A long time ago, I believe it was Island Thunder in 2003, the Ghost Recon franchise took me by storm (pun COMPLETELY intended). The gameplay that GR provided to the genre was unseen and worked like a charm. It was also the first reason I can recall for using my Xbox microphone. Along the rest of the timeline in the franchise something faded. Was it our impatience and need for something new every inning at bat? Was it pure ignorance to a game that may take more brain waves than the zombified gameplay of CoD?
Regardless of why we all forgot about this series, Future Soldier is here to flick you in the earlobe and grab your attention.
Have you ever played a game that felt so right from the start screen? Have you ever wanted to burn every copy of a genre because you are so sure that the game you just played was so good that you know you’ll never desire for more? Well this is how I felt booting up the FS beta. It made me feel stupid. I’ve spent the past few years slightly ignoring everything about this game. Every convention I attended, I would walk right past the booth. I would watch half of a gameplay/CG trailer and never think twice about it. WHY THE FUCK WAS I SO DUMB!
FS is beyond anything you’ve played to date. The amount of creativity in the conceptual designs is brilliant. Not to take away from games like Halo and Gear of War, but those fictional worlds will never seem probable or even conceivable. FS on the other hand, seems like it could be so close to reality in the next few decades and it hits a different note than playing in a completely fantasy realm.
The Beta for FS is bare bones to say the least. Players are only given the PVP multiplayer with few maps and few up-gradable contents. These restrictions to the content do not sour the taste in the slightest. After all, if you play a Beta and expect everything then you’re on the wrong footing to begin with. The first thing I noticed while searching for a match was that the three available classes are similar to Battlefield 3 (in a good way). The part that goes beyond anything else is that when you select to edit a class, you can completely retool any weapon. I mean COMPLETELY. I changed my trigger to apply a single shot burst on my rifleman’s assault rifle, I changed the color of the gun to Canadian Army camo, I extended the barrel for more stability and range, and added a silencer for minimal map ping.
Once you hop into a match the first thing you see is your spawn menu where you can choose from multiple spawn points to adhere to your tactics for the map. The second you spawn your jaw drops. In addition to some of the best graphics in a shooter, you are greeted with what I’ve decided is my favorite HUD ever in a game of this genre. Slightly inspired by Dead Space, the FS floating HUD is crisp, beautiful and simplistically useful. Everything from the sound of the weapons firing, the mini-map, the grenade projection, to the spotting notification; Future Soldier’s gameplay is superior to anything on the current market.
The 3rd person perspective that Ubisoft uses in FS was perfected in Splinter Cell: Conviction and was adapted in slight ways to feel so effortless. To anyone, this game is so easy to grasp and the gameplay is so well designed that it take zero effort to move, aim, shoot, prone, and any other duties a soldier of the future would do.
FS arrives in North America on May 22nd of this year and to my amazement, is atop my list of anticipated titles of 2012. I came into this beta thinking I’ll get to frag a few peeps with wicked future weapons, but leave it panting and sweating in excitement. Ubisoft has taken everything good that has come from every shooter in the past decade and placed it all into a nice little package with amazing results. No other shooter matters as of May 22nd. This I promise you.
More to come at launch.