"Not a Must-Have, But Well Worth Playing"

Ghost Recon is yet another of the Tom Clancy games. This time around, you are the ''Ghosts'', a group of Special Operatives who are always the first to go in and the last to come out.

Story 8/10-
The years is 2008. Russia is planning to revive the Soviet Union by allying with the countries originally involved (it's ALWAYS the Russians). They have invaded many countries, terrorizing the people and taking over by force. The U.S. has to do something, so they decide to send you, the Ghosts, into action.

Graphics 7/10-
Because the game is a PC port from a couple of years ago, the graphics show there age. The only real problem I have with them is that when other characters are at a distance away, the run on a very low frame rate. Their movements seem very jerky. Fortunately, this only happens at a distance, and the enemies appear fine while at close range. Environments are beautiful, with trees, bushes, mountain sides, and much more. Character models are impressive, especially the soldiers.

Sound 10/10-
The sound is Ghost Recon is excellent. You can hear every bullet whiz past your head. You can experience the awesome explosions. All the sounds are realistic and make you feel like your in the action. Ghost Recon delivers in the sound department.

Music 8/10-
There's not much music, but I didn't want to hold that against the game. Going for the most realism as possible, the programmers decided to use the least amount of music as possible. Good choice.

Gameplay 8/10-
Ghost Recon is a tactical shooter, meaning the goal is not to run in, guns blazing. You primary weapon is stealth, with good guns when the going gets rough. You will find yourself using a lot of stealth at the beginning of missions, then gunning your way out, back to your extraction zone.
You play with two teams, Alpha and Bravo. Each team can consist of three soldiers. There are also four types of soldiers: Riflemen, who specialize in using rifles; Support, who carry heavy weapons and a ton of ammo for when the going gets rough; Demolition, who specialize in blowing stuff up; and Snipers, who specialize in long range killing and stealth. Each soldier has its advantages and disadvantages. Each soldier can carry their primary weapon (Riflemen, rifle; Support, assault gun; Demolition, rifle; and Sniper; sniper rifle), plus a secondary item. These range from 9mm's to Anti-tank guns. Certain types of troops can carry certain secondaries, but almost all can carry 9mm pistols and binoculars. Each soldier also has a skill rating on four class: Weapons, Stealth, Endurance, and Leadership. Weapons represents your soldier's skill with his weapon, which is reflected by his accuracy. Stealth represents your soldier's ability to sneak around with out being detected, which is reflected by how close you can get to your enemies before the notice you. Endurance represents your soldier's ability to take damage, which is reflected by the number of wounds your soldier can take before he is killed. Leadership represents your soldier's ability to lead others, which is reflected by the number of points: for every three points of Leadership, the other soldier's skills in that team is raised by one point.
In the missions, you take control of one soldier of one of the two teams. You can control this soldier freely, and the other two in your team will follow you. You can switch between soldiers and teams at anytime. You can also give simple commands to the non-player controlled team.
Your aim is represented by a crosshairs in the center of the screen. Four dots move out from the center when you move, and move toward the center while standing still. These four dots represent your range of fire. The closer the dots, the more accurate your shots. You can stand in three different positions; Standing, Crouching, and Laying Down. Standing up gives you the greatest moving speed, but allows for an easy target for enemies, while Laying Down is slow as heck, but you have a greater chance of evading enemy sight. You can switch stance at anytime. You have nightvision goggles that can be used anytime. You can easily switch between weapons at anytime.
You can be wounded or killed by enemy fire. When wounded, depending on how severe the wounds, you can either continue as normal (slight wound), or you will have to limp and drag your foot (major wound). Dragging your foot causes loss in speed, regardless of stance. If you are killed by enemy fire, your are automatically switched to the next soldier in line. If no soldiers are remaining in either team, the game is over.
Enemy AI is very high, and increases throughout the game. Enemies will hide behind things in the environment, and come at you in full force.
Outside of Campaign Mode, there are simple challenges and training excersises, along with playing any mission over again on any difficulty level.
There is also a multiplayer option, which allows for two players to go against each other.

Control 8/10-
If your not used to the PC style controls (one stick controls forward, backward, and side to side movement, while the other is freelook), then you might have trouble adapting to Ghost Recon (this controller setup is opposed to the ''classic'' setup of older FPS, with one stick controlling forward, backward, and turning, while the other controls side stepping and looking up and down). Still, I got used to is in about 30 minutes, so it's not too bad.

Difficulty: 3 Settings-
Recruit- Fairly easy, provides little challenge.
Veteran- Not too difficult, provides decent challenge.
Elite- Provides great challenge, full skills needed to succeed.

Overall 8/10-
Ghost Recon is a good game with only a few faults. If your looking for a challenge, this is a game for you. If you like shooters with a lot of gun fights and multiplayer, look carefully before picking up Ghost Recon.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/14/03, Updated 04/14/03


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