- "The year is 2008, and the world teeters on the brink of war. Radical ultranationalists have seized power in Moscow. Their goal: the reestablishment of the old Soviet empire. Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, one by one the nearby independent republics slip back into the Russian fold. Russian tanks sit in the Caucasus Mountains and the Baltic Forests, poised to strike to the south and east. The world holds its breath, and waits. For one small group of elite soldiers, the war has already begun. The US Special Forces Group 5, 1st Battalion, D. Company, deployed on peacekeeping duty to the Republic of Georgia in the Caucuses. This handful of Green Berets represents the very tip of the spear, the first line of defense. Equipped with the latest battlefield technology, and trained in the latest techniques of covert warfare, they strike swiftly, silently, invisibly. They call themselves "the Ghosts.""
- — Intro movie to Ghost Recon
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon or commonly known as Ghost Recon is a tactical shooter endorsed by Tom Clancy. The game was developed by Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft Entertainment subsidiary, and published by Ubisoft in 2001 for PC. It was later made for PS2, Xbox, and Mac in 2002 and for Gamecube in 2003. A version for Gameboy was planned but never made. Unlike other tactical shooters made by Tom Clancy, Ghost Recon is not based on any of his books.
Ghost Recon puts the player in command of a fictitious, newly conceived squad of United States Special Operation forces from Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Special Forces group (5th SFG) stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Except for the 5th SFG designation, this unit is entirely fictional. They are sometimes referred to as Ghosts. Their role is not unlike real Special Operations Forces, in that their operations are kept highly classified.
Ghosts are organized into three fireteams, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. Since the player can only assign a total of six teammates in a single player mission, it is common for one of the fireteams to be disregarded, depending on the preference of the player. The player enjoys limited tactical control over the battlefield, and can issue maneuver commands as well as rules of engagement for each of the fireteams through a command map.
In the game, the soldiers themselves are organized into four different distinct roles (or classes). Every class can carry a primary and a secondary weapon, which are organized into kits. Even though the primary weapon remains the same in all the kits, there are several different equipments to be chosen as the secondary weapon.
1. Assault: This is the standard, multi-purpose class that the player can choose. The Rifleman uses a large variety of weapons, with his primary weapon consisting of the M16 rifle. His secondary weapon can be that of a M9 pistol, an M203 40mm grenade launcher, extra magazines, or binoculars (in later versions, this piece of equipment was replaced with deployable sensors).
2. Support Gunner: This class acts as the heavy firepower for each Ghost squad, and therefore his primary weapon is the M249 SAW, and is more heavily armored than the standard Rifleman. The Gunner can choose from a variety of secondary weapons, including an M9 pistol (Suppressed), M67 fragmentation grenades, or additional magazines. Although the Gunner has access to high volumes of firepower, his weapon is not useful for precise fire, and more for enemy suppression at medium range.
3. Demolition: This class is charged with tackling with heavy armor and fortified positions. His primary weapon is the M4 carbine, a compact variant of the M16. His secondary weapon consists of an M9 pistol (suppressed), demolition charges, M67 fragmentation grenades or "Frags", Claymore Mines, or the disposable M136 AT-4 Anti Tank Weapon.
4. Sniper: This class is charged with eliminating targets at a stand-off distance, providing cover and overwatch for his squadmates, and stealthy killing. To accomplish this, the Sniper is issued a full-body Ghillie Suit, the M24 Sniper Weapon System, and an M9 Pistol with optional Suppressor, spare magazines, or Frags. However, the Sniper is lightly armored, and cannot use sheer firepower to defeat his enemies in a firefight.
5. Specialists - The player also unlocks "specialists" from NATO or allied countries by completing extra mission objectives. The specialists are more experienced than the Ghosts and have more Combat Points, making them an essential part of the team. They are also equipped with weapons not available to standard soldiers. Two specialists are armed with the Objective Individual Combat Weapon, as part of field tests and implementation of the U.S. Army's Land Warrior program. The specialist corps includes three women, who are the only female combatants in the game.
For every completed mission in the single-player campaign, each soldier that survives gains one Combat Point to upgrade their attributes. There are four basic categories of skill:
- Weapon: affects the accuracy and aiming of the weapon; the reticule will close faster and tighter as more points are added.
- Stealth: enhances the ability of the soldier to remain undetected and reduces noise generated by the soldier moving.
- Endurance: improves recovery time when taking hits, increases the soldier's ability to survive a wound and reduces the effect of heavy equipment on speed.
