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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier co-op impressions

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier  - 1101452

We’re happy to see that Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is finally nearing the finish line, especially after spending so many months in development.  Thus far, we had only seen a bit of the single-player campaign and versus multiplayer, which you can now experience for yourself if you’re part of the recently launched closed beta on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  But there’s another part of it that will introduce a team factor to the game, right alongside some of the better Tom Clancy games.  We had a chance to recently try out the co-op portion of the game at Ubisoft’s booth this past week at PAX East 2012.

In the session, which took place on an enclosed map and requires you to protect a certain point from invading enemies, you have a few seconds to grab whatever weapons you need, mostly depending on your preference of power and speed, and then getting to a position in which you’re ready for enemies.  However, even if you think you’ve found the ideal spot, you’ll find them coming from all directions, as indicated by a tracking HUD that sits on the corner of the screen.  Luckily, the communication between your team is rather clear, so you can set up a strategy on the fly and bring them down before they come close to invading your space.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier feels like a much more streamlined combat effort than previous Tom Clancy games, and that’s including the impressive Warfighter games.  Soldiers move with a greater deal of efficiency here, and their weapons are quite effective — even at long range — as you can hit an enemy with just the right amount of close-up aiming.  What’s more, several futuristic tools of the trade can be used over the course of your mission.  Our particular favorite was an invisibility-triggered camouflage, which turns your soldier into a Predator-like being with only a slight silhouette appearing on the screen.  With this, you can sneak up on enemies and take them out quietly, or get the jump on them and mow down several in a row.

Now, if an enemy does get in your area, the game gives you a proximity alert, having you act fast to eliminate the threat before they take it over.  Luckily, we were able to find trouble points in the enclosed area very quickly and deal with them with a few bullets or a rather vicious melee attack.  And just when you think you’ve cleared the area, another wave kicks in, like any good-natured Horde mode would provide.

Honestly, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is one of the better co-op experiences we’ve seen this year.  As we stated, the team tactics are easy to change on the fly, provided you’re playing with the right experienced players, and you can help out a fellow soldier if they’re down without taking too much flack from the enemy, depending on where they drop.  (Furthermore, you won’t have to wait for what seems like forever to revive them.)  The gameplay really feels natural here, making this a game that we can really see becoming popular amongst team players, both pro and rookie alike.

What’s more, even though we only saw one map, it was an impressive one.  Taking place in what appears to be a combination of a junkyard and an abandoned village, there was plenty of stuff to hide behind and take potshots around.  The frame rate moves rather fluidly, even with multiple players, and the animations are as real as you can get.  We can’t imagine how much cooler the other maps could possibly look.

We appreciate Ubisoft taking the time to show off Ghost Recon: Future Soldier to us.  It appears that the co-op will live up to the other aspects of the game quite well, giving everyone yet another option to choose from when the final product arrives May 22.  We’ll let you know how it fares in a, ahem, Future review.

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Robert Workman
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