Ghost Recon Future Soldier Preview

GHOST RECON FUTURE SOLDIER PREVIEW

It's been just over five weeks since Ubisoft officially confirmed that Ghost Recon Future Soldier was in development and set to re-invent the award winning series. Aside from a series of teaser hints released by Ubisoft through social networking sites, there's been very little solid information on what the fourth incarnation of Ghost Recon has in store for eager fans. This week however we've gone to town gathering every drop of intel available on Future Soldier to bring you this detailed preview.
Let's start with one of the main areas of focus for Future Soldier, the kit; new, shiny and obviously futuristic. From top down it goes like this; satellite antenna, rocket launcher, torch, camera, cross-com, exoskeleton, optical camo, assault rifle, underslung attachment, and multitool. Depending on your chosen character class you're not going to have access to all that gadgetry though, more on that later.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Technology

This soldier of the future is so advanced, Jean-Louis DeGay US Army Natick R&D is quoted as saying
"a warrior so advanced he has to worry about downloading patches more than he does cleaning his rifle"
We're going to skirt right on past all the jokes that leaves open re patches....
Of course the most controversial and surprising piece of kit introduced in Future Soldier is the stealth cloak used by the Recon class. Studio Producer Adrian Lacey isn't at all surprised to see this particular kit though, as it was even considered for the previous title, Advanced Warfighter. He explains camera technology is woven into the suit which films the surrounding area and projects it back onto the suit. In game the effect is to virtually turn the character invisible.
Something that was introduced in Advanced Warfighter has been taken to the next level in Future Soldier - sliding. Sliding into cover was always fun in GRAW, now though you can slide right into the enemies ankles for a swift, if clumsy, takedown. Manoeuvrability in particular has changed altogether with the introduction of the exoskeleton for the Engineer class, previously identified as HULC, but recently identified as Raytheon Sarcos technology. This allows greater freedom of movement and the ability to carry more kit and weaponry. Check this movie to see it in action, in real life.

Raytheon Sarcos Technology
The Ghosts have learned some new skills too, by way of martial arts for some close in action. Anyone who has seen Krav Maga and Systema clips on Youtube might just recognise some of the Ghosts new Close Quarter Combat moves. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art involving repeated practice of evading and countering real world close combat situations. Many techniques are based on weapon disarming, like seen in this movie.

Krav Maga

Another upgrade specifically for the Engineer class comes courtesy of an armed drone, yes armed. Now you can unleash fire from the heavens above, adding another tactical element to the battlefield. He has a buddy too, a ground drone that'll go where Ghosts don't dare.
So what do the remaining two classes get? Snipers now come with heartbeat and audio sensors while the Commando class get's the shoulder mounted rocket launcher, handy for incoming vehicles.
A major change in direction for the series is the removal of squad commands. Instructing your squad where to go and how to react has always been a large part of Ghost Recon's tactical gameplay. After talks with the special forces advisor on Future Soldier this has been completely removed, citing seamless squad cohesion. There is a bonus though, you can actually link up with any member of the squad and benefit from their particular strengths. For example, link up with the commando class and you can designate targets for the shoulder mount. While linked, your general direction of movement is controlled by the leading character, leaving you free to scan the area for hostiles. This is a major new addition for Ghost Recon, offering new tactics not just in the single player campaign but also in multiplayer.
Removal of squad commands lightens the range of use for cross com which also makes a reappearance in Future Soldier. On this occasion it is more of an information tool than a command tool. The enemy have their own version of cross comm, and if you play your cards right you can commandeer captured units to gain valuable information on enemy positions.

Sliding

Putting the Boot in

All this new future tech has drawn some criticism from hardcore Ghost Recon fans, however the development team have been at pains to emphasise all the tech seen in Ghost Recon Future Soldier is in real world development, and they have seen it.
In multiplayer eight man teams can hook up, with individuals selecting which class to play as, even taking control of the ground drone if mechwarrior is more your thing.
We've covered some new items and some items that have been removed from the series, what about something that's skipped a season? The re-introduction of civilians in Future Warrior will add another layer of realism that was used to great effect in the original Ghost Recon but was sadly lacking from both GRAW titles. Watch your fire out there, not everyone is a gun totting bad guy.
On consoles Future Soldier is powered by a new version of the GRAW YETI game engine. YETI has been around since 2006 but benefits from a fresh reworking for Future Soldier.
So, massive change in gameplay, new toys, new direction and cutting edge future technology. Brave new world or a slide in the wrong direction? We cannot wait for the demo...

 


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