Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Desert Siege

4Ghost Recon: Desert Siege is an eight-mission expansion campaign for Ghost Recon. It’s set in the dusty, sun-bleached Horn of Africa, as the U.S. Special Forces leads the way for a Marine landing to liberate tiny Eritrea from the clutches of its belligerent neighbor Ethiopia, featuring the same squad-based action found in the original. Opening up with a nighttime beach landing, the campaign progresses through demo assignments, rescue missions, scouting ops, and ambushes, before culminating in a difficult final mission involving a convoy of enemy tanks.

The look of the missions in Island Thunder is quite distinct. The African savanna is a much different, more hostile environment than the Russian mountains (not to mention much more devoid of concealment). The feel is of desert warfare in the blistering sun, and it’s intense.

You’ll find a bunch of new weapons, foes, and surprises in general. There are RPGs in the game — and nothing’s scarier than being under attack by a rocket-propelled grenade. (Okay, maybe being fired at by the tanks, which are bad news indeed.) You can also unleash the classic M-60 machine gun, equip your new Israeli specialist with the widely exported FN FAL assault rifle, and dodge incoming fire from yet more Kalashnikovs.

In general, the missions are a bit tougher than those in Ghost Recon. In the second mission, you have to simultaneously rescue factory workers and subdue an enemy demolition team — and if you make too much noise, the bad guys detonate the place with you in it. In the final mission, you need to intercept the Ethiopians’ last-ditch tank assault — which is no mean feat for a squad of infantry!

New environment aside, Desert Siege isn’t significantly different from Ghost Recon, so it won’t exactly convert those who couldn’t get into the original game. But with eight missions that are every bit as involved and gripping as Ghost Recon’s 12 makes for a quality expansion overall.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win98

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