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Ghost Recon Reviews

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Just discovered this gem of a user review at steam, and there’s more treasure where this came from, so I think a new thread is in order.

„♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, do you know what you're about to buy? Do you have any idea what is this ♥♥♥♥?

"B-but I've p-played Rainbow S-Six and..."

Don't even start. You think Rainbow Six is the unsurpassable work of Tom Clancy's history with video-games? Guess what, you're wrong. If you buy mother♥♥♥♥ing Ghost Recon, you're in for the ride of your life. Ghost Recon is the apex of Clancy's strategy shooters. Rainbow Six series was a mere distraction.

In this baby you play as a team of highly trained, combat-ready soldiers from the fictional Delta company, part of the not-so-fictional 5th Special Forces Group. Google it up, kids. These guys are so good they call themselves Ghosts, as in "I'll kill you, your friends, your family and no one will ever know who did it". When ♥♥♥♥ hits the fan in Georgia (the country), the Ghosts are called in to kick some russian ♥♥♥. Turns out ♥♥♥♥ has hitted the fan way harder than expected, and you get to kill ultranationalists all the way to the heart of Russia itself.

Now, to the gameplay. You liked the strategy system in the Rainbow Six series? All that planing ahead, sending the teams in the exact same moment into a room full of terrorists? Well, ♥♥♥♥ that ♥♥♥♥, that's for ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. Ghosts get to do that in the field, as the moment call for it. Ogranize your team from anywere, anytime, and you're good to go. It feels amazing, the gameplay is quick and action-packed or slow and strategy-full, as you wish. Wanna go in guns blazing? You go get them, champ. Wanna stealth the ♥♥♥♥ out of the stage and kill every living soul before anyone spots you? You got it. Complete all the missions the way you want, you control the whole ♥♥♥♥. And don't forget to keep as many of your guys alive as you can, since they get upgrades and become ungodly soldiers if you get them through ten or so missions.

The engine is the same as the other Rainbow Six's games in the same generation, so don't expect anything out of the ordinary. Graphics are a little outdated, but who cares about graphics anyway? Right guys? Right...? Well, at least I don't. The menus look like ♥♥♥♥ on most screens these days, but the game itself supports high resolutions, so you won't cry tears of blood from watching so many edges and pixelated ♥♥♥♥. Animation on soldiers and vehicles are actually pretty great, even better than your "next-gen" FPSs from nowadays.

Multiplayer is dead, forget about it. It was never good anyways. Trust me, I've played it when it came out and went straight back to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The singleplayer campaing is where this ♥♥♥♥ shines.

All in all, this game often gets crazy cheap on Steam Sales and is worth every cent, including Island Thunder and Desert Siege. If you are not a fifteen years old kid who can't stand ♥♥♥♥♥♥ graphics and hard, thinking-heavy gameplay, you WILL like this game.

Oh, one more thing. There is only one Ghost Recon game, and it is this one. If you ever mention the sequels in front of me, you will be dead to me. That ♥♥♥♥ ain't Ghost Recon.

Gameplay - 10/10
Soundtrack - 10/10
Graphics - 6/10
Content - 8/10
Challenge Level - 9/10
Replayability - 4/10“

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This one sums it up really well. 🙂

„Immersion is a warm gun. Immersion is also crawling on your belly in a guillie suit, for 20 minutes, all the way across an entire map because one shot=one kill and it goes both ways in this game.

I've probably played almost every military shooter out there, across all console and PC titles, all the way up to the most recent Tom Clancy's Wildlands. But this game....

Look, just buy it and both its expansions for dirt cheap, search out the Heroes Unleashed mod on ModDB. which is the 15 year long masterwork of one man, and then find the first and third person view mod on the ghostrecon.net forums which brings the game up to modern FPS speed.

Then enjoy the feeling of tension, the feeling of actually being scared to get shot, or scared that one of your teammates will get gunned down, but also the feeling of victory when your tactical plan comes through and you eliminate all tangos.

You will literally never need another shooter. Ever.„

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Another brilliant one.

