Ghost Recon

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Content at a glance:


Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Red Storm
Price Range: $10 or under
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Reviewed By: Josh

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Rating: 2 of 5 (poor)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)

Ghost Recon.  Illustration copyrighted.

“Ghost Recon” by Ubisoft is not like most first-person shooters. Instead of scuttling down narrow corridors and unloading hails of bullets, the goal of the game is to advance slowly across large enemy battlefields via reconnaissance techniques, thus the title “Ghost Recon.” This slow-paced and highly realistic shooter is meant for older players, not just for the blood and gore but also for its unforgiving difficulty and the critical thinking involved.

In the year 2008, a group of Russian Ultranationalists seeks to restore the old Soviet Union. As the radicals attempt to retake Georgia, Latvia, and other former territories, war breaks out and the Ghosts are sent in.

In the year 2008, a group of Russian Ultranationalist seeks to restore the old Soviet Union. As the radicals attempt to retake Georgia, Latvia, and other former territories, war breaks out and the Ghosts are sent in.

“Ghost Recon” has little in common with most first-person shooters beyond, well, the first-person shooting. First-person ‘strategy’ is better way to describe it. In the game, players control a squad of two teams, Alpha and Bravo, and you can issue commands to them with the control pad. For example, you can command one team to suppress an enemy foothold while the other flanks their position; that's just one of the many possible team-tactics that can be used to divide and conquer the battlefield. The command system works great on the Xbox, and there are plenty of options to maximize the number of uses it has.

Ghost Recon

Most of the time players will be scanning the landscape for bad guys and planning their next move. The best way to advance is to walk slowly and to stay behind cover; otherwise you’ll get killed by enemies you didn’t take the time to look for. Friendly units are a big help during firefights, and they are very good at spotting enemies. At the same time they are liable to be killed by just a short burst of gun fire, which keeps the gameplay very balanced. One of my friends calls “Ghost Recon” the “one shot, one kill game” because of the low level of damage foot soldiers can take.

Some of the missions include ambushing a Russian camp, rescuing POWs from a high security prison, and driving back droves of Ultranationalist from NATO fortifications. There are some urban missions too, in which you break inside buildings and eliminate the terrorists. There are a few problems with the indoor segments; sometimes you or your teammates may get stuck in a doorway, and one time an entire building disappeared which kept me from finding the exit. It’s good these occurrences are rare and that “Ghost Recon” is centered on outdoor combat, not indoors.


Ghost Recon

Before the missions begin, players are given the option to customize their squad of six. As you progress through the game, your soldiers gain skill points that can be used to increase health, accuracy, and other stats. These points can be used right after the mission briefing. Besides the skill points, it is also possible to equip soldiers with whatever gear you want them to have. Players who don’t wish to customize their squad can Auto-Assign their team, but sometimes that gives soldiers less gear than they need, which is dangerous to the mission.

“Ghost Recon’s” graphics are bad, yet the game captures a high sense of realism without having to look good. The gameplay itself is the biggest contribution to the realism factor, but sound design helps too. “Ghost Recon’s” music (or it's lack thereof) is appropriate and even patriotic sounding in the game’s menus. During the campaign there are excellent gun sounds and ambient noises which add to the game’s overall depth.

The core part of “Ghost Recon’s” gameplay is violence, and that’s what gives the game most of its realism. Bullets have impact, and it takes no more than two or three hits for the player to die. Whenever a man is killed, he falls to the ground and blood seeps out around the corpse. Depending on where the soldiers are killed, blood can stain entire walls.

Something that you will see while playing the game is that when you die (not if), you will watch your own virtual blood spill out from first-person perspective. People will say that “it’s not overly graphic,” but I still don’t think it’s good. “Ghost Recon” doesn’t have any language, occult overtones, or sexual content, but gore qualifies as adult content in my opinion.

Ghost Recon

“Ghost Recon” is a well made tactical shooter that requires slow pace and careful planning, and this makes it different from most first-person shooters. In this respect, it is a hard game not to recommend to those who are seeking a very mental challenge in video-games. On the other hand, I didn’t gain anything spiritually from it, and I can think of better ways I could have spent with the time I used playing this game. In this respect, “Ghost Recon” is a hard game to recommend to those who seek to honor God more with their spare time.

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Year of Release — 2001

[tags] 3 stars, First-Person Shooter, Xbox (Microsoft), M (Mature), Red Storm [/tags]


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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