You know right when I saw this game, this exact thought came to my head, "Tom Clancy must be making a fortune off of these games". Whether that had any relevance to the review or not, I am not sure, but I thought I would share it anyways. Tom Clancy games have been very popular, with the Rainbow Six series and even the Splinter Cell series getting rave reviews and are literally flying off the shelves. One series that really has gained a lot of fans interest over the past few years was Ghost Recon, which really has made quite a stir in the Xbox Live arena. Well now after two installations of the first Ghost Recon titles, Red Storm Entertainment has decided it was time for change and so we have Ghost Recon 2 for the Xbox. So are the changes in the game favorable, or is this one Tom Clancy game you can stay away from? You should probably continue reading on to find out!
For those of you diehard Ghost Recon fans out there who are wondering if a lot has changed in this latest installment, my answer is yes. One of the major changes can be seen right away with the camera perspective, which has changed from the completely first person shooter, to now a typical third person shooter. Luckily though for those of you who would be going through withdrawal syndrome without the old first person viewpoint, the developers did incorporate the option in the game, so you could go from either viewpoint. But for the most part the game does a nice job of incorporating this new system, which works a whole lot better I think then the previous system, which used to give me headaches.
Well of course if this is a Tom Clancy game the storyline is going to be a very impressive one, and that definitely holds true in Ghost Recon 2. This one takes place in the year 2011, where a crazy North Korean General, who takes control of his country and gains control of their nuclear arsenal. So now it is time for your squad to clean up the mess and stop the evil mad man before he destroys everything. The storyline in the game really does do a nice job of complimenting the single player mode with an extremely interesting and well thought out storyline.
Another big upgrade to the game is the command system, which has basically been taken out of the game. You see now you don’t even have the option to individually give out commands to your units, which in my eyes used to take away from the flow of the game. The game now uses a more direct approach, which is more point and click, which does a much better job of commanding your units around the battles without having to waste a lot of time in the process. Now the only way this new system without direct commands would work well is with great computer AI skills, which haven’t been found in many squad-based shooters as of late. But luckily for Ghost Recon 2’s case, the AI is actually quite impressive and quite responsive. What is nice about this game is your teammates seem to actually have brains, and fight back when other people are attacking them. With the inclusion of the solid computer AI, it allows this much more simplistic command system to work just as well, and in my eyes even better then the last few games.
With all that being said the single player portions of the game are quite good, but aren’t always that exciting. There are some very memorable moments in the game, but there are also some that you wonder why they couldn’t have done a better job on mixing the gameplay objectives up, as you are going to have a lot of the same tasks over and over again.
But of course those fans who are wondering about Ghost Recon 2 are probably not as concerned with the single player modes as much as they are about the Xbox Live and Co-Op support, which are both very alive and well in this game. To start off, the Co-Op portions of the game are just amazing, they work so well and you can truly see the great portions of the game by just sitting back and taking in all of the great level designs that were incorporated in the game. The Xbox Live support is also fantastic, which include both Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Seek and Destroy. The Live support works extremely well, in keeping with the rest of the franchise thus far.
Overall this is a great game although many fans may not like the changes that have been made to the game; I think they were quite respectable changes and worked really well for the game, making this one of the best online squad-based shooters for the Xbox to date.
The visuals of the Ghost Recon series have never been my favorite; I always thought the game was overrated when it came to the visuals, because I really didn’t think the environments ever looked very good. So does Ghost Recon 2 turn the series around and make a solid looking game?
Finally the Ghost Recon series has gotten the much needed facelift that it has desperately needed for quite sometime now. The environments are probably the most noticeable upgrade in the game, which consists of a lot more detail and plenty of color that really make the game standout a whole lot more then it had. The character models in the game are also quite impressive, taking a whole lot more detail then we had seen in the last game.
Ghost Recon 2 is a much better looking game but still doesn’t compare to some of the other squad based shooters already on the Xbox, which do look a bit better. When it is all said and done the game has gotten the much needed facelift, but still has a little way to go to get to the top.
You know I have never really been a huge fan of cooperative playing on Live, but this game really changed my mind on that end because this game successfully uses the Communicator to its advantage and provides a very fun cooperative mode. Not only that but the Live portions of the game are just amazing and really do take the game to the next level. And although the single player mode can be dry at times it does at least give you some practice before going into the Live arena.
For those of you Ghost Recon fans who are wondering if the changes have been favorable to the series, my response to you is yes this game does much better then it did in the past, which leads us to one of the, if not the best, best squad based shooters on the market today. Unless you are trying to boycott Red Storm Entertainment for the changes they made, I would go out and purchase this one right away.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.