Campaign story

We were never here

After seeing Ghost Recon Alpha, Ubisoft Motion Pictures' short, precise film prequel to Future Soldier, I expected great things from the game's story.

What I got instead was an ill-conceived series of disjointed missions and cut scenes, poorly rendered and seemingly without a single common thread until the last few of the game's 13 campaign missions. Future Soldier has been in development for years, and the cut scenes, which take place in barracks and mess halls and reveal literally nothing of the game's actual story, show their age like a washed-up stripper.

The story jumps from Africa to Russia to London and back again, with the Ghosts hunting weapons dealers, rescuing captured CIA operatives, taking out the leaders of secret organizations, and so on. But until the last few missions, the effects of their exertions on the larger story are entirely lost. If global events are transpiring in Russia, you're in Antarctica. When there's a riot in the streets, the Ghosts are up on the roof of a skyscraper.

I don't sense the influence of one game or another here, but rather Ubisoft's desire to depict the Ghosts as the kind of infallible, in-and-out-without-anyone-ever-knowing team of badasses that Alpha directors Alaux and de Crecy told me they specifically took pains to avoid portraying in the film. Again and again, this ideal is hammered into your head, and the result is feeling like you're pulling the ropes and tilting the lights behind the scenes without ever getting a view of the stage.

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