PSP to get Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

It's even more advanced now. Bet the original Warfighter is bummed…

PSP to get Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Tom Clancy is a canny man. While many authors – Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkein, for instance, or whoever wrote Ye Olde History of the Pac-Men of Merry England – have seen games make a fortune for games publishers, most writers have been too, erm, dead, to enjoy the benefits.

In contrast, about a decade ago Tom Clancy began working directly with game creators on game versions of his big, bad universe, and a decade later the collaboration is still going strong. The result has been a string of decent games that have doubtless added plenty to the 80-million selling author's rainy day fund.

And why not? Arguably, last year's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – a thinking man's shooter, with compelling online elements and snazzy guns – was the best Clancy game yet, with the Xbox 360 version picking up the Game of the Year BAFTA for its brilliance.

But Ubisoft don't want to give you that. No, us PSP owners will get to jump straight to Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. (Why not Ghost Recon Advanced ADVANCED Warfighter? Hey?)

Currently in development for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC as well as PSP, Ubisoft hasn't yet broken down exactly what features the PSP game will get. These screens have simply been tagged 'multiformat', so for now they're best treated as an artist's impression. The PSP has great graphics, but we have to expect some compromises compared to PlayStation 3!

The reassuringly Clancy-esque plot isn't likely to take much tweaking, though. It's 2014, and you're in control of the U.S. military's elite fighting unit, the Ghosts. A conflict between Mexican loyalists and insurgent rebel forces (a scenario that looks worryingly realistic at the time of writing) has thrown Mexico into full-scale civil war, and you're sent in to fend off an attack on U.S. soil.

In fact, battles will take place on both sides of the border, including on the Ghost's home turf in El Paso, Texas, and different environments will offer different tactical considerations for Ghost commanders.

In terms of the technical features, we'll go through what Ubisoft is promising – but as we say keep in mind the press release is targeting all formats. It seems inevitable that some of these features will be scaled back for PSP.

For instance, real-time physics is very doable on PSP, but probably not in conjunction with all of the destructible environments, dynamic lighting, constantly changing weather and real-time day and night cycles being promised for console versions of the game.

On the other hand, decent AI and better feedback from squad-mates seems feasible, in that game AI in our experience is either crappy or passable. And there's no reason why PSP gamers shouldn't be able to call in jet fighter or artillery support, or enjoy the all-new Medic class of soldier.

But the improved tactical information views that come from the game's 'Cross-Com 2.0' interface and the Full Command View that gives you access to a tactical plan of the battlefield sound quite a stretch for the PSP's smaller screen. We'd expect some scaling back of these elements on PSP.

There's no word on specific multiplayer or online options on PSP either, but we see no reason why we can't look forward to them.

All things considered, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on PSP looks as much of a challenge for the developer as it is for PSP journalists faced with multiformat press releases.

It's interesting that the developer isn't going down the Killzone path of reinventing the experience for handheld. But with PSP's well-documented control issues, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 will need more than a few words from Tom Clancy to really hit the target on Sony's console.

That said, the original GRAW came in both first and third-person flavours depending on what console you played it on, so a heavy customisation for the PSP is certainly not impossible. We'll have to wait and see.

The game is due out in spring. Click 'Track It!' to get more much-needed specific intelligence as soon as we do.