Ghost Recon 2 Review

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Developer: Red Storm Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 16, 2004 Also On: None

The launch of Xbox Live brought many interesting games to the forefront of the Xbox. One of them was PC Game of the Year Ghost Recon. While Ghost Recon brought a fun and realistic shooter to the table, it visually was quite dated on the Xbox hardware. Even the expansion pack Island Thunder was just as dated. Ghost Recon was never known for graphics though. The multiplayer was where Ghost Recon got popular. Now in 2004, the people at Red Storm have redesigned the game’s engine and created Ghost Recon 2. Sporting new looks but familiar feel, the new Clancy game wishes to continue its success. It may possibly be the best military shooter yet.

The revamped graphic engine of Ghost Recon 2 brings you a totally different looking game. Environments are an astounding sight to see. The fogging that constantly nagged you in the first two titles has been eliminated entirely. This brings you a cleaned up and polished battlefield to do combat on. In the long run, it helps you to see enemies from a distance and helping your chances for survival in missions. Character models for the lead characters are brilliantly designed and detailed. NPC’s are decent, but they could be a lot better in my mind. Cutscenes are great, showing of the Xbox hardware to it near limit. This is a huge step forward in the Ghost Recon franchise.

Surround sound is the only way you will want to play Ghost Recon 2. Environmental backgrounds are outstanding, allowing you to be immersed into a true life world. The score is very good, although it mostly is found during menus. Gunplay is still the best sounding on any shooter, but the voice acting is a bit poor. You really only hear anyone talk on cutscenes and when you are updated on mission objectives during gameplay. It really doesn’t hurt the game all that much though.

While you may be used to the first person camera from the original games, the new over the shoulder camera is sure to be a favorite. Sure, you can change it back to first person, but trust me, you won’t want to. Gameplay is based on realistic kills, requiring only a few shots to bring you or your foe down. Shooting however does tend to be a bit off, requiring you to take set shots rather than run and gun. You are given an assortment of different weapons during squad based missions to carry with you. The new Lone Wolf mode allows you to take missions on solo with one advanced weapon and advanced armor. Your super weapon can act as a camera to look around corners, lob grenades, set air strikes, and of course lay down gunfire. While there is now headset support for the campaign, it doesn’t work nearly as well as it does with Rainbow Six. It just doesn’t respond right most of the time which is quite the bummer.

Your prime portion of Ghost Recon 2 comes in multiplayer. There is the ability to download new game types, levels, weapons, and player skins to change up your play style. There are also several new game types that have been added into the game that will keep you interested for quite a while. These include:

Co-Op- Defend, Firefight, Recon, Battle (Firefight w/ respawns), Garrison (Defend w/ respawns), Scout (Recon w/ respawns), and Missions.

Solo- Seek and Destroy (One person is a target and you have to kill the target), Last Man Standing, Hamburger Hill, Sharpshooter, and Domination.

Squad- Domination, Hamburger Hill, Last Man Standing, Search and Rescue (Much like SOCOM’s game mode where you need to free hostages from the other team), Siege (like Defend but player controlled enemies), and Sharp Shooter.

Xbox Live offers you a bunch of fun, allowing you to play solo, squad, and co-op based games with up to 16 people. Campaign is difficult and will take you some time to complete. There are extra goals you can do after the campaign though that will put your skills to the test such as Recon, Defend, Firefight, or Lone Wolf on any of the games mission maps. Campaign will take about 10-12 hours, but the rest of the stuff will keep you quite busy for a while. You will mostly find yourself playing online though if you have Xbox Live. Even if you don’t have Live, Ghost Recon 2 is still a great pick up for any shooter fan. This could easily keep you amused for many months to come.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.5
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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