Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Preview -- Hands on with Guerilla ModeBy Miguel Concepcion - Posted Mar 22, 2012
Considering the heavy (and practically mandatory) focus of four-player gameplay in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, it’s not surprising that Ubisoft would add a Horde-inspired multi-wave mode to complement the primary, story-driven component of the game. Ubisoft has dubbed it Guerrilla Mode and the developer/publisher sees it as a follow-up to the Terrorist Hunt mode from previous Tom Clancy games.
Ubisoft gives some near-compelling reasons to give Guerrilla a chance even if you’re the type of player who finds 50-wave battles in other games monotonous but still like playing with friends against bots. Initially available across four maps (not counting pre-order maps and to-be-announced DLC), the 50 rounds are broken up into five sections, 10 rounds each. The first round of each section is an infiltration mission after which you need to hold the infiltrated area for the next nine rounds.
You’re incentivized to be as stealthy as possible during these infiltration rounds, as your team performance determines the score multiplier for the subsequent rounds. Holding this temporary HQ for the next nine rounds poses a challenge, because your squad cannot take the fight to the enemy and leave the HQ vacant at the same time. This also makes for a prime opportunity for a situated sniper to shine. In contrast to the sneaking component, every tenth wave pits your team against the strongest assaults, which includes at least one vehicle.
As we made it to the eleventh round, it was time to move camp and sneak into another part of the map. It was amusing and curious that the new HQ we had to infiltrate was only about 80 yards away; you’d think that the soldiers guarding the place would know we’re nearby. Whereas the first area was a flat, ground level open space with moderate cover opportunities, the second HQ was in what appeared to be a small rundown warehouse. This was also a two-story base, and had I spent more time to get familiar with the space, I probably would have used the higher ground to my advantage. I think I just wasn’t used to the plethora of columns that blocked my shot as I switched from third to first-person view.
Clearing consecutive rounds yields a number of very useful consumable bonuses, depending on how many rounds are cleared. Clear three rounds for temporary visibility; clear many more for a powerful air strike. When you consider that each team member gets the same consumable, there's a pretty good chance you'll be ready to hold your own against the vehicles if you earn that air strike.
We only played about 16 waves, but it was more than enough to get a feel for Guerrilla. It looks to be a viable playground to experiment with the same kinds of tools, items, and abilities that are also available in the Future Soldier campaign. Aside from making the most of one’s camouflage, it was equally gratifying to help my squad by tossing digital grenades that discretely revealed enemy locations.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is out May 22 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.