If the original Ghost Recon 2 was a slight crease in the normally pristine uniform of the Ghost Recon series, then Summit Strike looks set to give the franchise a kick up the arse like a psycho Drill Sergeant. The game is touted as a standalone mission disc (not bad for 20 quid), but is an accomplished title in its own right.
Another international crisis occupies the single-player mode - the Kazakh president has been offed by a greedy local warlord, and once again it's down to the Ghosts to restore order. This is really just an excuse for sneaking through mountainous forest and urban environments over 11 typically hard missions, blowing the crap out of anything that moves. But it's not an all-out blast-fest - as before, you need tactical savvy to manoeuvre your squad through each task, again using the new and improved squad command system.
A staggering 24 multiplayer modes are available, playable over an impressive 24 maps, some covering new ground, some retreading the same turf as GR2. The developer has again given a huge amount of consideration to offline multiplayer, and System Link again allows 16 players to fight it out over Squad, Team or Solo games - variants on the familiar Firefight, Domination and Recon modes. Assassination involves your squad taking out/defending a VIP, and the co-op Garrison mode is a truly epic battle to defend your base for 30 minutes from a relentless onslaught of enemies. Lone Wolf is back too, though the expansive terrain makes this one for the suicidal/hardened battle vet.
Two of the more fun additions are Heli Hunt, a David vs Goliath battle where your Ghosts down waves of choppers with a tasty shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, and a new multiplayer mode called Armour Strike, where the tantalising prospect of destroying more enemy vehicles than the opposition with your fearsome air support should get the Live servers rocking. To battle your way through these are an additional 15 weapons like the Special Forces Assault Rifle, a compromise between an accurate rifle and a heavy machine gun.
Much like Island Thunder did for the first Ghost Recon, Summit Strike looks set to issue a fresh set of boots and rations to the battle-weary GR2. This mission disc drops a whole supply crate full of single and multiplayer goodness, all for 20 quid.