Welcome to Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed
Dear Ghost Recon Fans,
It is my honor to finally make a contribution to the Ghost Recon family in the form of a new mod. I have been working "swiftly, silently, and invisibly" on this for several years, and now that the time has come for my mod to see the light of day, I am overjoyed to be able to give something back at last.
Heroes Unleashed is my tribute to the Ghost Recon community. The mod's aspiration is to honor the makers and fans of this great game, and to be a token of appreciation for all the people who expanded the Ghost Recon universe over the years - with their work, support, ideas, enthusiasm, and sociability. All of you made our beloved game the all-time classic it is today.
I hope that Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed will provide you all with many additional hours, days, or even years of fun in playing one of the best computer games ever devised.
PS: As part of this introduction, please allow me to quote an extract from the mod's ReadMe, listing its features - as requested.
- Original campaign missions are re-scripted to improve scenario
realism, e.g. reinforcements do not spawn out of thin air in front of
your eyes, some enemy locations vary each time a mission is done, etc.
- Mission environment settings (fog range, color, and opacity, as well
as overall rendering distances etc.) are adjusted for a more realistic
- Spotting distances for AI characters are corrected on all maps - if
you can see the enemy, he can see you, too.
- All mission locations displayed during briefings are corrected and
shown with proper coordinates on new world maps covering the entire
planet. Mission times displayed during briefings correspond to visual
environments in their respective maps.
- All map textures have been reviewed one-by-one for potential visual
inadequacies and touched-up or recreated if necessary to achieve the
best possible level of visual realism.
- Many visual effects like muzzle flash, tracer ammunition, ricochets,
blood, gunshot wounds, fire, explosions, debris, smoke, rain, snow,
lightning, shadows, clouds, lens flare etc. are retextured for a more
- AI enemies are adjusted to exhibit more realistic behavior and
capabilities (e.g. there are no more enemies with super-human weapon
accuracy that lets them shoot the wings off a fly at a distance of
hundreds of meters with a standard-issue assault rifle).
- Enemies carry a wider more authentic range of weapons and equipment.
- Player and friendly AI characters' abilities are slightly increased
to make them act a bit more like the elite soldiers they are supposed
- New weapons and vehicles are added for a broader and more realistic
variety of military materiel.
- All weapons are correctly designated and adjusted using real-life
properties (weights, magazine capacities, trigger groups, fire rates
etc.) and ballistics (range, stopping power, recoil, etc.).
- Weapon handling is adjusted for more realistic weapon control, e.g.
to facilitate improved shooting while moving slowly, and smaller guns
like pistols, SMG's etc. "feel" more compact and allow for quicker
target acquisition than larger weapons.
- All weapons feature authentic sounds which also exactly reflect the
rate of fire of each individual weapon. For example, when you fire an
assault rifle with an effective rate of fire of 750 rounds per minute
you hear a staccato with intervals of exactly 0.08 seconds.
- Weapon models are more detailed and exhibit more authentic overall
appearance. Every single weapon texture has been manually reworked
and refined for a perfect finish providing realistic visual features,
including homogeneous color saturation and optical contrast across
- Weapon scopes feature accurate magnification levels and realistic
field of view. Weapons without magnifying optics provide no zoom.
- Weapon optics are represented with more realistic visual appearance
based on their real-life reticles. All reticle textures have been
completely recreated from real-life weapon optics. Weapons with iron
sights retain generic default reticles.
- Night vision and binoculars more closely match the field of view
and appearance of their real-life counterparts.
- HUD, Command Map, and Compass/Threat Indicator are changed, with
some elements removed, for a cleaner and less obtrusive look, and to
allow a less restricted field of view. Direction of enemy positions
is no longer displayed to improve realism and suspense. Threats in
close proximity (40 meters) are still indicated (non-directional).
- Vehicle characteristics are adjusted for more realistic behavior.
Their weapons correspond to real-world armaments with realistic weapon
effectiveness, and vehicle handling allows for realistic movement.
- NPCs (Non-Player Characters) and vehicles are no longer shown on the
Command Map and sensors are removed from the equipment selection to
facilitate more realistic tactical play.
- Rangefinders are no longer available by default, to improve realism
in unit equipment (in real life not every soldier carries an AN/GVS-5
Laser Rangefinder). The corresponding keyboard shortcut is renamed
and now simply holsters your weapon. Rangefinders are still available
via equipment selection.
