follows the story of a group of soldiers known as Ghosts. They are the most elite unit of the US Special Forces, part of the Group for Specialized Tactics under the direct command of the Joint Special Operations Command. Not only are they the best of the best, but they come equipped with the most advanced combat technology, which is the focus of our feature today. Virtually all of the equipment that you're about to see is inspired by real-world technology, prototypes or research projects. Shall we begin?Cross Com
Battlefield intelligence is a vital part of every conflict. The Cross Com is the hub where information is gathered and shared in the field and should already be familiar to fans of the franchise. The feature has been improved for the latest instalment with new Augmented Reality (AR) features. Cross Com is attached to the left eye reticule, but the elements are only visible through the Heads Up Display (HUD). AR is used in two ways:
• A.T.L.A.S. allows the display of real-time intel, providing live updates on battlefield situations as they evolve.Optical Camo
• Weapon Augmented Reality (W.A.R.) is a component of A.T.L.A.S., for use at the individual soldier level. It allows the Ghosts’ Cross-Com monocles to receive synchronized information instantly from any weapon or other piece of equipment they use. This includes things like weapon status information (ammo counts, etc) as well as targeting data. This information is cross-referenced with the information from team members, and information from others’ W.A.R. systems can appear in a user’s Cross-Com when needed. With this power in their hands, the Ghosts can perform deadly synchronized shots.
Camouflage is important; not a single gamer who has played a shooter can deny that fact. Optical camo presents the game's own take on what could be used in the future based on several different proposed technologies based on reflecting and replicating light patterns. A small computer controls the camouflage system, which doesn't make the Ghosts 100% invisible. Instead, the soldier's visual signature is reduced so that they are much harder to spot.Drones
The Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) is the most basic of the drones. The vehicle emits a low infra-red reading to make it hard to detect while spying on enemy positions from the sky. They can also pinpoint and lock in targets. The Unmanned Combat Air vehicle (UCAV) is the next tier of drone. These can launch explosives or fire low-yield EMP missiles. The Drone Crawler is a third vehicle that will be at gamers' disposal. This can identify targets directly to a soldier's Cross Com display. The Drone Crawler can also be landed and used as an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). When in this form, the drone is capable of emitting a sonic pulse that will knock out any enemy.Warhound
This is another type of UGV, but instead of having the little wheels sported by the Drone Crawler, this beast has legs and an armoured artillery delivery platform capable of withstanding a huge amount of punishment. This vehicle can also act as ground cover for soldiers but could never be used in stealthy missions due to its noise and size. It makes for a useful distraction for the enemies though.Thrown Sensor
Most shooter fans are familiar with motion sensors, but the Thrown Sensor is a step forward in technology. With a signal that can penetrate walls and vehicles amongst other things, the sensor identifies hostiles and reflects their positions on the player's HUD. The sensor can be carried by a soldier or carefully placed on the battlefield as well as being thrown in the direction of a possible enemy stronghold, but the battery life is short and intel will need to be acted upon quickly.EMP Grenade
We now move into more familiar shooter territory. As normal, EMP grenades temporarily fry any nearby electronics to disrupt enemy sensors and leave enemy HUD's blind.Heartbeat Sensor
This is another gadget that should be familiar to shooter fans. The device can detect the frequency of a beating human heart and reflect the position of the reading back to the player's HUD. As usual, this is mounted onto a weapon.NVT
The NVT isn't a complicated unfamiliar gadget; instead, it is a scope that combines both night vision and thermal views as well as some magnification.Backscatter Optic
Backscatter is the reflected information that is gathered and analysed by the tiny computer in this gadget. This will allow soldiers to get a picture of what lies in a short distance through most surfaces.OTR Scanner
OTR stands for Optical Target Recognition. When looking down the scope, soldiers will automatically see projected intel relating to enemies.Stun Mine
These mines have the same effect as flashbangs but act like claymores. They activate when an enemy passes in front of them and will stun any targets in an limited distance arch radius ahead of them.Exacto Rounds
These bullets are a dream to gamers who don't play shooters that often. Working alongside the vast array of sensors available to the Ghosts, the bullets are self-guiding and will seek out enemy heads.Decoy Grenades
The name of this gadget is a bit deceptive as they aren't decoys of grenades. Instead, they exploit weaknesses in the sensors of enemies to give them false information regarding you and your squad members.Magnetic View
Magnetic View measures the metallic resonance in the surrounding area. Based on the data collected, the gadget then calculates the type of threat that a soldier will be facing. Data from a weapon or a belt buckle can identify an armed human, while bombs and landmines can also be detected. The results are represented as an AR image on the soldier's Cross Com HUD. Environmental 'noise' such as door hinges or taps will be discarded.
I don't have a picture of this gadget, but it is one of the many technologies featured in the second part of the Inside Recon developer diaries (the first part is here
if you're interested). Take a look:
If you can't view the trailer, take a look at these screenshots showing some of the technology in action:
There's only two months to wait for the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
on May 22nd in North America, May 24th in Australasia and May 25th in Europe.