Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier is set for release on May 22, 2012 and is currently in multiplayer beta. Well, beta might be over-stating it. Ghost Recon Future Soldier is in more of a multiplayer preview than a true beta, like the ones we remember from the heyday of PC gaming. But these console “betas” do give us Internet gaming writer studs something to talk about.

There is a lot going on on the multiplayer side of Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Ubisoft might want to add the tag line “Operation Overwhelm the player ha ha yeah you forgot to re spec your weapon for this game type and you’re what, like a mile from the current objective”. Grenades, equipment, two aiming modes, sprint, crouch, prone, the ability to set way points, managing selectable guild lines to objectives or teammates… a lot going on. All of these elements work well individually and in conjunction with one another, so long as you know when to do what; don’t set a way point when in a firefight, don’t use your optics when sprinting for an objective. It may not sound like it but saying that these elements work well together is meant as high praise for a game that stresses communications and tactics over flashy gun play.

One of the stand-out gameplay elements is the cover to cover system. By swiveling the camera from side to side while in cover an indicator will show your other cover options, then your just a button press and hold away. The maps are designed so that from any cover position four or five other positions are available to move to in an effort to advance on or out flank an enemy.

The customization outside of the game proper is just as deep as the in game combat options. There are two sides to every conflict and three classes to choose from with an additional three to unlock. This means you’ll have a total of twelve load outs to manage. Once you’ve decided on your favorite weapons you’ll then be tasked with the fine-tuning. The expected optional paint, optics, and under barrel attachments are present and accounted for; but Ghost Recon Future Soldier takes customization to a new level giving options for barrel length, triggers, muzzles, side rail attachments, and different gas systems. Like I said, a lot going on.

It’s unfortunate that the multiplayer beta is a pre-order bonus. This taste of multiplayer is enough to sell the game, an open beta would both serve to further stress test Ubisoft’s infrastructure and boost sales of what promises to be an outstanding title.