Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (also known as simply Ghost Recon) is a video game in the tactical shooter genre, inspired by the work of Tom Clancy. It was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft subsidiary, and published by Ubisoft in 2001 for the PC; it was later ported to the Mac in 2002, and then later to the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube in 2003. Unlike most games with the Tom Clancy name, Ghost Recon is not based on any of his books.
Ghost Recon puts the player in charge of a fictitious, newly conceived squad of U.S. Special Forces operators from Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG) stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Except for the 5th SFG designation, this unit is entirely fictional. They are sometimes referred to as the Ghosts. Their role is not unlike other real world Special Operations Forces, in that their operations are kept highly classified.
The Ghosts are organized into three fireteams named using the NATO phonetic alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, with a maximum of three soldiers per team. However, since the player can only assign a total of six men in a single player mission, it is not uncommon for one of the fireteams to be disregarded, depending on the preference of the player. The player enjoys limited tactical control on the battlefield environment, and can issue maneuver commands as well as rules of engagement for each of the fireteams.
In the standard game, the soldiers themselves are organized into four different distinct roles (or classes):
- The Rifleman: This class provides the majority of the selection pool of personnel that the player has to choose from. He can use a variety of different weapons and equipment (or kits). Main weapon systems include the M16 A2 assault rifle (with an optional M203 40mm grenade launcher); the Beretta M9 9mm sidearm (also available as a silenced weapon), adopted for military use from the civilian Beretta 92FS; M67 Fragmentation Grenades; or an M18 Claymore antipersonnel mine.
- The Support Class: This role is to provide a high volume of suppressive firepower with the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). In addition to a machine gun, the support class may also carry the Beretta M9 (silenced or not), M67 Fragmentation Grenade, and other systems.
- The Demolitions Expert (or simply demo expert): Although the name is self-explanatory, this class also serves in the anti-tank role. His primary weapon is an M4 Carbine, a more streamlined cousin of the M16 assault rifle. This soldier can also be equipped with demolition charges (explosives), the M67 Fragmentation Grenade, the M18 Claymore antipersonnel mine, or the M136 AT4 light anti-tank weapon.
- The Sniper: Everyone's favorite, this class is complete with a camouflaged Ghillie suit, and the U.S. Army's M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS), also camouflaged. The sniper may be equipped with the sidearm or the M67 Fragmentation Grenades. Unlike the other soldiers, the sniper can not rely on sheer firepower to overcome his enemies, should he ever get involved in a direct firefight. The sniper relies on cover and concealment, and his ability to move stealthily. Although a deadly advantage on maps with longer ranges (such as some of those found in the expansion pack Desert Siege), the sniper is to be used wisely if the player intends on keeping him. Reinforcement from the rest of the team should never be too far behind when deploying the sniper in a combat situation.
As the player progresses through the single player campaign, his soldiers gain Combat Points to add to the skill level and effectiveness of the individual men. There are four basic categories of skill:
- The Weapon Skill: This category affects the accuracy and aiming of the weapon; the reticule will close faster and tighter as more points are added to this skill.
- The Stealth Skill: This enhances the ability of the soldier to remain undetected by enemy forces, and possibly reduce noise generated by the soldier moving.
- The Endurance Skill: This improves recovery time when taking hits, and possibly affects speed.
- The Leadership Skill: For every two points of skill, surrounding soldiers gain an extra one to each of their stats.
The player also unlocks "specialists" from NATO or allied countries by completing special mission objectives. The specialists are more experienced than the Ghosts and have more Combat Points, making them an essential addition to the team. They are equipped with weapons from their homeland. One of them, in particular, is armed with the infamous Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), as part of field tests and implementation of the U.S. Army's Land Warrior program.
