DOCK OF THE SLAY
Skipping ahead to the apparent climax of the beach assault, Kozak and crew are holed up in the nearby North Beach Hotel - "a different viewpoint of the battlefield, more vertical," reckons Lacey. In other words, you're on the second floor - still undetected at this point - gazing down at the unfolding beachy drama.
Switching to a first-person recon mode, the Ghosts note two choppers delivering an enemy ground drone near the shoreline. This heavily armed, heavily armoured metal gimp obviously presents a significant problem in terms of an exit strategy, so the decision is taken to muller the entire Ultranationalist force.
Kozak zooms in and targets one of the heli pilots, shooting his face clean off - resulting in the chopper careening out of control, taking the drone with it before it can be laid down. Shame, that. At this point, things kick off big time, with glass shattering, masonry crumbling and camera tilting. Very cool, granted, but also massively on-rails. For the demo/mission's climax, Kozak and the Ghosts have somehow made it down to the beach again - right next to their initial point of entry - and are engaged in a fierce firefight with suitably enraged rebel troops.
Stealth is out of the question so Lacey takes the opportunity to demonstrate Future Soldier's dynamic (again, complete with patented Paul Greengrass tilt-o-cam) cover-to-cover mechanic, including the neat new long-range slides into safety.
As the concrete-with-reinforced iron barriers the squad hunker behind are fairly torn to bits, Kozak gets busy with some down the barrel capping - enemies realistically reacting to being shot in the legs, arms and, possibly, goolies.
Suddenly a missile streaks out of nowhere and destroys a nearby attack chopper, before another combat drone (argh!) tears across the sands and commences reducing the Ghosts into mincemeat. With no apparent hope in hell of defeating it, the screen fades to black and the demo wraps up.
Applause bursts out, the audience apparently convinced that - after a frosty reception - Future Soldier is set to do the biz this autumn. For us, it was great to see some extended single-player footage - the meat of our Parisian excursion concerned itself with the innovative new multiplayer mechanics.
We also can't wait to take control of a drone of our own; they look considerably powered up since we first glimpsed them back in February. Exciting times for Recon then, with more intel very soon.
[Words: Xbox World 360]