Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Game: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Platform: Xbox 360
Studio: UBISOFT
Rating: 9/10

GAME DESCRIPTION: Combining the advantages of next-generation console technology with future military technologies, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ includes many groundbreaking features, including the Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology, which will deliver complete battlefield awareness in the chaos of the Urban warfare.

* Become the soldier of the future: Gain access to the future of military technology. Using a fully integrated combat system with cutting-edge weapons and communication systems, gamers will embody the soldier of the future. Based on actual military research, the Ghosts give gamers a realistic view of how war will be fought in the next decade.
* Next-Generation gaming technology: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ is built from the ground up for next-generation consoles, maximizing increased power to deliver phenomenal graphics and a host of innovative features. Current-generation versions will be custom-tailored for each platform.
* Revolutionary feature: Use the revolutionary Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology. Attached to the soldier’s monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones.
* Stunning urban environment: One capital, multiple locations. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ takes place entirely in Mexico City, one of the world’s largest cities. A stunning, meticulously detailed universe will provide complete immersion in the urban war of the future.
* Top-notch multiplayer experience: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ returns to deliver industry-leading multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for one of the hottest online franchises.

PLAY: GRAW is absolutely enormous. The city appears enormous from the helicopter. At first it seems daunting but once immersed in the action it’s refreshing to know that the game won’t end anytime soon. The one bizarre feature is how the city is completely devoid of life. No one said there was a nuclear bomb dropped or everyone left because of some other reason. When you first fly in with the helicopter its painfully obvious there are no cars, no people, nothing to speak of in the streets.

As for the city itself—there are tons of streets and alleys for which to travel and a massive amounts of buildings that can be helpful as cover and hurtful as cover for your enemy. One issue with the areas is how massive and intimidating it can be. As you pursue an enemy you’ve got to find the quickest way to them and often that isn’t obvious and you can get trapped. Often there are ways to get over an obstacle—but there are cases when you have to backtrack and find a different avenue. They were going for reality but it can really cause havoc when snipers rain down bullets.

Controlling the teams works as they should however it takes work to learn how to put them where you want and not in the line of fire. Switch from controlling your team to driving UAVs can take some doing. There were times when I was in such a firestorm that I thought I was controlling my team but ended up driving the UAV and really leaving my team in the line of fire. One smart feature is the inability to run over your team. There were times when I tried to go into reverse and couldn’t figure out why the UAV wouldn’t move—the team was standing right behind it.

Also there were times when I accidentally positioned the team right into the line of fire. That wasn’t the fault of the game—but of the player. So there is definitely a learning curve. Speaking of learning curve—there is a tutorial at the beginning that offers the necessary help. You may not remember everything as you play but once you are in the midst of the game it doesn’t take long to sort it out. The tutorial is extremely important so don’t bypass it.

There are occasions when you can’t avoid being in the line of fire. One is shooting a missile launcher and when using a scope. When you stop to hold your breath to shoot with the scope you expose yourself to enemy fire. Every shot has to be deliberate so it’s important to take your time and line up every victim.

GRAPHICS: The Xbox 360 is in its infancy however GRAW is the best looking game so far. And if you are wondering there is a huge difference between standard definition and high definition television. On SDTV it looks like a supped up Xbox game but on HDTV the power of the 360 console shines.

The blinding sunlight through your scope might appear to be a glitch—but in fact its part of added realism. Only in a video game is every element perfect for warfare. In real life there are obstacles and this is one nuance you have to overcome.

SOUND: Like all Tom Clancy releases, GRAW has a lot of chatter and fantastic sound effects. The sounds echo what we’d expect in war and add another to the stress level. One amazing aspect of GRAW is how sound works in different perspectives. If you are riding in the helicopter for example and turn to face the pilot his voice and the music sound clearer. It’s an amazing detail that could have been easily overlooked.

FRANKLY: One thing that is never lacking is anxiety level. GRAW can be completed in a day and definitely worth another replay if you take on the hardest level. Then there is online play and capture the flag and deathmatch. GRAW is the must own game for the Xbox 360.

+ Richie Wright

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