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Review

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review

  • Game release: May 22, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • X360

Satisfying sync shots and a considerable campaign help Ghost Recon: Future Soldier deliver plenty of entertaining action.

by

The decades to come may be full of unknown potential for wondrous inventions, but in the gaming realm, the future is old hat. Invisibility, X-ray vision, and miniature floating cameras are modern marvels that have long since become familiar. Though these tools are potent in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, there's precious little novelty in your futuristic arsenal, and this can make you feel like you're undertaking missions you've run many times before. So is Future Soldier just another by-the-book third-person shooter?

Fortunately not. Though there's plenty of familiarity to be found here, Future Soldier's brand of stealthy action and streamlined teamwork gives it a distinct appeal. The lengthy campaign lets you wield your AI allies like autonomous weapons; their guns are yours to command, but they handle their own maneuvers, pushing the action along at a slick pace. Replacing them with your fellow humans brings its own challenges and rewards, as does facing off against said humans in the lively competitive multiplayer modes. Though it's more of a product of the past than a vision of the future, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a robust package that provides plenty of satisfying ways to exercise your itchy trigger finger.

In the campaign, you play as the ghosts, a four-man team of elite soldiers. Cutscenes and mid-mission dialogue combine to create a nice sense of camaraderie among the crew, and hackneyed archetypes are downplayed in favor of more understated characterization. Personalities are colored in during small moments, like a song streaming out of earbuds, a fleeting facial expression, and a conversation about used trucks. Interactions with other military personnel reveal how isolated the ghosts are from the soldiers they break bread with and how oblivious those soldiers are to this fact. This segregation creates a connection among the ghosts that is a refreshing change from the familiar "bonds forged on the crucible of combat" trope.

Line 'em up and knock 'em down.

On the field of battle, the ghosts try to emulate their namesakes, moving silently with the aid of slick optical camouflage that dissolves if you jog, sprint, or fire your weapon. Staying stealthy is often a mission requirement, and even when it isn't, avoiding detection gives you a distinct advantage. It's easy to maneuver unseen, and you spend a lot of time silently eliminating foes. Stealth melee kills and suppressed weapons are your basic tools, but the key mechanic is the sync shot. Spotting enemies through your scope or tagging them from aloft with your aerial drone, you can designate up to four targets for you and your squad to eliminate in one fell swoop. To execute, simply open fire on your own target, or issue the command with a press of the right bumper.

It's a neat trick, and the seconds of slo-mo that follow are a welcome flourish that allow you to silently mop up more than the few targeted foes. Using sync shots to eliminate enemies is pleasing and relatively easy, thanks to the array of detection methods at your disposal. Drones, sensor grenades, and a few flavors of optical gadgetry give you plenty of ways to detect nearby foes. As long as no one sees the dead bodies, no one gets suspicious, and many situations lay out foes in discrete, easily sync-shot-able groups.

Only in later levels do you encounter larger groups that put your coordination skills to the test. You must now take into account multiple lines of sight and interlocking movement patterns, as well as calibrate the exact speed at which you can tag and take down a new set of targets. Methodically carving your way through these scenarios is very satisfying, and you might even find yourself choosing to reload checkpoints when you are discovered, even if you aren't forced to. Though an alert doesn't always bring your mission to a close, challenging yourself to maintain stealth is usually more engaging and fun than blasting your way through.

It's important to remember that you are camouflaged, not invisible.

Aside from sync shot orders, your AI allies are mostly autonomous. They follow your lead but move, take cover, and engage alerted targets on their own. They are very reliable, but they are prone to a number of unrealistic behaviors that can hamper your immersion. Shooting effectively through multiple thick walls, sprinting past enemies while maintaining camouflage, or failing to acquire a marked target in line of sight are all intermittent AI oddities.

Fortunately, these AI issues rarely have an adverse effect on your progress. Yet regardless of how careful you are, things are going to get loud. Open firefights provide good opportunities to use non-suppressed weapons like light machine guns and shotguns, as well as deadly ordnance like frag and incendiary grenades. The AI is aggressive, but not reckless (to borrow a phrase from the ghost leader), and they throw grenades, flank, and suppress your position with vigor. The latter action can trigger a disorienting camera movement that temporarily prevents you from returning fire, a nice change from the clouded field of view seen in other shooters.

As long as you stay behind cover, dodge grenades, and shoot sharply, you can progress through these encounters without too much hassle. The suggested weapon loadout is always up to the task, though Future Soldier does offer an extensive weapon customization mode before each campaign mission. Almost every part of the gun can be analyzed and swapped out for another that favors different attributes, though it takes some time to unlock the more intriguing hardware. Each component is rendered in loving detail, and it's fun to watch the gun spring apart into fragments and then reassemble. You do all this tinkering with the controller or with the Kinect, though the latter is strictly a novelty and almost no help at all when it comes to testing your weapon on the firing range.

