In the summer of 2000 a little video game studio named Red Storm Entertainment co-founded by the iconic Tom Clancy (okay, maybe not that little) was working on a project combining the tactical realism found in their blockbuster hit Rainbow Six with a more military centric theme. Around August of the same year, RSE was purchased by Ubisoft - the colossal video game developer / publisher with the deeds to many of our favorite franchises. Then, in the fall of 2001, Ubisoft published this revolutionary new shooter that would change the genre and spawn a new sub-genre - the tactical shooter.

Known for its brutal realism, extreme difficulty and modern day representation of special warfare, the original Ghost Recon received a ton of fanfare and praise for re-inventing the common shooter. It spawned a couple of expansion packs and a handful of sequels, including the Advanced Warfighter and Future Soldier spin off series. Diehard fans of the series have been somewhat disappointed with the direction the games have taken. With Advanced Warfighter focusing more on futuristic technology than tactical gameplay and Future Soldier ditching the whole First Person Shooter perspective for a third person view, only slight traces of what made can the original game successful can be found in the latest version.

The characters changed; the technology changed; the hardware changed; the weapons changed; the time period and setting changed, but the one constant throughout the series that never changed was...

You were always a Ghost.

Did somebody say Ghost?

Seems like every time I turn around I see an advertisement for Call of Duty: Ghosts, the upcoming sequel to the Call of Duty cash cow that everybody seems to be talking about...especially after Microsoft wooed the audience by showing exclusive footage during their Xbox One presentation.

Hey, I'm excited for it too! I have it reserved already.

As a fan, follower and fan site contributor for Ghost Recon for over 10 years now, I feel a smidge guilty for admitting I'm excited for Call of Duty: Ghosts...or for saying...

Maybe Infinity Ward and Activision will release the Ghost Recon game I've been patiently waiting for.

Now, some of you might already be reaching for the reply button to remind me Call of Duty games aren't exactly grounded on realism, but the truth is the Ghost Recon series strayed away from it a while ago. What can I say? I'm excited to see the sensational "shock and awe" flair akin to a Hollywood action movie the Call of Duty series always brings; but I'm more excited to see how they represent this shadowy group known only as the Ghosts.

Ten years after a devastating mass event, the nation's borders and the balance of global power have been redrawn forever. A superpower no more, its economy and government in ashes, the country's once-mighty military struggles to stave off complete collapse.

As what's left of the nation's Special Operations forces, a mysterious group known only as "Ghosts" leads the fight back against a newly emerged, technologically-superior global power.

-Courtesy of GameStop

Sounds intriguing don't you think?

Sounds an awful lot like the back of the box summaries for most of the Ghost Recon games, especially the whole - "known only as the Ghosts".

I have to admit I'm a little surprised Ubisoft hasn't chimed in. They've been using the Ghosts for over 12 years with mixed results and marginal success, and now they have to sit back and watch a rival company (Activision) swoop in and very likely shatter the record for pre-order sales, biggest profits (also Activision) and who knows what other record with a game that is strikingly similar to a game they've been producing for over a decade.

...and the game will probably be better.

...and fans will probably like it better.

It hurts, I know. The truth will do that from time to time.

The other potentially controversial issue that might arise, BESIDES the potential copyright infringement issue is the plot - read that again...or at least the provocative points.

...a devastating mass event

...the nation's borders redrawn

...superpower no more

...economy and government in ashes

...once-mighty military struggles

Well, that's sure to stir the media and politicians into a frenzy. Who wouldn't want to sit on the sidelines and watch that unfold? No hint of the word terrorism...yet. Maybe they don't want stir the pot too much too soon. I wouldn't be surprised if the game is blamed for causing violence in youth at some point...but I digress.

Final thought - I've played every Call of Duty game since Modern Warfare. In my opinion, the game has progressively gotten more shocking and more violent with each instance. I'm not saying I like it, or don't like it. I appreciate the edginess of it since that's how war really is...and I don't want to think this, and I hate to say it... But man oh man if the dog is part of the single player campaign and they kill him/her off, especially if they do it just for an emotional response, I vow I will never play another Call of Duty again. What can I say, animals are my weakness.

(My best buddy...sure do miss him.)

Who knows, maybe Ubisoft will surprise us at E3 with Ghost Recon: Modern Black Ops Warfare.

Roger out.