The whole house of cards falls down.
My demo was led by Roman Campos Oriola, lead game designer at Ubisoft Paris. Two other people joined our four-man squad, one of whom had no interest in working with the team, which showed me that if you aren't careful and calculative you're going to fail miserably.
Staying true to the game's name, your priority is to keep off enemy radar in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. You should be able to go through the entire game without being seen or raising an alarm. Once you're discovered, Future Soldier turns into a firefight scenario. In every instance of my play time, raising an alarm was a brutal lesson.
As my team progressed, we got into a groove. Future Soldier's synchronized sniping sections -- where a team lines up shots and strikes at the same time -- is particularly well done. This mechanic works simply: team members tag their target, line up the shot, and then execute the command. As the game progresses, the number of individuals that must be taken out in this manner increases, I'm told.
Communicating with your squad on the fly as tactical options arise was easily my favorite activity in Future Soldier. It felt rewarding to contribute my own input and occasionally ignore the suggestions of Oriola, who was essentially a living cheat code because ... well, the dude is making the game we're playing.
The co-op campaignappears to be set up like co-op missions seen in the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter games. The difference is that Ubisoft is looking to expand the variety of scenarios for players.
Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Romania, and Ubisoft Red Storm have added a wave-based multiplayer variant called Guerrilla Mode to the Ghost Recon universe. Oriola described the mode as grounded in reality -- he regaled us with the story of a Navy SEAL who described one operation that forced his team to move from town to town at night, waiting for enemy response to the area being cleared of all civilians.
Guerrilla Mode works the same way: players are dropped into a map and move from various HQ zones and repel 50 waves of assault from the AI. The first wave is a stealth wave, in which players earn points for clearing all enemies without being discovered. Once that's done, a base is set up and the next nine waves are progressively more difficult assaults.
What differentiates Guerrilla from other survival modes is a wave streak system that grants extra gear and abilities for each successful wave players complete without dying. At first, it gives different weapons and spy drones, but eventually hands out missile strikes and other goods. Once the AI starts throwing APCs at you, that missile strike comes in handy.
The core in Guerrilla isn't simply to survive an enemy onslaught, but to keep the aggressors out of the HQ zones. If an enemy unit walks into the highlighted area, a timer ticks down. Once it hits zero, the round is over and the players lose. Same thing happens if a player dies. It's all or nothing in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
In a co-op setting, with three friends working together, I can see Ghost Recon: Future Soldier being one of the better entries in the series' recent history -- catering to stealth fans, yet offering some of the same accessible cover-based gameplay of the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series. There were some hiccups early on, but I'm looking forward to my next tour of duty with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.