Out in the field, your guns fire with realistic reports and bullets impact targets with a squishy thud. Yet while the gunplay is competently put together, the cover-to-cover firefights rarely coalesce into something truly exciting. There's a workmanlike quality to the action that makes you yearn for the thrill of a sync shot, though some set-piece moments help liven things up. Slow-motion breaching maneuvers and on-rails hostage extractions add some dramatic flair, and the mission with a donkey-sized robot (the Warhound) provides some explosive kicks.

Your other arm is currently devoted to hostage extraction.

Each campaign mission presents four challenges to overcome in order to unlock extra weaponry, and striving to achieve them is a good way to keep things more interesting. You have to tweak your arsenal to pull some of them off, or just bring a few friends along to help your cause. In fact, some seem to all but require additional human players, and you can have one local or up to three online teammates. Coordinating sync shots and advancing on enemies is more enjoyable with a human crew, and there's also a horde mode in which you (and up to three friends) must defend an outpost from waves of enemies. Escalating weapon loadouts, wave perks, and a variety of gear help you make your stand as things get tougher, and the higher waves pose a stiff challenge to even the sharpest ghosts.

There's also a lively challenge to be found in competitive multiplayer, in which two teams of up to six players can compete in a variety of modes. As in the campaign, you can die quickly if caught out, so cover is a powerful ally. But with the exception of the one-life-per-round Siege mode, respawns happen frequently enough that the penalty for death is not very severe, which allows for more brazen tactics. This gives things a more hectic feel, especially in Conflict mode when the objectives regularly shift the focal point of the battle.

Not on my watch.

Your firearm skills serve you well, but so does reconnaissance. Stunning an enemy instead of killing him and then hacking his data feed may be risky and time-consuming, but the resulting reveal of enemy positions is a very potent reward, especially in the bomb-transporting Saboteur mode. Using your tech to gain an advantage is gratifying, and success in multiplayer earns you levels and new gear for whichever of the three classes you are playing as at the time.

The competitive action evolves as more players bring more gadgetry and guns into the fray, adding some nice diversity, and even the lengthy campaign provides some good reasons to return to it after you've seen it through. Though the standard gunplay isn't very exciting, stealthly skill shots and diverse combat scenarios provide a lot of entertaining and satisfying moments. The action rarely transcends present-day standards, but Ghost Recon: Future Soldier proves that there is still a lot of fun to be found on the battlefields of the future.

The Good
Pleasing sync shot mechanic
Lengthy campaign is great in both solo play and co-op
Enjoyable competitive multiplayer modes
The Bad
Numerous AI oddities
Unremarkable firefights
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

About the Author

/ Staff

With his Apple IIGS as the spark and his neighbor's NES the fuel, Chris Watters' passion for gaming caught fire early. Years later, you can find him aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent while desperately avoiding sunburns.

Discussion

435 comments
NTM23
NTM23

I just got this... Man, it's late, but I'm glad I got it, it's a lot of fun. And again, just like when I beat G.R.A.W. I can't wait for another one. If they took this gameplay and used the engine they are using for The Division, that'd be cool.

toshineon
toshineon

So, uh... Was I the only one disappointed by this game? I mean, they've been pushing the multiplayer modes too much. Was the original Ghost Recon even an online shooter? I know it had online, but I don't think it was as big of a deal back then. Besides, I though Ghost Recon were tactical first-person shooters, not this weird mix between Spec Ops: The Line and Splinter Cell.

funsohng
funsohng

Played up to chapter 4, already my favourite modern military shooter SP campaign in recent years.

It offers a different, more streamlined but still very satisfying, tactical gunplay compared to GRAW. Loving it so far.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Yes, I'm late t othis party I guess, but I got the game on the cheap. some of the comments below refer to the PC version of this game. But the review is for the Xbox version as far as I can tell. So Here is my 2 cents. I've now played the game for about 12 hrs total. Half of which in multiplayer. The issue I always seem to have with this game and Battlefield & Black Ops for that matter is when I am close to an enemy lets say in the same room, I can not tell if they are the enemy or a teammate half the time. Some times I shoot my teammates because I can't tell who is who at least not before the kill me. But I'm new to the game so maybe its something I'm missing so to speak. The multiplayer is not fast paced its very much a chess match, But being new it takes a while to level up to improve your guns and stuff. That seems to matter, I shoot people they don't die but I do. I'm going to continue to play in hopes that I just work past the learning curve.   I hope this helps for late buyers of the game. I think it is well worth $20 new with all the needed codes. DO NOT BUY USED AS YOU WILL NEED CODES THAT ONLY COME WITH The NEW GAME.

