Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has been in development for quite some time, and we're finally getting to see what it looks like. We know it's the fifth game in the series, and that there's going to be some shooting. But other than that, we had very little information going in to E3 2010.
What We're Seeing Now
If you saw the gameplay demo during Ubisoft's press conference, then you saw pretty much the same thing we did, except at a much faster pace. They slowed things down for us so we could check out the details and notice how pretty the game is. Especially during the opening where you're a part of a squad searching for a specific target.
You're doing this at a spacious beach resort in Northern Europe which has seen better days. In fact, it probably saw the ocean at one point. Now it's just a sandy wasteland filled with junk and devoid of tourists. We asked what happened here, and they said "We aren't talking about that right now," which is something you hear pretty often at E3.
They were talking about the technology, which is based on future tech that might be possible. Which means you'll be able to don optical camo in the future and sneak into the Laker cheerleader dressing room. In the game, this tech allows you to sneak up quietly on unsuspecting enemies, and pop rounds into the back of their heads. Scripted moments allow you to yank their bodies out of sight, or keep them propped up in a sort of Weekend At Bernie's moment. You can even fire up through the boardwalk, John McClane-style.
The camo breaks up if you're seen, take fire, or fire on someone, so it's only a stealth tool. More aggressive players will rely on the upgraded Cross-Com which has different vision modes, and the modified exoskeletons that increase your maneuverability. Also, shoulder-mounted rocket launchers aren't too shabby, either. We didn't see the ground drone in use, but it looks like it's bristling with gear, so we imagine it will play a key factor.
You can see how important stealth is during the first part of the gameplay, and it looks like you switch do a different soldier when you're upstairs looking down on the resort, and there's not a lot of stealth involved in capping a helicopter pilot in the head while he's trying to drop off a ground drone. There's a terrific moment where the now pilot-less helicopter careens away, dragging the drone with it. Except this has the disadvantage of alerting the remaining ground forces, who start blasting away at you. You're behind some very flimsy cover, which explodes into glass shards and splinters from a hail of bullets.
That's where they cut us short. In a world crowded with shooters, it's going to come down to graphics and gameplay vs. the story. Right now, Future Soldier is very, very pretty. That's the look, but as far as the feel goes, we'll have to wait until we get our hands on it to find out how it plays.