Review by ColeMonsen

"A decent shooter. Lame AI takes out a lot of the fun."

Ah Tom Clancy, how have been known for your quality books and now... games?? Yes the games that are loosley inspired by Tom Clancy's universe, have been big money makers for Ubisoft for sometime now. If you have a PSOne, PS2, N64, Dreamcast, Xbox, PC and even the Gamecube you have no doubt come across his line of games at a retail store. You've also purchased at least one of his games in your lifetime. The point is, is that no matter all the backlash about constant Clancy games being shelled out, people are still buying them, yes... even the haters.

I honestly didn't see the appeal as I watched a buddy of mine play it on his PC a long time ago. He was coordinating his attack on this 3D map before jumping into the game only to die in one hit??? I thought it was crazy that some people could actually like this type of gameplay... but I actually tried it myself and I caught the Clancy bug, I was becoming addicted... here is the story of my first Tom Clancy game:

Pros:

The environments are massive and detailed, which is nice. No longer are we cramped into tight corridors like Rainbow Six, we now have wide open areas to run around in. This can only mean one thing, yes! We know can tackle objectives from several different vantage points. What does this mean, exactly? Open ended gameplay to an extent, which is nice considering that past games were really cramped.

Teammate AI is pretty decent, they follow orders to the letter... most of the time(more on that later). You can give them several orders such as suppress fire, hold position, flank-right/flank-left, defend, etc. They are even pretty good at listening to your spoken commands. They usually follow your orders pretty well and are pretty good shots to boot. Enemy AI can actually be pretty good also, they can flank you and unlike previous games(most of the time), won't rush into the same spot that there friend was killed in so you cna pick him off too. They also won't rush off in a straight line to get to you as they love to come from all sides to and swarm you when you least expect it.

The presentation is definitley a high point, especially considering that previous Ghost Recon games were known for their ugliness. Character models are nicely detailed and really well animated. Enemy forces look really good, too. Vehicles look smooth and gritty, just as you would expect from this type of game of guerrilla warfare. The cinematics are well done and the various environments you traverse are superbly done. You just wait, they're breathtaking. Although there is fog in the game which is used to cover up the system's weaknesses, it's not horrible, but it is noticeable. The draw distance is really good too, as you can see vegetation and enemy encampments from far away to plan your next strategy.

There are a lot of modes in both multiplayer and solo, so depending on what kind of person you are, there is plenty to do here. Like Helo Hunt(where you go at it alone to take on various helicopters), Lone Wolf(Use equipment not in the main game and go at the missions by yourself) to name a few. For multiplayer, there is split screen with 4 player co-op, and standard deathmatch and other match type features. As well as Live, with rankings and all that nice stuff. Live games run silky smooth so you won't have any trouble finding and playing a game. The community is pretty good, too. There are a lot of modes for multiplayer, which there are too much to list, just be ready for months of gaming ahead of you. I'm warning you. both Solo and Multiplayer support Voice chat which is a nice touch.

When it comes to tactical shooters, what about the realism you ask? The weapons all sound fantastic as they makes their real world sounds. Gun nuts should go insane over the amount of weapons included in this game. The gameplay follows the same trend as previous games: Use cover, be aware of your surroundings. Take things very slowly as enemy bullets can mow you down just as fast as you can mow them down.

Cons:

Bad AI is a common occurance in this game. Teammates will constantly get in your way when your shooting. They don't go prone when you want them to, they tend to stick out in the open to get picked off, they have trouble getting out of the way of grenades, etc. I can go on. Hell, sometimes they don't even listen to your commands. The enemy AI can be downright cheap on some occasions, like on Mission 6, I have to take out specific bunkers, yet even though I'm crawling through the grass, the AI is picking off my teammates from half away across the map??? Oh yeah that just sounds like a lot of fun doesn't it? They can also be pretty stupid too, they run at you head on, or run to where their fallen comrade is to get picked off themselves. Ubisoft really needs to work on their AI. Badly.

Some graphical hitches hinder an otherwise solid looking game. For some reason in these wide open areas, I can't walk between two tress because there is an invisible barrier blocking my path. Also the enemies have zero hit detection, it's really frustrating that the enemies don't act like they're being hit while you pump an entire clip into them, while they're rushing with their perfect aim with their guns blazing.

The story is nothing to write home about either, I won't spoil it, however if you have been following Tom Clancy games or his books for awhile, be prepared to roll your eyes over the storyline. It's the typical "terrorist-threaten world" schtick.

Rundown:
+ Solid presentation
+ Decent Solo and Multiplayer
+ Huge environments
+ Teammate and Enemy AI can be pretty good...
- however they can really, really stupid
- Lame story
- Weird graphical glitches
? Could Tom Clancy be anymore repetitive?

To buy or to rent? If you love tactical shooters, then you'll love this nice add-on for Ghost Recon 2. However, I would call it an entirely new game just by itself. If you're not sure, rent Ghost Recon 2 first to see if it floats your boat.





Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/19/06


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