Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Review

Lively multiplayer modes and a considerable campaign are hampered by bothersome network issues in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

by

Today's battlefields, it seems, are teeming with the kind of wizardry that video games have enabled players to use for years. Invisibility, X-ray vision, and miniature floating cameras are modern marvels that have long since become familiar, but Future Soldier's appeal doesn't rely on novelty. Stealthy action and streamlined teamwork blend to create an enjoyable and lengthy campaign, and lively competitive multiplayer modes provide extra enticement. Unfortunately, the online elements of Future Soldier are riddled with network problems that make connecting to and staying in a game difficult. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a robust package with plenty of satisfying ways to exercise your itchy trigger finger, but it requires a lot of patience if you want to do anything other than play by yourself.

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.

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 Q key (or right bumper if you are using a compatible gamepad).

The enemies in the top floor apartment are about to get an unwelcome visitor.

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.

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.

Set 'em up and knock 'em down.

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.

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.

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 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.

The enemy team doesn't take kindly to you killing them.

There's also a lively challenge to be found in competitive multiplayer, in which two teams 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.

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.

Alas, Future Soldier is beset by connectivity issues, and the competitive multiplayer bears the brunt of these flaws. Matches may take long minutes to start with no indication of how long you must wait, and randomly disconnecting from the server mid-match is not uncommon. It can be tough to find populated lobbies in modes other than Conflict, and once you are in a game, you may encounter graphical issues or slight lag. Though we were able to play a number of solid matches, it involved a lot of time spent wrangling with these frustrating problems.

It seems that guns are actually quite complicated.

Cooperative play is also hampered by errors, including a common one that causes the game to crash. Ubisoft has issued numerous patches since the game's release, but those hoping to play with or against other humans have a bumpy road ahead. Once you get it going, Future Solider's campaign and competitive play offer a good amount of content. Though the standard gunplay isn't very exciting, stealthy 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
Online play is fraught with technical problems
Numerous AI oddities
Unremarkable firefights
6.5
Fair
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

0 comments
semo_sony
semo_sony

I think Ubisoft should learn that not every game is suitable for third person shooter

Warmuro
Warmuro

Short missions and a lot of cutscenes interrupt the action. Game forces you to enable "magnetic view" almost all the time because all you can see is dust and smoke most of the time. Weapon customization could be easier. There's not a satisfying story, it is " just follow one man to find another man" based story. Good game but not enough to be a legend. Just finish and uninstall if you want free 15gb Hard Drive space.

Donnidarkhorse
Donnidarkhorse

The rating is generous. I'd give it a 4.5 or 5. The game dictates your every move. You're not playing a game, you're following instructions. It will tell you where to go, what to do and how to do it. Deply drone, land drone, drive up here, emit sonic boom. Or go over there, there's 3 guys, tag them, now fire. Wow that's fun. I hated progressing through a game and finding out how to strategically conquer a situation. This is much better just pushing which buttons I'm told.

skin2yard
skin2yard

has anyone ever figured out how to connect to someones campaign, so i can play the coop part of the game.... there are no lobbies on the ps3, i can only play with friends, and none of them have the game, i mean, was that such a problem to connect with strangers? graw 2 was a masterpiece, this is just a turd of a game, because of some simple things missing which make the game pointless, i played for like an hour and uninstalled, i never played graw or rainbow six because of singleplayer so why remove the most important thing? whats the point of coop if there is no matchmaking?

aetius_
aetius_

if you remove the bugs, you get one of the best games in 2012. really refreshing after all the COD's and BF's...  I would give it 9/10.

outlawst
outlawst

I expected much more ,anyway 7.5 top .