- Some audio-visual feedback (e.g. on-screen text messages and voice
confirmation of kills) is removed/randomized to limit diversion, raise
immersion, and to improve overall suspense and realism (e.g. without
kill confirmation you can not be sure whether a distant threat has
been eliminated unless you confirm the kill yourself).
- The body damage model provides more authentic wound lethality (e.g.
shots to the head are more likely to kill, while hitting arms, legs or
abdomen has a higher probability to result in non-lethal wounds) and
body armor more closely reflects real-life (NIJ Standard 0101.04)
Type II, III, and IV armor levels, e.g. characters wearing NIJ Type IV
bullet resistant vests (like e.g. most support experts) have at least
single hit protection for the chest against most ammunition types.
- Body armor is adjusted for each individual in-game character, e.g.
an irregular wearing a t-shirt no longer exhibits any unusual bullet
resistance, while a soldier with a bulky vest and/or combat uniform
very likely has body armor of some kind. In general, the bulkier the
vest/uniform a character wears, the higher the type of body armor.
- Combat load for each soldier is balanced to range from about 25 kg
"Fighting Load" up to about 60 kg "Emergency Approach March Load" with
matching TAT ABL to approximate FORSCOM regulations. Compromises are
made to comply with mission objectives and a more balanced gameplay.
- Overlap in equipment kits between soldier classes is increased (e.g.
anti-armor weapons can be found in non-demolitions kits etc.) for more
realistic unit variety and flexibility.
- Obsolete U.S. Army BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) and DCU (Desert
Camouflage Uniform) is replaced with currently fielded ACU (Army
Combat Uniform) with UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern). However,
some Specialists retain their old style BDU/DCU combat uniforms.
- The Sniper class now offers two different characters in distinctive
roles: A Sniper with Ghillie Suit camouflage for solitary work and
rural surroundings, and a Marksman with standard issue uniform for
teamwork and in urban environments to avoid the unrealistic employment
of Ghillie-suited snipers in team roles or urban areas, and to reflect
real-world sniper and marksman roles.
- Other soldier classes feature additional characters to provide a
more realistic varied team selection (e.g. so not all riflemen in your
team look alike, anymore).
- Due to lack of realism in the game's hard-coded system for awarding
decorations, these are no longer displayed in the platoon setup screen
(decorations will still be shown in the mission debriefing screen and
those earned by a soldier more than once are displayed in the platoon
setup screen as bronze and silver pins during campaigns).
- The mod's campaign contains all missions of Ghost Recon and both
official expansion packs, Desert Siege and Island Thunder, combined
into one trilogy sequence. It features all Specialists characters
(except Jodit Haile) as unlockables, each with appropriate uniforms
and camouflage for all mission locations.
- Every Specialist can be unlocked in more than one campaign mission,
so if a player does not succeed at first try, there is still a chance
to unlock the same Specialist later on in the campaign.
- Specialists of the original game that are already unlocked before
installation of the mod are unlocked within the mod as well (the mod
uses the same database for unlocked Specialists as the original game).
- Campaign missions are re-scripted to provide a more demanding game
experience and increased non-linearity, and adjusted for a unified
"look'n'feel", e.g. objective triggers and their response messages are
more consistent. Additionally, several script errors and glitches are
fixed, and hidden enemies no longer appear as shadows in multiplayer.
- To further increase replayability, missions and game types feature a
scoring system which displays additional information about players'
performance after each mission/game. The score takes various aspects
of mission execution into account (objectives, health, stealth) and
provides extra incentive for replaying missions to optimize each score
component thus maximizing the total score.
- Movie sequences are adapted for the new campaign (and the final
movie features a little bonus).
- All movie sequences are re-cut and re-encoded with corrected common
widescreen aspect ratio.
- Intro and/or outro cinematics are added to many missions depending
on the mission circumstances, e.g. if the mission's briefing context
calls for or allows insertion and/or extraction by helicopter, etc.
- In-game text is corrected with proper English title capitalization
and modified for homogeneous sentence spacing, as well as a more
consistent wording style.
