Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm PlayStation 2
by Ubi Soft Entertainment
Developed by Red Storm Entertainment
Released - Out Now
Price : £19.99
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series has been a phenomenal success on the PC and it's no surprise that it has been very popular on both the Xbox and the PlayStation 2. What's helped it's cause on both consoles is that they both have online services and Ghost Recon is an excellent game to play online. It was no mystery that the GameCube version was not as popular because the console doesn't have an online system in place and with such a game it's not quite the same if you can't take it online. Here we have Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm which is kind of a stand alone expansion for the original Ghost Recon.
Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm is comprised of two campaigns, quick missions, 5 tactical exercises and a tutorial. Notice we said two campaigns. You'll remember that last year Ghost Recon: Island Thunder appeared on Xbox and it never appeared on PlayStation 2. Well if you've been waiting for it to appear on the PlayStation 2 you'll be very pleased to learn that it's been worth the wait, as an extra campaign called Jungle Storm has been thrown in too. Voice recognition has also been added to help you direct your men but this isn't a feature that deaf games can take advantage of and giving orders will have to be done in exactly the same way as it was with Ghost Recon.
Most of you will have played a Ghost Recon game before on one of the various platforms and you'll know what it's about but in case you haven't the game is a tactical FPS that puts you in charge of a small counter-terrorist team and the objectives is more or less to eradicate the terrorist threat. The game is not like a usual FPS though and it's possible to be taken down with one shot so you really have to be careful. Describing the game is easy, playing it is another matter entirely. It's not a quick moving, all guns blazing, FPS and it needs patience and coolness with a good dose tactical awareness to succeed. The console versions are a lot simpler than the PC versions of Ghost Recon but it's a challenge that only the SOCOM games have come close to on the PlayStation 2.
We mentioned earlier that multiplayer support was a key ingredient of Ghost Recon's success and Jungle Storm is no exception to this. A two-player split-screen mode has been included but it's the online play that most will be interested in. Online games can have six players maximum which is a heck of a drop from the amounts gamers are used to with the Xbox and PC versions. There are a total of 31 different maps to play on and three every man for himself modes (Last Man Standing, Sharp Shooter, Mouse Hunt), three co-op modes (Defend, Mission and Firefight) and five team modes (Hamburger Hill, Domination, Siege, Search and Rescue and Last Man Standing). In fact bought purely as a multiplayer game Jungle Storm has a lot to offer.
Graphically Jungle Storm is OK (although the textures are not the quality they should be and can be a little bit fuzzy) . It's not as good as the PC Ghost Recon games and probably a little bit behind the Xbox Ghost Recon games but nevertheless it still looks OK. What is damaging though is the frame rate and here the PlayStation 2 version just can't keep it's frame rate stable. You'll often see enemies off in the distance with stuttering, choppy movements, which again is unfortunate. At times this can be because of aiming problems which is disappointing to say the least. That's not to say it's damaging enough to spoil the game, far from it but it does take the edge of the experience as well as highlight the limitations of the PlayStation 2 when bringing a PC game to the console as opposed to a game like SOCOM which is designed from the ground up with the PlayStation 2 in mind.
Games where stealth is a requirement can often cause a problem or two for deaf gamers but Jungle Storm is actually quite good. An eye icon will appear on screen to show you when enemies can see you. The brighter the eye, the more clearly you are visible. It's an excellent addition and one that I applaud Red Storm for. A lot of the game is subtitled such as the training, the mission objectives and briefings etc. The speech that is spoken during a mission is not shown in text but all important messages are shown onscreen and the game is perfectly playable for deaf gamers. You have a limited amount of quick saves to assist should a mission prove tricky. However you also have a radar (on easy difficulty) that will give you the general direction or your enemies which helps a lot. As far as stealth games go this is definitely one of the better ones for deaf gamers.
If you're in the market for a recent tactical FPS for your PlayStation 2 you're left to choose between Jungle Storm and SOCOM II. The better game is probably SOCOM II however the more deaf gamer friendly game is probably Jungle Storm. It's a shame that there are frame rate problems but overall it's not worth avoiding the game for if you're interested in playing it. The addition of the eye icon to show whether or not you're visible to enemies and the ability to quick save make Jungle Storm the more deaf gamer friendly option and at the low price of £19.99 it's even more appealing.
Game Rating: 7.4/10
It's probably a little unfortunate to arrive around the same time as SOCOM II but Jungle Storm is definitely more deaf gamer friendly.
Jungle Storm isn't fully subtitled but it does enough to be accessible to deaf gamers.