The year is 2008 and the Soviets are up to their old tricks again. It seems they liked the idea of having an Eastern Europe border nation, and they want to pull all of the entire break away provinces back under the sickle and hammer. Of course, America and her allies cannot let that happen, and just like we stood up for freedom at Kosovo, Serbia, and Kuwait, we will send troops and supplies to the region as a ‘peace keeping’ mission.
This is where players enter the game Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon for t…e Nintendo GameCube. Gamers assume the role of squad commander of an elite infantry division known as the 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Battalion, D Company whom are trained and culled from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Included in your squad of highly trained killers, are riflemen, support experts, demolitions experts, and a sniper. Using these highly skilled soldiers to infiltrate and take action where needed without being seen or heard has earned the 5th Special Forces group the title “The Ghosts”–now you must take control of these men to achieve the objectives set down for you by the Commander in Chief.
Woefully inadequate and very muddy textures are the offering here with Ghost Recon. Even as far as First Person Shooters go, the visuals are not very sharp and many of the textures and colors tend to bleed together. One might make the argument that the many environments you will find yourself crawling along in are just drab by design–a desert setting or defunct Soviet-era building with poor lighting–but the visuals are consistently fuzzy and lifeless no matter where you are.
Many of the vehicles that you will encounter all seem to be fairly accurate and even though you cannot see your own weapon, the weapons your fellow squad members equip are well done. However, you will not be able to discern very easily between your own squad members as they all look genuinely similar–war painted faces and fatigues notwithstanding. It just seems that the graphics really run the middle of the road and don’t show off what the GameCube is possible of doing visually.
One cool feature with Ghost Recon is the inclusion of Dolby Pro Logic II sound for all of the music, speech and sound effects in the game. Home theater buffs can enjoy the advanced sound feature through their HT setups, but regular tv users shouldn’t loose heart–it presents just as well on any tv speaker using the stereo option.
Music is of the standard orchestra variety and adds sufficient tension and atmosphere to the action on screen. Speech is limited mainly due to the ‘special operations’ nature of the gameplay, but there is fully scripted speech in the training, FMV, and introduction segments of the game.
One problem with the First Person Shooter genre is that it tends to get stale quickly–especially if the market is flooded with several FPS titles at once. With Ghost Recon, the game originally debuted on the PC platform before being ported to the GameCube, and in that time several other FPS games took up residence on the console such as Medal of Honor: Frontline. Instead of being Johnny-on-the-spot, Ghost Recon is really a Johnny-come-lately, and nowhere is this more evident than in the gameplay mechanics.
Players will have every button the GameCube controller being used to carry and use all of the weapons and tools needed by your commander. The A button is used to cycle trough your main firearms like machine gun, or sniper rifle, while the B button is tasked with handling the smaller firearms such as the pistols or even claymore mines. Zoom and fire are used by the Left and Right trigger buttons respectively.
However, the actual effect of being able to quickly select and arm your weapon is lagging. Even though there is a HUD onscreen to translate weapon and ammunition information, the effect is somewhat confusing and sometimes the wrong tool is pulled out for the job–all the while taking fire damage from the enemy.
Actual movement of your character is clunky as well as game designers stayed true to keeping the same feel of a PC FPS here for the title, but actually getting any efficiency out of the GameCube controller is frustrating at best. Turning and lining up the aiming cross hairs are not as precise as it could be, and sometimes a split second is what it takes to successfully achieve an objective.
The missions are varied and include some fun hide and seek content for those of you who love the Special Warfare type of operations. The key is to strategically load out each of your team members with the necessary equipment, ammunition, and intel needed for the sortie. Once out on the field, you will direct and command these men to take down objectives and gather information. For players new to the title, there is an included training mode which is highly recommended that you follow and practice in–if only to get used to the much maligned control./p>
There is an included two person multiplayer feature that will let you and another buddy team up for some simultaneous split screen action, and a trailer feature that lets you view all of the FMV cut scenes in the title.
Over and above that however, there really isn’t much to warrant spending a whole lot of time with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon–the PC title may have been a smash, but sadly this GameCube title is just lacking and average.