Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon on Xbox – The DVDfever Review

game pic

  • Price: £39.99
  • Players: 1-2
  • Widescreen: No
  • 60Hz: No
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
  • Xbox Live-enabled: Yes
  • Game Type: Military-style FPS (First-Person Shooter)

This title has been around for a while, but as with allXbox games, the Play Live option adds an entirely new dimension.

Using next-generation military technology and the newest infantry gear andweaponry, you play as one of the Ghosts, an elite team of US Army Green Beretsspearheading a UN peacekeeping force. And since it’s transition from the PC,new female characters have been added for the ladies. And believe me when Isay, the gals are just as tough as the guys!

Although there are not a lot offemales playing this title on Live, those that I’ve met have always opened areal can of whupass on me! And it might just be me, but besides making a smallertarget, the female soldiers like Astra Galinsky seem to be able to run fasterthan the blokes!

For anyone daunted by getting to grips with all the cutting-edge hardware,there’s a training area where you’re taken through the basics of everythingfrom sidearms and grenades to rifles and claymores. Once in to the mission,combat is realistic and deadly, playing on large 400m x 400m maps (withmultiplayer maps from Ghost Recon and Ghost Recon Desert Siege) representinglocales throughout Eastern Europe. In solo mode, you play through a 15-missioncampaign, controlling up to six soldiers in two teams.

The command interface is a little tricky to pick up at first, but once you’vegot the hang of it, it becomes second nature.


game picAs you play through this mission, you unlock new content and features-that canalso be used on Live-with a task-based reward system. A Player dossier keepstrack of your completed tasks, unlocked maps, weapons, statistics, and yourrank (Private, Sergeant, etc.), which increases with every five taskscompleted.

Mission is the meat & potatoes of this title. It’s here that you’ll learn thebasics you need to keep you alive in multiplayer modes. If you’ve seen thetrailers of this game, you’ll know that one of the features of the Ghosts istheir ability to camouflage with their environment-hence their name. Thisdoesn’t mean the enemy rebels are slouches at staying hidden though. When Ifirst played mission, I was getting a bit frustrated at the lack of enemies toshoot-then suddenly, all hell broke loose!

It’s essential to play Mission right through at least once before you can reallyassess this title. After your first game, you may be tempted, as I was, tothink Ghost Recon is a little slow getting going. But remember, you’re theplatoon leader and you set the pace of the game, though admittedly, it doestake a while and a few repeat games on the same map before you get to know themap and discover the best hiding places, best areas to take cover, and wherethe enemy like to hide etc. Trust me though, once you get in to the game, you’llget hooked. I played Ghost Recon’s Mission mode right through in two marathonall-day sessions and loved it. So stick with it. It is worth it.

As for the maps themselves, they’re amazingly varied, and you must adjust yourtactics to suit each one. On the first map, you’ll be strolling through themountains on breezy spring day when you run in to a sniper trap. Later on inthe game, you’ll be in a misty swamp, at night, with nothing but your nightvisiongoggles and your hearing to tell you where the enemy are. The next game mightbe a snowy day in Vilnius, or Red Square, and instead of snipers, it’sclose-quarter urban combat with tanks and machine gun nests you have to beconcerned with.

Each map comes with a set of objectives that you must complete,so when picking your team it’s a good tip always to have at least onedemolitions specialist and one sniper for each mission. And while you’re playing,take a step back to check out just how good the rendering is in these maps atsome point. From the cathedrals in Red Square to simple graphics like therubble on Battlefield, it’s apparent that the developers put a lot off effortin to making this an FPS action game with an almost infantry-sim quality.Superb!


game picThere are three multiplay options, splitscreen, link play, and Live. And it’shere that Ghost Recon really comes in to it’s own. If you’re in a similarsituation to me and haven’t been able to play multiplayer before, then Livewill be a gift from the Gods for you too. You may think you’re hot stuff if,like me, you’ve unlocked 26 of the 50 tasks in solo mode, but once on Live you’rein for a real eye-opener. While the enemy AIs are good, real opponents reallytest your ability.

My favourite GR modes on XBL (Xbox Live) are Team and Co-op. In Team, the playersin the game are divided in to two squads, which play each other on either a selectedor a random map. You can play Last-Man Standing, Hamburger Hill, Siege,Domination, or Search & Rescue. All have their good points, which will appealto your personal preference, but I usually opt for LMS. This is basically whatit says.playing until all the enemy have been killed and you’re the Last-ManStanding. And if you’re hosting you get to set the number of respawns eachteam/player gets, along with a host of other options.

Split screen is available in co-operative & adversarial multiplayer modes,although I am told it is not an option when playing online. And don’t forget,to communicate with other members of your squad, you need to press the whitebutton your controller to operate the walkie-talkie. Otherwise (like me), you’llfind yourself feeling like a complete plank when you realise you’ve been talkingto yourself for the last ten minutes!

The graphics in the game are excellent with new environmental effects, improvedlighting, and new special effects rendered with the Xbox particle and shadersystems. Dolby Surround Sound is superb, with bullets whistling past your earsand enemy footsteps creaking eerily closer on the floorboards as you hide in acottage. And when a grenade or tank shell explodes close by, the audio andvibration system combined makes you feel as though you’re really in the thickof things.

Overall, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon has everything: superb sound &graphics, great sound, thrill-packed action, excitement, and danger. With Live,it’s even better as you find yourself developing a real sense of camaraderiewith fellow squad members.

GR is Just what we’ve come to expect from the Tom Clancy franchise that also#gave usSplinter Cell;it’s one of the finest Xbox titles available, whether you play Live or not.Enjoy!


GRAPHICS
SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC
PLAYABILITY
ORIGINALITY
ENJOYMENT



OVERALL

Games reviewed by Seeka are played on a 32″ Sony Trinitron widescreen TV with5.1 Dolby, linked to a Technics entertainment system with 5.1 Dolby through anSA-DV170 amplifier and SH-DV170 sound processor, using a standard Xbox and anXbox Controller S.

Live-enabled Xbox games are played on the same system via a Belkin Gateway cable/DSLrouter through a 1 Mb NTL broadband cable modem connection using the Xboxcommunicator system.

Warning: When you try to connect to Xbox Live using a chipped Xbox, the mod chipis detected when you connect, and your machine’s ID is then read, and added toa banned list. Even if you remove the mod chip afterwards, your machine cannotbe unbanned, as it’s Microsoft’s belief that it can never be seen as trustworthyagain.

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