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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action / Shooter

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft Paris

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

March 6, 2007

 

 

- Loads of minor tweaks to make the overall experience better than the original

- Multiplayer, both local and over Live, are almost games unto themselves

- Great graphics and audio

 

 

- Single-player campaign is over all too quickly

- Without Xbox Live, you're only getting 1/3 of a game

 

 

Review: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (360)

Review: Rainbow Six Vegas (360)

Review: Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (360)

 

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Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

If you’re looking for a short review of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, here it is: GRAW 2 is nearly identical to the first game – only some minor, but very welcome adjustments have been implemented to make the experience less frustrating, more fun and better looking.

 

graw 2          graw 2

 

GRAW 2 picks up almost immediately after the events chronicled in the first game.  As Scott Mitchell you saved the President of Mexico and United States, but the situation in Mexico hasn’t gotten any better.  In fact it’s gotten a lot worse.  It’s not long before a very real nuclear threat is brought into play and it’s up to Mitchell to save the day. (After hoofing through the predictable training session to bring new players up to speed, of course.)

 

He doesn’t go it alone though – in many cases he’s allowed to command groups of other Ghost units, as well as military hardware, like tanks and attack helicopters (easily and effectively with the D-pad).  And right here you’ll notice some extremely welcome upgrades from the previous game.

 

Friendly AI is a lot smarter.  I played through GRAW 2 then went back to the original to get a larger picture of the franchise and the difference between the first game and GRAW 2 is like the difference between the puppets on Mr. Rogers

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Neighborhood and stars of The Muppet Show.  In GRAW 2 (The Muppets) squad members take cover intelligently.  You point yourself toward an object and press “up” on the D-pad and your squad will run to that area intelligently and take cover or open fire on your selected target.  In comparison, GRAW is like commanding a bunch of King Fridays.

 

GRAW 2 has added a medic class, which 

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allows one soldier to carry a limited supply of med kits.  This means that you don’t need to limp through a level hoping a stray bullet doesn’t nick you while you’re in “critical” condition – each member of the team can be patched up and brought back to “green” to carry on.  Even then, at the end of some firefights you and your team may been in the yellow or red.  Med kits don’t make the game a cakewalk, it just alleviates some of the frustration that was present in the first game because there were no medics.

 

Another minor tweak is that the UAV is actually a useful tool.  This unmanned drone can be maneuvered around to spot enemies so you can get the drop on them by positioning yourself in the best places.  Not only is the zone it scans wider than in the original game, you can also view the area below by holding down the right bumper.  This same function works for all of the units that might come under your command.  It may not seem like much of a tweak but when it comes to the gameplay it definitely feels like you have more control.

 

graw 2          graw 2

 

The main campaign is surprisingly short.  The credits come up and you’re left wanting more!  (Much like Rainbow Six Vegas did.)  Fortunately, GRAW features as robust a multiplayer experience as you’re likely to find anywhere.  Besides a full-fledged co-op campaign completely separate from the single-player campaign, there are a host of other online modes such as Territory (seize and hold positions), Team Mission, Elimination (team deathmatch) and Team Battle.  It’s just unfortunate that players without Xbox Live may feel somewhat ripped off if they know they’re only getting 1/3 of the total experience.

 

There have been reports of instability online – players being dropped for no reason, etc. – but I didn’t experience these problems.

 

GRAW 2 is very similar in looks and sound to the first game but, again, some minor tweaks make the experience much more “organic” such as the responses your squad mates spout.  The smoke also looks better – another minor change but it makes the game look that much better.

 

Fans of the original should feel that their dollars would be well-spent on GRAW 2.  Although the single-player is a roller coaster ride, complete with “on rails” vehicle sections that are over all too soon the multiplayer will ensure that you stick around.

 

- Omni

(March 20, 2007)

 

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