advances the technology of video game war, but is
held back slightly due to old school limitations.
by Vaughn Smith
13, 2006 - If
Advanced Warfighter is an indication of how war will
be fought in the future, I only have two things to
say: First, outfitting the military with the neat
techo (yet realistic) gadgets found in G.R.A.W. will
certainly cost a lot of dough. If the US military
currently in Iraq didn't have to scrounge for scrap
metal to put on their vehicles as added protection
now, this would almost seem conceivable. As it is,
future administrations will have to pay off that huge
trillion dollar deficit before the future Scott Mitchell
will receive his fancy pants AUV Cypher to play with.
Secondly, with all of the neat techno gadgets available
in the near future for fighing, it's obvious that
only high-level gamers will be able to control all
of it...and we know gamers are as fond of real war
as they are getting off of the sofa.
to the gritty realism and difficulty, G.R.A.W. could
almost be seen as a recruiting tool and a combat training
sim simultaneously. Just remember kids...only 3% of
video gamers surveyed could locate the Start button
on an AK-47. Just kidding. There isn't a Start button!
You however won't have any trouble maneuvering around
Mexico City, Mexico in your quest to save the city
from rebels who have killed the Canadian Prime Minister
(because he said "eh" and "aboot"
far too many times) and are raining on the tri-country
trade pact NASJA commencement. As a Canadian citizen
experienced in the after effects of NAFTA (North American
Free Trade Agreement), I was hoping I could join forces
with the rebels, but unfortunately Ubi Soft doesn't
allow that little pipe dream, so it became my duty
to stop them! With the US president missing, it's
up to Captain Scott Mitchell and the ghosts to stop
the insurgency and restore order within 48 hours.
It's your typical political Clancy potboiler story,
which could easily star Sam Fisher....but at least
he'd shoot out some lights.
impresses right out of the starting gate. My wife
walked into the room as I was starting a mission and
commented "That smoke looks great" which
is the fanboy equivalent of "Oh my god! I have
never seen such incredible graphics before in my life!"
Trust me. I was impressed too. During the game you'll
often begin a mission flying via chopper over the
city and find yourself landing and beginning your
mission without a loading screen or cutscene. Other
times a cleverly disguised trip in a vehicle will
act as a loading scene to the next mission, but for
the majority of the time missions are seamlessly integrated
from one to the next. This certainly speaks volumes
for the horsepower of the Xbox 360 but that doesn't
mean everything is completely "next gen"
about G.R.A.W.'s gameplay.
G.R.A.W. exceeds expectations in terms of visuals
and lack of visible load times, it still remains grounded
in current gen design. While everyone else around
me is hailing G.R.A.W. as the second coming of video
game combat, I have to disagree slightly. In terms
of level design, G.R.A.W. is as linear as they come.
While there may be a few ways to arrive at your ultimate
destination - often there is only one - and if this
doesn't sound any more or any less impressive than
Activision's Call Of Duty 2, well, you're 100% correct.
The levels are large and exquisitely detailed, but
you are limited as to exactly where you can go. Wander
too far off the beaten path to explore Mexico City
and you'll end the game. The city streets have all
been evacuated beforehand, meaning you won't run into
any innocent civilians which would have made the game
more realistic and tense. A climbing option is available
when Mitchell runs into an object which he can climb
over, but there are still limitations placed on when
that action can be used as he can't climb over everything.
He also cannot hide under vehicles for cover, which
is something Solid Snake could manage back in 1998
on the PSone. If I'm in the middle of the street and
people are shooting at me and the only available cover
is under a truck, I'm there. I'll take my chances
as to whether they can hit the gas tank or not. Bullets
leave a mark and some glass can be shot out, but not
all. Lights in the night levels can't be shot out
for cover either. Sam Fisher has been blowing lights
out for years now. I'm not trying to rain on G.R.A.W.'s
parade here; I'm just trying to say that yes, visually
G.R.A.W. is amazing, but in terms of single player
gameplay, it really isn't reinventing the wheel here
as the rules of engagement feel almost identical to
current gen experiences and in some cases as I've
pointed out, less than.
makes Advanced Warfighter so visually appealing is
not only the high res eye candy, but the attention
to detail around Mexico City and surrounding areas.
Almost everything in the game features a reflective
surface to some extent, especially the glass you'll
encounter. Bullets will leave marks in signs and walls,
and will in some cases destroy the environment by
flattening tires, breaking shop windows, windshields
etc. There is a decent level of interaction but I
just wish it could have been taken further such as
blowing out lights to confuse enemies and shooting
open doors to explore buildings to name a couple.
