Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Score: 8.8 / 10
never played a Ghost Recon game before, although after Advanced
Warfighter, I think I should really hunt down previous Ghost Recon
games. It’s a superb blend of action and strategy, and like other
recent Ubi Soft titles, comes with both an excellent single player
campaign and a decent multiplayer mode.
typical for Tom Clancy games, the era is the near future, and the
The “Advanced Warfighter” stands for all of the nifty high-tech equipment you and your fellow soldiers carry around, most notable the fancy visor. Although the camera is always placed over your shoulders, your visor keeps track of all important data, including the locations of your comrades, enemies and objectives. It’s especially useful when hunting down bad guys - not only does it show their distance and health, but it also outlines their figure in red, making them stand out from the scenery. You usually carry three kinds of weapons at a time - a rifle, a handgun, and some grenades - but you can pick up enemy firearms so ammo is always in good supply. In the most of the stages, you have command over three other soldiers. Directing them is fairly simple, as you just aim where you want them to move, press Up on the d-pad, and they’ll gladly follow your orders. They can be injured if you put them in the line of fire too often, but can be healed if you get to
them quickly enough. At certain points, you can also command helicopters, tanks and recon units, and commanding them works in the same manner. Although it seems rather simplistic, taking advantage of your comrades is extremely important, as fighting alone will tend to get you massacred. In general, the AI is pretty good, although you’ll still notice occasional moments of stupidity as they jump right in front of your shots and complain about friendly fire.
the Xbox 360 games that have come out since launch have looked pretty
decent, there hasn’t been anything you could really brag about and
show off to your friends. Advanced Warfighter changes all of that. You
can actually get distracted by the detail on your soldier’s uniform,
and the fantastic animation makes it look even more realistic
When you first step off the helicopter and into the blazing hot
it’s more than just the fancy graphics that creates the authenticity
of war. The camera shakes clumsily behind your soldier as he runs, which
is disorienting at first, but greatly supplements the realism. As
bullets whizz by, your visor will get disrupted and the screen will fill
with static. If an explosive goes off, the whole screen shakes and the
icons on your screen briefly glitch. There are even certain points where
scramblers will cause the whole system to screw up, forcing you to use
your thermal vision to pick our bad guys and feel you way to your next
There are also some fantastic set pieces in-between the typical “run to this waypoint” missions. One has you cornered in the smoldered ruins of a recently destroyed building, as you try to pierce through the smoke and debris to take on a swarm of rebels before they can kill the president. Another has you manning a chain gun against an onslaught of enemies, which is pretty simple - until they bring out a nearly invincible tank, and the only thing you can do is dive to the ground and wait until you have command over an allied tank to return fire.
all of the weapons and tactics that Ghost Recon throws at you, it’s easy
to get a bit overwhelmed, despite the thorough tutorial mission at the
beginning. Still, it’s far from an easy game - a few stray hits will
send your soldier to meet the Game Over screen, and checkpoints can be
sparse. Additionally, health regenerations are quite rare, so it’s all
too common to take a few shots in the beginning of the stage and then
spend the rest of the operation hobbling around enemy territory with your
life indicator in the red. These are similar problems to the first two
Splinter Cell games, and you’d think Ubi Soft would’ve learned by now.
There are also some minor control problems, especially when trying to
cling to certain surfaces to take cover.
multiplayer portion of GRAW was designed by an entirely different team,
and it shows. Most of the visor functions are gone, the letterboxing in
low-res is gone, and you can’t hug onto walls anymore. Still, none of
this should really matter, because the game is more focused on fast-paced
action. There are four major game type: Campaign, Elimination, Territory
and Objectives, and each can be played Solo, Co-op or Team. The campaign
mode is completely different from the single player game, with four
completely new scenarios to play through, even if you want to go at it
alone. Up to four players can participate on a single console, and up to
sixteen can connect with Xbox Live. You can customize your character’s
class, their face and their uniform, and you’re given pretty free
control of setting options like the number of respawns allowed and the
amount of enemies you’ll face. Most of the graphical effects have been
toned down to make the game smoother, but it still looks pretty decent.
Although it could’ve used an easier difficulty setting for the single player mode, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is otherwise one of the best action-strategy games to come out in a long time. Combined with the robust multiplayer and incredible presentation, Ubi Soft has produced one of the first real showpieces of the 360 hardware.
- Kurt Kalata
(March 27, 2006)
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