Game Review

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  • Platform: Xbox
  • ESRB: Mature
  • Genre: Shooter
  • Players: 1-16
  • Online: Yes
  • Developer: Red Storm
  • Publisher: Ubi-Soft
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: B-
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: A-
  • Replay: A-
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: B+


Strategic action at its best

By Troy Roberts     February 05, 2003

Tom Clancy is a pretty well known author. His novels have intricate details and compelling storylines that keep every one of them on the bookshelf for months at a time. The newest Tom Clancy game, GHOST RECON, has everything that makes the books good.

GHOST RECON is based on the PC game of the same name, and was one of the launch games for Xbox Live. The story takes us to the year 2008, where Russia has been taken over by a group of "terrorists" who plan to rebuild the Iron Curtain. It is your job, as a member of the elite squad called Ghosts, to put down the hostile takeover.

GHOST RECON is a squad-based tactical first-person shooter (a mouthful, eh?). In some missions, you'll be required to blow up bridges, while others are firefights, and some are search and rescue missions. You have six troops in your squad, and you must give each one of them separate orders on what their role is in a mission. Some are snipers, some are gunners; each role is important, and it is up to you to plan the mission. Or, you can take the easy way out and auto-assign, but it is a whole lot more fun when you do it yourself.

The game plays like most first-person shooters, but in GHOST RECON, one good hit and you're dead. You can take a few to the leg or so, but one to head is instant death. The enemy AI (artificial intelligence) is pretty good in this game, and they aren't dumb; they know how to shoot back and avoid shots. Also, having to order your troops around in the missions adds a whole lot more depth to the game than found in other shooters. It is unfortunate the computer controlled characters screw up sometime. I've gotten blocked in a room a few times because they couldn't perform a certain task, and just kneel in front of me, blocking my escape.

It is unfortunate that the graphics lack in GHOST RECON. The gameplay is very nice, but we're lacking seriously in the visuals department. While the levels are huge, there is this thick fog around most of them. While cool at first, this will really agitate in later missions. The character models look okay, but the backgrounds only look so-so, and the trees and plants look kind of odd also.

Unlike any other video game on the market, GHOST RECON has no music. During gameplay, the only sounds you'll hear are the sounds of nature, commands and orders to troops and the occasional gunfire. But the sound effects are really great, and provide a sense of depth not in most first-person shooters. When you're crawling through the forest, you will actually believe the wind is blowing. And the rain - GHOST RECON probably has the best rain sound effects ever.

Obviously, being a launch game for Xbox Live gives players the chance to play GHOST RECON online. Unlike other first-person shooters, GHOST RECON'S multiplayer modes move slowly, like the game does when playing solo. But be warned: if you're playing with 8 players or more, be prepared to experience some severe lag.

GHOST RECON is a very fun game, and for fans of tactical-games, or first-person shooters, this will probably be a game you would want to pick up. And if you have Xbox Live, it's a must.


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