The city just seems awfully cold and sterile without
being given the opportunity to explore the interiors
of these beautifully designed exteriors. The ingame
character models are finely animated, especially Captain
Scott Mitchell who has many moves available to him.
You'll even be able to go from a run to a dive into
prone position, or even a run to a sliding crouch.
Impressive. The various vehicle models are also impressive,
but happen to be far more impressive when they explode.
G.R.A.W. features the best explosions I've seen to
date, showering unfortunate bystanders with flaming
tires and other debris. You'll love the initial explosion
when the vehicle is blown into the air with some impressive
ragdoll physics. One bone of contention I have with
Advanced Warfighter are the suspicious red barrels
littering the landscape that just will NOT blow up
when I shoot them. I thought it was video game LAW
that enemies + red barrels + bullet = Kaboom! That
old gag just doesn't seem to work in G.R.A.W. and
boy was my face red when I finally realized it was
a lost cause.
games audio is also worthy of special mention as it
completely encapsulates the experience of being "there".
Crank your speakers up and enjoy the chatter of war,
video updates from the fake president of America circa
2013, newscasts and of course, explosions, gunfire,
chopper noise and fine background tunes.
active war gear is one area where the game has upped
the ante over most current gen action titles but I'm
confident that in the right developers hands, most
of the games technical flourishes could be accomplished
on the Xbox. The games intel is directly streamed
to your HUD and you'll receive video messages, briefings
and objectives in the upper corner of the screen on
the NARCOM. I was honestly surprised that there weren't
any product placements or advertisements such as "That
headshot was brought to you buy McDonalds. McDonald's...while
you're killin' it, I'm lovin' it." The Cross-Com
located on your left hand side provides a connection
to your teammates and you'll be able to keep an eye
out for them via video link. The NARCOM also provides
visual surveillance via the AUV Cypher which is a
flying camera which you can use to locate enemy forces.
A quick tap of the Back button will provide you with
a your virtual tactical map which provides an overview
of the area, complete with enemies, objectives and
buildings. You can also use this feature to send your
teammates further into the frontlines if you desire.
can be selected before a mission (usually) and can
also be switched on the fly if you discover a weapon
lying on the ground or if you've run out of ammo.
Machine guns, sniper rifles, grenades, smoke bombs
and rocket launchers are the order of the day and
each one will be utilized (and then some) by the time
you've reached the end of the game. Controlling Mitchell
is a snap and the tutorial at the beginning should
make you somewhat comfortable with the formidable
amount of control, weapons and gadgets available to
you. Unlike the G.R.A.W. Xbox version, your hero can
get in the prone position (lying down) and can also
stand up right and crouch. He can also roll and crawl
in the prone position so as to not bring attention
to himself. Cover can be taken behind walls and objects
and leaning out to peek or shoot is available to the
player. Gun scopes are viewed and zoomed in via a
press of the right analog stick and holding ones breath
for a more accurate shot is accomplished by holding
down the LT button. Orders can be given to your teammates
with the press of the D-Pad and Recon and Assault
modes can be selected via LB. Context sensitive actions
such as placing C4, opening ammo drops, reanimating
downed teammates and picking up weapons are mapped
to the Y button. Copters, tanks and other vehicles
can be "controlled" as well, but you won't
be driving them. Much like your AI teammates you'll
be directing them as to where to go.
AI will definitely give you a run for your money on
either difficulty setting (normal or hard). There
isn't a big margin for error which is where G.R.A.W.,
prior Ghost Recons and the Rainbow Six titles have
excelled at capturing the essence of panic when you're
in the middle of a fire fight. One shot can end the
mission in G.R.A.W. and often will. Getting picked
off consistently is a sure sign of cockiness that
will result in frustration. Taking cover, commanding
your teammates when available and using everything
at your disposal is key to your survival and mission
success. If you're playing it as Rambo you won't get
very far, unless you're ruining the experience with
the cheats. The NPC AI deserves special recognition
for the "Braindead of the Year" award. They
don't take cover, they walk directly into the middle
of a firefight....it's insane and definitely not what
I'd called "next gen". Your teammates on
the other hand are far more intelligent and will take
care of themselves. As mentioned you aren't given
complete control over them, nor are you particularly
given that much control over them compared to other
games in the genre, but they will manage to shoot
first and never ask questions later.
levels of single player missions will keep you busy
for quite awhile, not taking into consideration that
you might experience the odd level-repeating glitch
as I did. The game just froze on me after a few hour
session. Luckily I had just ended a mission and was
able to backtrack quite easily, but it could have
been far worse. Once you've beaten the games single
player mode, try your hand at the awe-inspiring 16
player online mode. The online play can be either
split up into groups (Us vs. Them) or you and 15 of
your closest buds can take on the online AI together
for an all out assault that will keep you occupied
for months. The levels aren't as detailed and the
framerate isn't quite as silky smooth as the single
player missions, but you'll barely notice because
of the all of the fun you'll be having. The only downside
to online is that it requires communication between
players to be completely engrossing and functional,
but the experience will often be marred by yappy morons.
