Let me start by saying this: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s multiplayer has come a long way since E3 last year, and it was already tight and fairly well balanced back then. This game is smooth, fun, addictive, and the most fun I’ve had with friends online in a very long time. Are there some issues with it? Yeah, it’s a beta. There’s some lag and I hate snipers (not because I can’t snipe…at all. That’s a silly allegation >.>). It’s all still real fresh in my head so bear with me as I give you a quick rundown of what I saw.
First, let’s get through the boring technical stuff. There are three character classes available, one game mode, two maps, and a whole slew of weapon modifications available right now. The game mode that’s available at the moment is called Conflict, and it’s kind of like team deathmatch except that random objectives spawn throughout the 15 minute match. Some of the objectives are the standard capture and defend but my favorite so far is the HVT objective. HVT, or High Value Target, status is assigned to one member of the two teams. The attacking team, the one with the HVT, must escort the assigned player to a capture point. If they capture it, they win and get the exp bonus. The defending team must kill the HVT…because that’s what you do when you’re presented with a high value target. My favorite moment in the game so far has been when I was assigned HVT status and ran, like a moron, clear across the map and miraculously managed to capture the point without any team support at all. That was an atypical experience.
The real meat of this game is the adherence to the “Tom Clancy Experience.” If you want to succeed in the multiplayer, you need to communicate with your team and work together as a unit. There are no lone wolves in the Tom Clancy universe, well except for that one but he started Team Rainbow so he doesn’t count. The Ghosts, and the their Russian counterparts the Bodark, work best in a team environment. Points are captured faster when teammates stick together. This is the confidence system at work. Each class brings certain skills to the game that bolster the team’s strength as well. I spent most of my time as an engineer and was lobbing sensor grenades all over the place so I could provide valuable intel to my team. I like that. Red Storm has successfully incentivized team play. Matches aren’t determined by which side gets the most kills but by how many objectives they capture. I was the top performer on my team for two matches, which is an amazing feat if you’ve ever seen me play a shooter, because I worked the objectives and helped my teammates. Kill/death ratios don’t matter, as much; they’re a thing of the past. This is Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and if you ask me, it’s showing us the future of multiplayer shooters.
The Beta runs through May 2, 2012 and the game launches in the US on May 22, Europe on May 25.