By:Alan Bell Published: Monday 16 Jan 2012 4:00 PM
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: A Retrospective
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2
GRAW2 follows on immediately from the events of the first Advanced Warfighter, with the plot covering the next 72 hour period of the American military engagement in Mexico. Released in 2007, the game also follows in the series' footsteps by releasing on an entirely new set of platforms, ditching last-gen and adding the PS3 and PSP into the mix for the first time.
One of the biggest enhancements over the first Advanced Warfighter title was the improved AI. Not only did they react to in-game situations better than in the first game, they were also able to tell you about things going on in the battlefield in a much more realistic (and descriptive) manner, making statements like "behind the red car!" or "under the green roof!"
Despite the game's insistence on using strategy, this trailer seems to suggest it's about running around like a loon with a big gun
The title also brought back some of the squad selection functionality that was first removed in Ghost Recon 2, allowing players to strategize a bit more about how to approach each level. It also dialled up the realism a bit, by reducing the number of hits a player could sustain before dying.
The game generated some controversy in Mexico, where Héctor Murguía Lardizábal - Mayor of Ciudad Juárez - suggested that it was an attempt at scaring tourists away from his town. José Reyes, governor of Chihuahua, went even further, claiming that the game was an insult to the Mexican people and even ordered that authorities should seize copies of the game if they were made available for sale in his country.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
A launch title for the Nintendo 3DS, Shadow Wars is a massive change in perspective - literally - for the franchise. Rather than the progressive removal of strategy that has been a theme in the main series, Shadow Wars is entirely about strategy.
Presented in top-down perspective, Shadow Wars is a turn-based strategy game - very similar, in fact, to the outstanding Advance Wars franchise on Nintendo handhelds or the excellent Field Commander on PSP.
Based on a grid, your goal is to guide your team of Ghosts through a series of perilous missions, utilizing their unique skills strategically in order to ensure their survival.
A trailer for Shadow Wars, featuring some much-deserved accolades for what was a surprisingly good game
That the game was extremely good should come as no surprise to people who are familiar with its lead designer - Julian Gallop. Never head of him? If you're a strategy fiend, you'll have heard of his games - X-Com: Enemy Unknown, for example, is regarded by many as the best game ever made. Seriously.
If you've got a 3DS, like strategy, and don't own this game - you owe it to yourself to set about remedying that as soon as possible. Even now, closing on a year after the system launched, with many excellent titles now available for the system, this launch title still stands up there with the very best of what's available on Nintendo's 3D handheld.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
The last title in the list isn't really part of it, as unlike the other games we've been talking about, Future Soldier isn't actually out yet. But it behooves us to at least mention the game, as it's literally what's next for the franchise - with a recently revised release date of May 22nd, at which point it will be hitting the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and - oddly, perhaps - the Nintendo DS.
Once again, ultra-nationalist Russians are at the pointy end of the narrative
Set in the "near future", the game chronicles a "world on the brink of war" narrative that spans locations across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It's packed with futuristic weaponry, including robot drones and stealth suits - what's not to love?
If you're interested in the title, look for our hands-on impressions soon - is there anything in particular you want us to look out for? Let us know in the comments!