7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
excellent, but different,
This review is from: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
Ghost Recon 2 is an excellent way for the legacy to continue. It really is a fantastic game, comprehensively thought out and brilliantly put together. It is very different to it's predecessors, although shades of Ghost Recon still come through, just about!
The squad command function is totally different - rather than drawing up the map and adding waypoints for your 2 teams, you only have one team with you, and they're always fairly nearby. Players of Rainbow Six 3 will be very familiar with the control system, although rather than having 'breach' and 'frag' commands, for example, your squad will 'flank', 'protect' and 'attack'.
The commands work well though and they follow out commands consistently, if a little stupidly. Your team members do have a tendancy to get shot if you don't tell them what to do. having spent many hours playing Ghost Recon, I'm very used to doing everything myself, and having the other team mebers there just in case. In Ghost Recon 2 they try to be more intelligent, which tends to get them into trouble, so if you want to do it all yourself (like me) you'll be running around a lot protecting people.
The environment structure is a little different to what it was - it's not as enormous, but it's very detailed. Unfortunately, you can't go into every building looking for people like you could before. The placement of enemies and their vehicles are very linear....they follow a strict pattern, but thankfully, there's always at least a few different routes to their placements, so you can, to a certain extent, get tactical.
The weapon physics are very much the same as before, although slower to load and to aim, and very slow to change weapon. Some of the sounds appear to be the same ones as before, which is no bad thing because they're excellent. The environment sounds....the ambience.....put Ghost Recon 2 up onto an unprecedented level. One mission that sticks out is on a battlefield - no matter what volume you're playing with, the mortar sounds like it's dropping all around you.
Visually, the game is also impecable. It is on a level with Halo 2 and Project Gothem 2 in simple graphic beauty. The models are intricately built, coloured with some of the best textures I've seen, especially when it comes to trees and flowers. Even more visually stunning, are the characters and their weapons.....they are the best I've seen. They really look solid. Also, a few of the missions involve crossing/walking through rivers. The water textures and models are better than ever before. For the first time in any game, the water looks like it will make you wet when you stand in it. The lighting seems to be very accurate too, as do smoke, fire, fog and explosions.
The storyline is excellent, and is told from an original perspective - it's put in the past tense, with the members of the squad appearing on a TV show, talking about their missions, thus forming each mission's briefing.
The menus are attractive, if a little complex, but you get used to them.....eventually.
My only fault with it, I suppose, is the gameplay. I agree that it isn't quite the same as Ghost Recon and Island Thunder. It doesn't offer the same level of suspense. The original games still offer many hours of edge-of-seat entertainment, where you can sneak round behind an enemy position to catch them by suprise. this element has all but vanished in GR2, because half the time you have to stay put, just to make sure your allies or your squad don't get shot.
From what I can work out, GR2 is Rainbow Six 3 with more open environments, and no ridiculous, irritating dialogue. It's a great step forward in warfare simulation, it's doing things that haven't been done before, and is very beautiful in both it's appearance and it's sound, but something more like the original GR would have made it perfect. It's still a top-notch production though!
I haven't got broadband or a headset communicator, so I can't comment on the voice command or multiplayer features, but I can't see any reason that they should be any less high quality than the rest of the game.