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September 29, 2004
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/11/2004UbiSoftUbiSoft Shanghai1-16 $99.95

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Some gorgeous graphics.
Tom Clancy games have earned a reputation as being among the most realistic military simulations on the market, and with good reason. The PC games are well respected and while the console versions have been dumbed down to cater for a younger and more casual market they still retain the same feel as their PC counterparts. Ghost Recon 2 is, unsurprisingly, the sequel to Ghost Recon the hit game which has sold over 4.5 million units to date. But let's start with the storyline for this sequel...

In the wake of one of North Korea's worst famines, an insidious North Korean general influences the government to secretly divert humanitarian aid to beef up its army, slowly gaining power in the process.

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Firing at the tank.
Fearful that North Korea is amassing huge quantities of military weapons, the new Chinese regime eliminates arms sales to North Korea. In response, the North Korean government initiates secret overtures to Russia, who strikes a quiet alliance. In the midst of another North Korean famine, food riots begin rocking the countryside, and the rogue North Korean general assumes complete control of the army. Blaming China for the famine, he begins charging north to seize Chinese territory with tacit support from its new Russian ally.

China moves to respond, but limits the level of escalation, fearing open conflict with Russia and a possible nuclear exchange. Instead, China officially agrees to a multinational force to safeguard the China-North Korean border. Unofficially, the Ghosts and other special forces go in. Their mission: cripple the North Korean threat and depose the rogue general.

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Enemies approaching.
Interact with and fight alongside new characters to the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon world - each with his or her own look, personality, and specialization. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 unveils a brand-new camera view to the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon world. The OTS (over-the-shoulder) view allows players to see their characters and weapons, and to watch their characters react to surrounding mortar, gunfire, and airstrikes. Players can also communicate with teammates via hand signals to silently trap enemies.

Although this game is being released on both Playstation 2 and XBox, and both named as Ghost Recon 2 both games will be entirely different. Ghost Recon 2 occurs four years before and acts as a prequel to the Xbox version. Being build entirely from the ground up the Playstation 2 game is being developed at UbiSoft Shanghai rather then Red Storm Entertainment where the XBox and PC versions are in development. Fear not however as UbiSoft Shanghai is very experience with the PS2 having worked on the Splinter Cell games.

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The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.
This game will include online gameplay for up to 16 players on PS2 (and XBox) which, given the lack of miliary/action titles this year will be welcomed by online gamers starving for some more realistic action. As yet few other details are known, such as number of players. The PS2 online game is being developed by a separate 30+ man team in Paris in addition to the studio in Shanghai.

Ghost Recon 2 is actually built on the Unreal engine (as opposed to the proprietary Ghost Recon engine used by Red Storm Entertainment) and includes next-generation technology such as dynamic lighting, multi-texturing, and ragdoll physics. The physics engine is based on Havok, a rarity in PlayStation 2 games - and regarded as one of the best in the industry.

With a release set for late November there isn't too much longer to wait for this game, and it's shaping up as a good one. Keep an eye out for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2.