Published on September 18th, 2012 | by Danny Concepcion, Contributor
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier-Raven Strike DLC Review
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Platform: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3
Release Date: Sept. 11, 2012
MSRP: 1200 MS Points ($15)
Review Note: GAMINGtruth received a game token for review purposes.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s latest downloadable content pack, Raven Strike, pits the Ghost team against the Bodark, their Russian counterparts, in three new campaign missions and one more guerrilla mode map.
GRFS’ single player was not its strong point, and Raven Strike doesn’t do much to change that. The missions aren’t terrible, it’s just that, for the most part, they require players to use more of the same techniques.
The first mission, “Secure Dawn”, has players go through the motions: Clear their way to the objective with a series of sync-shots, sneak or fight their way through a perimeter of bad guys, repeat the process with a new objective, and then survive the end-of-mission firefight. One notable part of the mission–and for the DLC campaign as a whole–is that it adds a little more to the typical Ghost Recon story. Characters question their loyalties as mission objectives reveal that things aren’t as they seem.
On the other hand, Raven Strike‘s second mission, “Cold Walker,” demands much more stealth. Players will fail the mission if they’re spotted at all during the first half, where they have to sneak into a train station as helicopters periodically patrol overhead. Once they commandeer a freight train leaving the station, the rest of the mission consists of small skirmishes until players are ambushed by the Bodark at the end of the mission.
The DLC’s final mission, “Argent Thunder,” would be a nice, less formulaic blend of stealth and action sequences, if it didn’t have so many technical issues and glitches.
Players have to locate and assassinate targets, but oftentimes if the target is killed before the game acknowledges that they’re the target, the game won’t adapt accordingly. Targets who step out of vehicles end up stuck in animation loops as well, sometimes requiring players to restart the entire mission and lose their progress.
It’s a shame, because the mission would be plenty of fun otherwise, since players can do as much sneaking around or shooting as they want, as there is no penalty for abandoning stealth. Armored personel carriers, and eventually, the Bodark, provide a nice challenge for those who want to fight their way through the end of the campaign after all the sneaking they had to do in the previous mission. It’s a finely structured mission, but having to revert to a checkpoint or even restart the mission really ruins it.
“Sawmill,” the DLC’s Guerilla mode offering, is easily one of the best Guerilla maps. It’s a large map set in the same area as “Cold Walker,” with a two-story structure in the center of the map that makes for a great crow’s nest, while plenty of barricades and cover litter the map for those who prefer a run-and-gun style of gameplay. There aren’t any new wave objectives, and many of them still revolve around securing and defending the building in the center, which with its multiple entrances, may be too much for someone playing solo to defend. All the barricades and opportunities for cover make for a good challenge, for both offensive and defensive objectives. While Sawmill is a little too big to be enjoyed alone, and won’t convince players who aren’t guerilla fans to try out the game type, full parties should find the new map very enjoyable.
The Raven Strike DLC has about six hours of worth of gameplay, and a little more if players want to complete all the challenges. The package definitely needs a patch for the issues that plague the final mission, as well some AI pathfinding quirks throughout all the missions, but Ghost Recon: Future Soldier fans craving some more campaign missions, and willing to look beyond the price, should be satisfied with the content.
+ Great new Guerilla Map
+ Story has a bit more depth than your typical cover shooter
– Technical issues force users to restart checkpoints, and even entire missions
– Amount of content may not warrant the price for some consumers