Ghost Recon Future Soldier Beta Impressions

The Ghost Recon Future Soldier beta has begun, and I have been knee deep in bullets and bodies for the past few hours. Though this is a limited beta, I am very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. The multiple delays have done this game good, as the multiplayer is fun, fast, and frenetic, just as a shooter’s multiplayer should be.

There is one game mode for this beta: Conflict, a hybrid of team deathmatch and team objective. Kills are one point each, but objectives are 100 points. Victory will not be achieved by  just killing the opposing team, teams will need to work cohesively to capture objectives and score those big points. There are only two maps to play on as well, each one having better designs than most maps I’ve seen recently. I’m particularly fond of Mill, as there is literally nowhere to hide on that giant farmland. Everything is open, every piece of cover can be flanked or surrounded, which is how a map shoudl be made. If this is what the beta offers, I can only imagine what the main game will bring, as this mode and these maps are the perfect way to show off the excellent multiplayer offering Ubisoft is presenting here.

Once the game begins, players will be paired into two teams of eight, and from there two squads of four each. There are three classes at the start: scout, rifleman, engineer, each with their own unique abilities and weapons. The Scout has active camo that activates when he is motionless, the Engineer has a Scope Detector system that lets him know when an enemy is aiming at him, and the Rifleman has better torso armor for more damage resistance AND is the only class that can use light machine guns or LMGs. So far I prefer the Rifleman, as I take a lot of damage and that extra body armor helps, but I can easily see myself branching off into Engineer soon.

Actual gameplay is standard third-person shooter fare, but a new cover swap system makes moving around a map much faster. When a player is in cover, a blue arrow will appear on the screen and the cover swap prompt will appear. Holding in the button will see the soldier run to that blue arrow and immediately take cover. If another arrow appears, another press and hold of the button will make the soldier advance again. Think of it as a more efficient Roadie Run from Gears of War, the only difference being the quicker pace can only be initiated while in cover already. Players can cover a lot of ground very quickly with this method, making it something that needs to be learned and perfected quickly.

Customization also plays a part in this beta, as players can change their look and their loadouts by earning credits through gameplay. While changing my soldier’s look is purely an aesthetic feature, loadout customization is quite extensive. The beta starts you off with three different primary weapons, two side arms, three different grenade types, and one piece of equipment unlocked (a camera that tells you where the enemies are). As you progress, even more weapons and equipment will unlock, allowing for thousands of different combinations.

The specific gun customization is just as extensive, as scopes, muzzles, magazines, paint, and more can all be tailored for specific interests. Right now, I’m a big fan of the Mk48 with a TAC scope and a compensator on the muzzle, but I sometimes switch it up to the ACR with red dot sights and dual magazines. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but the only way to experience all of the customizations is to keep earning those attachment credits.

So far, I am quite impressed with Ghost Recon Future Soldier’s multiplayer beta. It’s a refreshing take on what to me is quickly becoming a stale genre. If this is a taste of the full offering, consider me hungry for more.

Check out Leviathyn’s Twitter page to see how YOU can get into the Ghost Recon beta!