"Havana, 2009. Castro is dead, and Cuba reels from a power vacuum. The Ghosts - an elite team of U.S. Army Green Berets - are deployed. Their mission: halt the drug-funded warlord from sabotaging the island republic's first free elections in decades."
- From the box of Ghost Recon: Island Thunder
PLN is taking a break from the rough and tumble work of covering the news in an even and honest manner to bring you our first PLN Video Game Review. This time around we're heading into the vaults to review Tom Clancy's GHOST RECON 2: ISLAND THUNDER for the XBOX.
As promised, Ghost Recon delivers the ultimate jungle warfare experience. As the instruction manual states, "Fidel Castro's heirs have been unable to keep the fire of his revolution burning, and a popular uprising has toppled the communist regime." To counteract those who wish to irresponsibly impose their political will through "subversion, violence, and open revolution" the Ghosts are called in.
Stated simply - the Ghosts are a group of patriotic fire-brands with the tools and talent enough to get the job done in Cuba with or without the help of congress, administrational oversight, or air support. These elite warriors are freedom fighting super men armed with the sweetest US-made war technology you've never dreamed existed. Ooooh, to hear these machine guns pop off as some punk tries to defend his tobacco plantation in the name of anti-democracy is enough to make me wish that either myself, or my grandchildren will someday experience the thrill of liberating Cuba. Just hearing the words "enemy down" come through the speaker sends a chill up my spine and the peace of mind knowing that the struggle for freedom burns inside those who actually fight the wars and those who experience combat in the comfort of their own homes.
It all begins with a beautiful cinematic tribute to the tropical glory of Cuba's coastline as the Ghosts arrive on shore. As these seasoned contractors and soldiers alike admire the majestic beauty of Cuba's newly liberated foliage they begin to take enemy fire. Not a likely scenario, but since it's a video game I'll suspend my disbelief.
That's one of Cuba's 2,362 cars.
Even the top notch cinematics are no match for the accurate and awe inspiring game environments. The amount of God's glory tossed out on this island makes this gamer wonder why it hasn't been a part of the United States all along. Not long after you're stunned by the games depiction of Cuba's splendor, filthiness, and possibilities for tourist megabucks, your mission begins.
Mission: Kick ass and take names...or not. The discovery you soon make is that Cuba cannot be liberated enough. There are initially 18 tasks in Ghost Recon, but the completion of them unlocks more content, more liberation. War is a game of inches and these underarmed, scrappy insurgents won't give them up without at least pretending they hate Freedom. The great thing about being an American soldier is that our weaponry so much out-blasts the tinker toys the Cubans have. It's almost as if they're using the same guns Oswald killed Kennedy with. Makes you think.
As a soldier, you're told not too get to close. Don't become too attached. You never know who's going to make it back. However, one member of my Bravo Team has turned out to be my favorite of the whole elite Ghost Squadron. His name is Shawn Cressler. He's a thick, tough, go-getter who is willing to to what it takes in order that the kill is made and the team gets home safely. If we got back to the States, I'd for sure call him up and go for a beer at least once or twice a year. We'd tell stories and watch each others kids grow up in the name of Freedom. That's how in-depth Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is. I'm crying as I write this review.
The only drawback to Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is the suspicious fact that the voice over of your commanding superior officer sounds exactly like insurgent Presidential candidate Barrack Hussein Obama. Maybe it's time for the games developer Ubi Soft to do a quick sweep of their work force.
If you have and XBOX or XBOX 360, you've got to get this game! It's available USED at most Game Stop and EB Games stores for only $3.99!
Play the game. Learn the mission. Execute.
I give Ghost Recon: Island Thunder a...