Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Review by Drunky
"GRAW is the best action game out there today, hands down."
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is, without a doubt, one of the best shooter games out there. Combining strategy with moments of mayhem is a terrific combination, and the look and feel of the game is incredible.
The game follows the path of the Ghost Recon unit in the year 2013, more specifically the leader of the unit, Scott Mitchell, who you'll be in control of for the game. Following a meeting between the Canadian, American and Mexican heads of state, Mexican rebels storm the gathering, killing the Canadian Prime Minister. This event leads to an urban war breaking out in the Mexican streets, with the VIPs and leaders being chased after. It is your job to protect them and suppress the rebellion.
In your effort to bring peace back to Mexico you'll be given an incredible arsenal of weapons, from handguns to grenades to rocket launchers. However there is more to the game than just blowing things up, you'll be given command of a unit of 3 other soldiers, who will take (although sometimes their AI doesn't always obey) orders directly from you. Throughout the game when you've been assigned particularly difficult tasks, the game will offer even more support through Apaches, to APCs to Abrams tanks. To complete your objectives you will have to choose the best strategy using the resources you have.
The gameplay can range from something as forceful as a full frontal assault to a covert destruction mission. The mix of pure action with the added strategy needed to manage your support makes it one of the best action games out there today.
The graphics are near perfect, from the character models to the environment. The characters movements are smooth and realistic, and their appearances are nearly life like. The environment is fairly interactive and simply beautiful. From the main cities to the slums, (well the slums aren't beautiful but you know what I mean). One of most useful graphical features is the cross com, which allows you to see what your support team sees in the same perfect detail.
The sound is one of the shining aspects of the game. If you're a fan of war movies you'll love the games soundtrack. During parts of the game when you're about to enter a big fire fight you'll notice the familiar, overly patriotic, mournful music over the screams of falling soldiers, which does wonders for the immersion of the player. During the down times between battles you'll hear some more modern rock music which makes for a nice break. Soundtrack aside the sound effects are also one of the high points of the game. Given the covert nature of some of the games you're able to hear the rumbling of enemy convoys about to attack you to the incoming air support. The sound effects aid the player greatly in combat, unlike other games in which you wont even know whats happening until it already happens.
The multiplayer could use some improvements though, but with the limited amount of 360s out there the lack of online play is understandable. Getting an online game underway can take up to 15 minutes or even more, and even then there are the occasional problems with disconnections, being kicked because of overload, and freezing. These problems are minor, and the multiplayer action is really worth the wait. You can play Team vs. Team, or even co-op. Along with the standard shooter modes of online play, there is also the ability to do actual campaign missions with other players. Incredibly the multiplayer mode has little to absolutely no lag issues. With an average connection and with even over a dozen players in the game you'll hardly see any signs of lag or performance issues.
The game only has two modes of difficulty, normal and hard, but given the achievement and gamer point system of the Xbox, you'll be encouraged to play for hours on end racking up everything you possibly can. With the addition of multiplayer you're sure to get your moneys worth. This game is a definite buy, it is an excellent addition to every gamers collection, whether you're casual or hardcore.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/24/06, Updated 03/27/06
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