Review by darthyoshi
"And I thought Ghost Recon was good"
Ghost Recon 2 is one heck of a game. It's probably the best shooter on xbox other than Halo 2 and is a vast improvement over the original. Much new features are added on, giving you good, fun, solid gameplay.
The year is 2011. Some renegade North Korean general threatens to start a nuclear war. That's when the Ghosts are sent in to stop the war before it even begins.
You play as Captain Scott Mitchell, leader of the Ghosts. It was neat how your squad members are now different from each other in personality. In Ghost Recon 1, you had to command 2 fireteams. In Ghost Recon 2, that tactical part is completely gone and now all you do is just command e soldiers. This is much simpler and doesn't require you to stop and bring up a command screen since your teammates follow you automatically. You can give specific orders such as flanking, suppression fire, healing a wounded comrade, destroying vehicles, and more. There is also a new mode called Lone Wolf, where you go alone but are equipped with future force warrior gear and the M29. One of the best new features is the 3rd person viewpoint. This makes gameplay much easier since you have a wider range of your surroundings. Plus, you get to see your character do cool hand signals and stuff that you wouldn't normally see in 1st person (if you prefer 1st person more there is an option to switch to it). There are roughly 15 missions, all taking place outside over Korea. You'll traverse through large airfields, dense forests, destroyed cities, rivers, and more. Of course, it will be through rain, sunlight, nightime, and all the other enviroments.
Although you'll be able to use some classic weapons, most of the original guns from previous GR games have been removed or upgraded (like the M249 is now the MK46 SAW). You won't even miss the old guns since the newer ones are way cooler, such as the M8 assault rifle, M3A2 MAAWS, M14 DMR, and more. Probably the coolest new gun is the M29, which has a built in camera that allows you to look around corners and shoot without exposing yourself to enemies. As for the enemy opposition, you'll face everything from Korean soldiers to helicopter gunships (not to mention heavily armored tanks). Gameplay is intense, and every second is full of action and gunfire. You can still die in a few hits, so don't go running around, guns blazing. Instead, you'll end up trying to blend in with your surroundings or hide behind obstacles. Yes, seeing a horde of soldiers or a trio of tanks is still very scary.
Like the previous GR games, Ghost Recon 2 boasts excellent sound. You can hear bullets fly past your head, your teammate's chatter, jets roaring in the skies, rockets exploding, trees rustling, and all those other realistic sounds that actually put you in the war. There is also some pretty good music (with nice electric guitar intros) during the menus. In-game music is absent through most of the campaign, although on a few missions there will be some eerie tones to help with the setting of the level.
If I had to pick one major improvement, the graphics have to be number one. I was amazed at what the original Ghost Recon displayed in environment. When I saw how much they improved it, I was blown away. The water looks extremely real, the trees sway in the wind, and effects such as smoke or fire are displayed real well. Character models are very detailed, even the weapons and vehicles. The only thing that stopped this from getting a 10 was that from time to time the game wil drop in frame rate, especially when there's a lot of action going on screen. This doesn't really hinder gameplay at all, but it gets annoying from time to time.
Ghost Recon 2 supports up to 4 players on 1 console, or 16 through sysitem link or through Xbox live. This can be very fun since the 4 of you can play co-op missions for the whole game (with the players making up the squad). Classic modes such as Recon, Defend, and Firefight also return to the fray. If you're not the kind of person who likes to work together, then you can kill each other in several solo modes. There are some minor problems such as drop of frame rate (only occurs when there is a lot of action on screen), and the fact that only a few modes have respawns enabled. Other than these, multiplayer is incredibley fun and adds much replay value to the game.
Final Word: Buy
This game is an absolute must for Xbox gamers or GR fans. If you're new to the series, you'll find this very enjoyable. Ghost Recon 2 is a great sequel to a great game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/07/05
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