by Liam Edwards
previewed on X360
Stories Aside (Cont...)
The third option was balls-to-the-wall killing, with everyone using all the weapons you had. In most titles, this option is the only option with the characters being sponges that soak up bullets and all other manner of mortal objects that would obliterate a real human being. In Future Soldier, the Ghosts can obviously take a bit more of a battering than in real-life, but they aren't super soldiers, and die fairly easier than contemporary characters. The run-and-gun option isn't always the best and, if chosen, players have to be smart about it and realize where there is cover and where there isn't. This would then allow for usage of the new technology like RC spy drones before beginning the mission to scout out a path. Freedom seems key to playing Future Soldier smartly, the game allows players a wide-range of tools to take down the enemy, how the player utilizes this, is entirely up to them.
In the demo, we saw only a handful of the tech the Ghosts have available to them. The Augmented Reality HUD displayed around the gun barrels, and objectives shown above targets and buildings, allow for fluid gameplay. This sort of display means players aren't stopping to read, they are playing and taking on board their surroundings. It also allows the game to give players information on the fly while in missions.
Spy drones and RC spy vehicles are key it seems, with them being used heavily within the demo and allowing for players to make decisions without having to run in straight away. The Optical Camouflage also seemed to be one of the Ghosts main tools. However, there have been rumors coming from Ubisoft that, in the final build of the game, the Optical Camouflage will only be allowed to be used under restricted conditions. Within the demo we also saw a useful mode, which allowed the Ghosts to see through walls, very much like the Detective Mode Batman uses in Arkham Asylum. This mode of vision allowed the Ghosts to see movement through walls and also allowed their AR system to gather information on the targets behind the walls.
All the tools shown seemed to be beneficial for the players, but yet seemed to be not overpowering against enemies. Instead, the tech just allows for more choices than just running in guns blazing. Not until the final build, and when the title is released, will we be able to see all of the technology and tools that are available, but with the use of spy drones, the freedom within a mission is looking promising.Despite the game being linear, each level or mission can be approached in different ways.
The same old shooter
Although it has new technology and new features, I couldn't help but feel that Future Soldier was heading down the same path as most of its predecessors, which is not reall a bad thing, with it just meaning that it will be a standard shooter. I suspect this as nothing jumped out of me as special when watching the demo. As much as I like having the freedom to decide how a level is played and I having the tools to try different things, the shooting and fire-fights within Future Soldier were exactly the same as every other FPS I have seen before. Even with all this tech, what it comes down to in the end is shooting the other guy, and Future Soldier does this in the same way as the mass of shooters on the market currently.
Either way, we will have to wait until March of next year to find out whether Ubisoft can deliver to players a shooter that uses its new features to stand-out from the crowd. As of now, the game looks great and all the new tools are fun, but it isn't anything special. I personally would like to see it be special.