Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Preview (Xbox360)

Make no mistake, this is definitely not the same game we saw last year. We couldn't get anything official out of Ubisoft, but things are definitely different now - which would explain why, prior to E3, there had been little new on the title for a while. Regardless, it's here now, and Strategy Informer was able to get some hands on time with Future Soldier during a recent Ubisoft Showcase.

Even though we were only playing through the same code that was available at E3, it's still good to see it in person, and the four person co-op is as engaging as you'd expect it to me. It's hard to get an indicative picture of what the whole game is going to be like, but the demo certainly hints a lot of contextual co-op 'moves', stealth and fast-paced action, and sizeable segments where the player has little or not control.

Stabby stabby

We get the feeling this is going for the more Call of Duty-style cinematic experience, with everything very stylised and slick. Sticking with the 'Future Soldier' theme, all the tech in the game is very cutting edge and new, and permeates several gameplay mechanics taken for granted. For example - the edge of a level would simply be blocked off or you would be prevented from walking past it, but in Future Soldier there is instead floating text telling you not go somewhere, which is meant to represent a highly technological supported situational awareness. There's also things like highlighted enemies, ammo counters that hover in the air near your gun, tags, descriptive text... a lot of visual feedback given to the player.

As we said, the game seems to support both stealth and action elements, but we're not sure how interchangeable the two are. This isn't Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid, where if you hide long enough after a big firefight things return to 'normal'. After stealthily making our way through the initial section, all hell broke loose and we found ourselves sprinting through the village tearing up anyone we saw who wasn't an enemy. Then we got to the industrial complex and suddenly it was like Gears of War all over again - moving from cover to cover, shooting anyone we could get in our sites... only this time we had grenades too.

Guys, why does my gun have a blue halo? It's kind of distract- *dead*

In recent months, there has been a movement amongst other games writers that decry moments where control is taken away from players in game. Whether these are QTE's, or talking-and-walking sequences where you can't actually control the walking, many of our fellow games writers hate this new trend with varying passions. They're definitely not going to like Ghost Recon. Again, because this was an E3 game demo, it's hard to say how much these elements represent the finished product, but there was a sequence at the end of the level that basically turned it into an on-the-rails shooter.

With your team rushing to get the VIP to safety, they adopt a 'diamond' formation ,that see's each person shifting position as they move along. Most of the movement is a cinematic, but every now and then they player is given control so they can shoot anyone in front of them. It certainly gets your blood pumping, and it's a perfect example of the more cinematic nature of the game.

You looking at me?

We got some more time with the Gunsmith Mode as well, although we weren't allowed to work with it ourselves. Still, it's always impressive to see in action up close, and we even got some matter cleared up as to what you can/can't do - the weapon customizations do get taken into the main game, but you can only control via Kinect (as in, using your hands) in the firing range where you test out your weapons. As far as we know, voice commands aren't in the main game either at the moment.

There's not a hell of a lot else to say at this point, considering Ubisoft are keeping a lot of the details under wraps. With a release window set between now and March 2012, there's still a ways to go yet and we wouldn't be surprised if it slips once again. What we've seen so far is interesting enough, and fairly enjoyable when played with friends, but it will be the coming months that will really put this game to the test. Ghost Recon is coming out on the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 (and the Wii and PS Vita).

Most Anticipated Feature: If they can take the co-op dynamic into the competitive multiplayer environment, that would be nice.

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By Knave (SI Core) on Jul 20, 2011
The Gunsmith mode seems very cool to me. I always enjoy customization in games. And I always appreciate a wide selection of weapons and attachments in my shooters.

Probably why I enjoyed borderlands so much!
By Thibby (SI Core Veteran) on Jul 23, 2011
The Gunsmith mode looks cool indeed, I only hope that they put some more really unique features in the game, I don't want a MW4 :)
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Jul 24, 2011
Cooll. I remember playing GRAW2 on PC - fun but very difficult
By steven101x1 (SI Member) on Jul 31, 2011
I remember buying the first ghost recon on the pc, sooo much fun.
By DreadRazor (SI Newbie) on Aug 30, 2011
The first Ghost Recon was the best !
By starch (SI Newbie) on Sep 02, 2011
"Stabby Stabby" this made inhale water.