Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Review


That Tom Clancy is one busy dude. Within the last month or so his company has made a full frontal assault on the console world after successes with PC games. One game that slipped underneath the radar is Ghost Recon for the PS2, what with all the attention on Splinter Cell and the Xboxís own version of Ghost Recon. In a PS2 world filled with insane action-packed games, Ghost Recon is offering a different experience. Sure, you still get to go to interesting places, meet interesting people, and kill them, but you do so in a much more controlled, methodical way. Is it a better way? Letís find outÖ

Screenshots
Approaching an enemy camp.

First thing that should be told is that I am a big fan of first-person shooters. I thought Timesplitters 2 was a great game and I enjoy an all out frag-fest like Unreal Tournament as much as the next person. That said, I admit I was a little intimidated by the thought of playing a Tactical FPS like Ghost Recon. In the back of my mind Iím seeing myself spending countless hours setting my attack plan, choosing my team and their weapons, and just in general going over every little detail down to what color socks my squad should wear. Then once I finally get into the actual mission my entire team goes down in the first 2 seconds because I sent them left instead of right going out the front door and I have to start all over again. Donít know about you, but this didnít seem like the best way to spend my gaming time. However, Ghost Recon was nothing like this. While it is certainly different than your average FPS, itís different in a good way.

Ghost Reconís story is pretty straightforward. The year is 2008 and some radical Russians have got the idea to bring the USSR back to itís glory days of world domination. Thatís no good, so as a member of an elite group of Green Berets known as ďGhostsĒ itís up to you and your squad to venture into Eastern Europe and help bring some stability to our little blue planet. While this premise isnít very different than that of many other FPS games, the way you go about it certainly is. Ghost Recon is a port from a PC game where PC gamers have a different taste in gameplay than console gamers. Iím not saying itís any better or worse, just different. In this case and in this type of game there is more of a focus on taking things slower and being more deliberate with your actions. Because of this emphasis the gameplay is in many ways more realistic. At least thatís the idea. There are certainly items in Ghost Recon that are not, but overall itís based a lot more in the real world than most games.

While not as hard-core as some tactical FPS, Ghost Recon nevertheless does take a little getting use to if youíre new to this genre. Luckily there are some training missions and Tactical Exercises to help you figure out whatís going on. Yet try as they may, the training and Tactical Exercises donít really give you a full understanding of how to maneuver and manage your two squads. At the beginning of a mission you are given a briefing explaining what your objectives are. While the explanations are generally nice you never get a chance to see that landscape of where youíre about to be going. Seems to me that there should have been more detail of the area to study so you have more of an idea what to expect. After the briefing you go to the Platoon Setup screen where you pick the men and equipment that will comprise your Alpha and Bravo fireteams. If itís all a little too much for you to figure out you can always just accept the default team configurations. It should be noted that you can usually pick better teams than the CPU however.