Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Island Thunder™
Developer: Red Storm
Game Rating: M (Mature)
Action, Simulation, Strategy/Tactics
Release Date: 8/5/2003
$14.99 / $9.99
Players: 1 - 2
Dolby 5.1 Surround
Players: 2 - 16
Cautiously, you creep through the jungle, the hostile compound spreading out before you. Silently, you signal actions to your teams. Alpha slowly crawls downhill while Bravo sets up support. Your sniper moves to a secure location, searching for hostiles. Suddenly, tracers light up the ground in front of you. You've been spotted. Analyzing the situation, you instruct one team to flank the enemy group while the other lays down suppressive fire. After clearing the compound, you grab the package, check for wounded, and then make your way to the next objective -- ghost-like. Standalone campaign disk release (doesn't require the original Ghost Recon) featuring new single- and multiplayer maps.
All the realism, sweat, and fear, with 15 missions, dozens of weapons and new secrets to unlock. Xbox LIVE brings the battlefield to life! Assemble a squad, plunge into battle, and use voice communication to coordinate the ultimate battlefield strategy! Play with up to 16 players in multiplayer battles via system link or split-screen multiplayer action for two players. Squad-based combat in your living room - Lead your teams through each map in Mission, Firefight, or mode. Standard and special-issue weapons like the M16A2, the M4 carbine and the fearsome and deadly OICW.
Those of you familiar with the original Ghost Recon can probably skip the basics section, as this is essentially the exact same game as its predecessor, with eight new campaign missions and a few weapons thrown into the mix.
- Left Analog - Move forward/backward, strafe left/right
- Right Analog - Look around
- L3 - Open door
- R3 - Zoom
- Right Trigger - Fire weapon
- Left Trigger - Bring up Map
- A button - Reload
- B button - Switch weapon
- X button - Toggle Night Vision on/off
- Y button - Switch character
- Black button - Toggle rate of fire
- D-pad up/down - Stand/Crouch/Lie Down
- D-pad left/right - peek left/right
In Map Screen
- Left analog - Rotate to select command/individuals
- R3 - Zoom map
- A button - Select character, toggle commands/team orders
- B button - Back
- D-pad - move cursor on map
Commanding Your Squad
To select the team you're going to give orders to, press up on the left analog stick and toggle with the A button. To set a waypoint (the place your guys are going to go to), move the map cursor to the desired location and hit A. Places where you can't set a waypoint cause your cursor to glow red when you run over them. You can set multiple waypoints to more deliberately guide the team's course. To command them to look in a specific direction when they reach the waypoint, hold down the A button until you see the field of view, then rotate it with the d-pad.
The buttons above each fireteam in the map screen allow you to set the manner in which they move to a waypoint.
- Advance: Will proceed to the waypoint with moderate caution, typically in a crouching position.
- At All Costs: The team will charge at maximum speed towards the waypoint, but due to their higher profile they make easier targets
- Hold: Stops the team until you give them a new order.
The buttons below each fireteam allow you to set the team's level of aggressiveness.
- Assault: The Default setting orders the team to proceed with their directions, stopping and killing any enemies they see on the way, but not precisely looking for trouble.
- Suppress: Will lay down massive volleys of fire if they spot an enemy, and keep it up even if the enemy finds cover.
- Recon: The team proceeds with maximum caution, sending out one member to scout an area out, then bringing in the other two when the coast is clear. The team won't fire at any enemies that they spot, alerting you instead. If they are fired upon they'll shoot back in self defense, but won't pursue enemies.
Single Player Hints and Tips
- Trying to control both teams simultaneously can be frustrating, and is rarely necessary. Much of the campaign can be completed by a single determined sniper.
- If you keep losing teammates, heed the above advice and bring fewer teammates into a fray. Especially at long distances, support and riflemen can be nothing but a liability.
- Try to keep a single team throughout the campaign, so that the members of that team get the most experience points possible.
- Save, save, save! Since death can strike without your ever being aware of a nearby enemy, it's important to save your game often. Do it every couple minutes just to be safe.
- While team selection is largely a matter of personal preference, I find that the best fire teams consist of a sniper, a rifleman, and a short range support character. This way your team is never completely screwed, no matter where your opponents are.
- Only use the night vision goggles in near-complete darkness. In fact, the only map you'll really need them on in the campaign mode is the fifth one.
- Camping, or hiding in a single spot and firing on anyone who crosses your path, can be a useful way to rack up kills. Just find a spot where you're protected by obstacles in all but one direction, lie down, and start shooting. It should be noted that this can be considered "Cheap" by a lot of players, and is not necessarily the best way to make friends.
- While the sniper rifle can be an excellent multiplayer weapon, it's also the most susceptible to lag. Whereas a machine gun, thanks to its large spread, will likely still hit its target if there's a half second or so lag, the sniper shot will miss completely. Only use the sniper rifle if you're sure of a lag-free game.
- Teamwork begins when picking your characters. Try to get a team together that will be able to hold its own in both close quarters and ranged combat. Assign people to be snipers, gunners and support crew.
- Always keep snipers and machine gunners close together in combat. This way the sniper can focus on picking off distant enemies while the machine gunner protects him from harm.
- For cripes sake, pick a map that fits the amount of people playing. Nothing's worse than some guy insisting on playing a gigantic map with only three people. No fun. No fun at all.
- The interiors of buildings are often great places for ambushes. Just hide by the door and pick off anybody that comes through. Cheap but effective.