ZOD777
ZOD777

Poorly optimized port.  I meet or exceed the recommended requirements and the game crawls at highest settings like sap running down a tree in winter.  If you thought Arkham City was poorly optimized, you have NO IDEA!  Don't waste your time or money on this shitty port.  All of the controls in game prompt you with XBOX 360 controls and there are no mouse sensitivity options.  It is an abomination.

izikon
izikon

Something strange going on on gamespot

6.5?? i mean this game has few bugs and some annoying gameplay

but they do have very nice game features i wished i would see in other games , not bad graphics and in some parts great gameplay

i mean the way that you can customize you weapon is something i didn't see in any game

(the custom deatil level they have)

I'd give it 7.5....

bluecat68
bluecat68

I play this in pc Win7 Ultimate x64 and not yet encounter any problem after some 10 hours of gameplay & i think this game deserve better than 6.5, its not very good but definitely not that bad. The only complain that i have in mind is that the game quite easy to play even in highest possible difficulty.

Bgamer221
Bgamer221

Good old Tom Clancy, still writing these boring game called Ghost recon, i like splinter cells  better, than this junk, eaven the review sucks bad

 

euphoric666
euphoric666

i loved this game.... the weapons, the loadouts, the conversation between ghosts... nice graphics, great physics, sound, bullet impact, awesome overall package. Plus, the most kicking ass prologue short filme ever made.  Complain about everything is so easy... lets respect other people's work.  If you didn't like it, don't play it.

Gruug
Gruug

Unfortunately, this review missed some important points. Such as bugs. There are bugs that will put you into modes of fire that you can on find cover in. It is a known issue. On screen prompts for the  PC show XBOX 360 controller tips and not mouse/keyboard. Documentation is online in game menu but the section on controls covers only the XBOX 360 controls and not the PC. It is obviously a direct port of the XBOX 360 version but it is poorly implemented. If you are a PC owner....pass this one up. Does not bode well for Assasins Creed III coming to PC later this year.

prince__vlad
prince__vlad

The first and second advanced fighter , ghost series, were good, The third, this one is boring, I feel like playing a nice arcade game, in the 90's.

lmurry9917
lmurry9917

3rd person shooter ruins it for me

jin2009
jin2009

Gamespot review SUCKS .

WillyChong
WillyChong

This reviewer is not dumb or stupid, he is pretty smart cause he is avoiding what our last dear reviewer who reviewed Kane and Lynch, well so much being a "bootlicker".....

Bubreg
Bubreg

The 3rd person view always gives a cheap consolish look. It's definitely the worst view, and always ruins every game. Each time I see a "good" 3rd person game, I say: "Oh, it could have been a good FPS... what a waste."

yasir202
yasir202

That is too boring game. i saw that trailer and hope that game like call of duty but i am very disappoint.

robinsonz
robinsonz

wtf... I bought this game but it is unable to play under XP!@!! But Ubisoft website shows it able to play under XP.... is this a liar!!!!!????

xYamatox
xYamatox

Diablo 3 gets a pass on the network problems, yet this game gets hammered for having the exact same problems.

 

Nice, Gamespot.

HackRider
HackRider

Well i don't like running around and shooting here and there so, its seems to be a good game to me.

jafdip
jafdip

Not enough checkpoints in solo campaign mode. There are several very hard parts where endless repeating from the cut scene makes this a pretty tedious game, and the storyline is identical with most of the other recent shooters. Plus the team has no personality, and you can't even shoot them when they obstruct your shot. Wait for the bargain bin.

8Dark8Wolf8
8Dark8Wolf8

Fellow Gamers,  chill, so much discussion and argue about a low score, need to keep in mind that big site reviews like our beloved Gamespot is usually driven just like movie critics from big sites like NBC or FOX, they review trough marketing pressure. Thats why COD, a game thats been dead since COD 2 (maybe Cod 4 made it). keeps getting good reviews, its just marketing wise. If you want to really express your word and back it up, play the game and do your own review, wenever I want real advice about to play or not a game I check Real user reviews, Top and Bottom. in the End we are the ones who really Alpha-Beta and Gamma the games. Our friends in the critic world only get some restricted hours to try the game, write the review and move on.

