As with all Tom Clancy games, Ghost Recon: Island Thunder
presents an interesting, politically charged adventure. Island Thunder
takes place in Cuba shortly after the fictional death of Fidel Castro. Obviously, this has thrown the political atmosphere of the area in shambles, making the area unstable. You once again control the Ghosts, a highly trained Army Special Forces unit, as you go into the heart of the storm and try to bring stability to the area.
Even though Ghost Recon has long been hailed for its Multi-player modes (and rightly so), the game also manages to offer a fairly deep and intriguing Single-player mode as well. Island Thunder is more of an upgrade to the original than a true sequel, so it's significantly shorter. Overall, everything plays just as good as the original, but with a few modifications that were left out in the first game. One of the nicer updates is the availability of more 'kits' this time around. The number of soldier types you can put in your outfit has also been expanded. Twelve of these new classes are available right off the bat, while you can unlock six other new ones over the course of the campaign, provided you meet certain mission goals. These new types lend themselves well to the game and add another layer of depth when making your team. The developers have also thrown in an option that lets you upgrade the stats of your soldiers and improve their skills.
Multi-player modes have also returned and have undergone some improvements. Co-op mode is back, which allows two people to play through the main campaign together on one Xbox. A sixteen-player LAN mode is also available, as is the real star of the show, the sixteen-player Xbox Live mode. Once online, you can choose to play in either Solo, Team or Co-op modes through a number of match types like Mission, Firefight, Defend, Recon, Cat and Mouse, Sharpshooter, Hamburger Hill, Last Man Standing, Domination, Search and Rescue and Siege. Most modes are aimed towards team play, but a few also offer Deathmatch options. Island Thunder also offers a generous selection of new maps to play through and will offer new ones in the future via Downloadable Content.