Sunday, September 2, 2007

PC: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 Review

GRAW is back and with yet another Mexican rebel slaughter, but are you prepared to hold your fire from slaughtering your own teammates for insubordination or has developer GRIN learned from their first iteration?

The first GRAW was chock full of terrible AI and glitches that would make even the most calm and silent person run out the door and scream profanities in 7 different languages. GRAW 2, however, promises to fix that by offering improved graphics, new settings, smarter AI and an easier squad control system.

Unfortunately, GRAW 2 offers nothing much in the way of a change of scenery from the drab tan color palette from the first game, but it does offer some spectacular effects and great graphics, but nothing next-gen worthy.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the AI. Whilst it is much improved, there are still many key problems such as their lack of taking cover instead of standing around and waiting for orders and their inability to think for themselves. Aren’t they supposed to be elite, trained soldiers, not children who need a babysitter? I guess those soldiers are all occupied in Iraq, so the government decided to step up recruiting by getting people with bipolar disorder!

But the new CrossCom 2.0 is a great improvement over the original: you can now know where the soldiers will be positioned when you order them to move (you will see light blue circles under their new position), you can see what they see, you can even switch to different tactical modes such as Assault (Rambo warfare) or Recon (silent and stealthy) and of course it features everything from the first game, like the tactical map, but only better. At the beginning of every game, you can select your weapons (there’s a larger weapon inventory this time), different squad members and even multiple entry points.

The story takes place a few days after the first GRAW where you had to save the American and Mexican presidents from a military coup in Mexico City. This time around you have to help Mexican loyalists fight the rebels whilst trying to locate and disarm stolen nuclear missiles before they go off in the USA.

Most missions offer little other than going around a mostly linear path, killing and destroying things. It gets extremely tedious when your team starts dying because of their stupidity and having to constantly die because of the enemy’s extremely accurate fire and their overwhelming numbers. GRAW is also very slowly paced.

But that’s the selling point for some, such as myself, who greatly enjoy slow-paced, realistic, tactical warfare where the enemy can be anywhere and where you have to constantly take cover.

What most people don’t want are dumb-asses for squad mates. You will have to constantly micro-manage your teammates, tell them where to go and what to do, which is something that a trained soldier doesn’t and shouldn’t have to do. When they’re getting shot at, you’ll have to tell them where cover is. When an enemy tank approaches, you have to tell them to destroy it with their rocket launcher. However, GRAW 2 isn’t all bad, it offers hours of fun for the tactical FPS fan, and I myself enjoyed it. It is, however, not worth $50, and I would have preferred playing the game in an entirely different setting with non-linear paths.

Gameplay: 7/10 – [Add one point if you enjoy tactical FPS]. Basically consisting of going down a linear path, killing and destroying any enemies along your way and extracting to repeat the same process, however there is a lot of realism involved that tactical FPS fans will enjoy. No running ‘n’ gunning here.

Graphics: 8/10 – Whilst not on the scale of some of the newer games coming out, it’s still excellent and so are some of the effects.

Music: 6/10 – It gets very repetitive very quick, but it usually fits the environment.

Sound: 8/10 – Some great sound effects but nothing spectacular.

Replay Value: 5/10 – I don’t think the campaign is worth completing again as its nothing more than linear killing and multiplayer is pretty standard.

Overall: 7/10
– Its not at all a bad game, I personally enjoyed it, but for those of you who aren't patient enough to find cover or micro-manage your team, then it's not the game for you. However, if you enjoy realistic, tactical first person combat then get the game... when it drops down to at the very most $40.


Sykop4th said...

Pixelated, do you mind if you can post some images for me?

Pixelated Scraps said...

Haha, I just logged on to do that...:D

Pixelated Scraps said...

Sorry Kess, been really busy but I'll try and get on it with the screens tomorrow - good job with the review!