Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2
Anyone who remembers the original Ghost Recon? I’ve finished that game, since I got it free and I didn’t have money for other games at the time. I never really liked it though, it was so full of bugs it wasn’t even funny anymore. Well, why am I saying this? Simple, only the PlayStation 2 version of the game was bad, all the others were actually good. Ubisoft now tries to make us forgive them by releasing this Ghost Recon 2. Well, let me tell you one thing, it’s definitely better than its predecessor, but that’s not really an accomplishment, is it?
First thing’s first, forget everything you’ve seen in the original. Ghost Recon 2 doesn’t look anything like it, but that’s probably a good thing. The only thing remaining is the ‘Tom Clancy’-text on the box. I wonder if he actually writes the stories, or they hired the local janitor to come up with a “compelling story line”. It all starts with a US fleet being attacked. They blame North Korea. Enter the Ghosts, which you play with. After some time it appears some general is to blame. Even worse, he’s thinking of using nuclear weapons to fulfill his master plan. Seen, heard and played it before. Oh well, it’s the gameplay that matters.
It’s amazing how utterly few the two Ghost Recon’s have alike. The levels are now linear, you play in a third person perspective and you can only control one character. These aren’t good changes. It all results in following a road and shooting some enemies once in a while. Never believe the box, this isn’t a tactical shooter, it’s a brainless shoot’em up. I love to explore levels, but it’s just not possible in this game. The areas are dull and empty. There’s nothing to do or see. The game forces you to complete the given objectives, but you can’t choose in what order, and this bugs me. If there’s one good aspect of the original, it certainly was the freedom to go wherever you wanted. It’s sad that Ubisoft had to remove that feature.
Let’s pick on the tactical part some more. You have three partners that aid you in combat. There are only two problems with this. One: the enemies are stupid. They literally get in line for you to frag. Example; there’s a tower with an enemy on duty. By lurking around the corner you can shoot his toe, causing the death of that enemy. After a couple of seconds, the guard that was standing behind the dead guy, will move to the exact spot of the first enemy. Without even moving your crossfire, you can now kill the second guy in the exact same way. Problem two: your allies are even more stupid. They can’t do anything. They’re in the game to rat you out. Example; you’re lurking around a corner, looking at the tower. Your teammates stand before you, looking at you, causing they won’t shoot at the enemies, the enemies know where you are and that you can’t shoot them because your vision is blocked. If this happens at the end of a mission, you’ll curse Ubisoft to death, believe me. After awhile I began to consider it hilarious. Imagine a small crate. At three sides of the crate there’s one of your teammates. At the fourth there’s an enemy. They start shooting at each other but after a minute none of them is dead. Most. Sucky. AI. Ever.
But in multiplayer you don’t need AI, so that’s a good thing. Unfortunately you can only play online, there’s no possibility of playing with split-screen, co-op or in a LAN. It’s a shame, since it would have added a lot of replay value. Anyway, the online mode itself isn’t bad. It’s fun and way better than the singleplayer. There are three game modes to choose from. First is Assault, which is basically a Team Deatchmatch. Second is Last Man Standing, which is a normal Deathmatch, and by far the most entertaining mode. Third is Supremacy, in which you have to conquer areas. You can only conquer an area if it’s linked to an already captured area, and the round is won by conquering the other team its base. The online mode is probably the reason to buy this game, but can’t really compete with SOCOM.
The best things in this game aren’t gameplay related. Graphics are detailed and, next to the sometimes ugly player models, nothing to complain about. Too bad the animation isn’t of the same level and decreases the final score some more. Characters move around unnatural and shaky. The music is fantastic. It starts with a slow and low-volume track, and becomes fast and energetic when an enemy spots you. But, it’s getting a bit ridiculous, the sound effects aren’t as good. Well, let’s just say there aren’t many. The repetitive screaming of the enemies get dull after some time and the weapons all sound the same. But the music is really good.
It’s a small conclusion this time. Unless you’re really sick of SOCOM and want a descent online shooter, this game’s nothing for you. If you’re not planning on playing online, don’t even bother. I even forgot to mention some flaws, but I’ll just stop here. You get my point.