Review by phoneixfencer
"Just...no. Suckish at best"
Let's get the number out of the way early, shall we?
Graphics- 8/10 It's not horrible, but they're not beautiful. And when you watch people walk they tend to slide. Very bad.
Controlls-9/10 It's your basic shooter game controlls. Game handles quite nicely, I'm just a little annoyed you need a full squeeze on the trigger to shoot. Can't just lightly tap it. This sometimes results in firing a larger burst then you intended.
Sound-9/10 But honestly, how important is sound? You ever bought a game just because the sound is good?
Gameplay-2/10 Now here's where the (insert bad word for poo) hits the fan. Anyone who's played the first GRAW will remember it being a first person shooter. This game is a third person shooter. But rather then have the camera focused over your shoulder with your character sort of off to the side and out of the way, you're the main star of the screen! A good 60% of the screen is your character, leaving the rest of the screen for you to try and identify a tiny target off in the distance. This is especially annoying on darker levels when it's hard enough to see.
GRAW2 makes use of the cover system, fairly similar to Gears of War. Sadly, GRAW2 sucks at using cover. In GOW when you want to hide behind something you just press A and your guy throws his back against it and you're covered. Here on the other hand, you just walk into it and you're covered. I know at first that sounds much more convenient, but it's not. Sometimes you just want to stand behind a wall and wait till the right moment. Easy to do in GOW, you just stand there. In GRAW2 you have to be careful not to actually get near the wall or you'll get stuck to it which could result in death because you can't get off it quickly enough.
This being a shooter game, we should probably discuss the guns. This is one thing GRAW2 has going for it, there are a LOT of guns to choose from. Sadly, unless you've some knowledge of guns you've got no real way to know which is stronger, more accurate or anything. Rather then a simple bar to show things like damage or recoil, it tells you the size of the bullet the gun fires. This is nice and all, but when there's 20 or so automatic rifles and 12 of them fire the 5.56 round, that doesn't seem like much of a difference. The only way to tell which gun has bad or good recoil is to field test all of them till you find one you like. This can be quite annoying. You also don't get to pick the set-ups for the guns. Some of them already have a scope on them. Some have just a 3x, some have a 2x and 4x. I think only 2 of them are silenced. And honestly as near as I can tell, they're all the same. One may have a bigger clip, one may shoot a larger round but the enemies die in roughly 2-3 bullets from any of them. And they're all just super inaccurate. So pick the one you think is prettiest.
Your character is not accurate. I lay in the prone position, my sniper crosshair right on the guys nose. Holding my breath and everything. This shot is perfect, he's gonna die. Slowly I squeeze the trigger and the bullet goes 4 feet to the left. But my gun was silenced and he didn't notice, so I can try again. I take my time and re-line up my shot. Next time it's 2 feet to the right. The crosshair never even trembled and yet the shots are going everywhere. It's horrible. And it's even worse when you use an automatic rifle. Unless you fire in bursts of 2 bullets or less your shots will go anywhere but at the target.
Unless you're a stationary sniper, never go prone. Trying to turn left to right is an exceedingly slow process, so is backing up. And let's not forget you can't shoot while backing up so that just makes life more interesting.
Your teammates have learning disabilities. Really bad ones. You tell them to go to cover, they'll hang out in the middle of the street til they die. They're even less accurate then you are, and sometimes it feels like they just try to block my shots. Don't ever rely on them, you'll just end up dead. And they're not the only dumb people. If you're behind them, you can walk right up to a terrorist and give him a wedgie. They won't react until you hit them or move directly infront of them.
Now, if you can somehow work past all the problems you'll probably beat the game in 5 hours. It's that short. "But that's okay! I can just play it on the harder difficulty" Sadly, no. While it does have different difficulties, there's no real difference between the medium and hardest. The hardest difficulty is easy enough you can beat it for the first time playing on hard.
For those of you without Live, the game is not good for multiplayer. For some reason it switches from 3rd person to 1st person. Not only that, you lose the ability to take and use cover. There's no excuse for that, just plain lazy. There isn't much replayability here. Enemies always start in the same place. Once you do the level twice you learn where they are and you can start easily clearing the whole game with just a pistol.
Let's talk about Live play for a bit. With most games, when you go to find a quick match it brings up a list of 10 games or so that are available for you to hop in if you like. Here, you're thrust into the first game it finds. Hopefully it's the map and set up you like because the load time to find a new one is horrible. And if you can possibly find a room of mature, decent players the game could be good. But considering the community, I have to say skip it. A majority of the time you'll find explosives blocked. When this happens, it's a good indication you should not be in that room. People block explosives because they intend to sit behind cover all day. And usually that cover just so happens to be overwatching your spawn points. Usually within the first 2 minutes of the game one team will be camping the others spawn, and it's basically game over at that point. It's quite difficult to do anything when you've got 4 people shooting you within seconds of being able to move.
But if you do happen to find a game where you're not being spawn killed, the fun isn't over yet. Sometimes when you get shot you're left in a sort of "down" state where you're too wounded to move, but not wounded enough to die. So you just sort of lay there and say ouch a lot. Your teammates can revive you, but that requires them to stop near you and wait about 5 seconds. During which they're basically sitting ducks, so it doesn't happen often. On the top left of your screen is a tiny screen which you can set to view anyone elses POV. This is basically useless for the most part. It's very tiny, unless the enemy is within punching distance you probably won't see them, and it's hard to focus on a tiny screen when you're watching your own screen to see if you're about to be attacked. It's also difficult getting people to work together. Everyone wants to bugger off and be Rambo, then they all die and it's just frustrating.
So lets sum it all up.
-Lots of weapon choices, but they're basically all the same gun.
-Poor camera and shoddy cover.
-There's really no reason the game needs to move from 3rd to 1st person when you play with a buddy.
-Reply factor is pratically zero unless you're really into getting all the achievements.
So in short, avoid this game at all costs. When it winds up in the $9.99 or less bin at Gamestop, then maybe buy it. Until then it's really quite bad.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 01/23/08
Game Release: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (US, 11/16/04)
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