My name is Luke Duffy, I am an aspiring media journalist from Ireland and this is my website, Media Pancake. Media Pancake is a site devoted to my reviews and thoughts on the latest in film, television, and video games. If you enjoy my articles then please share them with your friends and stick around for my upcoming posts. Thanks.
Friday, 27 July 2012
Game Review: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
a world filled with bland and repetitive shooters like Call of Duty and
(sometimes) Battlefield, the Ghost Recon series has always stood out from the
rest due to its cerebral aspect of battle. The series has forever been on the
cutting edge of military technology whilst combining it with refined and
satisfying gameplay. ‘Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’ takes the formula of
previous entries in the series and subtly improves and adjusts it to deliver a
more cinematic game with a clearer focus in combat. Simply put, it is tactical
warfare at its finest.
a Ghost team is eliminated whilst attempting to recover a nuclear warhead the US
government dispatches another team to track down their murderers and the
warhead. Facing rising odds and the threat of other covert agencies the Ghosts race to
prevent the launch of the weapon as well as uncover hidden conspiracies.
story is well thought out and interesting but the method of storytelling used
is not very effective as through all the jumping about to different areas any
coherence in the plot is soon lost. As the game bears the Tom Clancy name its
plot is typically a political thriller, it certainly isn’t the best story with
the Clancy name but in certain moments it does provide scope that truly helps
its storytelling. A particular highlight is a scene depicting a missile
container strike upon London, the carnage is shown through video camera footage
from a tourist, the destruction in this scene is very well executed through its
showing of the glass raining down onto the streets from a shattered building. Throughout the
entirety of the game I was never sure which character I was playing as, very
seldom did the game give me any indication that the Ghost I was playing as was
an individual and not simply a tool for the player to use. The real problem
with this game’s plot is that it just isn’t interesting enough, it has done
very little to shake-up the warfare storyline endlessly repeated in titles like
‘Call of Duty’, ‘Battlefield’ and ‘Medal of Honor’, at this point it’s
definitely time for something in new in relation to story for modern day war
The Ghosts prepare for a door breach.
the gameplay in ‘Tom Clancy's Ghost
Recon: Future Soldier’ is fantastic. Featuring state of the art teammate
AI this game really delivers a visceral experience of the battlefield and
methodical warfare. You certainly won’t get away with running and gunning here
as any moment where you are not totally aware of your surroundings or have not
mapped out your plan of action, you’ll be decimated by enemy forces. The
numerous scenarios within the game are fantastic, you have to think about each
route you could take to complete any given challenge effectively. Do you hang
back and mark targets for your teammates to silently execute? Do you proceed on
ahead and stealth kill each soldier in your path whilst your team provide
backup? Or do you wage a war upon a host of enemies by utilizing a surprise
attack? The possibilities are endless, there’s no doubt in my mind that the
intelligent gameplay is what makes this game compelling.
the variety available to handle situations is impressive it is sometimes
completely ignored and instead the player has to contend with a forced gunfight
where they have no option to employ stealth. I found this extremely disappointing;
it made it as if the stealth gameplay was not truly a part of the game but rather something that could only be performed in certain areas much like a novelty
weapon. This demonstrates where the developers have gone wrong in their design
of this game; they resulted to common gaming missteps by disregarding a key aspect
to the game, its stealth. This doesn’t even make sense in a story perspective,
the Ghosts would most certainly not risk a gunfight when stealth is available,
the whole point of their unit after all is that their very existence in enemy
headquarters cannot be proved.
of the most standout missions in the game has the player infiltrate a prison
without their team, stealth is paramount here as if discovered the enemy would
quickly kill the player. The mission’s gameplay and the stealth is executed excellently,
it even reminded me of playing what is widely considered the king of stealth
action games, ‘Metal Gear Solid’.
The incredibly detailed customisation options.
level of immersion felt in the game is staggering. Each enemy is quick to judge
inconsistencies in their surroundings including everything from a shimmering in
the air that just may be humanoid to a comrade who is late with their patrol,
it really feels like the enemies are thinking rather than just following
routines until they are taken out by the player. A great example of the level
of immersion this game provides is during a level involving a covert assault on
a Russian airfield. Towards the end of the mission the Ghosts find themselves
heavily outmanned and thanks to the addition of an enemy tank, outgunned. The
panic I felt as my team fell wounded around me was palpable, the rapid gunfire
coming from all angles only added to the fear building up. Throughout this time
the Ghosts had been radioing back and forth to base requesting support. At the
moment when I thought all was lost and enemy soldiers would swarm me, an
airstrike prompt appeared and once ordered I was given a first person control
of a guided missile to dive-bomb into a tank. The explosion brought the end of
the mission and a real sense of victory.
great variety of technology available in the game can sometimes be to its
detriment when some missions feel more akin to tutorials set-up to train the
player how to use a new weapon rather than a fully fleshed out level. This
overabundance of gadgets also makes the customization options within the game
very intimidating, to a veteran of technical shooters the feature is perfect
since it allows you to essentially build your firearm from scratch choosing
minute details such as types of triggers. For more novice players though and
even for those who are fans but not as invested in the series as others, they
will find the system a little off-putting when they are asked to configure
things such as the under barrel of their gun.
Recon: Future Soldier’ is an extremely solid game but as a story its
unmemorable and often dull. In every point where the gameplay excels the story drags
on the player and calls a halt to the action for drawn out cut scenes. This
game may not impress you with its plot but damn does it play well.