Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

The stealth squad use the front door for once

Ghost Recon evokes thoughts of freeform tactical warfare; of hours spent crawling through grass, sand and donkey muck just so you can line up one perfect shot.

Go into this Wii outing expecting some of that and you'll be left grenade-in-your-Christmas-stocking surprised. For whatever reason, Next Level Games have decided that the world is finally ready for a Ghost Recon lightgun shooter.

We wonder what their office motto is: 'When life gives you lemons, make salmon paella with watercress sauce'?

Although this is purely a lightgun game, the developers have endeavoured to make it feel as Tom Clancyey [Is that a word? - Lexicographical Ed] as possible, with a slow, thoughtful pace that can leave it feeling a tad discordant at times (especially in the beginning - we hated it at first).

But this does at least give it its own voice among a sea of capable Wii lightgun rivals.

Cover, as you might expect, plays a huge part. Not only do you pop out of cover to shoot, la Time Crisis, but you also have the option of moving to another vantage point mid-battle by aiming at it with the remote.

Darting from cover to cover is risky, but you can minimise the amount of lead you absorb by shaking the remote to 'slide' to safety.

Other Clancy elements aren't as obvious a fit. Stealth in a lightgun game? It's a weird one, but on occasion it does work.

Indeed, one of the best bits of the entire game is the mission where you have to co-ordinate headshots with your co-op partner1 to clear the path ahead without any alarm-triggerage.

There's also plenty to do, which isn't always the case with this kind of thing. The lengthy Campaign mode (where you have to hunt down some terrorists who've kidnapped all the free world's surface textures, or something - it's difficult to know, or care) is the feature attraction, but it lacks urgency or danger, and thus is only a means to an end; that is, unlocking characters and missions for the infinitely more compelling Arcade mode.

Here, players have the option to play co-operatively (against the clock) or competitively (a race to notch up the highest score), with the option to upload your efforts onto the Wi-Fi leaderboards at the end of each round.

The tone is spot-on, too. Ghost Recon resists the urge to take itself too seriously, throwing out amazingly camp lines such as "that's good soldiering!" and "I'll need a cold drink after this", delivered by enthusiastic actors who sound like they've just wandered out of a Scooby-Doo voiceover studio.

The result is as good as could be hoped for, considering Ghost Recon's dubious premise: a lightgun game that might lack the immediacy and adrenaline rush of titles such as House Of The Dead and The Umbrella Chronicles, but one that delivers plenty of thrills, albeit at its own pace.

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The verdict

Mediocre in the grand scheme of things, but if you've already de-zombied your back catalogue you could do worse than enlist in Wii's other Ghost squad

Nintendo Wii