2012-05-02

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – Impressions From The Multiplayer Beta

by Yo Snyder

Lone wolves can rule the day in games like Call of Duty and Halo. In
Battlefield, while you can do just fine on your own, working with your
squad helps you not only to win the day, but also to rack up the points.
In Ghost Recon: Future Soldier; teamwork is a must. In my brief
time with the multiplayer beta, the one thing I’ve learned is if you
don’t work with your team, you don’t have much of a chance of survival,
let alone of winning. The game has a more methodical, tactical,
thoughtful pace where coordinating attacks produce better results than
going in guns blazing. That may turn off some shooter fans, but for
others, this tactical, strategic approach is a refreshing change from
the chaos and mayhem of the call of duty battlefield.

The beta has two multiplayer modes. The first is called Conflict, and
it plays out kind of like conquest mode but with randomly spawning
objectives. Get to the objective first and secure to help your team
score points. Getting proper cover from a sniper while approaching with
the heavy weapons on the ground is a big help with this mode. The other
mode is Sabotage, which plays out like capture the flag. Secure a bomb
and take it to the opponents base and detonate it. Easier said than
done. Covering fire and keeping track of the enemy’s movements via
sensors and UAVs helps a lot in this mode. Again, both are more
methodical and yes, even a bit slower than in today’s most popular
shooters, but I enjoyed the change of pace. However, it was also much
more challenging. Going in with a Battlefield mindset on how to do
things often resulted in my immediate death. Careful cooperation with my
team yielded better results.

The two maps feature one area that’s a tight, industrial complex and
another that’s more of an open, mountain-side setting. Both areas open
themselves up to different types of tactics and approaches, which keep
the matches interesting. Learning the bottle-neck points and the lesser
used routes to cross these maps is essential for success. If you can
figure out places to pin your enemy, especially in Sabotage, they’re
going to have a very tough time.

Adding to the different pace of the game is the need for cover. I’ve
really enjoyed the cover system thus far in GR. Getting in and out of
cover is a breeze, and if you look toward other cover nearby, you can
easily sprint into it with the press of a button. In fact, this system
of going from cover to cover while putting down suppressing fire on an
objective is a big part of success in this game. Fortunately, the cover
system works really well, giving the game a slight Gears of War feel
with it’s third-person perspective and the need to go cover to cover.
Less enjoyable is aiming, at least for me it was. You can zoom in using
the left trigger, but click the right stick and you’ll go into first
person mode with the iron sights. I’ve had trouble juggling between the
two and figuring out how best to use them, but perhaps that will come
with time.

As is standard in today’s shooters, you can customize your load-out
as you earn XP and unlock new gear. The gadgets in GR will prove to be
rather useful, I think, as I learn how best to use them. The weapons are
pretty standard fare for these types of shooters, and I’m sure I’ll
discover many of the better ones with extended time with the actual
game.

All in all, I’ve enjoyed the multiplayer beta immensely. I
like the change of pace and the need to coordinate with teammates in
order to truly achieve success.  The covers system works great, gadgets
when used properly can be a big help, and being smart and tactical
(doing things like flanking the enemy, using suppressing fire to cover
teammate, etc.) is a lot fun from the typically run-and-gun fare. It may
be methodical and more thoughtful, but that doesn’t make the gameplay
any less intense or exciting. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has
some solid ideas in place to help set it apart from the crowded shooter
genre. It’s one you may want to put on your radar before it sneaks up on
you later this month.