I have mixed feelings about Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. The actual gameplay is just pure brilliance; Red Storm traded the arcade run-and-gun style of games like Quake and Unreal for realism (one bullet can actually kill you, enemy opponents take cover if fired upon and don't just run blindly into your bullets). These changes pose a different kind of challenge to the player without taking away any of the enjoyment. There is nothing that quite gets the adrenaline pumping like stalking your enemy knowing that one careless step or missed shot could end your soldier's life instantly.
For me Ghost Recon was one of the first games where the artificial intelligence of your team-mates and opponents were actually worthy of the tag artificial intelligence. You're team-mates won't beat the missions on you're behalf, but are generally useful backups to have in fire fights and won't get stuck inside buildings or get themselves killed in idiotic ways too often. As hinted upon above, your enemies are competent adversaries (a Rambo walking around with guns blazing would only last a few seconds before succumbing to a head shot). My only gripe would be that their observation range seems somewhat short, while they react realistically to gun-shots falling around them, a lot of times they seem oblivious to any sounds further than 30 feet away. That said, being repeatedly killed by super intelligent & observant enemies would probably be no fun at all! At 2001 standards, the graphics were OK without being brilliant, and by today's standards they are not bad enough to detract from a good gaming experience.
So why the mixed feelings? The big letdown for me was the storyline. Yes there is a story, Russia invading Georgia in 2008 (how prophetic for a 2001 game!), but the implementation was distinctly lackluster. There are no cut-scenes to speak of, a weak low-budget intro movie and no end movie. Mission briefings consist of 2 maps and a brief written overview of what's happening in the global war effort along with your mission objectives. It's hard to know if your successful missions have any effect on the war effort as they are barely, if at all, hinted upon in the following mission briefing. In my opinion if they just called the game Ghost Recon and let you play the 15 missions randomly it would have made no difference to the experience, but because they plastered a famous novelist's name on the title I expected a bit more story for my bucks.
That said, if you are considering buying the game, you can't go wrong getting this title. This game will give you many thrilling hours of gameplay and as I understand the multi-player is also not too shabby. Oh and for the record, it didn't bother me that I couldn't see the barrel of my gun on-screen (a common complaint from other reviewers).
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