The PSP is not a stranger to an excellent surge of first or third person shooter games through the years, still, the control scheme of such games has seen great hurdles that the device still needs to overcome until now. Ubisoft again attempts to have a new shooter game, this time in the franchise of Ghost Recon. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Predator is quite easy when it comes to its narrative, which is unlikely to the production value of its console counterparts. It’s noteworthy that the mission briefings, which you can experience before each level, and the overall design of the entire game converts pretty good in a handheld system. The game’s essential concept is that you are part of a squad considered to be the cream of the crop, with a mission to investigate regarding a group of Americans in the Indian Ocean.
The game is a mixture of squad-based shooting and third person shooting. You are directly controlling the squad in the game; getting the chance to equip them with various armors and other weaponry before every fight. You have the chance to put them in different positions throughout each level and you can also direct them to target on certain enemies. If you compare this to a console release, this one has a totally elementary design but it is much more effective considering the limit in the number of controls. Unfortunately, the downside of the odd control scheme is that the shooting doesn’t quite show a level of refinement.
Just like in previous games, there poses a certain difficulty with having only one analog stick. It basically limits the shooter controls. You need to move your squad and also aim at enemies using the single analog stick. This makes moving the squad quickly and successfully shooting your enemies at the same time, more difficult and complicated. It’s a dumb design that poses more problems than solutions. With the cover system, you have to memorize button arrangement to move about either to run for cover or get out from it while also repeatedly in the shooting mode.
There’s also this idiotic A.I. that seems to be always present in the game. They usually run for cover, but its usual brain-dead reaction when there’s an enemy force around is to go out in the open and madly shoot at anything. What’s even more annoying is it also takes so long to shift between shooting modes though this actually kind of helps in balancing out the problems with the controls. And yet, there is little challenge to find in the single player campaign. Of course, you can drag your friends with you to play co-op in the entire game as an option. However, there is a limited playing venue in the game. There are no multiplayer modes present in the game.
As for the graphics, it lacks polish, most especially in the details of the in-game surroundings and the pixelated models of the characters, as well. Likewise, some of the character animations are obviously out-dated and clearly lacks modern animation. The audio on the other hand is done quite well with the presence of a very cool soundtrack and spot-on sound effects assuming that you use relatively good earphones. If not, then the sounds may sound sharp and of metallic on PSP speaker.
Overall, the main problem of this Ghost Recon game is basically on its control scheme. With the already lacking structure of the PSP controls, the complex button sequences that you need to memorize for the game, contributes to the chaotic way of playing it. But if you’re simply out to have fun shooting enemies regardless of how difficult it may be to play, then you should try Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Predator.