Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.4
Graphics 9.6
Sound 9.6
Value 9.3
Distributor: UbiSoft
Developer:
RedStorm
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
March 2006
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim

9.4

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Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

Stepping up and causing a ripple in the opening shots of the Xbox 360 first wave of titles, Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter is very much an awesome game. The visuals, the sounds and action all make for a most electrifying gaming experience. Not too say there are not a couple of things in the game that can give a player cause for pause, but these minor complaints by no means derail GRAW in anyway. After getting into setting up my team for an ambush on a small group of enemy transport armor from the top of an over pass bridge, I just soon forgot about any small gripes I had about this amazing game. From the first visual of the city stretching out in front of me in the day time sun to the very first satisfying spectacle of an exploding transport vehicle I was hooked in.

Those who want to simply do the run and gun gaming as they may have done in some other titles may find this game not to their liking at all. The term "cover is your friend" comes to mind when the bullets start flying. GRAW does a pretty good job at simulating a full out fire fight so much so that if you don't use cover to your advantage your going to be hearing the command screaming over the radio that there is captain down and the mission is scrubbed.a lot.

First of all for those that have never heard of the Ghost recon series let me do some introductions and then explain the latest mission details for this latest and maybe the best so far.Ghost Recon.  First off, as the name implies, the player takes command of a group of elite soldiers who are called The Ghosts. This team of soldiers get all the tough jobs and they insert deep within any area of conflict, even though the name implies mostly recon there is more than a few gun battles to be had.

In this latest game, Ghost recon Advanced Warfighter  (Or GRAW), there is some major conflict brewing and soon comes to a head in Mexico D.F. (Districto Federal). The Ghost Recon team is ordered in with a joint operations team designed to capture some Mexican military officials who happen to be selling technology to some rebels in Columbia. Here is where things hit the fan as they say. The US President and the Canadian Prime Minister and the Mexican President are all in the Metropolis the sign an agreement. This is a policy that is designed to control illegal immigration and the movement of drugs and terrorists in this hemisphere. Right in the middle of this very public signing the leaders are attacked by Mexican soldiers. The Ghost recon team is scrambled and ordered to meet with Secret Service agents that are protecting the U.S President in order to secure his safety and get him extracted. With the Mexican leader in enemy hands as well it is up to the Ghosts team to get in there and kick some butt in a loud precise military manner.

This time around what's really cool about all of this is of course the weapons, but this time around other than calling in a mortar strike like other Ghost recon titles. there are support assets in certain missions, these include Helicopters, fighting vehicles, and a recon drone that comes in real handy.

One of the things about this game that really get's the player deep into the experience of the game is the Cross Com system. A rather interesting command communications system. In the game it's a communication device powered by satellite technology. The system is attached to the soldier's monocle, using the system gives a player in command of this awesome team a situational awareness that is priceless in battle. Using this system effectively the player will is able to make better command choices both in movement and in full blown battles. Using the system the Ghost team can also control and communicate with other remote allied forces, drones and air strikes. This comes in real handy when you want to have your own armor clear out an area or an attack chopper take out some pesky enemy armor.

The game does an impressive job of making the player feel as if the world is in deed his to walk around in. right up until the point of going too far off from the mission area. If that happens the heads up display gets a bit of static feed back and you get to hear some one call up over the communications that you're leaving the mission zone. Never a good idea, so keep on to your task. Even with this in place it still feels like a huge open world. In several maps there are chances to come in from a different angle and flank the enemy. Or even get an elevation advantage which is what I used in one of the earlier missions. Gave me a thrill and I can't wait for more.

The command system is the basic fare. Move forwards (Advance), regroup, cover fire. Hold fire, weapons free. But there is enough there to make one feel as if they are commanding troops in a battle zone. There is plenty of action to go around, but the pace is not as fast as some other shooters like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor series of games. In this game one shot can kill the player's character so use of cover, and peeking and firing from cover is a must in GRAW.

The visuals of the game are nothing short of spectacular, with particle effects and advanced lighting that put the 360 through its paces and maybe just maybe hints at some even more spectacular sites to come. A sprawling city stretches out before the player and heat rises from the pavement, once in a while dust kicks up in the distance, leaves or grass even react when bullets rip through them. It's such a solid visual package it made the wait for GRAW every bit worth it.

The sounds compliment the sites. Gun fire and explosions all are crisp and bark out to the senses that this is happening now. One of the cool effects that has been used in a couple of other games to some effect is the shell shock effect, say for instance a large explosion goes off near the character.after that blast its as if the world is muffled until the characters senses come back to them. Very nice. The ambient sound of gun fire cracking in the distance and a person yelling or even a baby crying some place in a building all lend itself to give a feeling of eeriness as you and your team make there way through the deserted streets. No one ever peeks out in fear past curtains or close doors as the team passes. In fact you can almost always be sure that anything that moves is an enemy.. Music is well done and seems to lend itself well to most of the action and transitional scenes. The only odd music is the rock sounding music that comes up during some of the helicopter rides, but this is not really too annoying at all.it just feels a tiny bit off since the rest of the game is so solid.

One thing as I noted earlier that bothered me is the fact that some things seem to be scripted and no matter what the player does, the outcome is decided. I can understand this though for the sake of story telling and story pace and even instilling certain emotional responses in the player.. I won't ruin it for those that have not played this game yet.but I will say that it did involve a helicopter and I tried the mission three times just to be sure and sure enough, no matter if I commanded the chopper to go to another area, they would not listen and thus get shot down. But as I said. Still nothing to make you throw the game across the room about.

In the end when the call to battle comes up on the XBOX 360, you better have Ghost Recon Advanced WarFighter at your command. A solid game with a lot to offer, well worth having in your 360 collection.  Not to Worry though, if you don't have the XBOX 360 as of yet, the game is available for the original XBOX. It is almost a different game for that version. In the XBOX version you have one view, first person but you can now see your gun. Pretty cool. All in all the game for the original version is pretty impressive when it comes to the visuals so there is something out there for every fan. But if you want the absolute ultimate experience, check out the XBOX 360 version of GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER. Play it on PC, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PS2.

Have fun, play games.

Edwin Millheim 






 
 



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