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Nintendo Wii Review: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

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Tom Clancy titles are one of the more popular brands in the video game market today. Unfortunately the Nintendo Wii has been left in the dark for most of the proceedings, since titles tend to hit on the 360 and the PS3. Ghost Recon has finally made the jump, however.

Is the franchise’s Wii debut something to celebrate? Or is it an example of why the Wii wasn’t supported in the first place?

Let’s get one thing straight out of the way: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon for the Wii is an on-rails shooter. It’s a militaristic, Clancy-themed version of Time Crisis. It’s just a shame that the game and genre it attempts to emulate is far better than the final product here. There’s hardly a hint of originality to Ghost Recon and for Clancy fans looking for the next thing, know that it’s Clancy in name only.

The story takes place ever-so-slightly into the future, as most Clancy games do. Players are a part of an elite military squad charged with taking down Russian terrorists. Really the plot is a mishmash of other Clancy games and it’s dry as heck. It’s neither interesting nor dramatic, and to be perfectly honest the story is a dry backdrop for boring gameplay. The two don’t exactly make for good bedfellows.

Ghost Recon‘s action is best served up with the Wii-Zapper, so players looking to get the most out of the experience will want to be sure they have one before signing up for this title. The other control set-up works, but it doesn’t feel as fluid or convenient. Then again Wii owners who have tried other rail shooters on the console undoubtedly know this already.

The basic structure in Recon ushers players through one mission after another. These missions are broken down into sections and in each section players are given some freedom of mobility in the sense that they can point a reticule at the screen and move their characters from cover to cover. Once in position events are triggered that cause enemies to come out of the woodwork and using the motion controls players simply shoot. It’s not rocket science.

The unfortunate side effect of Ghost Recon is that the gameplay is just plain boring. Without freedom to move around the environment, as in the other versions of the game, the tension is lost. The experience feels shallow as a result and anyone looking for a thrilling shooter will be sorely disappointed. Still, there are a few solid gunfights peppered throughout the game and these stand out as highlights.

Variety in terms of what’s offered for gameplay is lacking at best. Different weapons are selectable and enemies come at you in various styles, but for the most part everything here is the same. It’s a bland by the numbers gameplay model that could have been something special if just a little extra effort was put forth. The game isn’t incredibly long, the addition of co-op doesn’t really help matters, and the arcade mode is fun only for a short while.

Ultimately Ghost Recon for the Wii is a title that only fans of Time Crisis or the like will want to rent. Clancy fans can pass and anyone hoping for a great shooter for the Wii will want to keep looking.

After experiencing the franchise on the Xbox 360 and PS3, Ghost Recon for the Wii comes up short; very short in terms of visuals. The graphics are poorly textured, the animation is sometimes choppy, and effects, such as explosions, leave a lot to be desired. The look of the game simply doesn’t impress as much as fans of the franchise would hope, and even by the standards of a rail shooter on the Wii it leaves much to be desired.

Likewise the audio is a mixed bag. Some of the dialogue is painful to listen to and the soundtrack isn’t memorable in the least. Sound effects are more or less spot on, but don’t expect an engrossing experience that draws you in by any means.

Ghost Recon for the Wii simply doesn’t deserve to be lumped into the same category as other Clancy titles. Fans looking for a realistic military shooter are going to find a vanilla gameplay experience that doesn’t push the envelope by any means. It’s a disappointment as a shooter and merely mediocre as a rail game. I’d say fans of the genre could get by with a rental, but this one has budget release written all over it.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Violence.

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