Lately, military-themed shooters stress multiplayer modes and online engagement over a tautly written narrative. Leave it to a franchise with an author's name to bring back the love of a cohesive plot and finely tuned details.
You play as a member of the Ghosts, an elite recon-and-fire team that excels in quietly extracting VIPs from hostile territories or going loud and leaving a mess of bodies and burning vehicles in their wake.
Future Soldier uses high-tech equipment that other shooters ignore. Load up the optical camouflage, let loose the aerial drone or toss out some detection sensors and the baddies don't stand much of a chance. In fact, enemies with fallible artificial intelligence create an often-too-easy path to victory, so I highly suggest ramping up the difficulty level on this game to have a better experience.
After traversing the campaign (which you can complete with the help of a friend via co-op), it's off to the multiplayer where Ubisoft incorporates elements from the campaign so it's not just a standard package of death match, capture the flag or horde modes. Instead, modes like Conflict inject some timely suspense into the action, where you can incapacitate an enemy and steal valuable data instead of merely sending the foe to the re-spawn point. This adds a new level of strategy to the game and makes it much more satisfying.
Few games lately have placed a premium on story and setting. Future Soldier does it well, giving you ample reasons to buy this well-rounded package.
Reach into your kitchen drawer and pull out a butter knife. Now, walk outside and start cutting down a tree with it. Even a wee sapling -- I don't care.
Sure, you'll eventually fell that tree, but I'm guessing about 15 seconds of thought would yield you a better solution to this challenge. Bloodforge is that butter knife. As it saps the life force from you like the protagonist does with a swing of his blade or hurl of the sledgehammer, you yearn for the game that this one wants to be.
Arawn's heart burns for revenge. The gods have tricked him into slaying his family, so now it's payback time and his blood lust knows few bounds. Severed heads, disemboweled bodies, and more satisfy his cravings, offering gory moments indeed, though they grow repetitious as the campaign wears on.
If you are thinking that "Man is fooled by the gods and unleashes a blood bath of revenge" sounds a lot like Kratos from Sony's God of War, you join the rest of us who feel that way. While just an XBLA download instead of a full release, Bloodforge treads on the same territory (save the loose Greek mythos), and Kratos does it better in every aspect from visual design to soundtrack and execution.
This game takes much less than 10 hours to finish, and it would go faster if the battles against common foes and the big bosses were not strung out into laborious affairs. Button-mashers are excellent when presented properly; here, it's just a losing endeavor dressed in a get-up that only horror punker Glenn Danzig would appreciate.