Impressions: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
When loading up the multiplayer the first thing that was noticeable was how bland the menus looked followed by how long the game took to load. At present there is an objective style mode which can be played on two maps, Pipeline and Mill. Pipeline has an industrial look to it and is smaller than Mill which is set in a mountain town. In comparison to the menus, the maps and the visual style of the game at least look better.
The game allows for 16 players in which there are two squads of four on both teams, Bodark and Ghosts. The idea is that you work together as a squad within a team. The game allows you to either spawn at base or spawn on a squad mate provided they are not in battle or near an objective. I have to say that I was massively disappointed with that because those are the very two situations that you would want to spawn into to help your team. What I also found was that there was no way to switch to a team or squad which obviously when you want to play with friends and then get separated, there’s no way to fix the situation other than to quit out and try again.
There are three classes to choose from; Rifleman, Scout or Engineer. Each class uses different weapons. The Rifleman has access to assault rifles and light machine guns, the Scout has access to sniper rifles and sub-machine guns and the Engineer has access to shotguns and personal defence rifles. The best part of the multiplayer is definitely the customisation allowed for each weapon. You can edit and upgrade each part of your weapon which definitely makes the experience very personal to each player. However, the available upgrades are dependent on the credits/xp you earn so the game is definitely more favoured towards regular players.
The cover and movement system is top notch in which everything feels very fluid and just nice to play. The game also lets you switch between left and right view when holding a gun so aiming from cover feels more precise. The gameplay itself – although there is appeal mostly when working together with friends – often enough it’s more like a massive campfest or cage fight than a tactical shooter. It could be that this is a result of players coming into the game, not knowing what to do and perhaps treating it as a team deathmatch. GRFS has also got its fair share of bugs at the moment including screen freezes and over powered frags – but this is why they call it a beta
Overall Ubisoft have a decent enough multiplayer in Ghost Recon Future Soldier but I don’t think it’s going to be strong enough to win over players from other top multiplayer games.
On a side note, I was rather impressed with Ubisoft for honouring their Splinter Cell Conviction deal in which they gave you access to the GRFS beta by providing access through a marketplace link in the Extras menu in Conviction. Given that GRFS was originally supposed to have a beta in the summer of 2010, I think most people would have forgotten about that. I know I certainly did until I came across a random post mentioning it!
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