Review by rholding2000

"A vast improvement and a great game."

Having not been a fan of the series and because of bad experiences with the previous release, I held a reluctance to buy this game. The E3 speculations alone were enough to say: “is this game going to be all that?”. The answer is absolutely yes.

My personal, negative opinion of the ‘Ghost Recon' series was the complicated nature of your characters abilities. Although you could do what seemed to be an imitation of real life, it felt slow and the controls failed to execute when you really needed it. The AI was also pathetic which was another major flaw with the other games. They did however, deliver a good gaming experience but it was totally ruined by unresponsive controls, random killing shots and poor AI.

Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter is much the same as the others but more polished and some of the previous dislikes have been rectified.

Game Play.

Like the others you are a soldier doing missions, team and solo, for the government. The way in which these mission briefings and objectives are delivered is amazing. At times you will receive a small HUD (Heads Up Display) video with someone explaining the mission to you or you get an audio feed. This is then accompanied with a marker on your screen in the direction you should move to the next checkpoint.

Getting to the checkpoint in this game is less frustrating than the others. Sometimes you will be given a recon unit that can scout the area and mark possible danger spots. This unlike the other games allows you to make a decision on how you should go ahead. In the last games this was quite a frustration point as most of the time AI controlled men didn't move or you would only find out about it when they came up behind you. This became frustrating as you spent longer than you should making sure the area was clear (these could have been official spawns, I was never sure, the bottom line was the controls wouldn't let you react quick enough.).

With GRAW you mostly know where the enemies are which from a gaming point of view is great. Sometimes enemies don't appear in your HUD as quick as you would like and its from these surprises you take damage. Great fun.

A major improvement with GRAW is the control of your troops. Now you can order them to positions with much more ease. However I am not entirely sure if you can issue a move command to a single unit. I have tried many times with no success. This new ‘easy order' is brilliant for getting your men into a position to take shots at enemy targets and in most cases it works brilliantly but there are problems.

You can select your troops to be either recon or assault and in my honest opinion it doesn't work. You see a target and want to take him out yourself and so start to fire. As you do, your troops come out of where you ordered them to stay and start to fire as well. It's damn annoying, as most of the time they will be killed from it. Also when you order them to cover, sometimes they just stand up while people are shooting at them when you just want them to duck. It gets annoying, but for the most part it doesn't matter as you can order them to stay a bit further back

As well as troops you sometimes get to order other units to help with the fight. Controlling where the tanks and choppers fire is a pretty cool idea.

The only thing I find quite annoying about this game is the built in auto aim. You can pretty much kill any target at any distance with any weapon. For example, at the start of the game there is a moment where there is a guy in a high-rise building shooting at you. I simply put my crosshair on the target and let out a short bust and he died. I was absolutely miles away to a point the guy was only just visible with max zoom. I thought that was daft as I had a marksman in my team. Clearly if you had a situation like that, you would order the people on your team capable of hitting the target ie. Marksman. Apart from things like that the game is very fluid and feels right.

Problems.

Still the movement is too slow. I can imagine if you were to be under fire you would be as quick as lightning to lay down some cover fire if an enemy opened up out of nowhere. The games character seems to go through the same animation frames to prepare grenades or his gun, which often is the point you need it most. Annoying but if your quick enough you can get your teammates to lay down the fire.

Not all things can be used as you would in real life. Some things you cant lean up against or hide behind and some small walls you cant jump over which are literally no higher than your knees.

On some occasions you are killed in the most unlikely fashion. At one point in the game I decided to stay back and let the tanks go forward. I was hidden round a corner and killed on both attempts by an enemy APC. The answer it seemed was to stay with the tanks and fight a few feet away from this APC and have hundreds of bullets just not hit me. I managed to take the APC out only to be killed further ahead. It's annoying but these moments are in the minor.

Online.

Hmmm. The game isn't the same online. Its similar to GR2 and GR2:SS in the way it plays. You can't cover against walls, the speed is faster and it feels just more arcade like. Still, you get the crazy frustration of being killed by things you don't expect. All the great modes are there like the missions and solo play with added extras such as campaign missions, which you can co-op with friends. Don't quote me on that last as for some reason I couldn't connect for that mode after 5 attempts and over 20 minutes of waiting.

The game is let down online as I feel the pace is changed but its still a lot of fun and its better than the other attempts.

Extras.

Just a few things, the graphics are absolutely brilliant, clear and really give you the sense of being right there with the marines. Graphics however are the least of my worries as I'm all about game play. This game, however, delivers high quality in both.

Nice touches have been added with the crouch and prone positions where you can dramatically dive into cover from the running position. It looks really good and saved my skin a few times.

Overall

A very good game that is an improvement over the last ones. The game still has some issues that I feel stop it from achieving stellar marks but on the whole it's a load of fun and very impressive. The game is a must buy for any 360 owner.





Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/13/06


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