„Up until today I hadn’t played this game for over 11 years. I originally had this game on disk with the two expansion packs, Island Thunder and Desert Siege. I had almost forgotten about the game until I saw it on sale today. At first, I was hesitant about buying it, thinking that it would no longer be as good as when I last played it back in 2006. Once I booted it back up for the first time in over a decade, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia from the games menu music, which plastered a big fat smile over my face without me initially realising. I then proceeded to adjust the settings and check the key bindings before finally plunging into the castle quick mission. Considering that its almost 16 years old from the time of writing this review, I was pleasantly surprised with the graphics. Sure, they look dated by today’s standards, but they weren’t nearly half as bad as I was worried they were going to be. 

It took me a short while to get used to its gameplay mechanics, as up until today I had only really been playing the typical bombastic shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, and some of the newer Tom Clancy games *sigh*. I forgot how fun tactical shooters like this were. I wasn’t used to AI that was this good, especially considering it’s from a game made in 2001. All of my previous doubts about replaying this game were washed away like tears in the rain. I wish Ghost Recon games were still like this nowadays, not the dull open world to-do lists that they are now… thanks Ubisoft.

I urge those that haven’t played it in ages like me to do so again, as any lingering doubts you may have about its lasting appeal will vanish once you “scratch another one”. I would also recommend it to those who have never played it before, as long as they are aware that they will be going into an experience unlike typical shooters, where you can kill in one shot, and die in one shot. Oh, and save regularly, there’s nothing more annoying than spending half an hour on a mission, and losing the last member of your squad to an unseen assailant.“

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Nice one.

“Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was the first game I ever played on the PS2.
When I saw this on Steam I was worried my fond (11+ years ago) memories of this game would be ruined. 
The graphics are so pointy and sharp you could cut glass with them and the enemy AI is almost suicidally stupid at points.

Yet despite this, my rose-tinted view was not disappointed, and I am happy to say I still love this game and it is an immensly valuable piece of shooter history. 

The tension scouting and slowly crawling through foliage to sneak up on an enemy position is still incredibly satisfying. The ability to instantly switch between squad members is seamless and it amazes me that more games do not utilise this function. The tactical map is spartan but functional and can be used to co-ordinated squad tactics. 

This game was ahead of its time in so many ways, it correctly predicted the Russian invasion of Georgia 2008 (Although in real life the international community didn't particularly care) it has shooting machanics that make you feel like a cold-blooded, calculating killing machine. 

I wish there were more shooting games that captured the high stakes and suspense that each engagement in this game brings. 

I look forward to playing through it many more times.“

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Another good one.

„This game is a pure nostalgia trip. It takes me back to the days before I'd played a ton of shooters. Back to the times when I didn't really know what Call of Duty was, and my perception of a proper shooter was a title where Lieutenant Colonel Gordon's life was thoroughly and entirely fragile. One bullet has ended dozens of his adversaries, and one bullet may well be all it takes to end him in turn.

Your squad is a persistent unit, like in XCOM. If a trooper dies, they're gone. Sure, you can cheat and reload the save, but where's the fun in that? Better to play the game Ironman-style and see the team through to the end, thick and thin.

I don't have much to say about the actual shooting mechanics. They're serviceable enough. The story? Meh. Frankly those things just aren't what drives the title.

What Ghost Recon has in spades is immersion. You can feel the tension spike as you painstakingly set up your ambush and prepare to give the order for your base of fire element to suppress while you take up the assaulting position. You've thought through the contingencies. You know how this needs to play out: you're outnumbered, sure, but ideally the base of fire element will successfully suppress the enemy while your assaulting force moves through the objective and picks off those who don't survive the initial salvo. If it doesn't play out that way, your team may be outmatched. You need rapid dominance, an almost immediate conclusion to the firefight. And you're convinced you can win.

That's what this title is going for: high stakes, high reward. The thrills aren't cheap. There are no masterfully choreographed set-piece automobile chases or massive explosions to distract you from shallow gameplay loops screaming aim-shoot-kill-repeat. This game rewards calm, collected evaluation of every situation and patient, thorough execution. If you miss a detail, a digital avatar from your squad will die permanently. That's what you're working with in every mission. It's one hell of an experience, and I highly recommend it.“

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They just keep on coming.

