Awesome: The Game


At UbiSoft’s pre-E3 press conference, host Joel McHale asked that Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier simply be renamed “Awesome.” It might be a little too late for a re-branding, but if the title fits...

Going through the Future Soldier demo, it’s clear that stealth plays a major role in making it through the game’s levels. The demo kicked off with a solider, disguised in active camo, walking up to an enemy and quickly dispatching them. As the demo continued, it became clear that finding cover and remaining there are also major gameplay elements alongside the ever-important squad-based play.

Future Soldier takes place sometime in the not-so-distant future (10 – 15 years). For reasons not revealed in the demo, America is at war with Russia and Northern Europe is the bearing the brunt of most of the conflict. At the start of the demo, the squad is given orders to check into a possible Russian attack on an American convoy. After landing on a beach, the Ghosts activate their camouflage, rendering them more or less invisible. The beach also provides a number of areas to hide – an advantage enjoyed by both Ghost and Russian alike.

Based on the squad-tactics on display, Future Soldier looks a bit like Gears of War. Ghosts dodged from cover-to-cover with the speed of a COG, but with the added grace and preciseness of Ghost Recon trained solider. Enemies can do the same, leading to highly strategic positioning on the battlefield. Though I wasn’t able to really study movements, enemies seem pretty bright and made intelligent use of cover. Cover isn’t forever, however, and can be destroyed if used too much – as evidenced by a later confrontation with a tank.

Although the demo was a solo effort with A.I. support, Future Soldier features four-player co-op in the main campaign. The A.I. soldiers were effective during the mission, though given the apparent scope of the game (at least based on this scenario), it looks like Future Solider is going to be a blast with a well-oiled team. If you can’t find your headset, you might want to start looking now.

Though invisible when perfectly still, Ghosts are visible if they move too much (or too fast) or use their weapons. Our skilled demo driver was able to get incredibly close to an enemy by carefully moving across the beach, dispatching them with a silenced weapon. Ghosts can also perform melee attacks. From here, gameplay followed the same basic flow as previous games. The group slowly worked its way from the beach into the city using both stealth and recon images provided by a satellite high in orbit. The images highlighted enemy positions and also provided a basic idea of their objective’s location.

Early in the mission, the Ghosts ran across a person of interest. As per the group’s mandate, which allows for mission realignment based on in-the-field intel, the recon mission was instantly scrapped and changed into a snatch-and-grab mission.

Once the Ghosts reached their target, our driver went in to snatch the target while the rest of the team hung back to provide support. It quickly became apparent the mission wasn’t going to be a simple snatch-and-grab. While the leader was positioned to grab the target, the other three positioned their sights on the bodyguards surrounding the person of interest. As the player worked his way around in to the target, a set of lines began to appear on the screen representing the other Ghost’s lines of sight. All three settled in squarely on the surrounding bodyguard’s heads. A short count of three later, all three lay dead while the leader entered aggressive negotiations with the target.

The second part of the demo placed the Ghosts back on the beach, this time watching a convoy attempt to airlift a tank via helicopter. The lead Ghost readied his sniper rifle and was able to land an impressive headshot on the pilot, sending it into a wild turning trajectory around the heavy tank still attached to its winch.

As for now, UbiSoft is sticking to the Ghost Recon moniker, but if you happen to see “Awesome” on shelves early next year, you know what it is.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Ubisoft Entertainment