Throughout the development process, Ubisoft was making a very big deal of the fact that Ghost Recon 2 for the PlayStation 2 was not in any way going to be a port of the Xbox version. While that sounded all well and good, since all too often a port from the Xbox to PS2 ends up creating a very watered down game, in the case of GR 2, it was definitely not a good thing. While Ghost Recon 2 for Xbox wasn’t the most perfect of games, it was still enjoyable, whereas GR 2 for the PlayStation 2 is, quite frankly, barely playable and not even worth a rental.
From gameplay to presentation, this game is a letdown. If you’ve ever played some of Ubi’s better PS2 efforts such as Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six 3, then you’re sure to be unhappy with this game. First off, there’s the presentation. The graphics are muddy, choppy and grainy, and at times, so dark you can’t even see what’s going on. The character models, which are smooth and fairly polished, aren’t enough to save the game’s overall muddy palette.
The audio’s not much better than the visuals, with only so-so voice acting and mountains of clichéd dialog being bandied about. It lacks real oomph, and as such, there’s no feeling of immersion.
When Ubisoft decided to overhaul the gameplay in Ghost Recon 2 for both Xbox and PS2, the first thing they did was pull the game out of its tight and realistic first person view and put gamers in a looser, more open third-person perspective. While this makes it easier to see what’s going on, it lessens the realism significantly. But you need this third person perspective, as the opposition apparently has night vision, X-ray vision and the ability to shoot through solid objects. That’s right, the AI is completely unbalanced, to the point of extreme unfairness. There’s nothing worse than being shot at by an opponent that’s nowhere to be seen, and then realizing he’s firing at you from inside a building with no windows! And when you die, it’s pure torture waiting for the level to reload. Since you can’t save mid-level, whenever you die, you’ll wait forever and a day for the round to reload.
While the squad command system for GR 2 has been tuned to make it more accessible, the elementary AI of your teammates makes you wish they were all dead. Team members will sometimes ignore orders or get stuck behind objects.
Online gameplay, which is the cornerstone of almost all the Tom Clancy games on both consoles, is decidedly un-fun. It’s laggy, and lacks enough game types to keep anyone interested for long.
Unlike the other Tom Clancy titles for PlayStation 2, which were absolute gems, Ghost Recon 2 is an almost abysmal effort. It’s hard to believe Ubisoft published this game, let alone green-lighted it for final production in the shape it’s in. If you really need tactical team action, go grab SOCOM II, or play the Xbox version of GR 2.
- Gameplay: 5
- All-seeing, all-knowing AI and dumb teammates make for unenjoyable gameplay
- Graphics: 6
- Good character models mucked up by muddy colors and so-so textures
- Sound: 6
- Generic voice-acting, ok sound effects
- Replay: 5
- Single player isn’t much fun to play, and the online play isn’t terribly interesting
- Overall: 5.9
- Go grab SOCOM II
— Craig Falstaff