Heroes Unleashed, a huge mod for 2001's original Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, has entered its final phase of open beta. The latest version of Heroes Unleashed is now available as a free download on both PC and Mac.
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The mod's author, Apex, describes Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed as a "hardcore tactical realism mod/expansion pack" for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, the 2001 classic that is credited with Rainbow Six - another Tom Clancy property - for pioneering the squad-based tactical shooter.
Heroes Unleashed strives to maximise realism in every aspect of the game. Apex claims his mod's weapons "perfectly match their real-life counterparts in accuracy, effectiveness, and handling," and that "your AI opponents display terrifying levels of tactical acumen in trying to outwit you". One bullet can kill, and there are no modern contrivances such as med kits or HUD indicators for objectives, grenades or opponents.
The mod has been 15 years in the making and only saw its first public release in 2008, since when it has had hundreds of thousands of downloads. Its latest version contains over 125,000 files, weighs in at roughly 20 GB in size, and offers over 200 maps and missions, 400 weapons and equipment items, 100 military and civilian vehicles, 1,000 character models, and over 100 single and multiplayer game types. Quite an epic labour of love for just one person.