Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
Red Storm’s best game yet.
It could be easy to dismiss Ghost Recon as just another Rainbow Six game. Big mistake! This here is a whole new battlefield. While some of the play mechanics and controls have carried over from Red Stormâ€™s previous games, every other aspect of Ghost Recon has been enhanced and better streamlined to kick the gameplay to unparalleled heights.
The story takes place in 2008, so it’s technically the ‘future’ as far as the game is concerned. It seems Russian-backed separatists are causing quite a commotion around Georgia (who would have known Red Storm had such predictive powers – they’ve even got the year right!) and it’s your team’s job to assist the embattled Georgian government and push the Reds back where they came.
Weapons of War
Because youâ€™re in the Army this time around, you’ll have to cope with both wide-opened battlefields and close quarter battles. The gear at your disposal reflects this new mentality, putting in your hands some of the most powerful handheld weapons ever devised. M203 grenade launchers, M249 SAW machine guns, a sniper rifle, claymore mines, and M136 anti-tank rockets are just some of the new toys available.
One of the highlights is the experimental OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon). This high-tech piece of death-dealing badness is a marriage of a 5.56mm assault rifle and a 20mm semi-automatic grenade launcher. Also in the mix are three different sniper rifles, including the Barret M82A1, for when you really need to reach out. The actual rate of fire for each rifle and machinegun is faithful to the real deal, and it shows when you rip off 200 rounds with the SAW.
The blooming reticule from the past Rainbow Six games is back, but this time it allows for more realistic targeting. Now youâ€™ll be able to walk your fire onto enemy targets, and full-auto fire wonâ€™t be a completely futile action. Youâ€™ll actually be able to hit targets while laying on the trigger. Eventually. This is complemented by much more realistic movement – crouching, going prone and even leaning around corners.
Rules of Engagement
You and your six-man team will be asked to achieve goals that would be near-impossible for the average soldier. The 15 missions are challenging and varied, and youâ€™ll never be bored. Your first assignment is to neutralize a rebel camp in a dense Georgian forest and capture their leader.
From the drop zone, what you do next is completely up to you. Hereâ€™s where you find out if you can lead worth a damn. Do you take out the rebel encampment first and then capture the leader hiding in the caves? Do you organize search-and-destroy teams to wipe out all resistance and then grab the leader? This freedom sets the trend for the other levels, all of them enhanced by the vastness of the terain. With the graphics maxed out, you enjoy draw distances that reach around 300-400 meters on good weather.
Many missions will be pitched firefights in which youâ€™ll have to throw every round of ammo and every ounce of sweat into tactical thinking just to make it out alive, and pray for some good luck as well with the one-hit, one-kill damage model. Lucky for you, Red Storm had the foresight to include a save-game option. You can save and load at any time, giving you and your outnumbered boys an advantage.
Leading the Way
Instead of planning missions ahead of time as in Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear, youâ€™ll be giving commands on the fly through a Command Map. This screen shows a top-down map of the entire situation. From here youâ€™ll be able to issue waypoints to your squad and tell them when to shoot and where. And thatâ€™s all you can do â€” nothing too complex.
Your Command Map also tells you the status of your troops, such as their current orders and whether theyâ€™re alive or dead. Just like in Rogue Spear, if you happen to get snipped out of nowhere by an enemy, you can instantly take control of the next guy in your squad. You can also take direct control of any member of your squad anytime at the touch of a button. This option is very useful for precise positioning of your troops when setting up ambushes along a road.
The AI since Rainbow Six has been improved a lot. Your troops know when to take cover, and can handle themselves in a firefight. Sadly, theyâ€™re not all perfect. They do get stuck indoors and on stairs, forcing you to take direct control to get them moving again. Although not quite as ambitious and massive as Operation Flashpoint, Ghost Recon nonetheless rules for one-on-one tactical infantry battles. The sense of dread you get when traversing through the thick of enemy territory, watching for sentries and doing your best to get the upper hand in a firefight is very real.
System Requirements: Pentium II 700 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, Win95
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