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Future Soldier - Live Action Video Analysis...

 

UNCLASSIFIED

FROM: Scott Mitchell, futuresoldier@ghostrecon.net

TO: Undisclosed Recipients

SUBJ: Ghost Recon Future Soldier - Live Action Promotional Video

1. On or about March 19th, 2010, Ubisoft agent code named Ubi Kimi hinted that the next Future Soldier trailer would be released this week. She also released an assortment of pre/post production images indicating the video would likely be the live action promotional video that was previously announced. True to her word, the video was released on March 25th, 2010 at IGN.

NOTE: It's unknown why or what arrangement was made for Ubisoft to release the trailer to IGN first. Currently, the trailer isn't even posted at the official Future Soldier website - there is just a link to the IGN website.

2. The IGN press release quoted in it's entirety:

Ghost Recon Steps into the Future
Live-action trailer gives a glimpse of the sweet gear available in the upcoming game.
by Hilary Goldstein


March 25, 2010 - Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is Ubisoft's big game for this fall and as such, no expense is being spared in priming fans for its launch. While we'll have to wait a little longer to see the game in action, a new, high-quality live-action trailer teases a few things gamers can expect from Future Soldier.

The trailer reveals that part of Ghost Recon's story takes place in Russia. Studio Producer Adrian Lacey calls Russia "a classic Clancy destination. It is such a vast country with many different boarders that it allows the player to experience a large swath of Northern Europe. It also has an important geopolitical status that makes it an interesting story to tell."

The focus of the trailer is the use of optical camouflage, a piece of technology that does, in fact, exist in the real world. The prominence of active camo has sparked some controversy among long-time Ghost Recon fans, who need to relax and learn to have a little fun in life. This is, after all, based on real life technology that any Future Soldier worth his snuff would use if given the chance. "The real life development prototypes use it to disrupt the enemy's vision using an array of cameras to film the direct surroundings and project it onto your body armour and clothes," Lacey explains. The intent is not to make you invisible, but to "break up the players silhouette for the enemies, making wearers a tougher target to aim for."

The HUD in the trailer is similar to the one we'll see in game, but has been tweaked somewhat to fit gameplay needs. Those with a keen eye will notice that some characters are labeled with classes in the live-action trailer. This represents different gear loadouts in the game. Lacey promises that these loadouts will be available in single-player, co-op and competitive multiplayer.

(Please note that the above perspective is not necessarily shared by me or representatives of www.ghostrecon.net and is only provided for situational awareness.)

3. While the live action video is considered a promotional video, it's fair to assume the content in the video will mirror what can be expected from the game. As always, my assessment is provided below on key elements that caught my attention.

NOTE - You might be thinking, "why would I want to look at all these pictures when I can just watch the trailer?"

It's a valid question...if you watch and re-watch and re-re-watch the trailer...you still might miss some of the small details...I know I did...so like I said, I'm pointing out some things that caught my attention.

NOTE - When I get access to the HD version of the trailer...I'll certainly re-examine it and see if there is anything I missed.

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT (Assessment is this transcript is approximately 95% accurate):

Indiscernible voices. Shouting. Radio chatter.

"I got a possible on our target." "Bones and Kozak, position." "Approaching target support unit. Ghosts, watch your lines of fire. The place is heavy on civilians"

"30K on enemy drone command center. Cloaking."

"This is our man. Range 3220 yards southwest of my position."

"I've got a possible entry on drone command center. 30K in position."

"GARBLED - your clear to hot. Take him down.

"Engaging enemy drone."

"Have hostiles garbled. Get to the rally point."

"Let's light 'em up."

VIDEO ANALYSIS

Ultranationalists have violently seized power. This was already known. (These soldiers remind me of the Combine from Half-life.)


 

Civil unrest has erupted. Ubisoft has already hinted that civilians will be present in some of the missions. They hint at this later in the trailer when the audio says, "the place is heavy on civilians."


 

While we already new the Russians or at least ultranationalists of Russian descent were going to be the primary aggressors, we now can confirm at least one of the perpetrators. Ivan Illitch Kerenski, leader of the "nationalist crackdown on the resistance", is terminated by the end of the video. The flag on his uniform matches that of the Russian Federation.


