Ghost Recon: Future Soldier JHB Launch | Some Ghosts, a Zombie, 10 Megapixels and No Light

The wannabe journalist 

The Johannesburg launch for Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was held at Café Culture last night and hosted by JHB Gamers and Megarom. Gamers and members of the media were treated to preview the game and got their hands on the game in an eight-man LAN.

Being my usual unprepared self, I went equipped with a Blackberry and my camera – the Blackberry for notes and the high-tech 10 megapixel camera to try my hand at upstaging the “real” journalists the next day with my photographic proficiency. As it turns out, my older age is evidently upon me, so my tech-savvy is out of touch and my camera is anything but high-tech. ‘Night Mode’…. Pfft!

The Ghost Recon Crew

Ubisoft and Megarom tasked JHB Gamers with hosting the event, with JHB Gamer’s Jarrod Lane as the Master of Ceremonies. The swanky Café Culture put out the spread and Caren Crous from the Xbox team at Microsoft South Africa graciously provided the hardware. Microsoft South Africa is assisting the local launch of the game and has put together a few retail bundles that can be purchased at BT Games.

The hardware consisted of eight high-definition screens and Xbox 360’s for the LAN event and a separate room to preview the Kinect enhancements that feature in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Also on display were the Tritton ‘Ghost Recon’ edition headsets which can be purchased exclusively from Zaps Online, and the Mad Catz ‘Ghost Recon’ edition wired Xbox 360 controller which you can pick up exclusively from Look and Listen.

Megarom’s Devon Stanton gave us a preview of the some of the gameplay and the stand-out features we can expect from the game. It goes without saying that everyone looked positively enthralled with the ‘future warfare’ that we can look forward to.

Microsoft, Megarom and JHB Gamers were kind enough to dish out some freebies and attendees received DLC codes for the game. A cosplay dressed bunch won some Xbox Live points for their awesome military uniforms, and some other prizes were thrown into the crowd

After we previewed the trailer and gameplay presentation it was time for the gamers to get into the game. Eight players could rotate in the LAN where the ‘Guerilla Mode’ was the competition for the night. Needless to say, all that played looked well impressed as did I with the multiplayer modes.

Is that a Ghost Recon t-shirt up there

Be the Ghost

One of the most eagerly anticipated features that fans are keen to sample is the ‘Gunsmith feature’.  Ubisoft made it clear that while this feature is enhanced by Kinect or Move, it is not necessary so you can use the normal controller. With the gunsmith feature players can customise every last component to build unique weapons with unique advantages. The weapons are modern to futuristic, so there is an abundance of components you can equip to your weapons to give you advantages in key areas. By using the Kinect function, players can simply jog through the components available and the sub-menus with the greatest of ease, using hand and arm movements across the screen to navigate your way around. This aspect will also further be enhanced with the voice-recognition feature. You can go in and out of a shooting range to test your weapon and how it reacts to the components and tech you have built it up with. This feature looked absolutely superb and will certainly provide shooter fans with a unique experience.

This photo was totally pinched from Megarom

The game’s introductory mission is an intuitive tutorial mission that introduces you to the ‘futuristic warfare’ and the unique gameplay. I say unique because I really was surprised to see how different the gameplay is to the norm with shooters. “Becoming a Ghost” means being able to infiltrate areas without getting noticed or causing too much ‘war’, and your ability to take targets out in a stealthy manner. I was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay’s design to assist you, again with technology contributing heavily to your chances of success. Ubisoft consulted with military people for the game and the game actually previews futuristic technology and weapons that will be used in warfare.

The next aspect that really got my attention was the sophisticated [intelligent] cover-system. The system is dynamic and compliments the stealth aspect. You go into cover, and can even cloak to further your stealth ability, and can then move from your cover point to the next, and staying out of sight. The cover-system allows you to scale objects or move to the next point in the most realistic looking manner. From cover you can use sensors [if they are equipped] to scan the area thoroughly and mark targets with ease. This allows you to take out targets in the most proficient way – you can even shoot through objects provided you would be able to pierce the object in reality. The cover aspect is authentic and wonderfully complimented by the brilliant, dynamic third-person camera view and realistic-looking motion.

Ghosts work together as a team for efficient acquiring of targets and missions. So the campaign looks to be geared to co-op mode, so that each Ghost can carry out different tasks to aid each other towards the common goal. If you are playing alone you are able to command the AI Ghosts, but I suspect co-operating should be most effective, providing your team works well together. The importance of clearing levels in the best manner is pivotal as at the end of the level the player’s score is summarised and so can compete for higher score or XP. Players score is assessed on how effectively you cleared the level – so you gain points for stealth, the speed in which you cleared the level and the tech you used to gain an advantage.

The verdict

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier looks to be an authentic simulated military experience, crafted with care and excellence. I am glad to report that from what I saw, it should provide a shooter-experience that goes about things in a different manner.

After a brilliant launch I am certain of two things – I want a new camera, but I need Ghost Recon: Future Soldier!

*We would like to thank Jarrod Lane [JHB Gamers], Devon Stanton [Megarom], Rene Fraser [Ubisoft/Megarom] and Caren Crous [Microsoft SA] for a great night and an awesome launch*

If you did not manage to attend the launch or pre-order the game, we did manage to secure an Xbox 360 ‘pre-order’ DLC code for a map that will feature in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. If you need the code then drop a comment on this article. First comment that goes up saying “I need the code” will be emailed the code tonight.

Zombiegamer would also like to apologize for the quality of photos. We will be giving r0gue a raise so that he can buy a real camera one day.

About r0gue Zombie

Known as Victor Vieira to his mommy, r0gue is a Consoloptipus [con-sol-opti-pus] plural: con-sol–opto-pi • Derived from Latin meaning “he who is too cheap to buy a gaming pc” • Commonly found online. If encountered in natural habitat, presume dangerous [to himself]. • From the ‘alles-terian’ group [will eat anything]. Needs regular feeds.