 

My 8 Cents... >=P

Jato_81
Jato_81

Well I'm still holding out that I'll be able to play it one day.. Not for a lack of trying though. I have it installed and fully updated but still have no controls. And I refuse to unplug and uninstall my n52TE just because ubisoft couldn't be bothered to spend time on a console port. I mean who actually plays with a keyboard these days? with ya hand all cramped up into a claw.. But each week I'll continue to DL and install the patch, just hopping that it might be the one that'll fix the damn controls. 

Raziel972
Raziel972

Another stupid review,and an even dumber score.

I mean c'mon,the game's no masterpiece but 6.5... that's just unfair.

 

Game offers some very nice graphics,long campaign,variety of missions with pretty decent level designs. 

Then there's the excellent weapons customization system,a huge number of weapons to choose from and bunch of other gear.

Reviewer himself acknowledged most of these things,only cons mentioned were some AI bugs, which in my opinion are not very noticeable,and connectivity issues,i didn't play multiplayer for very long,but so far i didn't experience any major issues.

Besides if connectivity issues didn't bother you in Diablo 3, (apparently they didn't  since you gave it 8.5) which is literally unplayable,then this game should be no problem. 

Until the end the review has a very positive tone, and after reading it one would expect a much higher score,but apparently here at gamespot one or two minor glitches is all it takes,and the game is immediately bad.

 

All in all a very decent game that deserves at least  7.5-8.0.

Sum1cususuk
Sum1cususuk

this is one of the best games that I've owned. its really great. the campain is really long but its really fun. i beat it and then i replayed it lol. online is too if you know how to play lol. i love the ACR online in this game, it doesn't even look like an ACR anymore. Tom Clancy both book and video game designer, really advanced in a good way in the Ghost Recon games. offically one of the best Tom Clancy's video games besides Splinter Cell.

RanY2J
RanY2J

What the hell? another low score for another good game. First it started with Sniper Elite V2, then Spec Ops and now this? you guys are nuts and that's there is that the game actually offers good quality gameplay and i enjoyed the CO-OP with my friends for such a long Campaign, though sometimes the Multiplayer element sucks at the core, the game overall is a must 7-8/10. You gotta be jumping a bunch of hoops. Stop reviewing the games like IGN do with Southpark.

jauhars07rmcf
jauhars07rmcf

maybe this game should be scored 7.5 because the campaign is good but not good at multiplayer but that doesn't mean this game is bad. Maybe my friend will like it because,indonesian gamers only look for something fun

locko33
locko33

meni se svidja igra nije losa ..... ocena 8.5 ....

Elanareon
Elanareon

The review doesn't justify the score of the game... So low a score with just AI issue (which almost every game has) and internet connection issue ( which one "recent" game just got a 9.5? with the same issue). Good campaign and still 6.5? So is every game suppose to be multiplayer now or they suck? Haven't played the game myself but the review is just weird lol

rulerofthworl
rulerofthworl

Wow, I regret pre-ordering this game. Never again, don't care what they will give you if you do.

ZOD777
ZOD777

I should probably add that after a patch, the game runs well, and the controls are finally shown as keyboard and mouse.  Might have shown 360 controls since I had a USB PSX pad plugged in.  There are sensitivity options, but the game has pretty lackluster graphics at even the highest settings.  I have to completely agree with the score given here, if not a bit lower (6).

WillyChong
WillyChong

 @yasir202 Wow, then you should stick playing Call of Duty to death instead...... why here?

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

 @xYamatox

 The Diablo issues are the cause of overwhelming success, server overload. GRAW simply has bad coding going on, and in a game that won't be pulling in a lot of MP players, the last thing you want is to lose them early to glitches.

