Discussion in 'General Video Gaming Chat' started by -Jay-, Aug 9, 2003.
Here you go boys the Review for G.R.I.T
It seems theres still some problems with the net code on this - alot of reports of BSOD - hopefully the UK version will have those problems sorted out.
jay can you cut and paste that review oto here - cant access that site through the firewall at work.
August 08, 2003 - Cautiously, you creep through the jungle. As you crawl to the crest of a hill, you see 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.
You might be familiar with a tactical squad based shooter that goes by the name of Ghost Recon. Ghost Recon took the Xbox community by storm last November because it offered a different take on the FPS. Gameplay tried to recreate the experience of actually being the commander of an elite group of soldiers. One-hit kills, stealth, and squad tactics didn't win over everyone, but GR developed enough hardcore followershas enough of a following to warrant the release of a campaign disk -- Ghost Recon Island Thunder.
The Ghosts' first mission took them deep into the heart of Russia to stop radical Ultranationalists from rebuilding the Iron curtain. Island Thunder takes place two years later in 2010. The Thunderous Island? Cuba. Fidel Castro's imposed communism has toppled and an infant democracy is struggling to grow up. The new President wants to hold free elections, but he's afraid that there are forces within Cuba that want to destroy this fledgling government. The Ghosts are sent in to safeguard the elections and kick some Cuban butt.
If you're unfamiliar with Ghost Recon, here's a quick rundown of what it entails. You're the commander of the group of elite forces called Ghosts. You have two, three man teams, which you can command by setting waypoints on a map, dictating what direction you want them to face, whether they should hold, advance, or advance at all costs, and if you want them to attack, suppress, or recon. The neat thing about GR is its realism. When you empty your clip, you'll have to wait a couple seconds for your gun to reload. The sniper rifle requires a delayed reload between each shot. It even takes time to cycle through your weapons (which you can only carry two). GR also requires you to actually plan out your moves. Kills take only one or two hits, so if your men are caught out in the open -- they're as good as dead.
While the original title focused mostly on the single player campaign, the Live play was where most gamers spent their time. Due to this popularity, we now have the expansion, Island Thunder. Unlike the PC titles, GRIT doesn't require you to own the original Ghost Recon. As testament, Ubi Soft has included the same training mode in GRIT that appeared in GR.
Not a whole lot has changed for the Ghosts in the single player campaign. Control seems a little tighter, there are new specialists and kits, and the maps have better definition of the maps boundaries (where you can and cannot go). You'll no longer be trying to hike up really steep hills. In terms of missions, they're more of the standard Ghost Recon multiple objective feats that you're used to.
However, with the expansion only offering eight new missions, the campaign really serves as an application of newbie training than a significant challenge to veterans of the Recon experience. However, there is the promise of new downloadable missions that should extend GRIT for solo soldiers. There is the promise of five downloadable desert missions that will be available to GRIT owners sometime this year that should extend campaign life.
The real GRIT experience is Live. Ubi Soft has infused Island Thunder with more maps and more options than were available in Ghost Recon (and, hopefully, there will be a lot of downloadable content). Along with just more multiplayer action, Island Thunder has been equipped with Live Aware. This means that as long as your Xbox is connected to the internet, you'll be able to receive invites while you're honing your skills in the single player campaign.
Sixteen soldiers can go at it in cooperative missions, team combat, lone gunmen. Cooperative games let you play with five others taking on the missions that appear in the game, a fire fight with hostiles, a recon mission (make it to an extraction point), and defend a base from invasion. Team games include Last Man Standing, Search and Rescue, Hamburger Hill (be the team with the only member in a designated zone and receive points for every second you stay alive / inside), Domination (same as Hamburger Hill, except there are five zones), and Siege (the smallest team defends a stronghold against teams of invading forces -- if a team can get a member inside for five seconds they win). Finally, solo games include Last Man Standing, Sharpshooter (person with most kills wins), Hamburger Hill, Cat and Mouse (all players are cats and the first person to get a kill becomes a mouse and his kit is reduced to just a pistol -- the mouse gets points for killing people, and whoever kills the mouse becomes the mouse).
GRIT's kit includes twelve all new multiplayer maps with environments that range from urban, rural, to barren environments. Also, Ubi Soft took a poll of fans to find out the top four favorite multiplayer maps from the original, which have been included in Island Thunder.
Live play is fast and fun. A good variety of maps and game modes make for an ever changing, diverse experience. The only real complaint is that it takes a while to get games started since players are cycling through extended kits, and matches are often over in a matter of five minutes. However, once people become familiar with the additional options, things should get started faster.
Island Thunder won't win Ghost Recon any awards for prettiest game of the year. The Graphics seem to have been smoothed out a little from the original, but things still look very, very simplistic. Character models have a decent level of detail (you can usually tell the difference between your squad mates), although most enemies look alike.
Where GRIT falls apart is in the environments. Grounded textures look smeared together, while trees and bushes seem like vague representations -- especially since most foliage appears two dimensional. Buildings and urban environments are all displayed in basic textures.
Making its glorious return is the ever present Ghost Recon fog. You'll still encounter the "fog of war" and enemies that just pop up in the distance. Weather effects are passable, but not cutting edge -- this isn't Splinter Cell folks. However, the large environments populated with roving hostiles more than makes up for the lacking graphics.
Sound is where Ghost Recon has always shined, and Island Thunder makes no exception. Although you won't find in game music, you won't miss it. Ubi Soft has once again done an excellent job of simulating the sounds you'd find out in the field. Footsteps, outbreaks of gunfire, chirping crickets, singing birds, talking Cubans, and communication between your teams all make for an immersive experience. It sounds like you really are in the midst of jungle wardare.
Ghost Recon Island Thunder is an expansion pack to Ghost Recon in every sense except that you don't have to own the original to play GRIT. The additions to the single player campaign are outweighed by the frantic multiplayer action, making this a game for those who seek Live play over another squad-based single player experience.
This is a disk that fans of Ghost Recon need to pick up -- especially for $40 and the promised downloadable content. Those not quite sold on the original won't find any real changes from the GR formula in Island Thunder, so should keep their distance.
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