Priced at an affordable $29.99, there is no doubt that Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike is an expansion pack to Ghost Recon 2 (my review) and not a full-fledged new game. The same gameplay mechanics are here as were in the original game, it is just that you have new maps (including some in the snow), an ongoing storyline from the original, more weapons and lots more Live gameplay to be had. Being a standalone expansion pack is not necessarily a bad thing and the game certainly gives those players that enjoy the Ghost Recon games more to play with, especially those that play over Xbox Live.
Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike revolves around the Ghost squad going after Asad Rahil, a terrorist who has just assassinated the president of Kazakhstan. Yes, the Pakistani terrorists are at it again and the Ghost squad is the only one able to take them down.
I could end the review right here since most of the people that enjoy the Ghost Recon games have already gone out and purchased Summit Strike simply for the new weapons and more maps to play online with. For those on the fence or those that haven’t played any of the games at least Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike does not require you to own the parent game in order to play, although I honestly didn’t notice any tutorial like what is present on Ghost Recon 2 so you could be in over your head. Let’s get to the scores.
The graphics are pretty much the same as in Ghost Recon 2 with a few more weather effects given that the game starts you off in the snowy mountains, a terrain type you never had a mission on in Ghost Recon 2. Nothing really seems to have been upgraded with the graphics outside of the fact this game was only made for Xbox. Then again different developers worked on the different versions for GR2. Things still blow up real nice and the graphics for your characters are pretty high quality as well. The change to 3rd person that Ghost Recon 2 took helped this series a lot, although many people will want to play in 1st person like every other Tom Clancy game.
This game isn’t going to beat the Splinter Cell games in the looks department, but it holds its own against other games in its genre. I think it is amazing that they fit this game in with the upcoming Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter coming out in just a couple months and how amazing it looks on PC and Xbox 360.
Not surprisingly this is a lot like Ghost Recon 2 as well. The sound effects are good, but not great in my opinion. There are other military games on the Xbox that have a fuller sound to them, but Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike does a good job with what it has. I’m still not too excited about the walkie-talkie sound of squadmembers through regular speakers. I think that type of sound is better served if you had a Live headset on in order to issue voice commands versus inputting them via the controller.
No big change here from Ghost Recon 2 either. The nice thing about Ghost Recon 2 is that it took up the controls of the Rainbow Six games even though it was at default played from a 3rd person perspective versus Rainbow Six‘s 1st person perspective (although the choice to go to that perspective is here). Commands can once again be given either over the controller or over voice if you have a Live headset on. The voice commands seem to be getting tighter the more Tom Clancy games that come out which is a good thing with the jump to next generation coming soon.
I have to say this might be the one place where Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike outdoes its predecessor. The 11 mission levels are huge and there are a lot of ways to go about getting your job done. Many may think this is a synthetic way to make the game longer, but having such big levels and the ability to choose different paths make this a pretty exciting game. There are even lone wolf missions in the game where you are alone with no spotters or any teammates.
The new weapons are also nice and when you go on a lone wolf mission you are given some extra accessories to help you on your mission such as a gun camera. This game is not very easy, but with the ability to choose where you’re going and how you’re going to finish the mission you may be able to find an easier way out of a situation than you were able to in the previous game.
Outside of the 11 missions you have online Xbox Live play which is always one of the biggest draws for these games. You can play cooperatively with people online on the missions available for single-player. Along with this there is also even more maps for online multiplayer battle. Much like in Ghost Recon 2 there is a huge variety of online gameplay options, including the standard deathmatch modes. Most of your time with this game will probably be spent on this along with the maps from Ghost Recon 2.
The single-player campaign may not take you very long, but you probably wouldn’t be picking up this game unless you have Xbox Live and have played Ghost Recon 2. The Tom Clancy games have always been a hot item on Xbox Live and I would find it hard to believe this one wouldn’t be hot as well. Playing online will boost the replay value of this game into hundreds of hours.