Launching in the same year as titles like Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier may not have been the most highly acclaimed release in Ubisoft’s 2012 lineup. But it fared well commercially nonetheless. And as the first installment of a reboot to one of the publisher’s big-name franchises — an installment, we should add, that took at least 3 years to make — a sequel seems like a natural course of action.
Ubisoft Kiev might have inadvertently confirmed one.
The Ukrainian studio conducted their annual year-in-review meeting this week, and when photos of the event ended up on their Facebook page, one perceptive Ubisoft forum user glimpsed a slide directed at the Future Soldier team (Kiev developed the PC version of the game). The photo has now been taken down, and the vestigial screen grab reveals why: the next Ghost Recon: Future Soldier appears to be in development.
We’re assuming “GRFS: Next” is a placeholder name, perhaps for something more marketable like, say — we’re feeling creative — GRFS 2.
It’s also interesting to note the mention of “tough working conditions” with respect to Kiev’s PC edition of Future Soldier. By all accounts, the phrase is a euphemism. Future Soldier, platform-wide, endured four separate delays during its known existence between 2009 and 2012 — it wasn’t what you would call the smoothest development cycle. The PC version appeared to be a casualty of this discord in December 2011 when it was officially cancelled to make way Ghost Recon: Online, but Ubisoft HQ changed their minds a month later. Production was reignited, and the game released in sync with its console counterparts; a Ghost back from the dead indeed.
As for what another Future Soldier would bring to the table? Unlike its protagonists’ ultramodern camo suits, the matter is rather opaque. Our Ghost Recon: Future Soldier review praised the game’s taught co-op campaign, robust multiplayer customization and innovative approach to stealth. From a pure shooter standpoint, however — and in sizing up its visual prowess — Future Soldier felt a few years behind its contemporary competition, behind the Battlefields and Call of Duty’s that dominate the military shooter landscape.
But then again, Ghost Recon is no longer the annual franchise it was once during the Advanced Warfighter years; the next Future Solider likely won’t release until at least 2014, on next-generation console tech vastly different than the hardware of today. Where would you like to see Ubisoft take its newly redesigned series after 2012’s solid first outing?
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.