- Leadership: for every three points of skill, all other soldiers in the same fireteam gain an extra point to each of their statistics. The bonus can only apply if the soldier with the high leadership skill is the fireteam's point man.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Desert Siege is a 2003 expansion pack, which is available for the PC as a separate purchase and can be unlocked as a new campaign in the PS2 version of Ghost Recon. It is also bundled with the Mac port. The expansion pack adds 2 new multiplayer game types (Domination and Siege), 5 new multiplayer maps, new weapons for use in multiplayer, and an eight-mission single player campaign, which also unlocks a new specialist soldier (Jodit Haile). In the PS2 version, players who start Desert Siege by finishing the Ghost Recon campaign first will also retain the soldiers they used in the campaign, including their statistics.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder was released later in 2003 as an expansion pack for the PC and as a standalone game for Xbox. It contains eight new single player missions, 12 new weapons, 5 new dedicated multiplayer maps, 3 new multiplayer modes (Cat and Mouse, Defend, and Behemoth). On the Xbox, Island Thunder features five additional missions and twelve multiplayer maps.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm is an expansion of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon for the PlayStation 2. It contains the content of Island Thunder along with eight new single-player missions set in Colombia and additional multiplayer maps plus five missions from original Ghost Recon and Desert Siege. Unlike the other games in the series before it, it received a T rating from ESRB due the more mild violence as opposed the graphic violence in the others.
Ghost Recon begins in April 2008, with civil unrest in Russia borne out of an ultrnationalist regime that came to power and placed its leader, Dmitri Arbatov, as president. The ultranationalists form the Russian Democratic Union (RDU) and conquer Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, with eyes set on the former Soviet republics.
During the first few missions of the game, the Ghosts battle Georgian rebels who are harassing the legitimate government and its allies. Their presence forces the Russian government to complain to the United Nations that the Americans have interfered in their affairs and eventually send in the army to aid the rebels. The Ghosts slow down the invading forces while foreign nationals evacuate the country. Eventually, the Ghosts are all that's left of US forces in Georgia and take the last helicopter out of the American Embassy in T'bilisi just as Russian forces storm the complex. The Georgian government flees to Geneva and sets up a government-in-exile while the RDU assimilates Georgia.
The Ghosts are later redeployed to the Baltic states in response to a Russian invasion launched three days ahead of intelligence estimates. The game's second campaign focuses on the Ghosts' efforts to slow down the invasion to buy time for NATO units to arrive in force, with the closest of them coming from Germany. The Ghosts fight alongside American forces to push the Russian Army out of the Baltics, with victories in Utena, Rezekne, and Vilnius. The loss of the Baltic states takes its toll on the RDU with Arbatov blamed for the disaster and put under house arrest.
The game's third and final campaign focuses on the Ghosts' forays into Russia, with their first mission being to free American and Russian POWs opposed to the government. The military executes President Arbatov which sparks a nationwide rebellion bordering on civil war. The ultra-nationalists quickly lose public support and many members of the RDU are also liberated or quit the alliance. The Ghosts later attack several Russian bases such as the naval base at Murmansk and the airbase at Arkhangel'sk, weakening the ultranationalists' combat power. The RDU forces finally attract strong international condemnation and practically dissolve after they detonate a nuclear weapon during a battle north of Moscow between the ultranationalists and a joint force of US and allied Russian combat units. Acting Prime Minister Karpin privately requests foreign aid to resolve the situation.
After the Ghosts succeed in weakening the ultranationalists, NATO forces strike Moscow with the Ghosts spearheading the assault. The remaining ultranationalist forces marshal their armor and infantry in the wooded areas surrounding Moscow as a last line of defense. However, the Ghosts break through the lines and clear a path for NATO forces. On November 10, NATO forces finally reach a deserted Moscow, with the ultranationalist holdouts still in the Kremlin. After a final assault by the Ghosts in Red Square, the ultranationalists surrender and both the Americans and the newly-liberated Russians celebrate their victory.
The Eastern European and Russian Campaigns: Edit
In 2005, after years of economic decline and military humiliation the Russian people throw Vladimir Putin out of office and replace him with Ultranationalist extremist Dmitri Arbatov. President Arbatov immediately freezes liberal reforms within Russia's borders and begins an aggressive policy of repression against organized crime, big business, and ethnic minorities: "gangsters, oligarchs, and non-Russian parasites". Simultaneously he pushes through a drastic increase in funding for the military, promoting outspoken Ultranationalists to positions of power throughout the officer corps. General Viktor Karpin is appointed General of the Army and Deputy Defense Minister. Both Arbatov and Karpin are quoted publicly that they intend to rebuild the empire that was lost with the fall of Communism.
Sympathetic governments in Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan quickly fall in line with the new Russia. In 2007 the four countries join together to form the Russian Democratic Union (RDU). Ultranationalist factions within other former Soviet republics begin agitating for union as well. Riots break out in Vilnius and Tallinn, the Lithuanian and Estonian capitals. Georgia explodes into open armed combat with Ultranationalist guerrillas battling the Georgian army in the north and west.