Jebril
Jebril

Not one word on how amazing the graphics are throughout this entire review. Obvious bias.

ertridipraj
ertridipraj

hey i have the system to run this game on highest setting,but its not satisfying,means its too dull,to find enemy i always have to use the magnetic view,can u please recommend the graphics setting to run it on PC?

rushiosan
rushiosan

Great game with laughable Kinect features. I got it ONLY because the box said "better with Kinect", but fortunately, it didn't disappoint me as a classical shooter while using my gamepad.

manzy57
manzy57

Multi-player is a lot of fun, when you have a team that communicates well, and there are no server/connection issues. Hopefully, UBISoft will listen to our complaints and install dedicated servers, instead of relying on individual XBOX's being used as host.

toby_hussein
toby_hussein

Campaign was ok first time around but the "mission failed you've been detected" BS really spoils it in the end.

Forbidden76
Forbidden76

Yeah the multiplayer is so broke with this game its not even funny.

Dont buy this game if your looking for a great multiplayer experience.

The game doesnt even have dedicated servers!

Its hosted on a players Xbox ala Call Of Dookie.

Homefront has dedicated servers and this doesnt?

 

After the first patch the teams are so uneven it hurts.

The matchmaking was fine before the patch.

So you see scores like 615-13 and more than likely you will be on the losing team.

 

Im selling it on eBay as we speak.

Hope I get at least $40 back from this horrible multiplayer game.

 

Back to Homefront and BF3 until I see a better FPS with Dedicated Servers!

 

jason-bishop13
jason-bishop13

and what about the cut scenes. when ever a cut scene begins it makes me laugh like a mad man.

apocalypsehorse
apocalypsehorse

this review doesn't mention all the horrendous multi-player problems....

darkimposter
darkimposter

While I probably wasn't going to buy the game anyway, I find it a bit odd that the reviewer only gave it a 7.5 for just a small thing as occasional AI oddity (something that isn't too infrequent), and uninteresting fire fights (which they probably don't differ in CoD or BattleFD much). I'd say this probably deserves as 8.5 or an 8 with what i've seen of it. Just sayin'.

suplax
suplax

To much hate on this great game....

Haters are probably all COD fanboy's.

Lamia96
Lamia96

Mr Watters! I just read this. I have to say it's the most short-comprehensive review of GR:FS ever I read!!

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

 @mogwart36 Just because this game is different from the usual modern combat shooters doesn't mean that it is automatically better.

samanoskay
samanoskay

This game is a complete waist of money on the pc, its close to being a joke, multiplayer randomly disconects u every few mins, so its unplayable, and the single player is meh, coop would be good if it didnt crash on my friends pc every 10-15 mins :/

jamesjgraham
jamesjgraham

I hope you can save the game at various intervals instead of having to restart the whole mission from the beginning as in previous Ghost Recons.

Wizallah
Wizallah

Can you issue your squad orders like in past GR games?

zicolofoo
zicolofoo

...plus they should have done a better job rendering the faces. They all look so "metal- face" with just the mouth open and close, a little scary, too.

zicolofoo
zicolofoo

I wish they would stick to their own GR and not to make it like COD or BF. Not the same old "solid" feeling experienced from GRAW 1 and 2. Too many "hi-tech" things distracting in the gameplay, taking away the core of the series.

exiledwolfx1x
exiledwolfx1x

Got this, i do agree that the firefights aren't the most "exciting" but i look for precision when playing a game like this so i really like the patience needed to play this game. Multiplayer i have fallen in love with due to the fact that you cant run around like an idiot holding fire and killing everything that moves. Its a brilliant game if you give it a chance.

rossip001
rossip001

Usually I agree with Chris’s reviews but on this one he is totally and completely wrong. Between the strategic sync shots, to the game dynamics, up to the firefights I think this is the best Ghost ever. Deserves at least an 8.5. Also, what the hell does Chris mean that there are AI oddities and “unremarkable firefights”? At times you get caught in ambushes where you have to relax and pinpoint the fire or you get killed quickly. I think the story line is pretty good too. Loved both Ghost 1 and 2 but I think so far that this one tops them all.