And yeah, Activsion pays more :P

WillyChong
WillyChong

 @xYamatox Cause you know, Ubisoft pay less while Activision Blizzard pays more, who is the highest bidder gets the better review. I felt disappointed for those "Milk Drinkers" 

Orontes13
Orontes13

 @8Dark8Wolf8 Agreed on the part about user reviews being the best benchmark. But still, I think these big reviewers need to be criticized for being so biased all the time. Especially GameSpot has become very biased in the last few years. They used to be my favorite. But now I dont care for their reviews most of time. 

hell_mind
hell_mind

 @8Dark8Wolf8 cod dead? sure thats why it just reached 1 billion $ in sales, get more info b4 posting bs

RagAndBoneMan3
RagAndBoneMan3

 @8Dark8Wolf8 I don't even know what to think of this comment. It's so asinine it hurts. Reviews are a tool for us just like everything else. I'll never understand how people like you trust obvious market driven previews over "aluminum hat" maybe bought out reviews. Not to mention User reviews are overly emotional nonsense that always defies actual human logic and lives for nostalgia.

Gruug
Gruug

 @Raziel972

 Except if you are running is 1280 x 960 that it looks no different if you put it in 1600 x 900. Controls are mess up...in fact could even play with mouse/keyboard when launched on many many machines. Numerous bugs STILL after three patches. 6.5 is way too high. I give it a 1.0.

Elrithr
Elrithr

 @Elanareon The multiplayer issue is a massive issue. Its almost unplayable. From 8 games, I got 5 disconnects, 2 really laggy games and one "successfull" game with four player migrations. As for the AI issues... well enemies will often run between covers, run towards or just sit there waiting for you to shoot 'em. Lastly, this game is clearly designed for a multiplayer that really doesn't work. The campaign has almost no plot, and what little plot there is, is tied up with strings. Overall, the game is average at best, frustratingly awful at its worst. There are very few redeemable moments and there are a lot of quirks and bugs that really get to you.

WillyChong
WillyChong

 @hell_mind Yes, 1billion dollar of dead in innovation, design, creativity and production, thats why its dead! You should realized that its money that is the main driving force behind these website, you may not like it, but its a reality in this world, open your eyes!

Raziel972
Raziel972

 @Gruug I really don't give a shit what you gave it,piss off.

Raziel972
Raziel972

 Gelugon_baat. First of all,i see you have trouble reading and writing in English,maybe English is not you native language,I'm European so English isn't my first language either.

But you shouldn't be arguing against my points if you can't understand what i wrote.

I never called the reviewer stupid or dumb,i called his review stupid,there's a pretty big difference.

Actually the review is not my problem here,my problem is the final score.

Second,a review shouldn't be based on opinions only,we have a comment section for that,I prefer facts,and i think a good reviewer should stick to facts rather than his personal opinions or preferences.

Surprisingly this reviewer did stick to facts,but i don't think his final score was based on them.

He basically wrote that the game is very good,but because of a few minor glitches he gave it a 6.5,that,in my opinion is unfair.

apocalypsehorse
apocalypsehorse

 @Elrithr in addition (from my experience with the console version) there's also:

 

players playing classes without exacto ammo spraying no where near other players and still getting kills.

 

shotguns that nearly have the range of snipers (and this is the one you START with).

 

It's too easy to level engineers.

 

data hacks not going through even though the bars are all filled, and you've lasted about another second afterwards.

Orontes13
Orontes13

 @Raziel972  The whole argument about respecting people's opinions is self-contradictory, and overrated. Raziel, why dont you just tell the @Gelugon_baat that, it is YOUR OPINION that the reviewer is stupid, dumb, unfair or whatever. Hence your opinion should also be respected. Cheers.

Raziel972
Raziel972

 @PeterDuck :) yeah i know what you mean,don't worry I have better things to do than argue with kids.

Raziel972
Raziel972

 @Gelugon_baat You certainly are cocky for someone who can neither read or write.

I didn't call the review stupid because it doesn't match my opinion,i called it stupid because it didn't match his own opinion,or technically the score didn't match his opinion.But I have no time to bicker over this with you,if you think people can express their opinions as they see fit (this guy even gets payed for it),even when their conclusions make no sense,then you should have no problem with me expressing mine.

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:
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