“This game is still my favorite hardcore tactical shooter. Nothing has come close to beating it, not even ARMA. Yes, ARMA may have some extra gadgets and a few extra bits of immersion, but GR just has the soul it needs to keep it realistic yet fun and not overly realistic to where you might as well push a button to tie your boots. A recommendation right of the bat before I get to the review: The Heroes Unleashed mod really completes the package and definitely makes it close to real. If you do get this game, definitely download it. 

Close quarters battle is always anxiety inducing and keeps you on your toes. Long range action is always testing your patience, figuring out when to take the best shots. Every action requires planning and you must use your team to win. If you run and gun, you WILL die. Even though the enemies can die in one shot, so can you. Every time your plan succeeds, it's extremely rewarding. Every time a plan fails, it makes you rethink your strategy and figure out what you can do to make sure you do succeed finally. Nearly all the missions have variety to them and will almost always have different objectives (with a few repeats here and there but there is only so much you can do in the realm of possibility with variety)

The multiplayer is surprisingly not dead and there is still a small but ripe community on this game and is actually quite fun to play. Like in the single player, one shot depending on where it hits will kill you. Unfortunately, the game has no natural voice chat. If you can use teamspeak with people, do it. Otherwise, there's a text chat that you can use as well to communicate which gets the job done. There is both Co-Op and competitive multiplayer available so there is something for everyone in this game.

I do have some issues with the game though (which some of these may just be bad luck on my end). First issue is that sometimes the friendly AI won't shoot at enemies or the enemies can sometimes be brain dead. This is uncommon but it does happen. Another issue is that if you restart too much or quick load too much for one mission, the game may crash at the end of the mission and you may have to start that mission all over again (but that may either be bad luck or a mod I'm using so this issue may or may not be subjective). The final issue that I have (which is very minor) is that there is no limit to quick saving. You can quick save as much as you want with no penalty. This might just be a personal gripe, but I try to limit my quick saves as much as possible but hey, everyone is different and might enjoy quick saving all the time. 

All in all, I do feel this game is definitely worth the purchase. It is an extremely challenging and rewarding experience and really gives you a sense of how tough and gritty being in a spec ops team can be. Don't expect god level graphics, but definitely expect fantastic gameplay that will keep you on your toes and keep your brain engaged.“

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“TL;DR Go to last paragraph. 

When I was about seven I was introduced to this game when my mom would play it while my dad was at work. I'd watch and sort of engross myself in the experience with her as she explained her meticulous point selection and how Jacob and Cohen were the best of the game due to their insane amount of grenade launcher ammo. 

Originally I picked up this game for the nostalgia of playing through it and I'm in similar circumstances right now where there's a large amount of time I have to myself at the moment. I know it won't be forever, but I'll explain some of the mechanics that I like about this game and what you need to do to enjoy it. 

1. Save a lot. The missions are not too long in themselves (5min-15min max) however based on difficulty setting, your choice of soldiers and how familiar you are with the maps you're going to be dying a lot. Unlike newer shooters, your soldiers will die with one shot and if you're lucky, 1-2 more. You can save as much as you like and reloading a save doesn't change enemy placement. This is useful for players who want to run a mission methodically and a certain way. 
2. As a suggestion, I'd actually suggest having less people at a time in your first playthrough of the game, regardless of the difficulty. If you go in with the full six at mission one, The major difference between you taking out a target and your ally attempting to will become crystal clear. I guarantee you'll become discouraged after you lose most of your team from not understanding how to utilize them. Furthermore, once you lose someone, that person is gone for good for that campaign run. If you're using less, you'll be more apt to survive. My suggestion is a 3 man team. Once you have that down, you can start adding more people and learning how to employ your troops so they can effectively by themselves. 

With those tips in mind, I can start talking about what the game offers. 

Every mission you complete in campaign mode is a map that is unlocked for 4 modes: Mission, Firefight, Recon, Defend. 

