Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Cover Image

What is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon?

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, as a tactical shooter videogame. Published by Ubisoft in 2001, it represents an important milestone for the company and developed a cult following. The game was so popular that spawned several sequels and the latest release was unveiled in the first quarter of 2017. Initially available only on Microsoft Windows, the game was ported to consoles where it enjoyed the same popularity. Many regard the game as one of the best tactical shooters ever.

Key facts about Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is just as exciting to play on PCs and consoles.
  • The videogame revolutionized the tactical shooter genre and represents a milestone for Ubisoft.
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon has a competent narrative, but shines the brightest in multiplayer.
  • In the wake of its release, the game had AI and pathfinding issues that were fixed in patches.
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon has several game modes and can be played cooperatively.

Gameplay of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon gameplay was truly original at the time the game was released. Even though players enjoy limited tactical control, they have other ways of issuing orders on the battlefield. There are a total of four different character classes and each of them carries two types of weapons. The primary guns remain the same, but players can change the secondary weapon depending on their objectives.

At the cornerstone of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon gameplay is the riflemen, the dominant soldier, equipped with assault rifles. Grenade launchers and pistols make him leave them on the battlefield, but he is well versed in the art of spotting opponents. Support soldiers are a better choice for providing suppressive fire and can also carry additional magazines. This makes them invaluable when it comes down to longer fights that require a strong presence on the battlefield.

Demolitions personnel are in charge with bringing down large structures and taking out armored vehicles. Their arsenal consists of grenades, additional magazines, demolition charges and antitank rockets. Last but definitely not least, players control snipers on the battlefield to take out enemies from a distance. These are perfect for silencing their victims and leave no trace, so they work nicely in stealth missions.

Players are advised to use diverse weapons to inflict maximum damage and to incapacitate opponents. Stealth plays an important role, with many missions requiring players to stay off the traveled paths and act from the shadows. Another ability that can be enhanced is endurance which decreases the recovery time when players take direct hits. Leadership is also an important quality, as it allows players to better control their companions on the field.

Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Road Fight

Team play is essential in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

Individual soldiers can only do that much and team-play is required to complete the single player campaign. Players also have the option of unlocking specialists from NATO and other allied countries. This makes the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon gameplay even more complex and exciting. The specialists wield different weapons and have unique abilities and they also include winning combatants.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is played from first-person perspective and players can use the heads-up display to gather information. This will help them assign five teams, issue orders and make tactical decisions on the battlefield. Taking advantage of the environment is mandatory and players need to learn the limitations of their equipment. For example, bullets can be used to break glass and kill enemies from outside, but they won’t go through most objects.

To take down fortified positions players use the explosives and satchels carried around by the demolition team. This is where the importance of assembling the right squad becomes self evident. In many cases, players will feel that this is a trial and error process, as they learn from their mistakes. There are plenty of things to understand, such as the manner in which the armor of various opponents works. Players who die in a mission will not be available throughout the campaign and move ones can be replaced.

Plot of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

The Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon plot begins with a dictatorial regime taking control of Russian government. Those in charge decided to install Dmitri Arbatov as president and then Russia occupies Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine. This is the basic plot from which the single player campaign starts and action is set in April 2008. The US sends "Ghost" soldiers into battle, but they run into steep opposition and can only slow down the Russian advance.

Screenshot of Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Urban Warfare
Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Urban Warfare

Other US forces in Georgia try to resist but they are eventually wiped out in a coordinated sequence of attacks. Once the entire country succumbs into chaos, the Georgian government goes into exile and the Ghosts are reassigned to the Baltic States. Soon after, the Russian army invades, but it is eventually pushed back and President Arbatov is blamed for the setback. He’s executed by the military and the country plunges into chaos, which prompts the Ghosts to infiltrate rushed to save POWs.

Civil war begins and the ultranationalists lose support, while facing increasing pressure from Russian military and US special ops. In a last-ditch attempt to salvage their position, they detonate a nuclear weapon close to Moscow. This isn’t enough to reverse the trend and the Ghosts push deep inside the motherland. The last chapter of the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon plot takes them to the Red Square.

Development of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon spent a lot of time in development, as Red Storm Entertainment wanted everything to be perfect. The results exceeded expectations and the game was so good that it didn’t require any updates. In the wake of its successful release for PCs, the developers started work on the console variants. Now the game can be played on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, by those who still own these devices. Ubisoft was impressed by the success of the game and started work on other titles under the same brand. None of the sequels enjoyed the same critical acclaim, but still sold well by any standards.

Where can I download Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon?

Red Storm Entertainment was the developer for the game and also a subsidiary of Ubisoft. That’s why it comes as no surprise that those who want to download Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon can find it on the website of the parent company. Here you can acquire all the other games in the series, to get a better sense of the franchise. The latest game released goes by the name of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and hit the stores in March 2017.

Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Taking Aim
Screenshot of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Taking Aim

Ubisoft is among the most accomplished videogame developers and publishers. Once players land on their website, they are likely to find many other gems worth a shot. First and third person shooters are guaranteed to keep players at the edge of their seats for a long while. Tom Clancy’s The Division, For Honor, Watch Dogs 2, The Crew and Assassin’s Creed Unity should feature on that list.

What are others saying about Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon?

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but a few publications criticized the game. Looking back, it’s obvious that this videogame was a huge hit and served as a source of inspiration for other classic titles. Named the best game of the year in 2001, it won many awards for its visuals, narrative and sound effects. It convinced developers that it’s worth working on a sequel and eventually spawned an entire franchise. No other game in the series managed to outshine the original, but kept the interest intact and brought in more players.

My rating of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

I played Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon on PC, but I got the chance to see how it performs on consoles. For a game released more than a decade ago, it made the transition very well and it was enjoyable on Xbox and PlayStation 2. Personally, I didn’t mind the idea of trading some control in exchange of getting a better view of the broad picture. This game makes you feel like you are in charge and there’s an overwhelming feeling that every decision matters.

Compared to the other games in the series, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is probably the best and definitely the most original. The 2017 release has the advantage of stellar graphics and flowing animations. Having said this, it’s important to remember where it all started and to acknowledge the merit of this gem. After all this time, I’m confident that you’ll enjoy playing the game and that you’ll agree with my 8.5/10 score.