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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Hands-on Impressions

To put this as simply as possible, in terms that are no way ambiguous or unclear- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier looks bad ass.  There are other, more colorful and family friendly adjectives to define it, but bad ass just seems appropriate.

It has been four years since the last Ghost Recon game was released, and in that time, there have been a flood of other first-person shooters to dominate the market, many of which having released multiple entries since 2006. So when it was announced that a new Ghost Recon would be coming out in 2011, it was interesting, noteworthy even, but it just seemed like one of many sequels on the horizon. That is about to change.

This year’s E3 has seen some truly remarkable games. The competition for best games of E3 will be stiff, but after seeing the demo of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, you can be sure that this game will be on the top of almost every “Best of E3” list out there. Period.

The game is set in the near future, sometime around 2015 or 2020 according to the Ubisoft reps. The level we saw had a group of four ghost recon soldiers break off from a mission to pursue and apprehend a wanted war criminal. Wearing stealth suits that digitally make them seemingly disappear, the soldiers slowly crept through the lines of enemies, taking them out one-by-one using stealth and teamwork.

The graphics are really something you have to see to believe. According to Ubisoft, it is the same engine as the last Ghost Recon- just massively overhauled- but everything looked so amazing that it was hard to believe. The stealth suits are the big draw of the game, and when a character activates the camouflage and disappears into the background, it is astounding.

There was also a moment where the main character walked up behind an enemy, silently shot him, then held his body in position to fool a passing patrol. It was details like that which make this game stand above so many others of the genre.

As with previous Ghost Recon games, teamwork will play a major part. Although the demo we saw was short, the AI-controlled teammates appear to be intuitive and easy to coordinate with. We watched as three of them took out targets simultaneously, allowing the main character to move up and silently restrain the target easily.

Although the tech might seem more science fiction than military tech, Ubisoft confirmed that all of the technology featured in the game was based on actual, on-going military research. As such, the game might feature weapons and things like the stealth suit that seem outlandish, but the developers treated it with the same realism that they might approach any military game.

The demo was all too brief, and details are being closely guarded. We know there will be a multiplayer, and most-likely some form of co-op, but either on-line or split-screen was either not revealed- or simply not known yet. The game is not due out until early 2011, but expect to hear a lot more about this game until its release.

Warning: These trailers may not be suitable for all ages.