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Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 Review for Xbox
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Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 Review for Xbox

Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2
Red Storm Entertainment
November 16, 2004
Xbox Live:
Xbox Core Silver Medal
Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 Screenshot Gallery

Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 Screenshot Gallery

Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 Screenshot Gallery
Tom Clancy`s Ghost Recon 2 
Saturday, November 27, 2004 

I'm going to be honest. I hated the original Ghost Recon. I really did hate it. I hated the gameplay, the presentation, the cheesy outdated graphic system... hell I even hate the cover art! So when I originally heard that UbiSoft was working on a sequel - I just shrugged my shoulders and flipped the page. I didn't care one bit.

Now that I've had a chance to give it a whirl... I am singing a different tune. A tune full of great gameplay surpassing even that of SOCOM, amazing Xbox graphics, a new camera system & whole bag of goodies including full Xbox Live support - a great tune I'm now singing indeed.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 on the Xbox was specifically for the Xbox, meaning even though there is a version coming out in December on the Playstation 2 – they are totally different & unique titles.

Each version is set in a different time in the overall story’s timeline; the other version will take place prior to the events in the Xbox title, which is an interesting new concept in gaming & I’m glad the team at UbiSoft decided to use such a creative marketing strategy to make sure that gamers who own both a Xbox & PS2 will not only feel it necessary to buy only one version – but both to get the whole story.

While I have played both versions, let me be the first to tell you - the Xbox version is the version to buy this holiday season. It carries better visuals and in my opinion better gameplay and missions (the Xbox version is open battle field war & the PS2 version is more of an tactic-based "splinter-cell" stealth war game).

The Xbox’s story covers over fifteen missions, all in which take place in North Korea (in the year 2011). Before you step out into the littered battlefields, players are brought up to speed with a cool televised documentary giving you the background, the situation, and what your team was sent there to do (your mission). Your teammates are interviewed - then you go and live their memory of the mission. This is another new feature that brings a unique twist to war games. The gist is that the North Koreans are causing trouble again, with the aid of a new powerful leader. The Ghosts (your team) are sent in to stop him without escalating an already-sticky situation.

The A.I. this time around has been beefed up with a smarter enemy - adding to the realism of the whole experience. There was one time for example when I was coming up on a pack of machine gunners. I sniped them out one by one. An enemy recognized what I was doing and snuck up near me, tossing a grenade and blowing us both up. Now that’s what I call a very eerie moment.

On the subject of realism, I'll bring the new camera angles to conversation; UbiSoft has added a very cool third person view, which very closely resembles SOCOM on the PS2. It helps you see which parts of your body is revealed in the heat of a firefight & also acts as a nice visual touch - considering the character models are super-detailed. The new commands menu has been redesigned & set specifically for the Xbox controller. The "X, Y, A & B" buttons brings up different commands and all the options are laid out easily before you, including weapon selections, reloading options, team-commands & more. It’s easy to memorize and couldn’t get any simpler.

Now don't let the word "simpler" scare you into thinking this game is a piece of cake - it's not. The game is a mix between the battlefields & war action of SOCOM with the realism & cutting edge technology of Rainbow Six 3... it's a mixed bag & this baby can be tricky. There will be the times where you will blow right though a level not even being killed once - and there will be those times where you will spend hours upon hours trying to get past the first 200 yards of a sneak-based swamp mission. A fortunate new feature to help aid you in the added difficulty is the ability to save anywhere. Finally get passed that swarm of snipers & don't want to risk getting shot and having to start over? Save. Now start over from where you saved every time. I wish more titles would include this.

The new game uses a "limited hit location system" - which means you will shoot an enemy in the arms as much as you want to, but he won't react. The only way to bring down your enemies in GR2 is by a shot to the head, body, or leg. The enemies’ reactions are also very boring with a lack of any variety in where they are shot. This should have been addressed before the game was shipped.

So what about the graphics this time around? Never fear - Red Storm has heard your complaints. The onscreen visuals have been improved dramatically. The original Ghost Recon’s graphic engine was considered below par even when it was released, it was plagued with horrid fog, basic maps, unrealistic situations & models and a very generic looking presentation. The good news is that the sequel’s visuals are a tremendous improvement - featuring huge wide-open battlefields, lush foliage & environments, gorgeous realistic explosions, and intricate detailed textures and character models. The fog of death the plagued the first game has been eliminated & replaced with "as-far-as-the-eye-can-see" distance, which means - if you can see there, you can go there - a welcomed addition.

I'm going to be completely honest. Ghost Recon 2's sounds could use some work. You'll get your fix with realistic gun effects, helicopter noises, screaming solders & more, however there could have been a lot more going on audio wise. A lot of environments have their cool sounding streams, wind in the trees, etc. but that's about it. Most of the levels can be very repetitive sound-wise. I'm not saying it's horrible, but it is easily the worst aspect of this title.

Overall this is a great title, which is easily worth every bit of a hard-earned $50 bill. If you enjoyed the first title - I don't know what to tell you... except maybe your idea of "action gaming" is a bit on the bland side (in my opinion). However if you enjoy some solid war action with realistic "SOCOM" like missions, scoop this one up now. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 is a different game this year... and highly recommended.

Overall Score

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