Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 Review
In the past the progression of Tom Clancy titled shooters have been from the PC to the Xbox to the PlayStation 2. This time however the sequel to Ghost Recon is debuting on the Xbox and the result is a far more console oriented title than the original game. What was before a methodical, tactical, and wide open squad-based game has become more of an action-oriented third-person shooter. Whether or not this change is a good thing will depend on how much you enjoyed the original Ghost Recon.
In Ghost Recon 2 the Ghosts, an elite squad of Special Forces soldiers, are sent into North Korea to stop the ambitions of a North Korean general looking to flex some muscle in the region. This time out though the Ghosts are not being sent in as a surgical strike team, but rather as the spearhead of a much larger UN operation. Rather than entering hostile territory, completing a mission, and then heading to an extraction point before anyone except the dead knows you were there, you will fight alongside troops from other countries on missions both large and small that make plenty of noise on the world stage.
If you played Ghost Recon you’ll know that something is different before you even begin your first mission. Gone is the mission planning screen in which you built three squads of soldiers by selecting from a roster of specialists, replaced by a single weapons loadout screen. There’s only a single screen now because you will always play the same soldier, the leader of a four person squad of Ghost operatives. This leads to further changes in that you can’t switch between different members of your team and should you die the mission will end in failure even if the rest of your squad remains alive. If you really enjoyed coordinating the movements of three squads and playing the various different roles in your squad then you’re sure to be somewhat disappointed by this change. Otherwise these changes are not necessarily a bad move as the resultant game is quite fun in its own right.
Even though you can not control your squad directly, the game allows you to give them orders. There are both general orders such as hold, advance, and flank, as well as context specific orders. If you place your aiming reticule over an object an additional order may become available, such as a command to take out a tank. The game then decides who is best positioned and equipped to perform the task and your order is carried out. Your squad’s AI is pretty good, so you can get through most of the game without the need to issue orders at all. Your squad will take out their share of enemies and although they are vulnerable to enemy fire they do a pretty good job of taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves alive.