- Maps and missions are renamed and reordered for a more consistent
naming convention and to provide logical sequence for single and in
multiplayer mode. The map sequence is the same for all game types,
both single- and multiplayer, and maps have the same numbering as
their corresponding missions.
- Single missions outside of the campaign are in a "shuffled" order by
default to provide varying environments for all map sequence options.
- Map names feature S/M/L (Small/Medium/Large) labels to provide extra
information during map selection. Multiplayer server setup features
additional map information on the map selection screen. In addition
to map size and recommended number of players, the map summary now
provides a variety of combat environment information (e.g. default,
desert, or jungle territory; rural or urban setting; CQB situation;
day or night; time of day; weather conditions).
- Several new maps, missions, and game types are added for both single
and multi-player to increase the game's variation and replayability.
- All game types for both single and multi-player games are completely
re-scripted for improved gameplay and replayability, and to provide
ideal compatibility with the mod's wide range of map sizes - from its
smallest CQB locations up to its vast long range outdoor scenarios.
- Among the new game types is "Black Ops", a random mission generator
representing classified military operations with countless possible
combinations of mission objectives. The Black Ops game type takes the
game's scripting capability to its absolute limit to provide realistic
random mission parameters for infinite replayability.
- Menus, PDA, loading screens, HUD, Command Map Interface, mouse
pointer, credits screens, etc. are redesigned for a "fresh" game look
that offers an updated overall appearance while staying close to the
original game's unique visual style.
- The Command Map Interface is modified to display all other human and
computer team members with authentic military rank insignia next to
their names. The player's character is identified as Captain, other
human players as Master Sergeants, and computer players as Sergeants.
- All Command Maps are recreated to feature a more homogeneous design
and tactical grid coordinates that facilitate strategic team play.
- All missions and maps are unlocked for single player Quick Missions
- All maps feature completely reworked map scripting that makes them
available in all single and multiplayer game types. Every map script
is also modified to allow an increased number of enemies and a greater
variety of enemy locations in all game types.
- Many maps feature newly created UI elements like snapshots, briefing
world maps, Command Maps, and Command Map briefing images, as well as
mission briefing text.
- New military units are made available as multiplayer characters to
improve balancing between teams through competitive camouflage on all
types of map terrain. The additional military units feature character
models that are retextured to fit in with the original characters as
closely as possible while maintaing a high level of authenticity.
- All standard multiplayer teams are represented by U.S. and Russian
military special forces units in full camouflage uniforms suitable for
any terrain - woodland, desert, and jungle. Default teams 1 through 4
are U.S. Army Special Forces Ghosts (Blue Team), Russian Spetsgruppa
Alfa (Red Team), U.S. Special Forces Detachment Delta (Green Team),
and Russian Spetsgruppa Vympel (Gold Team), respectively, all in
appropriate woodland, desert, and jungle camouflage uniforms.
- Another special forces unit, U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance,
equally featuring retextured characters with camouflage uniforms for
any terrain, is available in select multiplayer restriction sets.
- All multiplayer units feature a new Marksman character with standard
uniform (woodland, desert, and jungle) for better visual integration
into teams and for urban environments.
- Multiplayer server setup now allows selecting the availability of
both equipment and military units through restriction sets, so the
"Available Kits" option is renamed to "Soldier Config" to reflect its
influence on available military units as well as their equipment.
- Multiplayer restrictions feature different default equipment kits
based on the selected military unit, e.g. a Delta Force demo expert
has a different default weapon than a Force Recon Marine of the same
- All equipment outline textures for equipment selection screens were
completely reworked to reflect weapons and their attachments with more
detail. Additionally, all weapons with magnifying optics are marked
with crosshairs symbols, and all grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons,
and demolition charges are identified by corresponding symbols.
- All weapons and equipment are made available in single player Quick
Missions, single player campaign, and multiplayer games.
- The equipment selection screens are adjusted to correctly display
3-digit kit numbers.
- Interface dialog strings are adjusted to reflect the existence of
anti-armor weapons other than the M136 and also their availability
outside of the demolitions soldier class.
- All used files have been reviewed one-by-one for possible conflicts
with any other files in the mod, the original game and both official
expansion packs, and - if necessary - adjusted, to ensure a perfect
compatibility of all components.
- Many other little technical and cosmetic fixes and improvements are
implemented to achieve the best possible gaming experience.