Every time you turn your head it seems that UbiSoft, with the help of Red Storm Entertainment are releasing yet another squad based first person shooter. This time the story centres on the Ghost Recon. But is the second game, in what is sure to be an endless series, got the goods? We don the camo cream and find out.
The premise is the same as every other squad-based first person shooter (FPS); i.e. you play a member of a secret special ops team that has to complete a number of missions across the globe to stop terrorists from committing atrocities.
As with every other squad-based FPS, you have a team of three other men to help you on your missions and these chaps, whose intelligence has to be questioned some times, can be given orders such as advance, “cover me” and regroup.
The levels are large and sweeping. Normally the mission demands the completion a series of tasks like blowing up a bridge or clearing a Landing Zone before you continue. To get you through the level, aside from the three AI characters helping you, is a save option and there is no restriction as to how many saves you can have per level, something which we have to admit found very handy.
Something that's not very handy however is the level of controls you have to master to make sure you keep yourself alive. It seems that every key has a double use. The “X”, “Y”, “A”, “B” buttons on the Xbox controller for example offer you quick options, but hold them down and they present you with another four options each. In the midst of a fire fight pressing the wrong button can mean the difference between reloading your semi-automatic rifle and changing it to a pack charge.
What makes this worse is that you can take about three bullet hits before you die, which finishes the mission at hand. Don't get us wrong, we agree with the brutality of the life meter and the fact that unlike most games there aren't health bars conveniently discarded around the landscape, but it makes understanding which control does what even more important and for us, proved problematic.
Get through the optional training level and the single player campaign and the game then taunts you with Multiplayer action. It's here that Ghost Recon shows its true colours. There's plenty to keep you going and rather than the dumb AI in the single player mode you get to battle with other mates in a 4-man co-op. This is great fun and a worthy match for any PC FPS fan wondering whether the Xbox multiplayer experience can ever live up to the late night PC LAN sessions.
Ghost Recon 2 is more of the same from Red Storm Entertainment and UbiSoft. There just isn't anything here that is ground breaking.
However, as a game in its own right, it ticks all the boxes if squad based FPS games are your thing. Graphics and sound are good, helping enliven the experience further. What we liked the most though, was that the single player campaign hadn't been sacrificed for the sake of the multiplayer element.