Cheats and Walkthroughs
I was going to start off by saying that it feels like we’ve been waiting for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier forever, but then I realized that our/my first preview for the game was back in 2010, so it really might as well be forever. The point is, if you’ve watched the newly released gameplay trailer (or seen our gameplay walkthrough), it’s clear that Future Soldier has come a long way over the past two years, and those extra few weeks of polish—thank you, delay—will do nothing but make what we’ve seen even more impressive come release. At least, that’s the hope. In the meantime, here are six elements that have us particularly excited to finally join our fellow Ghosts on their latest world-saving mission.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier looks to continue the series’ tradition of creating breathtaking battlegrounds that brim with detail, only now those battlegrounds include plenty of destructible cover and “dirty lens” effects that have become a staple of the modern war game experience. In action, Future Soldier is quite a looker, and even in the three missions I played through during our recent demo there was tons of variety and each setting brought with it its own color pallet and visual touches. One minute the hot desert sands are burning your eyes, and the next gentle rays of light carve through the canopied jungle surrounding your squad as you push towards an enemy encampment. In other words, that visual flair you’ve come to know and love in Ghost Recon is back and, from what we've seen, even more eye-pleasing in Future Soldier.
This obviously ties in with presentation, but it clearly deserves its own section because not only has Ubisoft Paris once again put a tremendous amount of work into the character animations in Future Soldier, the team has also expanded the range and variety of movements. So in addition to watching your soldier sneak up behind an enemy, pop them in the head, and then use his body to catch the falling enemy and ease him to the ground, you’ll also see them roll over cover (sometimes backwards, as shown in the new gameplay trailer), stick out their legs to brace themselves when crouching, and even take a moment to reassure a nearby civilian who just watched you snap a dude’s neck right in front of her (see above image). There also appear to be many more cinematic transitions between movements as well, which should make the action even more seamless.
Within seconds of picking up the controller, it became clear that Future Soldier has the same kind of weighted fluidity seen in the previous two installments, but it also has a quickness to it which gives the game’s combat a faster pace when engaged in full blown skirmishes. Moving slowly and deliberately, like when creeping through a village filled with civilians in order to keep your active camouflage activated, still has that Ghost Recon look and feel, though, so long time fans should feel right at home. That is if my all too brief hands-on time is any indicator of things to come.
3. Synchronized kills
By far one of Future Soldier's most joyous additions is the ability to tag enemies and pull off coordinated shots with your squadmates. Think of it as Sam Fisher’s “mark and execute” ability from Splinter Cell: Conviction times four. You can tag enemies whenever you’re in standard third-person camera position but you can also use the new and improved aerial drone (which can also transform into a drivable drone at the push of a button) to scope out an area and tag enemies that way. Once you’ve locked onto your targets—four total but if you’re fast you can also catch a fifth guy if he’s close enough since time slows slightly during these attacks—your squad will move into the best possible position to take their shots. You can tell your team to fire and take out their marked targets, or you can simply take your shot and your teammates will automatically follow suit. Seeing the blue laser sights crisscrossing the battlefield as your teammates lock onto their targets is something I expect will never cease to illicit a gleeful smile from players no matter how many times it happens.
4. The Sensor grenade
Sometimes, especially in the heat of a particularly intense battle or if tossing up a drone could draw unwanted attention, you need to get quick info on your surroundings without giving up your position. Enter the sensor grenade. When tossed, this nifty fella sends out a signal that scans the immediate surroundings for enemies, turning them into orange skeletons (via x-ray optics) ripe for the shooting. Or you can use this intel to tag enemies and deal with the situation that way. High-tech gadgetry is a staple of the Ghost Recon series, and the sensor grenade is just one of the many wonderful toys in your arsenal in Future Soldier. Add in the active camo, the new drone, and whatever other glorious technology you'll have at your disposal that we don't know about just yet, and it would appear players will not be wanting for options once the firefights begin.
Ghost Recon games haven’t been quite as globetrotting as other military shooter series out there, but they’ve always included diverse locales designed to offer equally diverse gameplay opportunities (all-out urban shootouts vs. stealthy rural assaults). While we still don’t know where Future Soldier’s story will take us, we have seen glimpses of scenarios that appear to push the series’ already impressive scope into Call of Duty-esque territory. Metropolitan streets rocked by bombing raids, planes being shot out of the sky by mounted machine guns, fighting across arctic tundra with assault mechs by your side (see trailer for these scenarios in action), Future Soldier is clearly the most ambitious Ghost Recon title to date. We’ll have to wait until May to find out whether it can sustain its particular brand of intensity across such an expansive narrative arch, but here’s hoping for the best.
6. Weapon of choice
So. Many. Options. Every weapon in Future Soldier can be tweaked and modified to such an absurd degree that it’s likely you’ll never see the same gun twice. Thanks to the game’s ridiculously detailed Gunsmith feature, you can mix and match muzzles, scopes, clips, and stocks (in multiplayer you have all of these options for the enemy weapons, all of which have their own unique look and feel) to create the gun of your dreams—assuming you’re the type of person who dreams about guns. Weapon customization is obviously nothing new, but the sheer number of options and diversity of performance these options elicit from the weapons are pretty impressive and will no doubt inspire many hours of futzing with combinations to find the ultimate implement of death.