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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier Review

Steve Butts | 30 May 2012 15:30
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The AI is generally good at staying behind cover and keeping your squad suppressed, but the game just doesn't feel as wide-open as some of the earliest games in the Ghost Recon franchise. The levels themselves are fine, but the enemies are always right in front of you and there's really no room to approach an encounter other than head-on through some cleverly disguised hallways. It's less of a problem in the game's multiplayer modes, where there is a bit more freedom to move around , but it keeps the single player game from really opening up

The story suffers from a similar sort of predictability. I get that the game's real-world military inspiration limits the types of things that can happen, but I'm past caring about Bolivian arms dealers, African warlords, and Russian rebels. Yes, publishing a game in which we actually went to war with a real nation would be a bit of a PR problem, but I'm just so sick of playing through these same old plots about coups and stolen nuclear weapons again and again. Even the beats are predictable. Remember that helicopter I mentioned at the beginning? Yeah, it explodes. It might be saved if the characterizations were better, but developers seem incapable of defining soldiers as anything other than "someone who holds a gun." Makers of these types of games want to honor the men and women who fight for us, but apparently don't feel that making them into real characters is worth the effort.

It's sad that the story and characters are so forgettable, but it's less objectionable in a game like this than it would be in, say, Skyrim or Batman Arkham City where story and character are more significant components of the design. In Ghost Recon Future Soldier the toys and the firefights are the context, so my complaints about the lack of memorable bad guys or a unique conflict shouldn't discourage shooter fans from picking up the game. For them it's enough that the game offers up customizable weapons, loads of challenging enemies, and plenty of stuff to blow up.

Finally, do not buy this game for its Kinect support. It's great that Ubisoft wanted to incorporate Microsoft's latest technology into the game, but this is more of a proof of concept than a full-on feature. The Kinect technology only works for customizing your gun and testing it out on the range. Otherwise, it's constantly getting in your way by prompting you to use it each and every time you want to customize your gear before a mission. Try it out once, then turn it off and never think about it again.

Bottom Line: Despite the predictable narrative, it's a smarter game than the genre usually delivers with a satisfying focus on teamwork and technology.

Recommendation: Give this one a try if you'd like to try a shooter that tests your tactics as much as your trigger finger.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Game: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Ubisoft Red Storm
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK), Play.com(UK)

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