It’s been through a few changes, but the newest instalment of the Ghost Recon franchise is now well on its way towards a release later this year. With a focus on special-ops tactics and combat, it’s a far cry from Advanced Warfighter, but no less interesting. We talked to the Creative Director to find out more.
Strategy Informer:So, we’ve had a new release date – is this final now?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Yes, it’s sure. 100%!
Strategy Informer:What are you going to do with the extra time?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Well it’s very simple. At the moment, we are feature complete – the campaign is fully playable, the multiplayer etc… and we were like, should we rush the game and not give it the polish it deserves, or should we take extra time for giving for tweaking the AI, balance etc… so it was a decision from headquarters, and we just prayed they would give us more time.
Strategy Informer:Over the space of the last month, there seems to have been a U-turn on whether or not a PC version of the game was coming – what’s the story there?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Actually, It was a miscommunication. The team at Ubisoft never said that we would never do a PC version. It was just er… I don’t know, only part of the context was focused on. We were really focusing a lot on the console version, but we are developing a separate PC build, and we were thinking about how we could make this PC version special? We wanted to make sure we took plenty of time with it. Even though we have GR:O, it’s a different business model. GR:O is still a very good game, but GRFS has more focus on the campaign and the co-op.
Strategy Informer:How long do you think it will take for the PC version to roll out after console?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: I can’t talk about it today. We have a team on it, but I’m not involved with the PC version, so I don’t really have any news. But we’ll try to have a date not long after the console.
Strategy Informer:The other Ghost Recon project – Ghost Recon: Online, bears some resemblance to Future Soldier, especially in multiplayer. Will there be much overlap do you think?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: It’s mainly a business issue, but as a player, the experience isn’t exactly the same. Maybe they will try one, try the other, experience both… it’s not exactly the same game. We’ve worked with the GR:O guys though, we’ve shared stuff, but everyone is very much focused on their own game.
Strategy Informer:When designing both games, did you have to stop each other from using certain bits to avoid clashing?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: No no, it was very important… I can’t talk too much about GR:O because I was not on it, but the relationship was not like that. Otherwise you can’t experience one or the other, and that’s not acceptable. Feature wise it was important
Strategy Informer:Not a lot has actually been seen on the multiplayer so far, can you give us any details about it?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: It’s going to be shown in April, they will be a beta on the PS3 and the 360. IT will be 8 v 8, there will be four modes at the beginning, objective based maps – the gameplay is about how you play as a squad and as a team. There will be 10 maps at launch, and you have the three classes.
We were working on three classes because Future Soldier is a game with a lot of technology and tools, and it’s very good to distribute all these tools amongst the classes and see how people play together. Will you be the one who gathers Intel, will you set traps, be a sniper? Etc…
Strategy Informer:Will Gunsmith link with multiplayer as well?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Before each mission, you can customise your gun. Obviously we unlock some guns and attachments according to progression, but we want to make sure you have a lot at the beginning so you can experience gunsmith.
Strategy Informer:Will the PC SKU be using Ubisoft’s DRM?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: For the moment there is no information about that. I can’t really talk about that.
Strategy Informer:Will the game be linked in with Ubisoft’s Uplay service?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Yes, it will tie into UPlay, there will be rewards you earn as you play, and you can get points that you can spend in other games.
Strategy Informer:What about DLC? Any plans there?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: Today I can’t talk about that. DLC – Obviously, but I can’t really talk about it.
Strategy Informer:How long is the main campaign?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: When we look at playtests with consumers, it’s up to 10 hours, which is with a good player. We expect up to 12, but probably more if you want to aim for a high recon score.
Strategy Informer:Future Soldier is obviously different to early Ghost Recon game, like Advanced Warfighter – is this new direction something you want to stick with?
Jean-Marc Geffroy: I would say the brand itself, as it is, we’re trying to make it more like Spec Ops. I think we can go further with this fantasy… the more you talk with the spec ops guys, the more ideas you have for missions etc… the reality gives you so many ideas. I think we will continue the brand with the four guys, third person… I also think we can explain more who the guys are behind the masks.
With the may release date seemingly fixed, all we’ve got to look forward to now is the multiplayer beta in April, although there’s still no word on when exactly that will be. Still, hopefully fears of it being like other modern shooters have been put to rest, as Future Soldier really seems to be trying to be unique. Read our latest hands-on preview for more impressions.