Chip off the Same Old Block
Though it may appear that Future Soldier is a 3rd person rehash of 75% of most Shooters out today, I’m here to clear up any confusion.
It most certainly is.
However, in classic Ghost Recon fashion, the story isn’t what drives you to finish the game. The fantastic gameplay, new iteration of classic warfare and hunger for bigger and better equipment will nag the corners of your mind when you put your controller down, (or hurl it at the wall in frustration) egging you on to continue. It’s addictive, and what makes Future Soldier a blast to play.
That HAD to Hurt
One of the biggest draws to Future Soldier (except for the gadgets) is your ability to perform a sync shot. “What is this?” you may ask?
A sync shot is when you mark targets and assign members of your squad to take them down. When you give the order, either by holding a button or shooting a target yourself, in a brilliant slow motion kill-show you take out all of the targets at once, not leaving any survivors to sound the alarm. Not only is this incredibly fun, but it also allows you to truly play the game the way you want to. If you want to be stealthy, pop off all of the enemies with a Sync Shot; or, if you want to be Rambo you can run in, guns blazing, shooting everything you see.
The flipside to this awesome mechanics is that the AI is great, meaning you actually have to be careful when choosing your targets. You can’t simply pick off the enemies closest to you; you must take into account elevation, line of sight and danger. It makes more sense to take out the guy with the RPG and some Light Machine Gunners than the simple Rifleman. AI’s that act as patrols must also be taken into account; because if a dead body is discovered the alarm goes off.
Sync shots can also be complex and frustrating ‘tactics teasers’. Some levels have areas where you are not permitted to trigger an alarm or else you lose. Of course these are the areas with 10 guards, all conveniently looking at each other. It’s situations like these where you have to really think about it.
The exact opposite of fun sync shots are the boring firefights you will no doubt encounter while making your way through the campaign. Normally I’m all for lighting up baddies in an amazing blaze of glory, but in Future Soldier the large fight scenes feel like a subtraction from the fun of the game.
Personally, I found the firefights to be dry, fun-wise. Rather than having a set number of enemies fighting you, Future Soldier pulls an overhaul on the popular fighting mechanics with an innovation I do not enjoy: wave based fighting.
Fight, stop, next wave- this is what fighting enemies feels like in Future Soldier rather than having to adapt to new situations, you presented with the same old cornered feeling, in which you have to fight your way to safety. Except you never know when the fight is going to end. You fight wave after wave, expecting to advance soon, only to be greeted by a new flood of enemies. I see this as boring gameplay, but the only real problem with Future Soldier.
Tom Clancy games are always about adapting to new situations and Future Soldier, with the massive amounts of customizations available screams this more than any other title. For them to slap on the same boring and repetitive fighting system is not adapting, it’s laziness.
Another part of Future Solider that irritates me is the extremely unfriendly and unforgiving multiplayer. While personally I am fairly decent at Multiplayer, I found it hard to simply jump in and play. It would take 10 seconds for a more experienced player to snipe me from across the map, or shoot me while camped, and all I could do was run around like a frightened animal, trying not to die, rather than shooting the other team.
Sync Shots are fun to set up and execute, gadgets are new and don't feel overused. New Equipment is introduced slowly, allowing you to adjust and learn to use it.
Firefights feel long and dragged out, multiplayer is hard to 'jump into' and story is cliché and scrambled, never presents player with a clear and concise plot line.