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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder - A Review
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is an expansion pack for the tactical shooter game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, released in 2002 for PC and 2003 for Xbox. It is also a playable campaign in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm, a game released for PlayStation 2 and N-Gage in 2004. The game is set in Cuba in 2010, where the Ghosts, an elite team of U.S. Army Green Berets, are sent to secure the first free elections after the death of Fidel Castro. The game features eight new single-player missions, five new multiplayer maps, 12 new weapons, two new game modes, and new vehicles and enemies.
The story of Island Thunder follows the events of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Desert Siege, which took place in Georgia and Ethiopia respectively. In 2010, Cuba is undergoing a political transition after the death of Fidel Castro in 2006. The United Nations has authorized a peacekeeping force to oversee the first free and fair elections in decades. However, a drug-funded warlord named Ariel Priego, backed by the anti-U.S. faction FDG (People's Democratic Front), is trying to sabotage the elections and restore the communist dictatorship. The Ghosts are deployed to Cuba to stop Priego and his allies, including mercenaries from Colombia's FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
The game's missions range from destroying drug and arms shipments, to protecting voting centers, to capturing Priego alive in his fortress. The game also features several cutscenes that show the political and military situation in Cuba, as well as the personal stories of some of the Ghosts.
The gameplay of Island Thunder is similar to that of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, with some improvements and additions. The player controls a team of six Ghosts, divided into two fireteams of three. The player can switch between any of the Ghosts at any time, and issue commands to the other fireteam. The game features a realistic damage system, where one or two shots can kill or wound a soldier. The game also has a stealth element, where the player can use cover, camouflage, and suppressors to avoid detection.
The game offers a variety of weapons and equipment for the Ghosts, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, pistols, night vision goggles, binoculars, and more. The game also introduces new weapons such as the M4 SOCOM rifle and the MM-1 automatic grenade launcher. The game also features new vehicles for both allies and enemies, such as helicopters, trucks, jeeps, tanks, and APCs.
The game has two new multiplayer game modes: Hamburger Hill and Siege. Hamburger Hill is a mode where two teams fight for control of a hilltop. Siege is a mode where one team defends a base while the other team tries to capture it. The game also has five new multiplayer maps set in various locations in Cuba.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder received generally positive reviews from critics and players alike. The game was praised for its realistic and immersive gameplay, its challenging and varied missions, its improved graphics and sound effects, and its multiplayer options. Some of the criticisms were directed at the game's short length, its lack of innovation compared to the original game, its occasional bugs and glitches, and its outdated engine.
The game was also compared to other tactical shooter games released around the same time, such as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. Some reviewers felt that Island Thunder was superior to these games in terms of realism and tactics, while others felt that it was inferior in terms of graphics and presentation.
The game sold well and won several awards from various gaming publications. It was also followed by several sequels and spin-offs in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is a solid expansion pack for fans of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and tactical shooter games in general. It offers a realistic and challenging gameplay experience set in a politically relevant scenario. It also adds new content and features that enhance the original game. However, it also suffers from some flaws and limitations that prevent it from being a groundbreaking game. It is a game that is worth playing, but not necessarily essential.
If you are interested in playing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder, you can buy it on Steam or check out the Wikipedia page for more information.