The Average Gamer

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Co-Op Preview

Brett and Debbie got hands-on with the single-play co-op mode of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the upcoming team shooter from Ubisoft’s Red Storm Entertainment studio.

We played through the 10th mission in the single-player campaign on Veteran (i.e. normal) difficulty.

Debbie Timmins: I felt it was a slower pace than most shooters and would be great with friends. You really need to plan your approach. Using RB to mark up to four enemies for teammates can be very useful, provided you all agree on who takes which flag beforehand and talk to each other over the headset.

Enemies will react to the sound of unsupressed gunfire and dead bodies so coordinating to simultaneously take out four guards and stop them raising the alarm is incredibly satisfying. However, given that most people online seem to stick to their own party chat instead of talking in-game, I wouldn’t recommend attempting missions with random online players.

Some players during the session didn’t want to mark targets because they’d lose the kill but that’s not what the co-op mode is about. It’s far more important to reach the object than to squabble over K:D ratios and there are plenty of targets to hit.

You also have tactical challenges during each mission which give those who care about such things another bit of depth to the game. Innovative Diversity requires the team to kill using 15 different weapons. Engraved asks you to kill all the snipers throughout the mission without being shot. The Ghost Recon challenge needs you to complete the entire mission without alerting a single enemy. You’re allowed to kill them, so the UAV drone will come in handy for scoping out the best targets. Just remember to stay up high or roll under nearby furniture. It’s not cloaked in any way and, although it’s self-repairing, your opponents will shoot the drone down quickly if they see.

Should one of your teammates drop out for some reason, they’ll be replaced by the AI but in co-op mode, there’s no dropping back in. If one of your teammates has a dodgy connection, you’ll have to restart the mission if you want to finish it with them. Most missions are around 40 minutes long so you’ll want a stable connection.

Brett Phipps: I definitely agree that this is a game best played with friends. Communication is essential if you intend on making it through the mission. This isn’t a game where you can steam through with four squad members running off in different directions.

There were times when my team got separated into groups of two, and we quickly came unstuck. GRFS actively encourages teamwork and moving as a unit through the revive mechanic: if one player dies, it’s game over, but you only have around 15 seconds to revive them. The good thing about the absence of drop-in online play is that your games won’t be spoiled by a random arsehole running around screaming “hoo-rah” and getting the rest of the squad in trouble.

I really enjoyed the pacing of the co-op missions. After marking your targets and analysing the terrain, there’s a real feeling of tension as you’re waiting for the “go” call from your team to start the fight. When enemies react to gunfire or the sight of dead bodies they do so intelligently. As soon as a dead body is found or shots are fired, enemies don’t just stand there confused for a few seconds a la Metal Gear Solid, they will turn and sprint for cover before alerting everyone else.

I was quite fortunate to be placed in a very good team whose priority was to complete the mission, not get the most kills. We were actively communicating about the enemies up ahead, who should flank left/right, what weapons we were carrying and so on. There was a moment towards the end where we got completely flummoxed by a BTR, a heavily-armoured, fast moving tank with a mounted gunner which unloaded tons of soldiers.

After several unsuccessful attempts, we paused at the Game Over screen, and discussed a new plan. We decided to use a mounted LMG located in the south-west corner of the map, and all move together to get to it. Once we started working together, the objective became easier, though still tough.

Your experience with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s co-op is largely dependent on the company you play it with. If you have good friends who are active on their head-sets, you will have a great time and experience a good challenge. If you’re stuck with silent or gung-ho players, you’ll get pissed off very quickly.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be out 25th May for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and for PC on 15th June.