“I bought this game originally November 15, 2001. The world was such a different place back then. 9/11 had just happened about 2 months before; people were skittish and paranoid just like today except back then we were worried about terrorists and planes crashing into buildings and all that. System Of A Down was playing on regular rock radio stations, which compared to nowadays was some pretty extreme music to be hearing on mainstream radio airwaves. Saddam Hussein was still in power in Iraq. Russia seemed a bigger threat to us back then than they are nowadays. I had come down with a bad case of whooping cough that week that was gradually getting worse the day that I bought this game; if I had such a thing now, everyone would be screaming CORONAVIRUS and locking me up in the basement in quarantine.
Yes, 2001 was so long ago and seemed so innocent a time. It was this game that really blew the socks off of 3D open world gaming for me. Yes, Grand Theft Auto III had released just a month before Ghost Recon had come out, but I did not own a PlayStation 2 at the time and the PC version would not release until May of the following year, so for me Ghost Recon on the PC was what did it for me as far as true open-world FPS gaming was concerned. Yes, the maps had boundaries, but really what open-world game doesn't to some extent? This was, for me, Rainbow Six set outdoors. No more dark and compact hallways and rooms to clear out for my squad. This was God's country; wide open and ripe with East European bad guys to kill.
I won't go into details about the game because we should all know the score by now: You control a squad of elite spec ops recon guys deep behind enemy lines a la Rainbow Six. The emphasis is on stealth but your team is armed to the teeth with advanced weaponry, and heaven help whomever is standing in their way. The emphasis is on stealth mainly because of the one shot/one kill rule that applies to both your team and your enemies alike. This is what has always set the game apart from your Call Of Duty and Medal Of Honor "bullet sponge" type of games, where your protagonist can absorb what would be considered mortal wounds in real life situations, but in your typical FPS games at the time are fixed good as new via a handy-dandy Med kit and later on just standing in place out of danger until your health magically renews back to normal. Halo revolutionized that health concept at around the same time that Ghost Recon was released; actually Halo had released the same day that I had bought this game, but at the time I did not own an XBox either.
Anyhow, the graphics and audio are obviously dated but still hold up well enough today thanks to the timeless gameplay quality, which remains as outstanding nowadays as it did in 2001. Thanks to modern PCs and optimizing for Windows 10, Ghost Recon screams along just fine on any PC today; I ran this game on an 800 mhz CPU and an old GeForce 2 graphics card in 2001, so whatever you have now, as long as it was built after that year should run it just fine. Just don't expect phenomenal graphics by any standard of today.
I wish they would do an actual reboot of this game. I can only imagine ray tracing or even just simple HDR bloom or 4K screen resolution for Ghost Recon.”