Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder

Moby ID: 9768
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The Ghosts are an elite team of U.S. Army Green Berets, 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.

Ghost Recon: Island Thunder includes a complete single and multiplayer challenge, featuring Xbox Live multiplayer support and future downloadable content.

Spellings

  • Золотая коллекция хитов Тома Клэнси. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder - Russian spelling
  • 幽灵行动:石破天惊 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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135 People (127 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

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Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 1 reviews)

Cuba Libre (or Whatever Happened to Hyman Roth?)

The Good
Island Thunder, the second and final expansion pack for Ghost Recon, is set in Post-Castro Cuba. In the four years since Castro’s death (the game is set in 2010), Cuba has made considerable progress towards becoming a democratic society. The island is now on the verge of having its first free elections and the Ghosts have been called in to ensure the process runs smoothly. Of course, one of the political factions (the FDG- “Fidel Did Good”?) would prefer if the process didn’t run smoothly and is prepared to use voter intimidation, terrorism, and drug money to see that their candidate takes the prize.

On its surface, Island Thunder doesn’t seem different from Desert Siege or even the original Ghost Recon. Whatever patches it contains probably tweaks the engine and the AI, but there aren’t any drastic changes here from the previous outings. However, Island Thunder has the most cohesive story, the best maps, and the most challenging gameplay of the series.

At eight levels, Island Thunder is the same length as Desert Siege, but it benefits from having access to more diverse scenery and a wider range of weather effects—Eritrea not getting too many tropical storms. Mission objectives include the typical rescuing downed pilots and securing key areas, to multitask ones like an urban mission which involves defending a polling center against an attack while freeing hostages around the city and assaulting the FDG headquarters.

I complained in my review of Ghost Recon about the extreme level of scripting and spawning present. Island Thunder is much more sophisticated when it comes to scripting (except for one part), using it to support the enemy AI rather than to make up for it. While the enemies this time around appear to be using old Russian weaponry, including the venerable but reliable AK-47, they are also crack shots and aren’t afraid to lob grenades. Vehicles play a larger role, with many more jeeps loaded with gunmen that pull up and open fire.

Visually Island Thunder isn’t an improvement over its predecessors, but for the first time, the sound made an impression on me. One rocky level has wind that howls around you and another level puts you in the middle of a fierce storm (Cuba has interesting weather patterns). Weapon effects have always sounded functional, but I was shocked this time around when I stumbled into an enemy and heard both my weapon firing and the sound of the bullets thudding into him.

Soldier and kit selection, as well as the secondary mission objectives which unlock specialists, remain the same.

The Bad
If I have one complaint unique to this expansion pack, it involves the last level. It’s no spoiler to say that most Tom Clancy games eventually involve containing one main bad guy. Having his capture hinge on scripted events rather than the player’s direct action seems a misstep. Still I had fun stalking him until the required event occurred. Also—If anyone can tell me why a small building blows up (for no apparent reason, from no apparent cause, to no apparent effect) during the Righteous Archer mission, I’d love to know.

The Bottom Line
There was a time that a game set in 2010 would be sci-fi themed. Island Thunder isn’t even sci-fi tinged. As speculative fiction it says more about society than technology. I highly recommend Island Thunder to fans of Ghost Recon, it’s easily my favorite of the GR games and I can easily understand why it was expanded to the standalone Jungle Storm for the PS2.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2004

Trivia

It may seem strange to PS2 owners that second add-on to Ghost Recon, yes this very Island Thunder was released for Xbox and PC, yet not for PS2. Well, it may be hard to notice, but the third add-on, Jungle Storm, which is PS2 exclusive contains both Jungle Storm and Island Thunder full scenarios. There is very little of it said on the box cover as it looks like Jungle Storm only, but once you start the game you see Jungle Storm is the main game, but Island Thunder that was amiss for PS2 players is full contained as an alternate scenario to be played.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by AdminBB.

Xbox added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: MAT, Kartanym, Unicorn Lynx, Klaster_1.

Game added July 25, 2003. Last modified January 21, 2024.