Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm Hands-On Impressions
We go hands-on with the next Ghost Recon game for the PlayStation 2.
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Ubi Soft is on hand at the annual ECTS trade show in London with an 80-percent-complete version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm for the PS2, a new game in development at an Ubi Soft studio in France. Like Ghost Recon: Island Thunder for the Xbox, the new PS2 game will feature a huge amount of content in the form of levels from the original Ghost Recon, Island Thunder, and Desert Siege, one of the previous Ghost Recon expansion packs for the PC. In addition, Jungle Storm will feature an all-new single-player campaign that will take place immediately following the events that took place in Island Thunder in the dense jungles of Colombia. Though the new game will feature content from previous games, Ubi Soft has no current plans to include the new levels in Jungle Storm in any future Ghost Recon product (which makes them truly exclusive to the PS2, at least for now).
We had the chance to play through one of the game's jungle maps, in which we controlled a single soldier as part of a company of two three-man squads, like in Ghost Recon for the PS2. Like in the original Ghost Recon, in Jungle Thunder, you'll be able to equip each soldier with a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and a miscellaneous item, such as a cache of grenades, and like in the original game, you'll be able to switch to any other soldier on the map at any time. However, Jungle Thunder features many new improvements and additions, both big and small, which streamline the game considerably.
For starters, the tactical map has been streamlined considerably. It consists simply of the level map flanked on the left side by the names, current health, and equipped weapon of each member of team alpha, and on the right by similar information for team bravo. However, the game will also feature a quick-deploy shortcut tied to a left trigger that will let you immediately deploy your teammates to their next drop point on the map. The game also features a new "eye" icon on the right of the screen that helps indicate how well hidden your squad is from enemies. Otherwise, the game seems to use a similar control scheme to the previous game--you can change your stance from standing to crouching to lying prone with the D pad, fire with R1, and zoom in on your enemies by pressing in on the analog stick, as usual.
More interestingly, Ubi Soft will implement full voice headset support for both single-player and online multiplayer play, a feature we were unfortunately not able to test. You'll be able to use a headset to communicate with your teammates in an online game, like you could in SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals, and you'll also be able to use the headset to give voice orders to your computer-controlled teammates; the developer hopes to implement as many as 160 different voice commands into the final game. Jungle Storm is scheduled for a simultaneous European and US release at the end of November.