E3 '07: Ghost Squad Hands-On

We get our Wii Zapper on in Sega's newest light gun shooter.

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Ghost Squad is one in a line of arcade light gun shooters from Sega, and soon it will be making its way to the Wii. You play a soldier in a counterterrorism unit that has to, of all things, fight terrorists. It's an on-rails shooter that presents you with a variety of terrorist thugs to shoot in the face as the game moves you through each level. We spent a bit of time with Ghost Squad at E3 2007, and here's what we found.

The most interesting thing about our time spent with Sega's Ghost Squad for the Wii wasn't actually Ghost Squad itself, believe it or not. Sega had the game set up with Nintendo's new Wii Zapper peripheral, and we got the chance to take it for a spin. With the way it's positioned, the C button effectively becomes your trigger. The controller feels good in the hand, and in Ghost Squad, we found it much easier to aim and reload with the Zapper than we had in earlier shooters that just had you pointing the remote at the screen.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

The actual gameplay seemed rather boilerplate for these types of shooters. Enemies pop up in bunches, you shoot them all dead, you keep doing that for a while, then eventually some manner of boss fight appears. The shooting had a nice feel to it (especially with the Zapper in hand), and the one boss fight we tried was actually pretty challenging, so the game isn't just a cakewalk. In this fight, you have to hold your targeting reticle on a moving helicopter long enough to get a proper target lock, and then keep that lock after launching a missile at it. Easier said than done.

One feature of note is the objectives system. At certain points in the game, you'll find yourself with an option to take one of a few different objective options. These aren't exactly going to be radically different paths or anything, but there are a few different ways to progress through a level, so you could feasibly play through the main game multiple times and do it differently each time.

One thing games like this tend not to be is a whole lot of fun without friends alongside you. The good news is that Ghost Squad will support co-op play for up to four players. Sadly, the co-op wasn't on display during our demo.

Ghost Squad didn't show a lot of flash or many unique qualities during our time playing it, but it did seem like it has the potential to be an entirely competent shooter. Those who enjoy pointing their Wii Remotes at the screen and shooting people ought to keep an eye on this one as its Q4 2007 release nears. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more on Ghost Squad as it becomes available.

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