In spite of the overwhelming excitement revolving around the long-anticipated release of Diablo III, there is another game that has caught my eye. This game is Ghost Recon Future Soldier. I preordered this game and I am quite excited for it. Since each pre-order gets a beta key I have been playing its beta for hours on end for the past two days. This new entry to the Ghost Recon franchise has many different features that will set it apart from the rest of the over-saturated shooter genre. Most are not present in the beta, but it still portrays one of the multiplayer modes and the customization very well. Heres the rundown on each of the components being showcased in the beta.

Competetive Multiplayer: Conflict

In this mode two 8 man squads, composed of 4 man fireteams, are pitted against each other in a mixed objective mode in which has multiple objectives to complete before the round is over. There are many different objectives to complete and there is no set order or number that are completed each match. The objectives are as follows: Escort/Kill the HVT, secure the ammo dump/intel post, and protect/plant demo charges on the target. Each requires different methods of coordination with your squad. These modes all require a well organized effort to complete, but in between each objective you still can gather score by racking up the body count. This part, however, increases the teams score only slightly as to make playing the objective a vital part of clenching the title of victors for the match. The end of the match is signaled by the time running out. By this time ten objectives could be completed or only two, depending on each squad's orientation. The matches run at a default of 15 minutes.

Character Customization: Classes

Future Soldier offers a deep and well balanced character customization feature with multiple utilities and facets. For your two factions of Ghost and Bodark, there are different headgears and weapons for each, but are balanced well enough as not to make one stronger than the other. The customization's depth goes into sublevels such as headgear, Gunsmith, equipment, and grenades. The headgear allows a small bit of customization with the current four different head pieces for each class with two variants each. Equipment allows different items such as ammo boxes, medic packs, UAVs, augmented camo, and field computers. The grenade customization allows you to choose from four different grenade types for different situations. Gunsmith is so large and deep that it requires its own paragraph entirely to describe the functions of it.

Character Customization: Gunsmith

The Gunsmith feature is the most complex and innovative feature I have seen in the customization spectrum yet. For many different guns, different for each faction, you can customize everything from muzzle to buttstock. The areas you can customize include: magazine, barrel, optics, gas system, muzzle, trigger assembly, under barrel rail, side rail, paint job, and stock. Modifications for the barrel affect the weapon's range and maneuverability. Those for the muzzle are controlability, power, and range. Affected regions for the gas system are rate of fire and controlability. Optics influence range, controlability, and the zoom multiplier. The magazines can affect reload speed, magazine size, firepower, splash damage, and one bullet type can home in on targets. The trigger assembly can influence trigger sensitivity, accuracy, and fire mode. The side rail can mount accessories to improve accuracy and even sense enemy heartbeats. The bottom rail can mount grenade launchers, masterkeys, tasers, bipods and grips. The affected attributes are controlability and maneuverability. The stock affects controlability and maneuverability. Finally, the paint job is entirely cosmetic and only affects the appearence of the weapon each paint job costs no unlock tokens.


Future Soldier is all I expected and more so far. The two maps are in stark contrast and offer great variety. The customization is an intricate and engrossing part of the game. The mechanics work well from the masterfully crafted cover system to the shooting mechanics. The HUD is useful and unobstructive. The only problem I have had with this stellar beta is the connection. Hopefully this problem is fixed, but Ghost Recon Future Soldier is, so far, well developed and very enjoyable. I personally love it. It does have a fairly steep learning curve, but once you figure out the style of play you need for it, shooter fans and especially tactical shooter fans will love this title. By its May 22 release date, most bugs should be fixed. If you are playing it post those problems so it can be as good as I already think it is. Now for those of you who do not want to preorder for the beta I have two more keys (each preorder gets four keys). The first two replys asking for them get them.