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Xbox steals Clancy's Thunder

First ever console campaign disk?

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, MechAssault and company can only look forward to being joined by NFL Fever 2003 (wrong continent, chaps) and Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO on March 14th, Xbox Live's official launch date. Apart from a couple of games with vaunted downloadable content, it's pretty much the same picture as it was when Test Drive kicked off on November 30th. All of which leaves Clancy and his mech-saddled friends leading the charge for online gaming. We'd be sceptical, if we didn't know first hand just how brilliant both games are.

And then yesterday evening (while we were on the M25, actually) Ubi Soft announced that it will follow up the release of Ghost Recon (which is expected to start selling in larger quantities when Live launches for real), with the console's first ever standalone campaign disk - Island Thunder.

As Clancy vets will know, Island Thunder was a celebrated add-on for the original Ghost Recon, and this Xbox iteration will be geared towards new and old hands alike. You won't need a copy of the original Ghost Recon to play it, so Island Thunder's Cuban Ghost campaign is available to everybody. The campaign disk will also include new missions and maps - a total of 12 game types will be available, and 12 maps for Live play, including four from the original Ghost Recon. Island Thunder will also allow gamers access to exclusive downloadable content, presumably (from the wording of the PR) unavailable to owners of the first title.

Sounds good, doesn't it? But the only question we had for Ubi Soft is the only one they cannot answer. How much is it going to cost? As an expansion pack rather than a full game, it needs to be priced accordingly - at around £20 max, we would say. However, Ubi has yet to make a firm decision or pass it onto the ground troops, judging by our fruitless inquiries this morning. As the first 'campaign disk' of its ilk to appear on Xbox, it will be up to Ubi to set the standard for pricing when Island Thunder is released in Q3 2003.

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