Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta impressions
The online beta for upcoming tactical shooter Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be drawing to a close tomorrow. Don’t worry if you missed it though, because PS3 Attitude is here to bring you up to speed.
The beta gave players the chance to sample two modes (Conflict and Saboteur) on two maps (Mill and Pipeline); here’s what we made of it.
It’s been five years since the Ghost Recon franchise has graced the PlayStation 3. In that time, there have been plenty of shooters to grace the console, many of which are from the same few franchises. First announced in 2009, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier aims to bring the future of warfare to current generation consoles. Currently in beta form for PlayStation Plus subscribers, Future Soldier gives players a go at the multiplayer aspect of the game.
The beta contains the usual array of weaponry and soldier roles found in the shooter genre. While the options are currently limited, gameplay makes an emphasis on working together as a team. If you like to be a lone wolf in the battlefield, then Future Soldier is probably not for you. Each competing faction is split into two teams, Alpha squad and Bravo squad. These squads can either team up to take down a single objective, or attempt to take both the objective and an optional sub-objective by utilizing the separate squads. Teamwork is rewarded through extra experience points for sticking together as well, so it’s best to work as a team if you want to maximize your points.
Another aspect that sets Future Soldier apart from the rest is the cover system. By pressing the X button when near a wall, ducking for cover feels intuitive and seamless. While in cover a new reticule pops up showing you points where you can sprint to for cover by holding down the X button again. It’s an incredibly quick and effective way to move from one cover position to the next without blowing your position, which is a vital key to the success of a mission.
Overall, the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier multiplayer looks promising. Characters can feel a little clunky at times but the game should be up and running smoothly in time for launch.
Considering that it was originally slated for release in 2009/2010, I was starting to wonder if Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier would ever see the light of day. Well, it’s now finally arriving at the end of May, so I’ve recently been getting my arse kicked in the beta.
Cover-based shooters live or die by their controls, so I’m happy to report that this is where Future Soldier should excel. Snapping from cover to cover is as easy as pointing at where you want to move and holding the X button, and combat feels incredibly satisfying. What’s more, in the time I spent with the beta, I encountered no noticeable lag, which bodes extremely well; hopefully Ubisoft’s servers will still be able to take the strain when the full game is released.
Environments look good at a distance, but disappointingly low-res up close, with some texture pop-in on display. In other words, the visuals are a bit rough around the edges at the moment, but I’m confident Ubisoft can iron out the creases. However, the detailed character models already look particularly impressive, which is a very good thing considering that Future Soldier is a third-person shooter, so you’ll obviously be spending a lot of time looking at your character (or at least at his backpack).
Customisation plays a big role in the game, especially in regard to your weapons, as almost every part can be swapped out or upgraded. It’s not quite revolutionary, but I can’t remember ever having such a wide range of options available in an online shooter. Ubisoft also seem to have nailed the community side of the multiplayer; for example, the Ghost Feed notifies your friends whenever you level up or gain new equipment, and you can even accept challenges to beat your friends’ scores and receive bonus XP.
We’ll have to wait for the full game to see if Ubisoft can meet the hype, but if the beta is anything to go by, then Ghost Recon: Future Soldier should be a very worthwhile alternative to the shooters that already dominate the market.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is due to be released on 22nd May in North America, 24th May in Europe and 25th May in the UK.