I've played a lot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
since it's eventual release, and the game has been a lot of fun. Put aside the highly annoying connection issues and laggy matches, and the multiplayer portion of the game can be pretty intense. Ubisoft have recently blessed the stealthed soldiers of Ghost Recon
with new maps, a new game mode, new weapons, and much more with the release of the "Arctic Strike
" DLC. Under the command of fellow Intel ninja, DavieMarshall
, it's an honor to serve the readers of our wonderful community here at TA with the first Official Review dedicated to a DLC pack.
"Arctic Strike" was detailed
before the actual game itself had even come out. Gamers had already got to grips with the beta for the game and gained a rough idea of what was to come with the finalized version of the game. Unfortunately, little did the players know that there would be so many constant losses of connections to servers, laggy matches and unsuccessful host migrations which seriously nerf the fun in the game. I'm being honest here and mentioning these bad points now because they impact the enjoyment, and therefore the review, of the "Arctic Strike" DLC.Where are we heading soldier?
Three new maps are ready for traversing across in the tough world of online multiplayer battling in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
. We have 'Evicted', an urban environment full of plenty of civil buildings, garages and warehouses. All the maps, are HUGE. Evicted is the largest map in my opinion with some seriously wide open areas to make your way across.
'Riot' is another large map with wide main roads and tight alleys that make for some intense battling and fearful chokepoints. Destroyed trams make for good cover in the middle of the roads and the handy bulletproof glass keeps you safer than expected when camping away in the tram.
'Skyline' sees the fights taking place on the top of a skyscraping building. The map is another large one as expected but also comes with multiple levels of floors to explore. Stairs and ladders are dotted around the map and cover is at a minimum throughout most of the higher level areas. Battling can be tough on this map as you're constantly having to keep an eye on threats from higher or sometimes lower levels. Flanking routes can be a challenge to use and keep an eye on too so co-ordination is a must on Skyline.Evicted
All of the mentioned maps look good on the visuals but simply put, they are too damn big! Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
pits a maximum of six players on either team against each other. With constant connection issues, player drops, rage quitters, host migrations and what not, you'll be lucky to see the same 12 people manage to make it from the start of a match to the end. Even after matches have finished, it's often that the server just drops and you have to matchmake again and end up finding different people. The point I'm getting at here is that with any less than 12 people in a game, the intense action on the new DLC maps is set to minimum. Most of your time will be spent sprinting to an objective or to your demise as you spend two or three minutes trying to find the enemy in a game of Stockade. After waiting first or fourth in the queue for god knows how long because the last two players are hold up next to spawn, one sat there with his UAV out and the other froze to the spot with sheer amazement that he's stealth camoflauged behind a solid wall, you're presented with another 20 seconds worth of loading time after you hit 'A' to finally respawn!Riot
The Stockade game mode itself rewards teamwork and good communication. Upon soldiers being killed, they are out of action until a team mate gets a kill or captures the objective that will occassionally spawn. If a player manages to capture the objective, all of the team who are 'dead' at the time instantly respawn back into the action. Once the entire enemy team is eliminated, the match is over. Stockade is an ok addition to Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
but it can only be played on the new DLC maps. Players don't want to spend more than 50% of their match stuck in the queue so unsurprisingly, people I've played with have really took their time and stayed true to being stealthy. The downside to this is that teams are not forced to try and initially capture any objectives until players begin to die, so team mates and opponents can often be found staying put near spawns and not enjoying the massive terrain of the new maps at all.Skyline
Guerrilla Mode receives an exclusive map from the DLC called Arctic Base. True to it's title, the map is indeed a massive Arctic Base where the snow is falling lightly and enemy soldiers await to be taken out. The same rules apply on this map for Guerrilla Mode as they do with the originals, capture the HQ and defend while taking out all the enemies in each wave. I took the chance before beginning wave two to have a little jog around the map to get to know the area a bit better. There was plenty of small buildings and structures to take cover in or on including a few ladders here and there leading up to small platforms useful for spotting and sniping. Huge map and loads of cover should be tons of fun, and maybe it would be if you truly got the chance to use any of it. Sure you can have up to four players wiping out enemies wave by wave but the highest priority of every wave is the defense of your HQ. 20 seconds is all it takes for the enemy to capture your HQ and it's game over. With this is mind, you can't go out and camp somewhere else for the duration of each wave as you'll always have to fall back to the HQ to keep it clear of intruding enemies. The HQ only really needs two people tops to defend it but to make sure your team mates don't go down and bleed out, the team has to stay within range of each other to keep each other safe and covered. The Arctic Base map could be a short buzz for those who enjoy playing Guerilla Mode but from what I've played, the enemies seem to have much more fun with the map then the actual players do.Arctic Base
Heading into the character customization screen, there are new weapons to be played with for each individual class of each faction. The weapons are unique and obviously players will customize them to their own needs but overall, each weapon I used from the DLC seemed extremely smooth and really easy to handle before even customizing them. All the weapons are available straight away so high-level characters are not essential to try the weapons out. The weapons are pretty powerful and can be used in any game mode on any map just like the original weapons. This will give lower players a fighting chance against the higher level players who will have more equipment and accessories unlocked.
All in all, the DLC is a bit dissapointing to be fair. I really do enjoy Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
's multiplayer, when it works. The pure enjoyment of playing new maps and new game modes is completely ruined by ongoing issues with the game and only an additional two achievements added. Only having a couple of achievements worth 35g isn't a major issue, but with both achievements being tied to the constantly problematic multiplayer of the game, it could be an issue for some.
For those happy with the original side of Ghost Recon
, stay happy and maybe wait for the DLC to hit Deal of the Week. Not having issues with the online side of the game and thoroughly enjoying the multiplayer? Pick up the "Arctic Strike" DLC for 800 MSP right here
Obviously these are just my opinions
of the DLC. I'd very much like to see how you guys feel about the DLC too.