Mission is simply the campaign mission on that map. Firefight is to kill every enemy on the map. Recon is to make it to the extraction point and Defend is to eliminate everyone, but doing so without the enemy reaching the point you spawn in. 

I like the extra game modes because the enemy spawns in at different places and with 16 maps to do it. That's 64 different games to play, and if you get the other two games that act as add-ons (Desert Siege and Island Thunder) That's another 16 maps at your disposal. 

What I personally like about the campaign's story is that it doesn't hold your hand or tries explaining in numb terms what's going on. Every mission you're given a brief summary of events that have happened since your last mission and the situation of whatever crisis you are involved in. It makes me feel like I'm among troops who are cut off from news other than the CO giving our briefs and orders. 
Every mission has three main objectives and, until the final missions, a fourth optional objective that if completed, will give you a specialist. A specialist is a unique character that often has a unique weapon and a more upgraded character. Unlike the usual roster, when a specialist dies, they aren't replaced with someone else. They're dead for that campaign run. Some of these weapons have downright advantages, such as the sniper specialists Ibraham and Galinsky who have semi-autmatic sniper rifles, or Jacob and Cohen's six-round grenade launcher. On top of unlocking them for the campaign, the specialist and weapons will also be unlocked for every soldier on Quick-Mission for any of the four modes. 

To sum up, I know I've basically be incoherently babbling for most of this, but what I need to say is that its not like shooters out today and actions matter in this game. Consequences are felt and you aren't babied like many of the games today. It's unbelievable to think Wildlands comes from this, and often I don't know if that's a good thing. This is a methodical shooter where your decisions hold weight. You'll want to keep playing to get those perfect runs. If you absolutely need the game to show your weapon on your screen and for it to be more realistic, there's actually a mod people made for it that you can find in these reviews, but regardless this is a game where you'll appreciate the time you put into it.“

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Short but to the point.

“The best tactical shooter in the history of video games. If you like tactical gameplay, you will like this game. 

Great AI, great weapon mechanics. Every mission feels like a mini roguelike, with permadeath and risk vs reward plays.

Too bad the lootbox ridden ADHD insta-respawn multiplayer focused babymode FPS games are now the norm in the triple A industry. This is the real gamer's game.“

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This one hits me

My childhood... my first tactical shooter... Holy ♥♥♥♥... I remember playing this game for the first time as a kid, I think I was like 12, and while I had played shooters quite a bit and was familiar with Medal of Honor, Unreal Tournament and the like.. this game completely blew me away. I had never played a tactical realistic shooter before and how obscenely different this game played from all the shooters I was comfortable with left an impression on me to this day, and that was just the campaign with AI..which wasnt even bad. The struggle of making sure everyone in your squad stays alive lol. The AI would stalk you quietly, flank you, rush you, or even just camp a corner waiting for you to ♥♥♥♥ up. Things got way more hella serious when I played online against other people though... RIP Tom Clancy. They dont make games like they used to.

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Another nice one.

”GREAT tactical game! I don't play multiplayer but this is a solid combination of almost zen-like suspense and rapid fire action. The graphics are a touch dated but not through lack of artistry. It looks real enough to be effective and little touches like camo patterns changing between missions are appreciated.

There is no FPS weapon model which was a little off-putting but I came to appreciate more of the screen open to see. This game is unforgiving but fair. You can lose a soldier to a single bullet but so can the enemy.

AI is pretty impressive, especially for the time! Teammates can handle most situations very intelligently and I've seen enemies duck down under fire, run away to a better position, and follow gunshot noise to hone in on your squad.

Each mission is set in a pretty large area but this is advantageous for your snipers and to set up ambushes. Mission objectives are varied and I immersive: rescue hostages, blow up assets, capture and escort enemies, even hold off a tank convoy.

This is a nice blend of realism and arcade fun. Teammates improve with each successful mission, I haven't had any crashes, you can save at any time and the game allows you to replay previous levels and play quick missions just to have fun in random maps hunting down soldiers. I've heard great things about the multiplayer too, but it holds up great as a single player game!

