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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Island Thunder

Ghost ReconTom Clancy

Ubi Soft seems to be thec ompany who knows what they are doing. Their two Tom Clancy games, Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon have been benchmark titles in their respective genres. Now, they are extending the horizons to an already spectacular game, Ghost Recon. This may be the best $30 investment you will make all year!

If you have already played this spectacular shooter, then you know what you are in for. Intense squad-based gaming that’s as addictive as crack [not that any of our staff know exactly how addictive it is! – Ed]. The add-on will be sure to give us more of what we loved in the original game, but also include more
to keep you playing even longer. The best part is that you don’t need the original game to play the expansion.

So if you don’t have the original Ghost Recon, don’t worry. You will feel right at home. Sure there are less maps, but you are paying $20 less then the original game. At the moment, the expansion pack will include eight new single player missions, and possibly up to 12 new multiplayer maps for you LIVE fanatics. As voted by the public, Embassy will be the only multiplayer map that will be included in Island Thunder. Brace yourselves for some urban city shooting!

If you also think that this is just a lousy add-on and there are no improvements, think again! Ubi Soft has once again upped the ante with its Ghost Recon series. The graphics and level environments are much prettier then any Ghost Recon game in the past. The weather effects are another upgrade in the game. If you thought the rain and snow in the original was fantastic, wait until you see this. You will be blown away! Not to mention the fact, there will be moving vehicles. Right now, it doesn’t look as if you will be driving them, but expect Cubans to be driving Jeeps around you and shooting you from all angles. Did I say Cubans?

The storyline has almost the same twist to it as the original Ghost Recon, except… you’re in Cuba. That’s right, Cuba! Home of drugs and cigars, but that isn’t why you’re there, so we think. Fidel Castro is finally dead (YES!), and the first elections in decades are thrown into turmoil by a drug-funded warlord. This is when all hell breaks loose. Then here you come, the Ghosts. You are an elite team of US Army Green Berets. The Ghosts are sent to Cuba as part of a UN peacekeeping force to destroy the rebel forces and their mercenary leaders and secure the elections for a free Cuba. Sound familiar?

The sound and gameplay of this game are expected to be top notch, as the original was. Of course, there is always room for improvement. You can most likely expect improvement from a name like Ubi Soft. The enemy AI is claimed to be much better then the previous game. This means the enemies will actually throw grenades towards you. It’s about time the Cubans start using those brains for something. The only thing that many fans would like to see is a new interface. The menus were sort of “blah” and very user unfriendly in the original.

LIVE play is also expected to be the best feature of the game. With modes such as Elimination, Search and Rescue, and fan favorite, Siege, you can’t lose. Servers can support up to 16 players when playing every man for him/herself, and 12 players for team-based fun. Of course, don’t forget about Co-Op mode. You can play through every single player mission with up to five of your greatest buddies, and voice communication really fits this game perfectly. The perfect LIVE experience!

There is really nothing to complain about from the looks of it. The game is $20 cheaper than the original, and you don’t need to own the original to play Island Thunder. There are great new multiplayer maps just waiting for you, along with support for downloadable content via Xbox LIVE. You can’t forget about the new and improved AI either. If you are a fan of Ghost Recon, then I would be pretty damn excited about this title. The projected release date for Island Thunder is the August 6th. Of course, I would expect this date to change, but you never know. Now you all know why this an add-on game like none other before!

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in January 2003.

Gentle persuasion

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