Island Thunder Review
By:Rocky

.page 2.

Graphics and Sounds
 

The jungle based missions look great, as does the nicely detailed urban Voting Centre mission.

In good visibility the jungle looks great and the Ghosts look totally at home as they move with stealth through the greenery. When the rain comes down, and the fog prevails however it is a nervous and atmospheric mission ahead, with bandits appearing close by with little in the way of warning. Thunder rumbles above and the clouds are momentarily lit by flashes of lightening, distracting - just what you can't afford to be in a rebel infested jungle!

The rain effects are great in the Training Camp with the batter of the rain changing next to buildings as the rain hits the tin roof and sheets off onto the ground below, great stuff. Jungle sounds abound with the chatter of wild animals and birds filling the air. The neat thing about Ghost Recon sound effects is that they are extremely convincing, and looping is hard to detect, it all sounds extremely natural.

One of the multiplayer maps, Island Village, is a colourful map with some neat effects like seagulls flying past, and yachts circling the island. The neon signs outside the beach properties and bright blue skies are a far cry, but welcome change, from the campaigns Jungle maps.

The cut scenes used for intro's outro's and the excellent Mission Complete movie are all well done. The final movie especially, which goes that extra distance over Desert Siege as it includes some nice CGI graphics merged in with the engine graphics. As I mentioned before, seeing the team you actually picked, carrying your choice kit, in the movies also goes a way to increasing the atmosphere and tension.


Weapons
 

In the single player campaign two new weapons caught my attention. Specialist Klaus Henkel was carrying a Hawk MM1 40mm grenade launcher - tricky to aim, but devastating when it hit home.

My favourite new weapon was the M4 SOCOM which proved to be a very capable rifle. Even at long distances, where I might usually expect to see a rebel scamper away under the hail of assault rifle fire - the SOCOM was dropping them like jungle flies.

There are alot more weapons to select from though that add to the enjoyment of multiplayer games.

For snipers there is the SR-25, a Stoner weapon that's a sniper version of the M-16 used by some spec-ops outfits.

The Samopal vz 58 assault rifle, Degtyarev DP Russian made machine gun, RP-46 fire support gun are all awesome. If that's not enough, there is also a FN M240G - the USMC's version of the FN MAG, and a Star Z-84.

Finally there is a Samopal 25, Makarov 9mm pistol and the AGS-17 automated grenade launcher system.

Multiplayer

The multiplayer server screen has been totally revamped. There are 5 tabs to switch between all the various options, including a summary tab which neatly displays the server settings. Using these tabs rather than having all the info jammed into one screen is a vast improvement.

Multiplayer has two new game types - "cat and mouse" and "behemoth". "Cat and Mouse" is a lot of fun where one player designated as the mouse has to avoid the other players who are all designated cats. To make it harder for the lone player, the mouse is automatically equipped with a sub machine gun, and has his position highlighted by the unusual feature of flaming feet! It's a nice break from the realism of the campaign games.

New Game Mode

"Defend" is much like Urban Operations defend which was (still is) a favourite game of ours. The difference being there are no switches to protect, only the area marked by green smoke. What is the same is the ferocity of the rebels as they try to invade your territory, as they throw grenades and try to six your position. What's enjoyable is beating them at their own game and taking a squad away from the Defend Zone and sixing the rebels as they face the other way! This worked especially well on the bright and breezy Island Village map.

click here for page 3


© GhostRecon.net