Pepper might be one quarter of Ghost Recon, an elite covert ops team armed with the latest military gadgetry, but getting back on his feet after crawling on his front is his Achilles’ heel.
Instead, Pepper has a habit of crawling across the floor and into the corner of the room where he keeps trying to pass through the walls while you wait in vain for him to join you at the exit so you can get on with the mission in-hand. It’s one of several annoying (although not game-breaking) bugs in Future Soldier that mean this otherwise top-notch dose of military action just misses out on the full five stars.
While previous Ghost Recons emphasised tactics, Future Soldier ups the action in a bid to convert the Call of Duty crowd. But rather than leaving us with a game that abandons its heritage, the result is a shooter that has found the ideal balance between hectic firefights in crowded streets and crafty stealth missions where you co-ordinate your team to silently pick-off guards with synchronised sniping and spy drones.
The excellent campaign mode can be played solo or with up to four friends, and the globetrotting involved combines with a steady supply of new, hi-tech equipment to ensure it never sags. Best of all is a level later in the game that gives you control of a giant killer robot mutt modeled on the real-life military bot, Big Dog.
The tactics-plus-action mix translates extremely well to the four team-versus-team multiplayer modes, too. These modes use objectives to keep things pacy without compromising on opportunities for tactical teamwork. There’s also an enjoyable if predictable Horde mode in which players work together to defeat wave after wave of enemies.
All-in-all, a pretty brilliant package, then, which just makes those niggling bugs and the occasional bit of slowdown all the more annoying. Still, it’s well worth looking pass all that if you can, because Future Soldier is somehow still a military shooter par excellence.