Written by  :  Ummagumma (79)
Written on  :  Jan 08, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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A polished, but regressive, tactical FPS.

The Good

GR puts the emphasis on sneaking about and staying hidden more than its counterparts, something I always appreciate in a shooter such as this. The game seems more similar to Sierra's classic SWAT 3 than to the other Clancy tactical games. Only here you're more liable to find yourself beating back bush in outdoor terrain than the close confines of a convention hall. The graphics are slightly refined, with the biggest improvement coming with those pesky tree textures that most games of this ilk seem cursed with. They're certainly a big improvement over the horrible visuals of Operation: Flashpoint. The missions are nicely varied as well, and are of a decent length so you don't have to invest 4 precious hours trying to clear one level. You can also save whenever you like, which makes things much less frustrating. Also simplified is the command scheme for controlling your teams. With a keystroke you can call up a map whereby you can send your fireteams to locations with different battle stances and weapons readiness. There's also a nice compliment of weapons....

The Bad

...which unfortunately you won't have instant access to. In one of the many limiting design flaws of GR, only specific team members can use specific weapons so you can't outfit your entire team with your favourite armaments. There are a lot of such limitations forced on the player, which ultimately gives Ghost Recon a feeling of going one step back in the genre instead of two steps forward. Even though in certain missions you are tasked with blowing up targets, you are unable to trigger the explosion in-game and it is automatically handled when the mission is over. And while the command system may be simple to handle, it also leaves out any advanced orders for your teams, like flanking maneouvers or target selection. Add to this the lack of a weapon view in first person and it all leaves the gamer feeling they're playing an unfinished product.

The Bottom Line

GR is definitely the best tactical shooter since SWAT 3, only with wider environments and military attitude. Also noticeable are the refined animations for the AI team. Crouching in a bush watching your teams advance is a real treat. And the sound is also a standout, using surround EAX touches to great effect. You won't do wrong putting this FPS in your sights.