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Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike Review

Developer: Red Storm Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: August 2, 2005 Also On: None

While thinking about the review for Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike several things went through my head. “Can I really give such a good game a bad score?”, “Can I give such a mediocre game a great score?”, “Is this really my first review of an expansion?”, “What am I going to eat for lunch?”. And then it hit me, I was thinking too much about the technical aspects of the game and wasn’t enjoying it. I took a day off and started playing again with a fresh mind and came to one major conclusion; even though GR2SS is marketed as a stand-alone expansion and have a bargain price tag it is most definitely a sequel, and a darn good one at that.

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The single player game, where I assume the majority of people will spend the majority of their time, would be ho-hum at best if it weren’t for it’s diversity. Similar to Ghost Recon 2 each mission is different than the last, whether with the mission objectives, location or size of the map each one feels entirely different. For example, one mission focuses on a smaller city landscape while another places the player in the middle of a forest in pitch-black night.

The artificial intelligence, while not up to Halo 2’s greatness, does a great job of immersing the player in the game. The enemy A.I. may be a bit too good being that even in ‘perfect’ cover that can still pick me off from 100 yards away; this is a rare occurrence but an annoying one nonetheless. Your squad mates’ A.I. is particularly impressive, almost never needing orders and always choosing good cover and providing a real camaraderie-like experience.

The single player campaign may only have 10 or so missions but with the variety of missions and multiple difficulty setting still provides a great deal of gameplay experience. Even though the single player campaign mode may be the meat and potatoes of the game, playing on Xbox Live is where the heart and soul is.

Ghost Recon 2 was easily my favorite XBL title from last year (yes, even over Halo 2) and Summit Strike could easily take this year’s crown. With gameplay additions, new maps, more weapons and tons of more options Summit Strike’s multiplayer trumps every aspect of the amazing Ghost Recon 2. If you’ve never played online and are at all into military shooters, buy this game and subscribe to XBL because there’s nothing like finding perfect cover and sniping someone from across the map.

The presentation values have been bumped up quite a bit. The sound sounds louder and more diverse and there’s more speech from squad mates as well. The ambient effects are also used to near perfection here. The biggest immediate difference between GR2 and Summit Strike is the visuals. Everything in the game looks much crisper and several new visual effects have been implemented; including one of my favorites; bloom lighting. Environmental effects have also been upgraded as well. If anyone remembers the Peninsula level from GR2 with the downpour of rain, you can expect the more of the same excellent presentation values. Simply put, this game is absolutely gorgeous.

Everything about Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike has been lifted from Ghost Recon 2 and improved upon. If you were a fan of GR2 or any military shooter this is a must buy. Also, if you are a fan of any shooter on XBL then this is definitely worthy of your time and money, but if you don’t fall into one of those three categories you might want to wait until Ghost Recon 3 for Xbox 360.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.5
Written by Chris Review Guide