The format of the game may seem somewhat odd and unfamiliar to those who have not played other Tom Clancy games. It's played entirely from the first person perspective, and there are no in-game weapon models. A Heads-Up Display relays information such as the name of the soldier you are controlling, their fireteam, weapon and ammo inventory, a threat indicator (similar to the heartbeat sensor made popular in Rainbow Six), health status, and a stance indicator (whether the character is standing, crouched, or prone). It is possible to get a limp in this game from being shot in the leg. Weapon characteristics and ballistics seem to be a bit off from their real-life counterparts. For example, bullets will not penetrate dry wall, but they will break glass. A grenade launched from a grenade launcher will blow a door apart, and kill anyone within the blast radius on the other side. Against humans, it is a different story. Depending on the armor on your target, it is possible to neutralize a threat with one or two well-placed shots. Silencers are accurately portrayed, with a slight degradation in bullet performance and subtle differences in the accuracy at longer ranges.
Ghost Recon has both single player and multiplayer modes of play. Up to 36 players are supported in the PC version's multiplayer over an Internet (TCP/IP) connection or LAN. Unlike other games, you cannot control vehicles or pilot aircraft in multiplayer games.
Expansion packs and related games
Ghost Recon: Desert Siege is an expansion pack that debuted in 2003; available for the PC as a separate purchase, and bundled with the Mac port. Ghost Recon: Island Thunder was released later in 2003 as an expansion pack for PC, and as a standalone game for Xbox. It contained eight new missions; on Xbox, there were five additional missions and twelve multiplayer maps; on PC, there were five new dedicated multiplayer maps. Island Thunder was never released for PS2, but its content was combined with eight new single-player missions set in Columbia and additional multiplayer maps and released under the title Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm. There are also many unofficial mods available for the PC releases.
Ghost Recon begins in 2008, with civil unrest in Russia. Ultra-nationalists have seized power in Moscow, with plans to rebuild the Iron Curtain. Their first step is clandestine support of rebel factions in Georgia and the Baltic States. This is where the Ghosts come in: to silence the rebellion, which eventually leads to an international disaster. Armed with some of the most advanced weaponry in the world, the soldiers of the Ghost Recon force are covertly inserted into Eastern Europe and given specific missions to curtail the rebel actions and overthrow their benefactors.
It's the year 2009, and old hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia have resurfaced. Colonel Tesfaye Wolde of the Ethiopian military had participated in illegal arms trades with Russian ultra-nationalists. Sparing no time at all, and with a newly refurbished arsenal, Col. Wolde seized the opportunity to reclaim Eritrea (which won independence in 1993). The situation garnered international interest when the conflict threatened the shipping lanes in the Red Sea. In response to a plea from the Eritrean government for international support, the Ghosts have been mobilized to stop Col. Wolde from advancing any further.
Cuba is free, or at least it's supposed to be. Since Castro's death in 2006, the island of Cuba is wary of the oppressive communist rule it had suffered for nearly 50 years. It's time for the first free and open elections since Carlos Prio Socarras, who was overthrown by Batista in the early 1950s. The FDG (meaning unknown) has fronted a man named Priego as their candidate. The FDG are an outspoken anti-American political faction that wishes to return Cuba to its perpetual state of abject squalor. Although the FDG publicly denies utilizing violence as a means of coercion, the reality is quite the contrary, as the Ghosts quickly discover. Now it is up to them to set things right again, without making it appear that America is getting their hands too dirty, and ensuring the elections proceed smoothly.
Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm takes the campaign in Island Thunder and expands it with eight new missions in Colombia. A drug cartel that had aided the FDG in their efforts in Cuba has inititiated a number of terrorist attacks against the Colombian government, and the Ghosts have been deployed to restore order.
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 System Requirements:
- Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
- Pentium II 450 MHz processor
- 128 MB of RAM
- DirectX 8.0 or higher (included on CD) (must have compatible sound card)
- 2 GB hard drive space
- 4X CD-ROM
- Internet/network with TCP/IP connection at 28.8kbit/s
- Minimum Mac System 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
- Official Ghost Recon Website
- Red Storm Entertainment
- Ubi Soft Entertainment
- GhostRecon.net - An unofficial website, with news, forums, and numerous downloads.
- Interview with producer Heather Chandler at FileFront.com
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