Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (video game)
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|Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon|
North American cover art
|Developer(s)||Red Storm Entertainment|
|Distribution||PC: CD (1)|
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (also known as simply Ghost Recon) is a tactical shooter video game developed by Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft subsidiary, and published by Ubisoft in 2001 for Microsoft Windows. It was ported to Mac OS, PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2002 and to the Nintendo GameCube in 2003. Ports for N-Gage and Game Boy Advance were planned, but later canceled.
Unlike Clancy's other tactical shooter series, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon is not based on any of his books.
Ghost Recon puts the player in charge of the eponymous Ghosts, a fictional squad of United States Army Special Forces soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. They are organized into three fireteams named using the NATO phonetic alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, with space for three soldiers per team (the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions do not have a Charlie team available). However, only six soldiers can be selected per mission. The player enjoys limited tactical control on the battlefield by issuing maneuver commands and rules of engagement for each fireteam through a command map.
The soldiers themselves are organized into four different character classes. Every class can carry a primary and secondary weapon, which are organized into "kits". Even though the primary weapon remains the same in all the kits (being defined by the soldier class — see below), there is a variety of equipment to be chosen as the secondary weapon.
- Rifleman: The predominant soldier class in the game, riflemen can use a variety of different weapon kits. Their primary weapon is the M16 assault rifle. Secondaries include the M203 grenade launcher, the M9 pistol, spare magazines, or a pair of binoculars (in later versions these were replaced with deployable sensors, since binoculars were supplied to all Ghosts).
- Support: Support soldiers provide a high volume of suppressive fire with the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. As the soldier is equipped for short range, he also carries more armor. In addition to the machine gun, the support class may also carry the M9 (suppressed), M67 fragmentation grenades, or additional magazines.
- Demolitions ("Demo"): Demolitions personnel are specialists in destroying large structures and can serve in the anti-tank role. Their primary weapon is the M4 carbine. This soldier can also be equipped with demolition charges, grenades, extra magazines, Claymore mines, or the M136 AT4 anti-tank missile.
- Sniper: Distinguishable by their ghillie suits, the sniper can provide fire support over long ranges while hidden. Primarily equipped with the U.S. Army's M24 rifle, they can also be equipped with the standard and silenced M9, extra magazines or grenades.
For every completed mission in the single-player campaign, each soldier that survives gains one Combat Point to upgrade their attributes. There are four basic categories of skill:
- Weapon: affects the accuracy and aiming of the weapon; the reticule will close faster and tighter as more points are added.
- Stealth: enhances the ability of the soldier to remain undetected and reduces noise generated by the soldier moving.
- Endurance: improves recovery time when taking hits, increases the soldier's ability to survive a wound and reduces the effect of heavy equipment on speed.
- Leadership: for every three points of skill, all other soldiers in the same fireteam gain an extra point to each of their statistics. The bonus can only apply if the soldier with the high leadership skill is the fireteam's point man.
The player also unlocks "specialists" from NATO or allied countries by completing extra mission objectives. The specialists are more experienced than the Ghosts and have more Combat Points, making them an essential part of the team. They are also equipped with weapons not available to standard soldiers. Two specialists are armed with the Objective Individual Combat Weapon, as part of field tests and implementation of the U.S. Army's Land Warrior program. The specialist corps includes three women, who are the only female combatants in the game.
The game is played entirely from the first-person perspective. A heads-up display relays information such as the name of the soldier the player is controlling, the soldier's assigned fireteam, weapon and ammo counter, a threat indicator, the targeting reticule, health status, and a stance indicator (to show whether the character is standing, crouched, or prone).
Bullets will not penetrate most objects, but they will break glass. Explosives or heavy gunfire can be used to destroy wooden doors, and (in the case of explosives) potentially kill anyone within the blast radius on the other side. Depending on a target's armor, it is generally possible to neutralize a threat with one or two well-placed shots.
If a soldier is rendered "out of action" during a mission, he or she is considered to be dead, and not available for the rest of the campaign. Wounded soldiers who survive a mission will remain wounded unless they are replaced with a healthy soldier for the next mission.
In April 2008, civil unrest in Russia leads to the rise of an ultranationalist regime that comes to power in Moscow, placing its leader, Dmitri Arbatov, as president. The ultranationalists form the Russian Democratic Union (RDU) and conquer Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, with eyes set on other former Soviet republics, namely Georgia.[N 1]
Meanwhile, the Ghosts, an elite group of United States Army Special Forces soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, are operating in the Caucasus Mountains, battling rebels who are harassing the Georgian government and their allies. The presence of the Ghosts causes the new RDU government to complain to the United Nations that the Americans have interfered in their internal affairs, quickly sending in the Russian Ground Forces to aid the rebels. The Ghosts slow down the invading RDU forces while foreign civilians evacuate the country. Eventually, the Ghosts are all that's left of American forces in Georgia and take the last helicopter ride out of the American Embassy in T'bilisi, being extracted via a U.S. Navy Seahawk to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), just as invading RDU forces enter the embassy complex. The Georgian government flees to Geneva, Switzerland and sets up a government-in-exile while the RDU assimilates Georgia, an act publicly condemned by the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The Ghosts are soon deployed to the Baltic states in response to an RDU invasion launched three days ahead of intelligence estimates. Now, the Ghosts attempt to slow down the RDU invasion to buy time for the rest of allied NATO units to arrive in force, with the closest of them coming from neighboring Germany. The Ghosts fight alongside regular U.S. Army elements to push RDU forces out of the Baltics, with victories in Rēzekne, Latvia, Utena, Lithuania, and Vilnius, Lithuania. The Baltics invasion proves disastrous for Russia and takes its toll on the RDU government, with President Arbatov largely blamed for the disaster and put under house arrest.
