Review by Groves22

"Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - A Must Have!"

I bought my Microsoft Xbox 360 in March of 2007. Why did I buy the 360? At the time of purchase, it was strictly to play Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, more commonly known as GRAW2. Now, I have never played the original GRAW, but I heard only good things. Before I bought my Xbox 360, I played GRAW2 at my brother-in-law's house and decided it was time to buy one for myself.

In GRAW2, you are playing as the ghost lead, US Army Captain Scott Mitchell. What's a ‘ghost' have to do with the US Army? Well, in the sense of the military, a ghost is considered a soldier that does tasks without anyone knowing where you are. The game starts you off in the middle of a Mexican civil war, which has a chance of entering US grounds. The reason the ghosts are sent in, is because there are vast amounts of nuclear weapons in the mix. Throughout the game, you will be asked to complete missions solo, or with a squad of soldiers. Missions range from saving hostages with pertinent information to destroying an enemy convoy. Either way, there is no stop in action in the single player campaigns!

During the missions you will have to venture on foot, or control military vehicles through out the levels. Mainly, you will be on foot with your team. While on foot, you are in dire need of cover. In GRAW2, you automatically cover behind everything that is valued as cover. This can get a little annoying at times, but it does prevent you from hitting an actual cover button. While in cover you can see the enemies ahead of you. You can choose to blind fire or actually look out of cover and pick off the Mexican rebels. Blind firing is good for cover fire, but is not real accurate at distances. In the later mission, you will try to find cover anywhere you can, especially on the highest difficulty.

Controlling your group of soldiers and vehicles is rather simple as well, not to mention very useful. You can take safely take cover and tell your team to advance. While the advance, you can see where they are going through there helmet cams, by holding in a button. While you are looking through the cam, you can have your team engage enemy soldier and vehicles. The same is true for the vehicles as well (vehicles include tanks and a chopper). You also have a piece of equipment called a drone. The drone is the eye in the sky. You can move the drone around the map to help find the Mexican rebels. This is very helpful, as it shows you the location of every enemy so you should be surprised. When the drone sees an enemy, it will put a red diamond on them to help distinguish were they are at. The only time the drone will not find a rebel, is when they are taking camp inside of a building. The last vehicle you can control is called a mule. The mule is a supply center on wheels. In certain missions you can control the mule to follow you, in the case you will have to resupply or change weapons. You can go into the mule as many times as you want during the mission. But be careful, if you let the mule get destroyed, it won't come back that mission.

The AI, both friendly and enemy, seems to be about average. Your teammates are not the best at combat, but neither is the enemy AI (at least on the easier difficulties). You do most of the killing in the game, which I guess is nice, because who would want to play a game that your AI teammates kill everyone before you get the chance? The enemy AI will take cover and move around a little bit when they are fired upon, but mainly stay covered in one area, eventually poking their head out. There is not a whole lot of enemy flanking going on in this game. You can set your team to be guns blazing, or passive. When they are set for assault, they will shoot as soon as they see an enemy insurgent. If you have them holding fire, they will only tell you how many rebels they see and in which direction they can be found.

Honestly, the single player campaign is one of the best I have played. But there has to be a downside, and that is the length. On the normal level difficulty it did not take too long to beat the final mission. If you set the difficulty to the most difficult, it will take a little longer, but the game is still considered short, in my opinion. What helps the single player is the presence of miscellaneous achievements that require you to beat a mission with out getting shot, or finding all the secondary objectives.

What made GRAW2 a must have for the Xbox 360? The answer is simple, the online multiplayer. There are so many different game modes that anyone who enjoys shooters should be pleased. There are several guns to choose from and plenty of maps as well. Each map has the pros and cons for certain player style. For example, “Crash Site” is a huge hilly field with a burning plain in the center. This map welcomes all snipers to post up shop on hilltops and pick off unsuspecting opponents. Then there is “Headquarters”, which is a smaller map that promotes lot of close quarters combat. As far as weapons go, you have your basic assault rifles, sniper rifles, light machine guns, sub machine guns, grenade launchers and Zues (a rocket launcher). These are all accompanied with a handful of handguns and smoke/frag grenades. Some weapons also come suppressed so the enemy doesn't know where they are getting shot from. My favorite weapon is the Rx4 SD, which is a suppressed assault rifle with a 2x optical zoom.

There is also a healing system in the GRAW2 online multiplayer. In the single player campaign, you have a certain amount of med kits, to help pick up your teammates or yourself. On online, there is no limit. If you get shot, and it's not in the head, you will fall to the ground and rock back and forth. If a teammate gets to you before the enemy finishes you off, he can heal you, and you are up and ready to go again. If there isn't a teammate around, or an enemy is using you as bait, you can choose to kill yourself instantly.

A great thing about the multiplayer is the graphics. I think the graphics on the multiplayer maps are just as good as the single player. I know some games, Rainbow Six: Vegas, cut back on the online graphics to help stop visual lag to the game. GRAW2 has found a way to keep the stunning visuals and reducing lag at the same time. I honestly can only count a handful of times where lag as disrupted any online GRAW2 match I was playing.

The online matches are setup by whoever is hosting the room. The host has the option to set how many players, which map, which weapons, game type, score, time, etc. The game is totally in the host's control. You can choose from objective games, like capture the flag or territories, or do team deathmatches, which is one versus another. There are 6 original co-op missions you can complete with friends, as well as, 6 to 8 more added through DLC from the Xbox LIVE marketplace. I am a big fan of co-op style missions, so this was a great game type for me. There is also a co-op game type called helo hunt. In this game type, you and a group of friends try to take down several helicopters before they kill you off. You first will have 1 chopper, then a couple, and then a few with rockets will come in. It is fun pandemonium!

Though the single player campaign of GRAW2 is a little short, it is still excellent. It's the multiplayer that makes people flock to this game. I started the single player, got half way through, and then got addicted to the online play. It took me nearly 6 months to try and finish the game on the hardest difficulty, which I eventually did. Even now, there are plenty of games being played online, in most of the game types. With the new DLC, it has rejuvenated to online community a little more than before. I would recommend Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 for any Xbox 360 owner!


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/01/09

Game Release: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (US, 03/06/07)

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