Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Dear Ubisoft,

I love the games you make. They are the bestest in the whole wide world next to Eidos and Rockstar.


Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is a pretty awesome squad/high-tech combat game set in a near future where the uber-ass kicking Ghost Squad have to stop terrorists in Mexico from fuckin' shit up with nukes. Of course all knowledge of the operation will be denied.

I played a Ghost Recon or two (?) for the PS2 and they were pretty good shooters but I wasn't hooked. Back in March a bunch of us went down to the convention center and checked out the gaming offshoot of SXSW. I saw GRAW2 being played by the Frag Dolls on a big ol' fancy TV. Needless to say it looked awesome.

I've been trying to rent a copy for quite some time and was lucky enough to snag a copy a few days ago. I'm having a good time though the difficulty does seem easy on normal or at least was pretty easy until I got to this level last night and got hosed.

I like how easy it is to control the other squad members or various support vehicles. Toggle between them using left and right on the D-Pad and then up or down to issue orders. Even better, the squad doesn't need constant handholding - they take cover when they need to, hit what they shoot at, and pretty much act like AI should. I haven't had anyone get stuck on a wall - cough like in SOCOM cough - or had to run back in order to keep someone from running around in circles. The only mistakes that have happened have been mine - i.e. tossing a grenade and bouncing it off a telephone pole back into the area the squad is taking cover. Whoops!

The graphics have spooked me out a few times with their realism. You have the option of playing GRAW2 as an FPS but the 3rd Person is an over the shoulder "you are there" cameraman angle. I really like the 3rd Person but at times when the lighting, angle, and action are just right it looks like something off the news. Combined with great sound effects, responsive and simple controls, intelligent AI, GRAW2 is one hell of a combat game.

On the downside it's short and the music gets a little "dun dun dun" now and then but that's not a big deal with the "Turn Action Music Off" option. Not quite Stranglehold short and I'm not finished yet but I get the impression that there's not much left to the game - another mission or two. While there is one long mission of urban combat I look forward to playing again I don't know if the game has that much replay value. We shall see.

I suggest picking up GRAW2 if you're looking for some intense squad action. Final review pending.

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