Shooters, by and large, have been unsuccessful in attempting to make the jump to the Nintendo Wii. It has something to do with the Wii’s controller scheme doing aiming quite well, but not aiming and looking at the same time, something that’s crucial to good shooters, be they first- or third-person. But Ubisoft seems to have figured out something clever for the basic mechanic behind Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon for the Wii, possibly developing the first satisfying shooter for the platform.
The problem with so many shooters on the Wii is that they have to result to the “on a rail” concept, where the game moves you and you aim and shoot at enemies on the screen. This has never been totally satisfying. But in Ghost Recon, you do have some control over the movement of your two soldier teammates. You tell them when and where to move up into cover, with one guy on the run (or slow-walk while shooting) while the other guy covers him. Not only is this a fairly realistic interpretation of real world combat tactics, but a rather fun way to experience the action.
The two soldiers on screen in Ghost Recon must work together to defeat the eleven different classes of enemy, each sporting their own unique behaviors and weapon sets. It’s important to coordinate your weapons – maybe one guy takes an assault rifle while the other guy uses a rocket launcher or even a sniper rifle – to coordinate your attacks. Often, one player will draw fire while the other draws a bead on whoever is shooting at him.
Campaign mode consists of thirt-plus missions spread out over twelve distinct level environments, all of which are played in this two-player configuration (though you don’t need a human buddy to play with you, it will make it more fun). The story is different from what you’ll experience in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, but it does exist in the same Ghost Recon narrative universe, and was crafted by the same writer.
In addition to campaign mode, there’s an arcade mode that let’s you play across the same levels, but for points, rather than simple level completion. You can compete against your teammate or work with him to drive up the multiplier and rack up insane points under a time limit. Don’t get shot though, or else your multiplier will lose a level, and if you outright die… well forget it, it’s gone.
Ghost Recon for the Wii is clearly not going to be the same hardcore experience it will be for other consoles, but as far as shooters on the Wii go, it looks like one you’d be least embarrassed to be seen playing. The moving to cover device is clever, and large action-packed set pieces make for exciting gameplay experiences. And at the end of the day, that’s usually all we’re really asking for. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon for Wii will be out this holiday season.