 

In a different section of the trailer, the mission name is revealed - Operation Take Down Overlord. Based on the trailer, the mission is to assassinate Kerenski and disrupt his operations.

During this mission, one of the Ghosts will have to disable the command post (or as it's called in the video - the drone command center). This command post seems to be able to communicate with the soldiers and monitor the ground drone activity.


 

The enemy apparently has it's own hi-tech arsenal including their own version of the ground drone. In this picture, about all you can see is that it's red. In later clips, you can see a star on it (symbolic of Russia) and also that it is possible a "Hammer Class" drone. This can't be confirmed at this time.


 

While the Engineer class is supposed to be the one that uses the Exoskeleton, it's interesting to note that this sniper has something running the length of his leg that looks like it could possibly be the Exoskeleton. There is a picture later that shows another view on a different Ghost.


 

This picture shows a feature of the Cross Com that tracks friendly and enemy contacts. Looking at the picture you can see three of the squadmates and their names: Bones, Kozak and 30K. It also shows what class they are.


 

This is an interesting picture. If you watch the video close, this appears to be the Engineer class. He has this helmet with some sort of special optics on it. In a later pic you'll notice he's also holding what appears to be a remote control. Wherever he looks, the ground drone "looks" (it's cannon and targeting beam track to this location).


 

I want one of these (even one of the movie props would be okay with me). This is the new hi-tech SMG or Assault Rifle (it's been called both). The picture shows the two barrels and multi-tool attachment. A later picture show what appears to be a bipod (which was speculated by us a few weeks ago).


 

Here is the Engineer class controlling the drone as mentioned above. Also notice the device running down his leg as previously discussed in the sniper picture. In the video, this device seems to operate very smooth and seamless.


 

The thermoptic cloaking device in action. Ghost "30K" cloaks and sneaks by the unsuspecting guards just around the corner. One thing I noticed, the cloak seems to flash and flicker a lot, which is kind of a nice touch, proving that it's not going to render the Ghost completely invisible.


 

A scope with facial recognition software. Sweet. It also pulls up information regarding the contact and later in the trailer, flashes the "terminate" instruction.


 

Kerenski getting eliminated. Center of mass shot. But did you catch what happened next? I don't know what kind of bullets they're using but check out the following three screen shots.


 

 

 

Some kind of HE round? The developers have gone on record discussing different kinds of ammunition. Perhaps this is the first demonstration.

The Russian ground drone, previously discussed.


 

The Ghost's ground drone retaliating. I'm guessing this is the view that the Engineer sees through the optics attached to the helmet. Assuming the Russian ground drone is targeted, you see where I got the Hammer Class from.


 

It's interesting to note that not only does the drone track with whatever the Engineer is looking at, but apparently if you dispose of the Engineer controlling the drone it will also disable the drone. In this picture, you'll notice that the Engineer to the right of the drone is falling down. If you watch the trailer, the drone and Engineer sink to the ground exactly in sync with one another. Apparently the drone has no fail safe mode and can't operate independently, or so it would seem.


 

I know this picture isn't all the clear, but its one of my favorites. These are truly "future soldiers". (Notice the bipod or what looks like a bipod on the soldier on the left).


 

Well, the mystery behind the Attila tank is solved. It's Russian. Here is one that is being targeted by the Ghost using their shoulder mounted rocket launcher as demonstrated in the following pics.

 

Mission accomplished. The 4 man team is leaving the area and one by one they cloak (which is interesting because the various magazine article's suggested only the Recon class would have the thermoptic camouflage and not all of these Ghosts were Recon class).


 

CONCLUSION

My assessment is the video was spectacular and was an interesting approach by Ubisoft to promote the video game. While the video is only roughly 2 minutes in length, it certainly came with a cost. My guess, a steep cost. While most publishers promote their game with screen shots and in game trailers, a live action video of a future title is certainly a unique initiative.

That being said, the die hard old school Ghost Recon fans are going to cringe and hate it. Clearly both trailers have displayed the significant reliance on technology and for some, that's a huge turn off. I think a majority of the people that I have communicated with are very much interested in the potential that Future Soldier is displaying.

//SIGNED//

Scott Mitchell, futuresoldier@ghostrecon.net

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