Now, the Ghosts have entered into Russia, with their first mission being to infiltrate a prison camp and free American POWs, along with Russian political prisoners opposed to the RDU government. The RDU executes President Arbatov in a military coup which sparks a nationwide rebellion bordering on civil war. The ultra-nationalists quickly lose public support and many members of the RDU government defect and quit the alliance. The Ghosts later attack several RDU bases such as a naval base at Murmansk and an airbase at Arkhangel'sk, weakening the ultranationalists' combat power. The RDU forces attract strong international condemnation and practically dissolve after they detonate a nuclear weapon during a battle north of Moscow between the ultranationalists and a joint force of American and rebelling Russian combat units.
The actions of the Ghosts succeed in weakening the RDU ultranationalists, and NATO forces enter Moscow with the Ghosts spearheading the allied assault. The remaining RDU ultranationalist forces marshal whatever armor and infantry they can in the wooded areas surrounding Moscow as a last line of defense. Despite all the efforts of the RDU, the Ghosts break through the lines and clear a path for the bulk of the NATO forces. On November 10, 2008, NATO forces finally reach a deserted Moscow, with the last RDU ultranationalist holdouts, led by newly-installed Prime Minister Karpin, holed up inside the Kremlin. After a final assault by the Ghosts in Moscow's Red Square, the RDU ultranationalists surrender and the Americans and the newly-liberated Russians celebrate their victory.
Ghost Recon: Desert Siege is a 2002 expansion pack, released for Microsoft Windows as a separate purchase and can be unlocked as a new campaign in the PS2 version of Ghost Recon. It is also bundled with the Mac port. The expansion pack adds 2 new multiplayer game types (Domination and Siege), 5 new multiplayer maps, new weapons for use in multiplayer, and an eight-mission single player campaign, which also unlocks a new specialist soldier (Jodit Haile). In the PS2 version, players who start Desert Siege by finishing the Ghost Recon campaign first will also retain the soldiers they used in the campaign, including their statistics.
Ghost Recon: Island Thunder was released in late 2002 as an expansion pack for Microsoft Windows ,and as a standalone game for Xbox. It contains eight new single player missions, 12 new weapons, 5 new dedicated multiplayer maps, 3 new multiplayer modes (Cat and Mouse, Defend, and Behemoth). On the Xbox, Island Thunder features five additional missions and twelve multiplayer maps.
Island Thunder was never released for PS2, but its content was combined with eight new single-player missions set in Colombia and additional multiplayer maps and released under the title Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm in 2004.
In addition to the official expansion packs, the very active Ghost Recon modding scene (over 1,000 mods have been published as of January 2013) has produced a large number of unofficial expansions packs for PC. Free expansions like Frostbite, CENTCOM, Heroes Unleashed, and Year of the Monkey (among others) have gained huge popularity, with download counts in the hundreds of thousands.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was named Best Game of the Year in 2001 by both IGN and PC Gamer, as well as receiving the Best Sound award from PC Gamer magazine. Ghost Recon was a runner-up in IGN's "Best Action Game 2001" and "Best Use Of Sound" ("Reader's Choice"). Wargamer gave it three bronze awards in "Game of the Year", awarded Red Storm with "Game Developer of the Year", and gave "Game Publisher of the Year" to Ubisoft.
Minimum PC requirements
- Windows 2000 or better
- Pentium II 450 MHz processor
- 128 MB of RAM
- DirectX 8.0 or higher (included on CD) (must have compatible sound card)
- 16 MB VRAM 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 8.0
- 1 GB hard drive space
- 4X CD-ROM
- Internet/network with TCP/IP connection at 28.8 kbit/s
Minimum Mac requirements
- Mac OS X or Mac OS 9 or higher
- PowerPC G3 processor or higher
- 256 MB of memory (128 MB if using Mac OS 9)
- ATI Technologies Rage 128 graphics card with 16 MB VRAM or better
- 1 GB of hard disk space
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Tech Info". Gamespot. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Q&A". Gamespot. 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Release Information for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Release Information for Macintosh". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Release Information for Xbox". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Release Information for PlayStation 2". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Release Information for Gamecube". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- Joe Keiser (2012-01-17). "The History of Tom Clancy Games". ign.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Prof. Rune Klevier, Dept. of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway (2006-10-16). "The Way of the Gun". University of Bergen, Norway. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- GhostRecon.net (2013-01-01). "Ghost Recon Downloads". GhostRecon.net. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- moddb.com (2013-01-01). "Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed". moddb.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Business Wire (2002-02-13). "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wins Game of the Year". Gale Group, a Thomson Corporation Company. Retrieved 2002-02-13.
- Co-incidentally, Russia militarily intervened in Georgia in 2008, albeit under different circumstances.
- Official Ghost Recon website
- Red Storm Entertainment
- Ubisoft Entertainment
- GhostRecon.net - World's Largest Ghost Recon Fan Community Site
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon at MobyGames
- Ghost Recon Wiki