XFFIGHTER
XFFIGHTER

Should I rent it and how much language is there? PLEASE REPLY

nsj90
nsj90

TC's:GRFS was not as "tactical" as expected. The game mechanics were very much like a cross between Gears of War and Call of Duty. Using your squad to sync shot made it a little too easy at times, and the assassination action buttons ("X" and "RT") were so monotonous to use throughout the entire game => seeing the same cut scenes. Certain levels also made it impossible to play in complete stealth due to such concentration of enemies in one area. Even if you wanted to, it was almost impossible to be a complete ghost. Weapon customization was excellent! Multiplayer was just OK. Server lag and less online users created a lackluster element to it. Overall I recommend at least a rent if not a purchase once the price drops below $40. You will love the game the first time through.

keyb0red
keyb0red

looks pretty good, goes on on my shopping cart this one :)

nightemare
nightemare

I had bought this game and actually it is perfect and I guess it is worth getting

iWREKK
iWREKK

is this game worth getting.. im pretty late on this release.. im a battlefield guy so wuld this b a waste of time or is it a good backdoor game

 

chadbtownvt
chadbtownvt

Unbelieveable, im starting to really believe that people are paying for good review scores. ive seen some bs games get higher then this GRFS. Chris Watters says the negitive- unremarkable firefights? wtf? think your review is backwards. never heard someone say a game is negitive for unremarkable firefights? 8/10 atleast sorry chris watters, gamespot fire these bumbs

Nickk182
Nickk182

Bet it would have scored higher with "Modern Warfare 3.5" pasted on the cover.

mlbslugger86
mlbslugger86

7.5? This game is Great been playing it for about two days and I'm l oing the slow pace of it an 8.5.in my books

ollie2000000
ollie2000000

I heard team death match will be coming soon as dlc my God what is going to become of gaming it just wouldn't surprise me if they started selling games with a blank discs and telling us the content will come as dlc later i mean seriously if you companies are worried about money how do you think your consumers feel but then again who cares right. On a lighter note games ok all 80% of it :D

qxPRoxp
qxPRoxp

Lol this game is retarded slow, and not worth $60.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Well regardless of the 7.5 score i think its great, the only thing its missing in my mind is a straight forward Team Death Match. Regarding "Unremarkable firefights", Really??, ill simply translate that comment into: "doesnt provide the same arcacde-esque runnie-jumpie-grenade spamming gameplay as Call of Duty", play it on Elite difficulty and it is highly challenging.  Regarding the narrative, Ok so its doesnt have the most thought provoking story, then again what military FPS does?

 

My conclusion is simply: if your looking for a 'Light Tactical' FPS that requires more thought than the standardised FPS nowadays, you wont be dissapointed.

 

Im just waiting for the next installment of R6 now and ill be very happy.

 

These are of course my own personal opinions.

megakick
megakick

Who cares about story mode its' about the PVP.

NTM23
NTM23

@toshineon This is old, so I doubt you'll respond, but I just got it yesterday, and I feel I may be more than half way through (in Moscow Russia), and am surprised at how enjoyable the campaign is. I love most of the main Tom Clancy games, and had planned on getting this game on release, being excited beforehand, but just never got it, and it's unfortunate. The biggest problem I have with it is visuals really. They aren't bad, but could be a whole lot better in areas; I do however like the player character animations enough, it makes me feel immersed in the shoes of him.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 You cant expect much for the PC. UBI ignore console users that demand dedicated servers since the beta stage.The MP (x360) most of the games are plagued with bad lag and random disconnection and host migration. X360 users have been partitioning for dedicated servers since the beta stage, UBI dont give a shit

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters moderator staff

 @Wizallah You can tag dudes for them to shoot and tell them when to shoot, and command them to help out a downed teammate, but that's pretty much it.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

 @rossip001

 Agreed! Though i think the only missing component is a straight up Deathmatch & Team Deathmatch as i find the Capture the flag / KOTH game types quite monotonous at times.

 

Other than that Yes, this is definately worth an 8.5 in my opinion.

Duke_92
Duke_92

 @XFFIGHTER I rented it last night and am about halfway through the campaign. There is the occasional f-bomb, but it's not incessant (maybe one every mission or 2.) It's on Redbox so it only costs $2 per night. And yes, I realize this comment was 3 months ago, but I saw there were no other replies so I decided to be nice...

XFFIGHTER
XFFIGHTER

Also is the multiplayer good because I usually don't play the campaign.

ravenkiller
ravenkiller

 @iWREKK its ok if you like a rainbow six styled game (honestly think rainbow 1 is better than this though) really though if your a battlefield guy then in a couple of weeks this game will be an after thought with the close quarters dlc on it's way. it's a rental at best.

iWREKK
iWREKK

 @ravenkiller

 thanx bro , yea rainbow 6 was pretty bad ass , i think ill rent it .

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier More Info

First Release on May 22, 2012
  • DS
  • PC
  • + 3 more
  • PlayStation 3
  • PSP
  • Xbox 360
Ubisoft's squad-based shooter series returns with advanced prototype weapons and both a single-player campaign and multiplayer modes.
7.7
Average User RatingOut of 1551 User Ratings
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Developed by:
Ubisoft Paris
Published by:
Ubisoft
Genres:
Shooter, Third-Person, Tactical, Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
PC X360 PS3
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