The Georgian government appeals to the United States for help in putting down the rebellion. Over Russian protests the U.S. sends 2000 peacekeepers to T'bilisi and begins flying air strikes against guerrilla positions out of NATO airbases in Turkey. After three weeks of escalating tension Russia invades, sending troops pouring across the Georgian border. President Arbatov delivers a televised address citing Russia's need to "protect our borders against unrest stirred up by unscrupulous Western powers." The Georgians and their U.S. allies are quicly overwhelmed and the last helicopter leaves the roof of the U.S. embassy in T'bilisi only twelve days after the initial attack.
The focus of the crisis now shifts to the Baltic, where Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are experiencing similar unrest. A massive military build-up ensues, with the U.S. and its allies deploying hundreds of thousands of troops into the Baltic and Russia countering. President Arbatov is quoted saying that "the Russians will once again be a unified people, despite the machinations of foreign imperialists." After two months of escalating border skirmishes, the Russians launch an all-out invasion of the Baltics in summer 2008.
At first, the battle goes against the allies, but eventually the tide turns and the Russian advance is halted, Vilnius is liberated in early September, toppling the puppet government the Russians had installed only weeks before, and by then, the Russians are in full retreat.
In the face of a humiliating defeat Russian public opinion turns sharply against the Arbatov administration. Crowds take to the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg demanding that he step down. Before he can act, however, General Karpin acts for him, removing him from office and instituting martial law. Instantly all opposition to the Ultranationalist cause in silenced. Protesters are shot down en masse and the jails fill with political prisoners.
The West begins a massive campaign to undermine the Ultranationalist power base. Arms and money are funneled to the underground opposition and military strikes are aimed only at targets friendly to the Ultranationalist cause. As autumn sets in the Ultranationlist position is collapsing all over the country until only the area around Moscow remains as their last stronghold of power. The Loyalists and Ultranationalist factions of the Russian Army fight a final massive battle several hundred miles north of the city, with U.S. troops aiding the Loyalists. The Ultranationalists win, but only by detonating a tactical nuclear bomb on the battlefield, a move that cements their position as international criminals. Civilians flee by the millions from Moscow as the combined U.S./Loyalist army converges on Red Square to crush General Karpin in his Kremlin bunker.
- Castle - Republic of Georgia / March 20, 2008 - 12:15 Hours
- Iron Dragon - South Ossetia / April 16, 2008 - 05:45 Hours
- Eager Smoke - South Ossetia / April 24, 2008 - 02:15 Hours
- Stone Bell - South Ossetia / May 2, 2008 - 10:00 Hours
- Black Needle - Republic of Georgia / May 7, 2008 - 15:00 Hours
- Gold Mountain - Tbilisi, Georgia / May 14, 2008 - 09:00 Hours
- Witch Fire - Izborsk, Russia / June 6, 2008 - 02:00 Hours
- Paper Angel - Lubana River, Latvia / June 10, 2008 - 06:00 Hours
- Zebra Straw - Venta, Lithuania / June 24, 2008 - 16:00 Hours
- Blue Storm - Nereta Swamp, Latvia / July 3, 2008 - 09:00 Hours
- Fever Claw - Vilnius, Lithuania / September 1, 2008 - 18:00 Hours
- Dream Knife - Ljady, Russia / September 16, 2008 - 03:00 Hours
- Ivory Horn - Murmansk, Russia / September 22, 2008 - 02:00 Hours
- Arctic Sun - Arkhangel'sk, Russia / October 3, 2008 - 04:00 Hours
- Willow Bow - Toropec, Russia / October 23, 2008 - 3:00 Hours
- White Razor - Moscow, Russia / November 10, 2008 - 11:00 Hours
- Will Jacobs (Rifleman)
- Henry Ramirez (Demolition)
- Nigel Tunney (Demolition)
- Jack Stone (Sniper)
- Guram Osadze (Support)
- Susan Grey (Demolition)
- Klaus Henkel (Demolition)
- Harold Gordon (Rifleman)
- Lindy Cohen (Rifleman)
- Astra Galinsky (Sniper)
- Scott Ibrahim (Sniper)
- Dieter Munz (Support)
Minimum PC requirementsEdit
- Windows 2000 or better
- Pentium II 450 MHz processor
- 128 MB of RAM
- DirectX 8.0 or higher (included on CD) (must have compatible sound card)
- 16 MB VRAM 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 8.0
- 1 GB hard drive space
- 4X CD-ROM
- Internet/network with TCP/IP connection at 28.8 kbit/s
Minimum Mac requirementsEdit
- 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