We were hoping that the game was going to be playable, but what show attendees are actually standing in line for is much the same demo that was shown at Ubisoft's press conference a couple of days ago. We already posted impressions of that demo, but we were at least able to glean a little additional information from the Ubisoft representative who was narrating on this occasion.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is set in the not-too-distant future, "sooner than you think" according to the dateline that appeared at the bottom of the screen. In the E3 demo mission, the Ghosts have received intel that an American convoy is going to be attacked by Russians and so their primary objective is to recon and, if possible, secure the area. As they land on a war-torn beach somewhere in Europe, debris from wrecked ships affords the Ghosts (and their enemies) plenty of places to take cover. The Ghosts have a significant advantage, though, in that their active camo equipment renders them more or less invisible provided they don't run, fire their weapons, or get wet.
By moving slowly with the active camo in effect, the Ubisoft representative playing the game was able to get extremely close to enemies who he then proceeded to execute with his silenced weapon. As the Ghosts proceeded up the beach toward a city in ruins, the player requested a satellite recon that handily highlighted the positions of all enemies in the vicinity by overlaying yellow icons on them. It was at this point that the Ghosts learned a person of interest was close by, and so what started out as a relatively straightforward reconnaissance mission, immediately became a capture mission.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's entire campaign will support cooperative play for up to four players, but on this occasion we were watching a lone player accompanied by three AI squadmates. They appeared to be behaving intelligently, and the no-nonsense radio chatter going on between them definitely added a lot to the atmosphere. One memorable moment, which occurred shortly after the team had simultaneously taken out a number of enemies both on a raised walkway and on the ground below it, was when the player snuck up behind an enemy manning a turret. After carefully avoiding the enemy's gaze because he was wearing thermal goggles that see through the active camo, the player but a bullet in the back of his head and then--upon realizing that another enemy was walking nearby--propped up the dead soldier for a few seconds so that his body wouldn't slump over the turret and alert the other enemy that something was wrong.
Upon reaching the city, and after showing off one of the 12 different close-quarters takedowns that the Ghosts have in their repertoire, the team spotted the target and took up positions close by. The player was going to be the Ghost responsible for actually grabbing the target and needed to time his attack for the same moment that the other three Ghosts shot and killed the target's trio of bodyguards. One especially cool touch during this sequence was that the trajectories of the other Ghosts' guns as they lined up their shots were superimposed on the screen, and after a countdown from three, it was great to see all three bodyguards get shot in the head and fall to the ground as the player grabbed the target and slammed his head against a nearby vehicle.
The final sequence of the demo saw the Ghosts inside a building overlooking a beach where an enemy chopper was airlifting in a powerful drone tank. The player was able to snipe the helicopter pilot, causing the helicopter to crash, but the tank still made it to the ground safely. Down on the beach, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier looked a lot like a stop-and-pop shooter, as the squad moved between positions of cover and took out enemies who were doing much the same thing. The aforementioned drone tank was making short work of the destructible cover, though, and the demo ended on something of a cliff-hanger as the Ghosts tried to figure out how to defeat the tank.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is currently scheduled for release early next year. Based on what we've seen of the game at E3, it should be a lot of fun regardless of whether you're playing solo or with a squad of up to three friends. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.