GAME NAME: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
RELEASE DATE(S): June 29
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a shameless console port. It makes no effort to hide its dual analogue stick background or it’s some-what enticing graphics but as mother always said, its whats inside that counts. Sadly what is inside is a poor facsimile of other big shooter franchises in more ways than one.
GR:FS on the surface feels like a half-assed title. The name is a synonym for Advanced Warfighter so strike one for the creative team and the plot line shares too many similarities with the Modern Warfare franchise that it is hard to be take it seriously. An attack on a Western city? Check. Russian Ultranationalists? Check. A team of highly trained US soldiers that save the day? Check. These carbon copy elements make it hard to immerse yourself into the storyline and makes your efforts in-game feel trivial.
Graphically GR:FS is good but unlike previous titles in the franchise (Advanced Warfighter) it doesn’t push the limits of what the graphics engine or the graphics hardware can achieve. Unfortunately while the game supports DirectX 11 it fails to provide any of the visual and graphics options afforded by DX11. Sadly this is due to Ubisoft’s view of PC gaming and the piracy that accompanies it; a quick port of a console game is much cheaper than investing money on making a game that takes advantage of the power of the PC. The AI is, for lack of a better word, retarded and the enemies will completely ignore your squad and instead concentrate all their firepower on you. Your teammates are equally useless and only come in handy when you need a medic.
The controls are a nightmare. At some points it feels like the dev team just randomly assigned keys according to how much they will irritate the player. Ctrl will adjust your character’s stance from standing, to crouch and then to prone but on occasion Alt will cause your character to prone but only when one of the numerous on-screen prompts tells you. When sprinting your character can only turn left or right with no ability to look up to see where a chopper or sniper is. It feels made for the sticks on a gamepad and it’s an insult to the capabilities of the mouse. The 3rd-person view is also a little frustrating because it only serves to show off the Active Camouflage that the soldiers wear and feels awkward on a platform that is ideal for a first-person shooter.
The gameplay in general is ideally suited for the console and its button-crammed controls. The Gears of War-esque cover-based shooter style of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is painful on the PC, turning what should be a thinking man’s shooter into an on-rails experience that merely asks you to shoot at the enemy while being glued to a pillar or low-wall. It’s enough to make you grab a copy of Modern Warfare n (where n is any number you pick) and promise to love and cherish it forever. The one redeeming element of GR:FS is that it is challenging but not in a “where is the best place to snipe from” but rather “which guards should I kill to not raise the alarm” and after some trial and error such challenges are soon passed. It is like playing a game of chess but you can only move the pawns.