Hands On: Ghost Recon Future Soldier Beta

There’s a supply cache located in enemy held territory and it’s well guarded. Previous skirmishes to take it have proved unsuccessful. I’ve decided to take the long way round to get behind the enemy to draw attention away from my team’s advance. All is quiet near me and I assume that the enemy is too focused on the larger force to take notice of me.

A shot rings out, the bullet missing by a whisker. A sniper is covering this bridge and now I’m trapped in cover. More shots follow, and soon the sniper is joined by two riflemen. A hail of bullets hits the low brick wall I’m hiding behind. Thinking quickly I let loose my only grenade. Its blast is deadly, taking out the riflemen. I peek my head out and am met by the sniper’s scope. I wait to die. Suddenly, the enemy sniper drops as a friendly sniper spawns near me and takes him out. This one situation highlights what Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is all about.

[drop]Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a 3rd person team based affair, with an emphasis on team. The beta has one game mode available, called Conflict, and two maps, Pipeline and Mill.  Conflict is a mode where different objectives spring up all over the map. You could go from defending a supply cache to hunting down a high value target (HVT) in a moment. It’s a good mode which keeps the action moving on and stopping the game from getting stale, and each objective requires a change in both personal and team tactics.

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The maps also effect how you’ll play in Conflict. Pipeline is set in facility located in a desert and is quite open. Mill is set in a more woodland area, which provides quite a lot of cover. There are 3 initial classes to choose from; Rifleman, Scout and Engineer. Rifleman is your typical infantry soldier who leads the attack, Scout is the sniper class and the Engineer is the support class, who helps find enemy positions through gadgets such as the UAV.

Each class levels up individually depending on how long you spend with it, leading to unlocks. At some unlock stages you will have decide which piece of equipment you want, forcing you to think about what kind of tactics you will want to employ long term and the kind of soldier you want to build.

The matches hold sixteen players, two teams of eight that are further divided in to Alpha & Bravo squads. Your squad serves as your support, you can call on them to help you out by giving you a med kit or back up if you’re pinned down by enemies. Squad members also act as mobile spawn points, provided they’re not too close to an objective or under attack.

There are also challenges that you can try to beat for extra XP. So far I have only been offered one challenge, which is to get more stuns than someone else on my friends list. It’ll be interesting to see how the challenges will develop and I can see it adding an extra dimension to rivalries between friends. Challenges will have time limits in which to complete them, though that hasn’t occurred during my experience of the beta yet.

The HUD is nicely implemented and adds to the immersion of having access to future technology. The ammo count comes up in a small display next to your character, which is easy to see but isn’t at all intrusive. The radar sits in the bottom right corner of the screen and objectives pop up next your character when they change. It’s all quite minimal in the way it looks but that’s a good thing. The information needed is easy to see and even easier to ignore if you need to.

[drop2]Each class also has its own perks. For example the Scout can turn invisible if they stay completely still in a place. However, they become visible if they move or fire a shot.  Other pieces of equipment allow you to see enemy outlines if they’re running or hiding behind cover. I can see this splitting players as it can take away from the tactical play that makes Ghost Recon: Future Soldier so enjoyable.

One of the most interesting parts of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is the gun customisation. Every gun can be fully rebuilt, from stock to muzzle and everything in between. New gun parts are unlocked by earning credits, again each class earning its own credits. The unlocked parts will have different effects on your gun build, for example you may make your gun more powerful but you could sacrifice the amount of control or manoeuvrability. This customisation is something that is interesting to play around with and is worth spending at least a little time with.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, at least the multiplayer, is shaping up to be a very interesting experience. For those who have been looking for a good third person squad based tactical shooter this may be the answer. Outside the matches it looks like there could be a lot of in depth extras, especially the gun customisation. However a few decisions, like the ability to see enemy outlines, could split opinion. Overall though I’d say keep definitely keep an eye on this.

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26 Comments

  1. You can hardly connect to anyone though T_T Servers are worse than EAs!

    • Exactly why i pulled out of the meet xD

  2. I didn’t really enjoy this too much despite being pretty good at it. At first I actually thought it was a great game, but there’s a lot of niggles I have with it and the guns just feel absolutely horrid to use.
    I’ll be bargain bin’ing it at some point down the line, but it’s not a day one buy for me, or a month one buy either.

    • Before anyone says, I know it’s only a beta etc etc but BF3’s beta had me sold instantly. Besides, most beta’s these days are glorified demo’s anyway.

      • I was the opposite with the BF3 beta. I was sold on BF3, played the beta, hated it, didn’t buy.

      • Well have you got it yet? If not its £20 most places and almost all problems with the beta were fixed in the full release.

  3. looks nice, plays alright but there is something about it that just doesn’t grab me, I don’t know what it is. Finding a game is near to impossible too sometimes.

  4. I thought it was ok, lacking a bit visually I thought. I’d like to try the single player. To be fair, I know a lot of people don’t like CoD but the best 3rd person military shooter I’ve played was MW2 in 3rd person. The graphics probably look better than they do in 1st person (and weren’t so dated in Nov 2009), the character models and animations are decent, and it runs and controls nice and smoothly.

  5. Not enjoying the beta at all.

    The engine/mechanics and even the on screen text just feels really dated. Won’t be picking this up, not even bargin bucket.

    • I tell you what, the first thing it reminded me of was Medal of Honor 2010! Then the gameplay is very SOCOM 4/MAG like

      • In what way?! It’s nothing like MoH in the slightest!

      • The menu set out dude not the gameplay ;)

  6. The main reason it sucks is the people who play it are complete morons.

    “What? Objectives? Forget that! I’ll just sit at the back of the map picking people off and ruin the game for everyone else, thanks.”

    • This was what annoyed me when playing it. Something that has put me off online shooters for a long time and is a top reason I don’t play shooters anymore, team-mates. Granted I only played one match, but for a game mode based around objectives, my team didn’t seem to care.

    • flank them….thats part of the game. yes its annoying but they are playing the game to their advantage.

  7. Really looking forward to this!

  8. I’ve been racked with connection problems and the mission structure is hard to get around. I might jump into the beta again, but something tells me Max Payne 3 will cover my online needs when it launches next month.

  9. I’m enjoying this. Reminds me a little of socom confrontation. The enemy outlines and kill cam are features I could do without. And in my opinion the team you play with make the game. Get a group who will collaborate and this is near perfect for me, bring it on.

  10. At the beginning of your piece, it was most likely the enemy team had a UAV or a sensor that gave away your position. That’s the thing I hate most about it, you can be sneaky and try to flank them, but if they have a sensor, you’re straight away highlighted in red like x-ray – it totally ruins what ever tactical movement you’ve done.
    Apart from that, I think the gameplay is pretty solid, you just need a good team that plays the objective and works well suppressing the enemy as one of you caps the obj.
    I really hope the connection issues are ironed out, it reminds me of Assassins Creed MP where the Beta had loads of issues and so does the retail release – hopefully Ubi will learn not to release a broken game.

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