If you like cautious deployment, a sense of progression, military immersion and don't mind a few jagged textures this is a fine choice.“

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“Ghost Recon (as well its expansions Desert Siege & Island Thunder, and stunning mods like Heroes Unleashed) is and remains the definitive tactical realism game. Ghost Recon not only defined the genre, it has game design and features not offered or surpassed in tactical realism games before or since, and remains the high watermark for 'tactical realism' -- that is game designed and intended to require you to use realistic squad maneuver fire tactics like (but not limited to): bounding, flanking, fire-support, suppression, cover, fall-back, stealth and concealment. 

Ghost Recon also offers features that confront you with realistically equipping your squad for each mission, gives you high granularity control over real-time squad maneuver, fire control (you can and will run out of ammunition if you exercise some fire discipline), and position -- and that's just the briefest sketch of a few of the high points of some of what this game has on offer.

Ghost Recon was a 'big ideas' game, with some of the most detailed and exhaustive research in military science and consultancy rolled into game design, stretched the technology of its time to the limit, remains compelling, playable, and most importantly: FUN to this day. Just one example of the attention given to this game's design; Ghost Recon is the only game that has made any attempts to deal with technology limitations of 2D rendered 3D on pixel displays with features like its 'Ghost Perspective' and has yet be surpassed *. 

An example of some of what is offered here; one of my favorite game modes (there are also more of these then any TR game has offered since) has has also never appeared in any other game since is COOP squad support where each COOP player has a full squad of AI backup, if you die, you 'ghost in' as one of your AI players and can continue playing in that role till the objective is achieved or your squad is wiped out. What's compelling about this mode is you can perform as two independent, or coordinated infantry squads or what ever emergent combination of coordinated and independent action develops; as one recons and helps the other either deliberately or by just taking that approach, where the other heads more directly for objectives. This often results in spectacular emergent game play where you may need to rescue a pinned down and trapped squad, or hold a position or suppress a path for the other squad.

Ghost Recon also has one of the most elegant mod support systems, nearly a petabyte of mod content (which is even more enormous when you consider the relatively low resolution of the assets by today's standards), excellent mod tools and support, and a community of fans and mod developers that is still active nearly twenty years later.

Lastly the AI in this game are some of the most realistic you'll encounter, they: bound, flank, suppress, cover, fall-back, snipe, use stealth, prone, lean, use cover and concealment -- and it's not a zombie hoard of AI challenging you, but skilled operators that approach you as a realistic problem, with realistic tactics, and will nail your ♥♥♥ to the map if you don't take the the same approach and do it better. This is a game, back from the day when dressing up your combat Barbie was not 'a thing', when a game wasn't fun if it was easy, and appealing to the widest audience or political correctness was not a concern -- a realistic portrayal of tactics was.

* Many may not realize that FPS games even rendered on 4K displays force range of engagement to unrealistically close ranges, and grossly skew or even obviate realistic tactics because you can not see a player model at even a small fraction of real world naked eye distance before he becomes a pixel blob you can't discern from the terrain -- 4k has brought us closer, but we'll need another order of magnitude to get to what Red Storm managed with the Ghost Perspective and the deep zoom feature of Ghost Recon. So if you're still playing at more common resolution, this will be a first for you in more realistic ranged combat.“

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  • 2 weeks later...


“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.”

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  • 3 weeks later...


“ This is the sort of game where skimming real world manuals on guerilla warfare or small-unit infantry tactics can actually be applied effectively in-game. I had to defend a railway bridge and checkpoint from an advancing armored/infantry combined arms unit; after getting my @$$ rocked over and over again, I finally had the idea to split my maximum six soldiers into three teams of two with one machine gun team sitting in a bush waiting for them to get close. The other team was a sniper team on the east side of the bridge, and my demo team on the west. I waited for the enemy to get in real close and let the gunners open fire while my sniper team started attacking their rear guards. Playing as the demo guys, I took out the tanks. Didn't lose anyone. This is an absolutely unforgiving game, even after that sort of thing finally clicks, and a game like GR1 couldn't properly be made today. A must-play.“

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