|# Of Players:
||1 (16 online)
||Network Adaptor (broadband), Logitech / PS2
USB Headsets, Memory Card
version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 represented a
complete overhaul of the series, it was still undeniably a Ghost
Recon game. That’s not true of the PS2 version, which casts off
all pretenses of strategy and stealth in favor of linear missions
and an increased pace. The result is a game that falls between two
extremes and won’t really please fans of either.
The phrase “Exclusive Game Design for PlayStation 2” on the back of
the box should serve as a warning, because what it really means is
“dumbed down because we never could make the series work right on
PS2”. The biggest change lies in the missions, where sprawling
areas have been replaced with linear straightforward challenges.
That’s not to say that the game wasn’t linear to begin with, but at
least before you had multiple ways of reaching and achieving most
goals. Here’s it’s simply blasting bad guy after bad guy, then
doing whatever the objective tells you to do. The storyline is also
pretty basic (a series of excuses to blow stuff up), and doesn’t
come close to the unique “Modern Heroes” format the Xbox version
However, despite the extreme linearity it
still fails to deliver an exciting experience. Capt. Scott Mitchell
moves at a slower pace like the Ghosts of yore, only with the
first-person perspective no longer available (less immersion) and no
real need for the stealth anyway. Many of the new moves found in
the Xbox version, such as the prone the gun camera in Lone Wolf
mode, are sadly missing and ironically would’ve worked well in a
more action-oriented environment. At least he’s a little tougher
this time around (no one shot kills here), but now it feels
unrealistic in a realistic setting. While you can change weapons to
outfit the Cap’n a little more to your liking, the game provides
zero help on their different capabilities and which is better in
At least the option to lay prone is still
there, but the only good cover is solid cover. Forget trying to
hide behind bushes because enemies can now apparently see straight
through them, even though you cannot. Speaking of which, enemy AI
is scripted to an insane degree. Each trip through a level will
result in the exact same guys appearing at the exact same time, with
little to no ability to think and act on their own. Since the AI
is designed to surprise and frustrate and there are no in-level
saves players will have to try, try again (repeating the same
tedious areas time after time) until each level is finally
complete. In this sense, it’s a blessing that each level is so
While there’s still a team of four Ghosts working together to take
out the bad guy, many times it doesn’t feel that way. Although the
team can still receive basic orders (move to this spot, hold, etc.),
oftentimes they don’t follow them like they should and they usually
aren’t necessary anyway. In fact, the only real strategy I found
that worked consistently was “send the team forward to draw out the
enemy so you can snipe them from afar”, although even then enemies
often waited until I actually crossed that invisible trigger area
before they appeared. I guess it’s perfectly acceptable for enemy
soldiers to waltz into the middle of an airbase unmolested as long
as it isn’t a Captain. When they did go ahead and show up, often
they would trade shots with my teammates and never actually hit
anything until I arrived.
You want online play? Well Ghost Recon 2 certainly has it,
but it’s basic at best. There are only three available game modes
(Last Man Standing, Assault, and Supremacy), and they’re pretty much
what you’ll find in any online shooter. Supremacy, in which a team
must build a “link” of defensive positions across the battlefield,
is the only real draw here. That’s assuming you can put up with the
ever-present lag of course and required registration to ubi.com.
Since the levels are condensed into bite-size form, the stuff
on-screen often looks very good. Everything blows up satisfyingly,
character models have detail nearing those on Xbox, and the little
details look realistic enough. Even so there are still trade-offs
in a sluggish framerate in certain areas, areas that seem
artificially limited, and visible pop-up when zooming in and out.
I’ve always been a fan of the sound work in past Clancy titles, and
this has more of the same. The voice acting is good enough, and the
sound effects are satisfyingly robust. They sometimes seem out of
sync with the action on-screen though.
The smaller levels allow for some nice graphics.
Online play is competent.
Extremely linear missions and frustratingly scripted AI mean many
trips through the exact same areas and enemy patterns.
Framerate issues in “busy” areas and some annoying pop-up.
Having to choose the language every time the game boots up is
I don’t blame them for trying something different with the PS2
version of Ghost Recon 2, because
Storm didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Still,
releasing this as a Ghost Recon title seems almost criminal
to me even though
version suffered from some of these same problems. If you want
a slower action title or just hearing the name Clancy makes you
drool this might be worth a look, otherwise don’t bother.