Review by RooCH

"A fine advance - A RooCH review"

Ghost recon is another successful gaming series from the Tom Clancy series. Unlike the subterfuge of Splinter cell or the enclosed urban battles of Rainbow six, Ghost recon is a true field operative strategy FPS. Since it's inception, the Ghost recon series has been one of the finest open field FPS's around, but does this new version live up to the name?

In a word, astounding. In a short description, a true showcase of the 360's abilities. I remember playing the first Ghost recon and thinking the graphics were base and uninteresting. I couldn't even factor those two words into the same sentence as G.R.A.W. The fact is, it is almost seamless. The lighting is inspired, the movement incredible, the character design almost perfect. If there was any part of this game that could be described as flawless, this would be it. Both campaign and multiplayer are a feast for the eyes, and if graphics are your thing, this is definitely the next game for you.

Another thrilling feature to this game is the new gameplay aspects. For a start, it is no longer strictly an FPS, what with the default camera being an over the shoulder cam. FPS mode is still available in the menu's but I must admit, of all the changes this is the one I like the most. The shoulder cam is beautiful and responsive, never gets stuck and allows for the lean function to work flawlessly. The gunplay is responsive and brilliant, the movement easy and just fast enough. A brilliant addition to the series is the beautiful rag doll physics. Nothing makes me happier than good game physics and this game has it in spades. From body shift and roll when shot on hills to the body flinging upon nearby explosions it looks good and feels great. This game has just been tweaked, so much so that I can honestly not find a bad word to say about it's controls or gameplay. Responsive, easy to pick up, and most importantly fun as hell.

The sound is another great feature. From it's realistic shuffle motion to gun swap, gun shot and even voice characterisation the game shines. You really get a feel for your environment when almost everything makes noise. Footsteps, reloads, stance changes. They all have their sound and they all create an awesome ambience to play too. And unlike previous Tom Clancy games, the background music in this game is actually quite stirring. As one online friend coined it "The music is a lot more emotive in this one".

It's best and worst feature, as it impresses the most, but also contains the game's most aggravating flaw. Let me start by saying the online play is immense. Game types are plentiful, customisable options are easily done and the game flows incredibly well. The graphics remain unbeatably good online and with the added beauty of human AI this will truly be a game that stays with us for a long time. The only flaw however, is that of player drop. Throughout the online experience people will be dropped the game, that is almost certain. There is no seemingly obvious reason, but I think for a game of this caliber something more should be done. But, this is a minor concern for this is early days and patches will no doubt fix this quickly. Not to mention that joining games is quick and easy. Fact is, the game is beautiful and easily played, this does not change for online play.

This game is worth buying the 360 for. Very little else really needs to be said. Beautiful, responsive, heavily tweaked and all in all a massively entertaining game. I will be playing this one for a long time, go get a 360 and join me.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/13/06

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