I can’t believe it’s almost here! I have been waiting 3 years for Ghost Recon Future Soldier to show up on shelves and the wait is almost over. On May 22 nd that wait is over and the current gaming public will either be screaming in outrage or joy depending on their reaction to this long in development game. Ghost Recon Future Soldier is taking the series in a bold new direction and updating it for new audiences and long time fans.
For those of you who havent picked up a copy of the last game in the series ( Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2) I thought I would give you a guided tour of this amazing game and hopefully prep you for the style of game play you’ll be experiencing in Future Soldier.
So let’s get our GRAW on!
When you boot up GRAW2 you will have the choice of playing the games campaign or jumping into multi player. I highly recommend you play the games single player mode ( at least a couple of missions) before trying to play multi-player. This will serve as your basic training and get you acquainted with the complex controls and options available to you as an elite Ghost Soldier. This article will be dealing with the games multi player component.
Multiplayer is a robust offering in GRAW2. You have so many options at your disposal it’s almost overwhelming. Multi player is split between CoOp and adversarial modes. CoOp takes the form of either generic missions that can be set up via the games multi player menu or you can tackle the ” CoOp story missions that weave a simple narrative around various missions you will take part in. These missions form the backbone of the single player story by highlighting some of the side missions that the Ghosts are conducting while you play out the single player campaign with one specific group.
Adversarial modes are your typical fare including capture the flag and death match options ( team and free for all). The ability to customize each game mode is incredible and you can literally dial it right down to the color of camouflage that you and your opposing team wear. If you don’t want explosives in your game that’s fine as well; you can remove and weapons and gadgets that you feel unbalance the game allowing for a VERY customizable experience when hosting online matches.
The first thing you want to do before you start your online career is to customize you’re in-game soldier. Now this is not as robust as other games since the launch of GRAW2 it nonetheless allows for you to tweak the look of your headgear and your default weaponry.
The nice thing about GRAW2 is that all your weapons are unlocked right from the beginning of the game. The multi player game is based on a class system ( Rifleman, Grenadier,Marksman, and automatic rifleman) The game weapons are available to any class however if you equip a weapon that is not designated for that class you will suffer a delayed reload time as well as an accuracy penalty when firing.
Take some time to learn the different aspects of all the guns during your playtime with GRAW2. It’s easy to zero in on the gun that has the best stats but in the actually thick of battle you may find certain guns react to your play-style better ie Recoil and accuracy.
This is where you need to take a step back when it comes to fully understanding how to maximize your fun in a game of GRAW2. Make sure you have gone into your controller set up and selected a suitable configuration for you and your style. There are many players who do not realize you can do this and struggle to adapt to a default control scheme.
Now your off to the races! Select a game mode and search for some matches. There are plenty of games to be found online and I recommend doing a custom search (selectable in multi player menu) and have a look at all the lobbies that pull up. Unlike more recent games GRAW2 has a lobby system where all participants can gather prior to the match taking place and chat as well as the host being able to toggle maps and game features at will prior to launching the actual match. This allows you to search for various lobby’s and join the one that suits your criteria. Host name , map and lobby population is all listed when your list populates from your search. Choose one and get ready!
You will quickly find that GRAW2 plays sluggish compared to other games in this genre. Stacking this game up against other 3rd person shooters definitely makes it feel dated. Most notably you will find that a lack of a cover system and not being able to sprint changes the way you navigate around the battlefield immensely.
This game uses a “momentum based running system”. This means that the longer you start moving in a certain direction the quicker you will move. Your character pivots and moves like a tank in some cases but all this is done in the service of realism. Swapping weapons on the fly will be your first hurdle as you watch your character carefully sling his rifle and reach into his pouch to pull out a grenade. You then have to wind up and toss it as a separate action! Grenade throwing becomes a pre meditated action rather than a button spamming reflex that other games encourage you to do.
Cover is a relative Term
To say there is no cover system in GRAW 2 would be a little inaccurate.Keep in mind that Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter debuted before Gears of War and established a cover system in a 3rd person game before EPIC and the boys refined it for Gears. Since then a cover mechanic of some kind is pretty much a standard issue when it comes to third person shooters these days.
Although GRAW2 does not allow you to slide up against the various barriers and buildings in the game it does let you position yourself alongside cover and even crouch behind it.
Not only that you can actually lean around walls , left or right and limit the amount of your body that is exposed to your opponents inevitable return fire. To do so you simply position yourself within close [proximity of the desired piece of terrain that you want to hind behind. use the shoulder swap mechanic to make sure your line of site is not hampered by said terrain. Now while aiming in with your left trigger you simply hold the right bumper/shoulder button down and push left or right with your right thumb stick. Your onscreen soldier will lean-to the appropriate direction while his/her feet are firmly planted in place behind cover. Your upper torso will be exposed so make sure you dial into the right amount of lean that will let you make the shot while not revealing to much of your position. This all sounds complicated but after doing it a couple of times you will feel right at home. Dont worry all your “Gears addicts” a more refined and fluid cover system is making its debut in Ghost Recon Future Soldier in May. It is worth noting that the single player portion of this game uses a full-fledged cover system more akin to what current games use.
Movement and knowing how to navigate the maps is a KEY learning in maximizing your understanding of how to play GRAW2. The game is NOT a run and gun experience and thus you should not be in a hurry to start running around the map trying to knife everyone in site ( Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that you do not have a melee option in GRAW). Slow your pacing down and take the time to be methodical in your approach to every match you play online.
Take some time to visit the XBL marketplace. Ubi Soft has made a large amount of post release content available for free that really fleshes out the map variety. Not a lot of players play on them but you can still run some solo missions and invite new friends to do the same for some CO Op action.
Try and train yourself to adopt a hunters mentality. Think like a soldier would and start looking everywhere. Dont presume that someone isn’t looking at you across the map through the scope of his sniper rifle; especially in open ground.
GRAW’s maps are very layered and buildings typically have interior components that allow for camping spots as well as great sniping vantage points. Respect the maps and learn them. They are typically very diverse with both open terrain and close quarters areas. Knowing your maps and where to look for opponents will be a skill well learned.
It’s not always easy to find players on your friends list to play GRAW. It’s an old game and you’d be lucky to convince any of your pals to stop playing Call of Duty these days let alone try a game that’s almost 4 years old. The good news though is that the GRAW community is still very active and filled with mature players who use teamwork and actually talk. Be warned though as some lobbies I have joined have a ” No mic No play” policy; so make sure your headset is connected and sound off when your asked to verify your presence in the lobby.
Use your call outs and keep your team informed. Even if you don’t know anyone they will respect your Intel and before you know it you’ll be adding some new gamers to your friends list.
Your first experience with this game is bound to be frustrating. Your ability to adapt will determine your level of enjoyment and it’s quite possible that you just cant figure the game out with its myriad of control options and style of movement. Rest assured that if you do put in the time and change the way you normally play a shooter , GRAWs robust multi player and massive suite of options and maps make it one of the most value packed shooters on the market today.
Remember that the Ghost Recon Future Soldier BETA is due out on the 19th and while the game is receiving a major update in the form of gameplay mechanics and visuals; spending some time in the world of GRAW2 is a great way to get your mind wrapped around playing a tactical shooter .
I’ll be spending some time in GRAW2 lobby’s so if you decide to tackle the game hit me up on XBL and well team up.
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash