And so

For completionists there are a seemingly endless number of challenges, unlocks, achievements, and modes to conquer throughout Future Soldier. There are a million detailed touches, like cloaked players' invisible feet kicking up sand as they scoot behind cover, tactical information anchored in the sky (mimicking the only aspect of Splinter Cell: Conviction that I consider worth mimicking), a haunting strings-filled lament triggered by an ambush in a ruined Georgian cathedral, and smart AI chatter that can even provide useful intel on enemy locations.

It's worth noting that the game is surprisingly buggy—during my game time, it froze many more times than, for example, the Game of Thrones RPG, which was recently lambasted for its supposed plethora of technical issues. One time I was left waiting to breach a door—a state from which you can't back out—as my target was horribly tortured just on the other side. I listened to his screams for several minutes, waiting for a lost AI teammate to catch up, before restarting. And Ubisoft's servers proved unreliable at best during launch week.

But Future Soldier's fresh, fun multiplayer is totally worth it, and what its campaign does right—tense stealth infiltration—it does very, very right. Do its innovations point to what's in store for the future of shooters? I certainly hope so.

PAGE 5 of 5