Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike Review
Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike may be billed as an expansion for Ghost Recon 2, but in reality it is a full-featured standalone game. And quite a good full-featured standalone game at that. In fact, with the addition of two new multiplayer games, fifteen new weapons, new skins, new maps, and a graphical upgrade, it can be argued that Summit Strike is even more full-featured than the original Ghost Recon 2. Throw in the entirely new eleven mission campaign and you get a game that’s a must have for fans of tactical shooters.
|The Ghosts in action.|
Summit Strike features the same kind of “it could happen tomorrow” world crisis storyline that has become a hallmark of the Tom Clancy games. In this case the setting is Kazakhstan, and the country’s president has been killed in an explosion. It quickly becomes evident that a Pakistani terrorist warlord, Aamir Rahil, is behind the assassination and to make matters worse he is flexing his considerable muscle to take advantage of the chaotic situation in the country following the assassination. The UN sends in some troops to try and stabilize the situation, but they soon find the situation too hot to handle. At times like these the call goes out to send in the Ghosts, and so you find yourself in Kazakhstan with a mission to disrupt Rahil’s operations and to ultimately kill the warlord himself.
Each mission in the game provides you with multiple objectives, sets you in a large area, and then lets you loose to achieve those objectives however you see fit. From the very first mission you’ll find that this approach to the level design makes Summit Strike a blast to play. There are scripted events in the game such as an encounter with an armored vehicle at a particular hotspot on the map, but the location of enemy units is dynamic and I found that I did not encounter enemy troops in the exact same locations on subsequent plays of a mission. In fact, each mission feels quite dynamic and you’re not left with the impression that you walked your way through a puzzle of the developers’ design. For example, you may happen on an enemy patrol in a location that was clear the last time you played the mission. Or you may be caught with your guard down when reinforcements show up in a village that you have just finished clearing. It all gives the game an open-ended feel and as a result makes the game quite exciting.
Summit Strike stays pretty true to the realistic model of combat we have come to expect from Clancy games. It only takes a few shots to take you out and once you’ve been downed the mission ends in failure. Actions such as reloading and switching weapons take time, leaving you very vulnerable for those precious seconds. There are no health packs, power-ups, or other “game” conventions to be had. You’re out in the field with limited resources and not much margin for error.
The game’s immersion factor is really enhanced by the excellent graphics and effects. Weather effects such as snowfall particularly help to make you feel that you are out in the open, miles from home. The soldiers, weapons, and vehicles appearing in the game all look detailed and move realistically.