Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer Hands-on Preview -- Ghost Together or Die AloneBy Kevin Kelly - Posted Apr 12, 2012
Tucked outside in a an unassuming office complex in Raleigh, North Carolina, Red Storm Entertainment has been quietly creating one of the strongest squad-based multiplayer entries to hit the shooter field. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier puts a very strong emphasis on team gameplay, and you’re going to need it to survive in the field when you go online. We’ve taken a look at the game’s co-op and guerilla modes recently, but this visit was all about the multiplayer.
When you go multiplayer in TCGRFS (can we all agree to call it GRFS? Okay, good), you’ll need to choose one of three different roles: Rifleman, Engineer, or Scout. Your choice will depend on how you like to play, but feel free to experiment, as there is a lot of variety (and cool equipment) spread across all three classes. You can change in the middle of a game if you decide you need to switch things up, and you’ll find that often it depends on both the game mode and the objectives to make the best call as to which class you’ll grab onto.
The Rifleman uses assault rifles and LMGs, and is generally the guy who likes to storm the front lines, or to pin enemies down with suppressing fire. The Engineer uses shotguns and personal defense rifles, and has access to equipment like the UAV drone that gives you a look at the battlefield. Finally, the Scout is the sniper who also uses submachine guns, and he can also use the optical camouflage. He’s also the only class that can tell when someone is scoped in on him, which can be handy to have if a sniper is picking your team off.
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Of course, the game’s iconic GunSmith mode is available to each of these classes, and you can customize them endlessly with over 52 different attachments for the weapons. You’ll also be able to customize the look of your soldier to a high degree, although many of the customizations (different goggles, different fabrics, etc.) are unlockables, so you’ll need to level up to acquire them.
Luckily, there’s also a 2D GunSmith incorporated into the game, so you won’t need to wait until you have downtime between matches to adjust your weapons. You can customize on the fly and keep gunning. With more than three million combinations, you’ll be experimenting a lot.
The multiplayer offers four different game modes: Conflict, Decoy, Saboteur, and Siege. You’ll notice that your standard team deathmatch where you run after each other, screaming like Han Solo chasing a Stormtrooper down a hallway in the Death Star, is missing. Rest assured you can kill the other team to your heart’s content, it’s just that you won’t win the match unless you follow the objectives and work as a team.
- Conflict: This is as close as you’ll get to team deathmatch, as the score is the only thing that matters here. But objectives will appear on the map, and the team that gets to them first and holds them down will reap the most benefit, and surge ahead in points. It’s possible here for a team that’s very behind to suddenly find themselves in the lead. You might have to hold an intel spot for a certain amount of time, and if you’re successful, you’ll see your enemies on the map for a period of time. Conflict is peppered with moments just like that, so look for objectives to try and change the tide of battle.
- Decoy: Teams will attack or defend alternately in this mode, but with a twist. Three objectives will appear on the map for the attacking team, but only one of them will be real. If you take a faux objective, intel will tell you it’s the wrong one. Once you find the actual objective, you’ll have a series of other objectives that you have to take to win the round. If you’re the defending team, your goal is to keep the other team from taking objectives.
- Saboteur: This is your fairly standard bomb-planting mode, with both teams trying to take a neutral bomb and get it to the enemy’s target and destroy it. One nifty addition is that you can use the bomb as a melee weapon (it looks like a briefcase), and there are three or four different animations when you whack someone with it. It’s a nice touch, as you actually see the soldier carrying the case, and it’s not just in their inventory somewhere.
- Siege: This classic Ghost Recon mode returns in GRFS with a bit of tweaking. This is the hardcore mode, where you have to either take your objective or take out the enemy team. There are no respawns here, although the intel system is active, meaning you can use UAVs, sensor grenades, and more to your advantage. While most of the game modes need you to work together as a team to perform well, Siege is the one mode where you can go completely lone wolf if you want. Flank the entire enemy team, get behind them, and drop them. It worked for us. Then again, if I’d worked together with my team, maybe they wouldn’t have hated me so much the next round.
There are several nice additions to the multiplayer that you’ll find yourself using often. One is a GPS system that is pretty similar to what Isaac Clarke used in Dead Space. Hit the RB to pull up a list of objectives, and the system will draw a line on the ground showing you the quickest route to that location. Just keep in mind that it might not be the safest route.
There’s also a nifty hacking system built into the game. Let’s say you stun an enemy, but don’t kill him. If you’re a scout, you can start “hacking” his intel system. If you pull it off, you’ll have full disclosure on enemy locations for a long time.
But if your hacking victim recovers from the stun quickly enough, they can push a button to suicide and stop the hack. Or in the case of one of our matches, while I was getting hacked, an enemy teammate saw me prone on the ground and shot me in the head. It ended the hack, and really pissed off one of his teammates.
While Red Storm Entertainment is the same group that was behind Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter multiplayer modes, they’ve also turned to Grey Group Training who act as advisers on the game to insure authenticity. They are a group of ex-military types who provide high quality military training to active duty members of the US military, as well as to entertainment groups. Basically, they make the game more real; everything from the way the bullets sound, to the fact that when you’re prone your soldier will roll left or right instead of crawl, has had their hand it.
With 10 different maps, four different modes, three different classes, and millions of weapon possibilities, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is shaping up to provide an unparalleled squad-based experience to gamers. With the inclusion of weapons that are coming “Tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow” according to Red Storm, you will want to make strong use of your equipment in your “intel loop” to keep your fellow soldiers informed and working together. We certainly hope that the masses on the internet will give teamplay a try before screaming “D-BAG!” at everyone and going solo.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be out on May 22 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and on June 12 for PC.