Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier isn't the sort of game where you can rush headlong at enemies, spewing bullets by the hundreds. More often, you and the other three guys on your team are seriously outnumbered, so you need to approach quietly and take down targets one at a time until you've evened the odds.

That more tactical approach may frustrate trigger-happy gamers, but it's more rewarding for those of us who want a little bit of a strategic challenge along with all the flashy explosions. And Future Soldier is still pretty violent -- you're not sneaking up on enemies so you can give them hugs.

The plot is the sort of by-the-numbers nonsense that will feel all too familiar to anyone who's played a recent war game. About 10 years into the future, you're part of an elite commando team on the trail of weapons merchants. As you dig deeper into the enterprise, you uncover a global conspiracy . . . and, eventually, only you can prevent Armageddon. It's a tired premise, but it's the thread that connects a dozen cleverly designed set pieces, bouncing from Bolivia to Zambia to Pakistan to Russia.

At their most appealing, the levels in Future Soldier feel more like puzzles than battlefields. You and your fellow Ghosts are equipped with high-tech camouflage that makes you virtually invisible, as long as you don't move too quickly or fire your weapons.


RATING M for mature

PLOT Doing battle, but quietly

DETAILS Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $60; PC, $50

BOTTOM LINE A spirited approach to war

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