Ghost Recon Future Soldier PC Technical Review



Product: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Company: Ubisoft
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: June 26th, 2012

Graphics options, visuals, performance, controls

Graphics options

No shortage, here. Future Soldier hosts a very respectable 15 graphics options, ranging from standards like Antialiasing (unfortunately no subtypes are included), Vsync, and Shadows, to more luxurious items like Ambient Occlusion, Improved Physics, and the DirectX 11-only Tessellation and Global Illumination.

Global Illumination you may remember from DiRT Showdown; the purpose is the same, here: to intelligently reflect light for the sake of realistic visuals.

Note Detail Objects, Shadows, Volumetric Light, Tessellation, and Global Illumination come in three varieties each.

On the downside, there's no option for Field of View. I can't say I mind the default, though I tend to be less sensitive toward it than some. I expect more will be troubled by the lack of 16:10 support: as with many other Ubisoft titles, only 16:9 is supported properly, so if you opted for the extra vertical real estate (as you should), you'll see black bars on the top and bottom of the image at all times, despite picking your native resolution in the options. Since Future Soldier is heavy on action and uses the third person perspective, it actually took me awhile to notice. Still, I'd expect this will drive some mad.

Visuals

You may notice the odd ugly texture here and there, but Ghost Recon is otherwise the second finest third person shooter I've seen in action, bested only by the incredible Lost Planet 2 (and let's face it, a French-made military shooter versus a Japanese-made sci-fi action game isn't really a fair matchup), and with a slight edge on Red Faction: Guerilla.

The visuals hold strong thanks to superb Volumetric Lighting, Soft Shadows, Displacement Mapping (making for strong character detail), Parallax Mapping for more in-depth textures, and High Dynamic Range rendering.

Performance

Despite what you might be led to believe from the system requirements, Future Soldier asks a lot for maximum performance at maximum settings. Cranking everything up, I hang around a very laggy and stuttery 25-45fps; after some not too heavy tweaking, it's easy to maintain a strong and very smooth 50-60fps. This loses you a significant lot in the depth and realism of lighting and shadows in a given scene, but the game is by no means ugly, and in fact, still regularly stunning.

As of the time of writing (prior to official launch), multiplayer servers aren't yet online, so these results are from solo play in all modes; framerate could theoretically be hurt majorly in online multiplayer (which seems to be the main focus), or suffer a variety of technical issues (or they could be completely smooth and dandy). Note matchmaking is used, so don't expect any dedicated servers. There does appear to be an advantage over the console versions, however: 16 player matches instead of 12.

Other options, controls

The customization certainly doesn't stop at graphics options: there's also some for Mouse Sensitivity, Voice Chat Volume, Push to Talk, Transmit Volume, Mic Sensitivity, plus your usual lot for audio, subtitles, and so on. Those who like to fiddle with controls, meanwhile, can bind as they please, or go with the Xbox 360 pad. Note mouse controls here feel perfectly comfortable by default on my G400.