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Recon Advanced Warfighter
Score: 5.5 / 10
The Xbox 360 launch had a considerable
share of current-gen ports that were priced higher, but didnít really
show that much in the way of improvements. King Kong was the same on the
360 as the regular Xbox, with better texturing. Gun was the same except
for a higher framerate. It didnít exactly create confidence in the power
of the 360.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the original Xbox shares the same
title as the 360 game. You might be tempted to think that they are the
The two may share the same basic plotline and similarly game mechanics,
but theyíve been designed by two entirely different teams. You still
play the role of
American soldiers sent down into Mexico,
where the Canadian prime minister has been assassinated, and both the
Mexican and American presidents are running for their lives. Thereís
been a insurgency of rebels, you see, and you need to quell it by
killing every last one of them. The Advanced Warfighter part of the
title refers to the fancy visor that your character wears, which keeps
track of your
allies, your foes and your next objective by highlighting them with
various colors. Considering how open the world first feels, it makes
navigation quite easy. The entire game is viewed from a first-person
perspective, and you can see your gun on screen, making it almost feel
like Rainbow Six 3.
The streets of Mexico are almost completely barren, and the whole game
has a washed out, dusty look. Itís hardly an attractive game, but it
does capture the feel of the desert pretty well. Ubi Soft didnít even
attempt the gorgeous graphics effects seen the in 360 version, though
you could hardly blame them. Still, the animation is decent, and the sun
glare works fine for the system.
Although GRAW is meant to be a combination of action and strategy, the
Xbox version doesnít pull off either particularly well. You only have a
single partner at any given time, and the game has a tendency to back
you into corners and toss waves and waves of bad guys right at you.
Since your tactical options are severely limited, the only thing path
left is to play it as a shooter. Since a few stray shots will take you
down, running through with guns blazing is a bad idea. The only way to
survive is by taking cover, peeking out, and firing. Except this is
executed rather poorly -- you just position yourself by a wall, hold the
left trigger and move the analog pad to peek out, fire and then duck
back in. Considering how other games implemented a similar feature --
like Perfect Dark Zero or the 360 GRAW, where you just take cover with a
single button, which allows you to jump out and jump back in with almost
graceful ease -- you wonder why they couldnít have come up with a system
thatís more intuitive.
There are other problems that seem to stem from the developerís
laziness. Your standard rifle only supports one level of zoom, leaving
you to rely on your sniper rifle. In most games, you can hold your
breath to steady your aim when sniping, but not here. The visor no
longer tells you the health of your enemies, just their basic position.
There are mid-level checkpoints, but the only way to actually save the
game mid-mission is by hunting down weapon kiosks, which are sometimes
placed in out-of-the-way areas. You canít pick up ammo from dead bad
guys either, once again forcing you to hunt down those kiosks.
Most of these issues seem to stem from the developerís laziness, but
there other technical issues too.
The frame rate tends to chug in scenes with heavier action, and given
the small margin of error in many situations, this can cause plenty of
problems. Thereís also a mini picture which shows the POV of your
companion, but itís so choppy that you wonder why it was even
implemented. Although there is an easy difficulty level, where your
commando slowly regains health over time, it still ends up being a
remarkably tough game. Taken together, all of these diminish the
experience quite a bit.
The multiplayer is pretty standard, allowing for deathmatch or
cooperative quick skirmishes. Compared to the large number of game modes
in the 360 version, this is pretty underwhelming. On the positive side,
you can play the entire single player campaign in co-op with two
players. Oddly enough, the on-screen guns disappear in these modes.
Everything about the Xbox GRAW seems compromised. Even if you donít
compare it to the 360 version, the game either comes off of an
unbalanced first person shooter or a neutered action-strategy sim.
Either way, itís not going to win any fans, unless youíre utterly
desperate for more military action and donít have a 360.