Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Games on the AVE: Gamespot reviews Tom Clancy's GHOST RECON

Also available on PS3

The decades to come may be full of unknown potential for wondrous inventions, but in the gaming realm, the future is old hat. Invisibility, X-ray vision, and miniature floating cameras are modern marvels that have long since become familiar. Though these tools are potent in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, there's precious little novelty in your futuristic arsenal, and this can make you feel like you're undertaking missions you've run many times before. So is Future Soldier just another by-the-book third-person shooter?

Fortunately not. Though there's plenty of familiarity to be found here, Future Soldier's brand of stealthy action and streamlined teamwork gives it a distinct appeal. The lengthy campaign lets you wield your AI allies like autonomous weapons; their guns are yours to command, but they handle their own maneuvers, pushing the action along at a slick pace. Replacing them with your fellow humans brings its own challenges and rewards, as does facing off against said humans in the lively competitive multiplayer modes. Though it's more of a product of the past than a vision of the future, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a robust package that provides plenty of satisfying ways to exercise your itchy trigger finger.
In the campaign, you play as the ghosts, a four-man team of elite soldiers. Cutscenes and mid-mission dialogue combine to create a nice sense of camaraderie among the crew, and hackneyed archetypes are downplayed in favor of more understated characterization. Personalities are colored in during small moments, like a song streaming out of earbuds, a fleeting facial expression, and a conversation about used trucks. Interactions with other military personnel reveal how isolated the ghosts are from the soldiers they break bread with and how oblivious those soldiers are to this fact. This segregation creates a connection among the ghosts that is a refreshing change from the familiar "bonds forged on the crucible of combat" trope.

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