Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier Artic Strike DLC Review

by Brent Roberts

In today's gaming world you could say that gamers are divided into three categories: 

1)  Casual - for the gamers who prefer the occasional game of checkers and backgammon as opposed to shooting someone's head off or blowing them away with grenade launching weapons.  You can tell who these gamers are quite easily by going into the most feared place for all gamers, the real world.

2)  Hardcore - for the gamers who prefer to spend hours upon hours of their lives either questing for artifacts or unleashing a tidal wave of ammunition in order to further their virtual military career.  Some of these gamers may not be legally able to drink, but they can provide a military strategy that would have Patton himself brimming with pride and snipe the wings off a fly at 500 meters.  Granted they may be in debt, and have rarely seen the sun, but they have a ton of virtual accomplishments that they wear like badges from boy scouts that in the end are worth, absolutely nothing.

3)  Everyone else.

With a dramatic contrast between gamers today, there is one underlying fact that all gamers share and that is the desire to have top quality DLC as soon as humanly possible.  This is a problem for all developers as the content that they provide on the disk is supposed to keep gamers happy until they can finish and release new DLC to keep gamers happy and their game in the console tray.  Developers have since adopted the idea to start working ahead on DLC so that way, when the power craving gamers get through a two week game in 48 hours, they will have more content to enjoy and hopefully will keep gamers playing their game for longer periods of time.

This leads us to the newly released DLC for Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's: Ghost Recon Future Soldier called Artic Strike.  Besides having one of the longest video game titles in history, this very buggy 3rd person shooter has delivered a severely problematic experience.  For starters this new DLC requires the latest title update in order to access it.  Now this may seem like not a big issue, but when you stop to think about what the title update is "supposed" to fix, you realize that you're walking right into a mine field.  This magical patch update was supposed to fix things such as:  Host migration issues, random disconnects, frozen lobbies and loading screens, and more.  The problem is that this new patch is a lot like a politician, promises you everything and says that everything will be right as rain, then turns around, delivers nothing and expects you to be happy with it.

The reason this is such an issue with the game is because there is quite a bit of content with this new DLC Artic Strike, but we want to be able to enjoy it (minus the prepubescent immature gamers who flood the online gaming world and are obsessed with some form of tea).  For starters every class gets new weapons on both sides of the coin.  Some of these new guns are better than the ones you can obtain and some of them are not.  While having multiple new weapons for different classes is a great addition, what really stand out are the new levels:  Riot, Evicted, and Skyline.  These new levels range from wide open areas to narrow hallways, stairwells, and ladders and will keep you on your toes as you work your way through the battle towards your objective.  

Ubisoft has also included a new guerilla map called Arctic Base that comes not only with new territory to learn, but the inclusion of another HQ and a more open strategy makes this a mode that requires you to watch your back.  If this wasn't enough in Arctic Strike we also are greeted to the beginning of a new multiplayer mode called Stockade.  This is an interesting twist as both teams go after each other, but after each kill, the killed gamer goes into a spawn limbo where they must wait until an enemy has been killed so they can be released.  Occasionally an objective will appear and if that objective gets taken, then that team' players that were waiting to spawn will immediately come back in the game.

While Arctic Strike does provide a lot of new content, you can't help but recognize that this is just an attempt to try and smooth things over for the other major broken issues of this game.  Don't get me wrong, this new DLC is easily worth the pickup, which is if you don't mind playing all this new content on a game that is still riddled with connection issues.  Is it worth the 800 MS price point, absolutely.


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