Can anyone remember Virtua Cop 2? Well I certainly can… Seems we are harking back to the SEGA Saturn a lot recently, however this classic light gun shooter had minimal content, but did make up for it with excellent gameplay.
The Nintendo Wii controller is perfect for this genre and if you are so inclined, you can also purchase the plastic moulding (the Wii Zapper) to transform your remote into a close approximation of a light gun from days gone by.
So now we are poised to shoot, protect and destroy in Ghost Squad. Basically this is Virtua Cop 2, but with a slightly different theme. Although you will see a flavour of various games of this type throughout, Ghost Squad is bordering on the just above average as I will explain.
With any game set in this style, that is of course a light gun type title, you will find a fairly short experience. This makes it especially important to have a replay value higher than the heavenly skies. This is provided by opening up slightly different routes, which you can select as you progress. A simple method no doubt, but it works to a certain extent. The main issue is that the game as a whole just isn’t that fun. I look back at Virtua Cop 2 and the House of the Dead series and remember a far more invigorating experience. Ghost Squad struggles.
Graphically Ghost Squad is quite plain, however don’t be put off completely. It is after all not a title that needs lush environments. It is all about the gameplay. There is enough going on to attract your attention span, just don’t expect much and you will be fine.
So you are part of Ghost Squad and a few various short cut scenes are presented with simple brain numbing tasks. There are only three missions and these involve shooting the bad guys (well that was a no brainer), rescuing the hostages by handcuffing them, disarming bombs and claymores and sniping as well as boss fights. Thankfully you can skip the cut scenes after the first viewing (they are not exactly amazing) and get straight into the action. Enemies will appear from behind objects, sneak around corridors and the most bizarre has to be sliding in up as close as your face to give you a few rounds of gun fire… charming.
With such a short gaming experience, you are therefore encouraged to play on and on with the lure of harder gameplay and new costumes and weaponry. The more you play, the more you can level up one of the missions. This will increase the overall difficulty of the game and will even add a few surprises along the way.
Shooting is simple, point the Wii remote at the screen and move the cursor around. If you remove the cursor, you will earn greater scores throughout, so the decision is yours on this one. There are also moments where you fight hand to hand. Whether you win these bouts is due to your accuracy in pointing at the highlighted screen area before the time runs out. Shooting certain objects will also reveal minor power ups in the way of armour and larger clips.
There is a four player mode if you have a friend around and a spare Wii remote, just a shame you can’t play online. All your scores are recorded and uploaded for comparison to the other gamers out there in the world, but that is about as far online goes here.
Of all the arcade shooters they could have brought to the Nintendo Wii, they gave us Ghost Squad. It is not a terrible title, but when you compare it to some of the others out there, you feel shortchanged.
Overall Ghost Squad is a pleasing journey through various sections and routes, but even the quirky unlockables and increased difficulty isn’t quite enough to make Ghost Squad as satisfying as it should be. There is no part of the game where you are going to be shouting out ‘awesome’ and for me that deserves a low score.