|Publisher: Aspyr Media Genre: Action|
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 @ 450 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 1000 MB|
I can usually tell how good a computer game is by how late I stay awake playing it. Bugdom 2 saw me going to bed around 11:00 pm. Deus Ex had me staying up, at the latest, until two in the morning, with Unreal Tournament keeping me up a little beyond. Aspyr's Ghost Recon now holds the record - five fourteen AM. It's gooooood.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (GhR) is a tactical shooter designed by the folks who had previously brought you Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear. Similarly to those previous titles, players are put in command of a highly-trained and organized tactical unit, deployed to enter a location, neutralize the enemy, complete an objective, then get the heck out of there before being blown to smithereens. Luckily, that's as far as the similarities in gameplay go.
I never really got into the previous two games that much because of the HUGE (note the capitals) amount of work and planning that had to be accomplished before the missions even started. Pick your team. Equip them. Plan out specific routes for each team member to follow. Assign them specific tasks. Decide which wine to order with their lunch. Remind them to floss after brushing. And if that particular plan didn't fly, you had to start all over again. IMG's own review of Rogue Spear specifies that you're best off spending most of your time in the Planning mode! Yawn!
Thankfully, Ghost Recon dropped the write-the-screenplay-first-and-then-go-see-the-movie gameplay mode in favour of a more pro-active style. After a quick briefing where players are given a little backstory and are informed of the mission objectives, you pick your players, and BANG! you're on the field, being sniped at and killed faster than you can say "Where's The Enforcer?"
Ghost Recon puts you in charge of an elite team of highly-trained U.S. Green Berets called, "Ghosts". You and your ghosts are dropped deep into enemy territory, and are charged with completing a variety of missions ranging from espionage, search and rescue, or plain-ol' shoot the crap out of some bad guys.
Rather than the Hitchcockian style of minutely planning out every single move before being put on the field, Ghost Recon allows players to make up their strategy on the fly. This time round, you're in charge of three teams; Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. You can equip each team any way you like, however you cannot play with more than three members per team and six members total. Typically your Alpha team contains your riflemen (and women), your Bravo team contains your demolition types, and Charlie team contains your sniper(s); however you're completely free to equip and set up your teams whichever way you please.
When the missions begin, you're placed on the field with a set of primary objectives and one secondary objective. Completion of the primary objectives is crucial to winning the level; secondary objectives, while not necessary to gameplay, unlock special ability players that you can use in future missions. These special ability players, which come with higher ratings and more powerful weapons than your current team members, come in extremely handy when facing some of the more challenging missions as the game progresses. Successful completion of a level is also rewarded by the doling out of combat points to the surviving members of our team, which can be assigned to one of four player characteristics: Weapon, Stealth, Endurance, and Leadership. Careful fulfilling your objectives however; if all three of your primary objectives get completed BEFORE your secondary objectives, or if you kill all the enemies on the map before completing all of your objectives, the level ends and you move onto the next challenge.