Two minutes in and I’m already slamming my hand against my head. Not one, but two “press any key to start” screens come up. I’ve never seen something like that. This game is already showing signs of consolitis and I hoped it would be the last. Boy, was I wrong.
Four Guys, Four Shots, a Tenth of a Second
The ability to fail, something missing from most games, is very prevalent in this game. I could be stealthy throughout a level or I could run in guns blazing. The difference is, I would rather not have to fight 50 guys after making some noise. That being said, the stealthy approach to most levels is probably the easiest one. Even on Elite difficulty, I found it really easy to sneak up to guards and slit their throats. Not exactly challenging, but it felt really rewarding when I got through missions firing only five or so bullets.
Even with the odds against my team, Sync shots made most of the levels in the game a lot easier than it should have been. It’s a really nice feature that helps with marking targets and coordinating with your teammates. Sure, being able to clear whole sections of a level within seconds makes you feel unstoppable. However, I feel as though this game has lost the original Ghost Recon feel with the introduction of the Sync shot. The Sync shot feature, combined with the adaptive camouflage the Ghosts are equipped with, really steals the spotlight from the tactical gameplay of the original Ghost Recons. I found myself just waiting for people to get into position to take out guards all at once, which is really cool and all, but I do miss fighting without the toys.
Who Are We Fighting?
Throughout the campaign, I was never actually sure of who we were fighting. At one point, we were fighting Nicaraguans, next Bolivians, then Africans, then PMCs, and finally Russians. Each mission revolved around finding the people responsible for the attack in the first mission. I don’t know if I was not paying enough attention, but I felt really confused. The events in the game felt very loosely connected, which can be taken in a good way because you are just a soldier on the ground, not someone who sees the big picture. While I was playing, I had objectives; I didn’t have a general, over arching “kill this man” target. I was told to do something and I did it. I felt like the entire story was on a need to know basis.
GRO vs GRFS
A couple years ago, Ubisoft announced that they would be publishing another Ghost Recon title for consoles, which is known as Ghost Recon Future Soldier. There would be a version for PC, but it would be a free to play game, titled Ghost Recon Online. Later, Ubisoft would announce Ghost Recon Future Soldier for the PC. So now, the PC platform has two Ghost Recons – Ghost Recon Online and this title. Just looking at the multiplayer portion of Ghost Recon Future Soldier, it doesn’t hold up against the dedicated multiplayer of Ghost Recon Online.
One of the biggest problems with Ghost Recon Future Soldier’s Multiplayer is balance. Of the three classes, the Rifleman has the biggest advantage. Being able to carry assault rifles and light machine guns, he is good in every situation, not to mention having extra armor that makes him harder to kill. The Engineer doesn’t exactly have the best range of weapons, being able to only use PDWs and shotguns. All he can really do is give his team support and intel. The Sniper might actually be dead weight in a game. He has a pretty useless version of adaptive camouflage that doesn’t stay active while moving. In Ghost Recon Online, the Recon class is able to move while in adaptive camouflage, which helps when breaking enemy lines. The ability to move while in adaptive camouflage really helps the game move forward, since Recon can easily slip behind enemies and take objectives. Without that kind of ability, Snipers are completely useless in Ghost Recon Future Soldier as all they can do is either set up a tent or get wrecked by Riflemen.
Aside from those issues, Ghost Recon Future Soldier has much larger problems. With no dedicated servers, shots don’t always register. It gets so bad that sometimes you can see people teleporting. Then when the game decides its enough, it’ll go through host migration. Unfortunately, one host migration is almost never enough; I’ve gone into matches where host migration happened at least three or four times. There has also been reports of not being able to connect with UPlay friends, but I have not experienced problems like that.
4 Player Goodness
I have a short list of good co-op games that I enjoy and Ghost Recon Future Soldier is the latest addition to it. It gets pretty challenging at the end especially with armored cars rolling in. There were many moments when my teammates and I had to go save them only to die as well. Fortunately, we were able to just start from the beginning of the wave we died in. It’s a nice feature that makes the co-op mode feel very risk free, but don’t let that fool you. It may feel risk free, but it’s challenging and very rewarding. Without a doubt, there is a ton of replay value in this game.
A Bad Case of Consolitis
>It’s very hard to ignore the consolitis in this game. Two “press any key to start” screens, oversized menus, and odd controls are all terrible symptoms of a bad port. To be honest, it doesn’t stop there either. There is no way to change options in the middle of a mission. Yes, you read that correctly. Playing this game on a older computer will require lots of trial and error. On top of that, the developers did not include a prompt that asks you if you want to save the settings you have made. It’s a feature that is sometimes taken for granted.
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
Looking past the multiplayer in this game, the co-op mode and co-op campaign are very well made. It does have a bad case of consolitis, worst case that I have seen in a long time. The singleplayer tends to be pretty easy even on the hardest difficulty, although very rewarding. In fact, completing any kind of objective in the game gives the player a good pat on the back. For $50, it might be a good buy if you have a good couple of friends who love co-op. While the multiplayer isn’t exactly Ghost Recon Future Soldier’s shining point, the co-op modes bring a lot of replay value and hours of awesome Sync shot moments.