Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Arctic Strike Impressions
Written by Team Brannen
The latest DLC pack available for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier by Ubisoft is Arctic Strike. The newest DLC contains several new weapons, a series of 10 new multiplayer maps including a guerilla mode map, and a new multiplayer game mode known as “Stockade”.
The ten maps that are included in the game have been entertaining and varied but the new maps included in the DLC have their own distinct feel. Skyline is set on a building rooftop and is multi-leveled like Cargo where there are multiple approaches to attack and defend while Riot and Evicted are massive and send the players chasing objectives around the map. It should be noted just how big Riot and Evicted feel, while maps like Sandstorm and Harbor are also large, they are divided by levels and obstacles. This is not the case with the new maps, as they are sprawling and give the impression that whole swaths of the map won’t be seen by the players unless they do some solo exploring. Riot takes place in city streets with ruined cars and bombed out buildings to take cover in, most of the time I was never aware of enemies until they popped out from cover to eliminate me. The action is definitely of the close-quarter variety in that objectives are in the open with a lot of alleyways and buildings leading to the objectives. With Evicted, it appears to take place in an abandoned Soviet Bloc apartment complex, complete with a garage area, a playground, and the interior of the bottom floors of the apartments as well. It was extremely easy to flank around enemies because of the sheer size of the map prevented them from covering all the angles. In my experience with these maps, the objectives are fairly placed and don’t suffer from the glitches that plagued the early goings of the original maps (capping through walls). I think the developers took in some player discontent from unbalanced objective placement near spawns so there is a noticeable distance between objectives and spawns in most cases. I enjoy the maps as they bring a needed shot in the arm for the players who might have been approaching boredom with the original maps.
The new game mode introduced is “Stockade” and true to the name when a player is killed by the opposing team they are sent to a literal stockade where they become spectators. To differentiate this mode from “Siege”, where players are also eliminated after one life, it is possible to re-enter the game when a member of the opposing team is eliminated. This tends to lead to quick games since individual skill and tactics can come together to send a whole team to the stockade in one gunfight. I’m not a fan of the single-life modes in Ghost Recon but this could be a litmus test for clans to use in finding out who is best.
The new guerilla map is actually what the pack is named for, as it takes place in an arctic locale. It is the same setup and premise as the original maps whereas the only difference is the setting. For anyone itching to get more co-op experience in, this is what you get.
The weapons included in the DLC are spread out between the classes and factions so that means one weapon per faction and class.
- Rifleman: F2000
- Rifleman: CZS805
- Scout: Type 05
- Scout: MP9
- Engineer: OCP-11
- Engineer: Mk17
I’m a primary engineer player, so the Mk17 is about as good as it gets. The Ghost side was lacking an equivalent to the SA58 OSW and this fits the bill as a heavy hitter that sacrifices firing speed for power. The OCP-11 is similar to the L22A2 in the compact design and firing rate. For the rifleman, I really like the F2000 with under-gassed and angled foregrip which allows me to have accurate bursts while retaining the trademark firing rate of the F2000. I’ve always thought that Bodark got the raw end of sub-machine guns and the Type 05 is an equivalent of the MP9 and is a step up from Skorpion if properly balanced. It won’t win against a Vector but it allows Bodark scouts to have a solid sub-machine gun to rely on.
In sum, I think the 800 MSP investment is worth the content received. This is a well-priced pack that gives the player plenty of new content while not breaking the bank. Larger maps that force players to consider multi-level approaches and prudent planning when taking objectives are a nice change of pace from the well-worn original maps. The new weapons provide a nice alternative and help balance out the weapons between Ghost and Bodark while not putting players who don’t purchase at a disadvantage. I look forward to seeing what else Ubisoft has planned down the road.
Xbox 360 players may purchase and download the Arctic Strike DLC map pack on Xbox Live for 800 MS Points ($10).