- Don't underestimate the usefulness of grenades. Their ability to take out enemies that a normal bullet won't hit is invaluable. Grenades are much more useful than extra ammo, a pistol or binoculars in most instances.
- Sensors are spectacularly useful, but don't overdo it. As long as one guy on your team has some and knows how to use them you don't need to waste your inventory on more.
This map consists of several strips of beach, each dotted with buildings and connected by a series of caves. Because of its lack of open spaces and plethora of blind turns, this is a map that favors machine gunners and to a lesser extent Demo experts. There are a few decent sniping spots, though, such as behind the building on the pier and on top of the building stairways. The buildings themselves, with the exception of the one on the dock, cannot be entered.
The caves complex linking the beaches is a bit of a maze, and not a place to get caught by a demos expert. When crossing through try to do it as quickly as possible.
Try to keep a rapid firing, short range gun on hand when turning corners, and any character with sensors is an invaluable asset to your team.
This map is a small island, with a central hill surrounded by a maze of corn fields. The top of the hill is the most valuable piece of real estate on the map, and you should attempt to grab it as soon as possible. The trick to success in this mission is teamwork: Get your team to the top of the hill, then each look in a different direction on the beaches and cornfields below. If you've got at least three or four guys you should be able to see, and shoot at pretty much everything that moves in the map.
If the other team reaches the top first, there are a few places to hide. The spots where the cornfield meets the beach are fairly safe if you stay low, and the buildings offer safety if you can reach them. Your best bet against a good team on top of the hill is to do nothing. Just find somewhere safe, then sit and wait until they come after you.
The best weapon for this map is probably the M4 rifle. It's got the range to fire at distant enemies, plus its grenades can make short work of people outside your line of sight.
This massive map is best for 16-man games, and consists of a series of interconnected islands. The first thing you should notice, though, is that the water separating the islands is shallow enough to walk across. Of course, you're wide open when crossing the water and liable to get sniped.
Tucked on top of the hill on the biggest island is the Stronghold itself. If you've got enough people on your team, you should make securing this building your first priority. Tuck people into the garage, the main door and the balcony, and waste anyone who comes near. If anybody gets inside, try to take them out in the narrow hallways with explosives.
When forming a team, you should have about half your guys with sniper rifles and the other half with machine guns, to cover both long range shots and close combat fighting.
This medium-sized map is reminiscent of the prison camp from the first Ghost Recon. The center of the map is a large prison camp, full of scattered buildings which cannot be entered. A few of them have doors blown open, though, leading to ambush-friendly alcoves. Be careful when climbing on the second story platforms, as you can fall off them and take damage.
Outside the prison walls is a thin strip of hills and grass. This area is a nice place to fire at people as they escape the prison, but it fairly wide open, giving you little cover if they see you before they die. Tucked into one of the corners of this outer area is the prison cemetery. You can sneak into a few of the crypts for a safe ambush spot for less experienced players.
This massive mission consists of a large beach, a large wilderness area just in from the beach, and a military base. As the military base contains the best hiding spots, this is where you should head first
The best spot that you can be on this map is the roof of the main base. Climb us the stairs until you reach the top, then lie down against the low wall, where you'll be immune from enemy fire and able to pick off anybody who tries to come through the door after you. You'll also have a good sniping position from which to pick off the suckers below.
Should you use your night vision goggles on this map? Well, that's up to you. Personally, I find it just bright enough that I can make out enemies without needing them, so I don't use them. However, you should probably try the level with and without them to see which suits your fancy.
This medium sized map has got more cover than pretty much any other map in the game. From stalls to bookshelves to vehicles, there's always something to hide behind close at hand. The only problem is that most of the cover objects are fairly small, leaving you trapped behind, say, a bookcase while somebody fires at you. Because of this, it's essential to use good teamwork, calling your buddies in to help anybody who's pinned down.
Whether on the offensive or the defensive, a grenade throwing character is essential for this map. You can use them to huck explosives over walls to kill an enemy trying to hide, or you can use them when you yourself are hiding, creating a distraction while you slip off to your next piece of cover.
Tucked into one of the corners of this map is a large statue. The low walls surrounding him are a great hiding place if you've got a friend with you. Just lay down at a 90 degree angle from each other in the corner and you can see anything passing through.
Imagine a more wide open version of the ever-popular Docks level from the original Ghost Recon and you've pretty much got this map. While your starting point is usually a bit of a hike to the central area, the depot itself is where all the action is.
The trains provide spectacular cover, as you can lie down and fire underneath them. Additionally, the inside of the one accessible building is great for ambushes, as there are only two doors. Perhaps the best spot to pick off your opponents, though, is at the far end of the level where the train tracks run into a cave. You can't enter the cave, but a good sniper can lay down behind the grass in front of it and see pretty much everything going on at the depot. Due to the emphasis on distance killing, a rifle or a sniper rifle is an absolute must for this map.
This map is a strategic planner's worst nightmare. Most of it consists of small enclaves of a dozen or so shacks, each one of which is a potential spot for an ambush. While this can be useful for killing unwary enemies, most smart people will simply stay away from them.
If you must pass through a series of shacks, leave the main path and go around back, where hopefully nobody's looking. The best thing you can do, though, is to get up on top of one of the small ridges overlooking the main path. Sure you're kind of out in the open, but if you stay low you're safer than if you just charge through the area. Besides, these spots are fairly nice for sniping.