You know the ones I'm talking about. If you can put
a team together of 16 fighters that you trust not
to be stupid, there is no doubt in my mind that you'll
have the best time you've ever had playing online.
is in a class by itself right now as there is nothing
else like it available for the Xbox 360 that most
X360 owners haven't already played to death already.
Taking into consideration the healthy challenge and
the excellent online play, which completely eliminates
ever having to attempt Call of Duty 2's shoddy, buggy,
laggy online play, you won't go wrong with taking
G.R.A.W. for a spin. As I've mentioned, it's not perfect
and it's not as next gen as others would have believe,
but it's shiny and new and most people are just happy
to play something different that looks like this great.
I think quite honestly that G.R.A.W. is more of an
advertisement for things to come on the next gen systems
rather than being the second coming right now. As
long as you aren't expecting something that is as
perfect as it looks, you'll get a lot of play value
out of Advanced Warfighter.
of the new great mysteries is why Microsoft
did not feature Ghost Recon: AW a little longer
during the MTV unveiling of the system? Clearly
this was one of the best looking titles. From
the brief glimpse we received it was obvious
that this game had it going on - at least visually.
admired the GR series, but the franchise seems
to have had an identity crisis. Gamers weren't
enamoured with the FPS feel of the first game
which only provided a cursor onscreen and ignored
the gratuitous luxury of rendering a visible
weapon. The second game was raked over the coals
for uninspired gameplay fraught with imbalance,
and that goes for both the Xbox and PS2 versions
which were completely different.
third game looks to be returning to a hybrid
of FPS and third person action and as mentioned
the graphics displayed onscreen were definitely
worth going to war for. We'll keep you posted
when more info drops in our laps.
year is 2013. The U.S. Army has been developing
and can now deploy the Integrated
Warfighter System (IWS), a complex combination
of cutting-edge technologies that transforms
an individual soldier into the ultimate fighting
force. IWS combines advanced weapons systems,
satellite communication devices and enhanced
survivability into one fully integrated combat
system that is finally ready for the true test
of the battlefield. Combining the advantages
of next-generation console technology with future
military technologies, Tom Clancys Ghost
Recon 3 includes a wealth of groundbreaking
features, including the Cross-Com, a communication
device attached to the soldiers monocle
and powered by satellite technology, which will
deliver constant and complete battlefield awareness
seamlessly within the action. In addition, Ubisoft
will employ increased processing power to its
fullest, with breathtaking graphics, lighting
and textures, multi-windowing, and state-of-the!
-art physics. Current-generation versions of
the game will be custom-built using top technologies
that push each platform to its limits.
Tom Clancys Ghost Recon 3, players will
embody Captain Scott Mitchell as he commands
the Ghosts and Special Forces allies equipped
with the IWS in the quest to save the president
of the United States, recover stolen nuclear
codes and eliminate a vicious band of renegade
soldiers hell-bent on unleashing catastrophe.
The game, on all platforms, unfolds entirely
in Mexico City, where numerous, meticulously
researched and detailed environments will deliver
complete immersion into the future of urban
warfare. Tom Clancys Ghost Recon®
3 will also include multiplayer and cooperative
gameplay with exciting new elements, continuing
the Ghost Recon tradition of setting the bar
for multiplayer action.
Clancys Ghost Recon 3 will deliver the
future of gaming and of warfare in one stunning
package, as well as projecting a global political
future that has always been a hallmark of Clancy
titles, said Tony Kee, vice president
of marketing at Ubisoft North America. Armed
with next-generation technology and the proven
ability to create innovative multiplayer content,
Ubisoft will enable players to become the soldier
of the future and immerse them in the kind of
urban warfare that could be fought 10 years
Tom Clancys Ghost Recon 3 (working title)
The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur
and there is no longer a clear opponent. New
enemies and new threats require a new type of
warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts.
2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated
Warfighter System evolving what we know as the
modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon
systems, satellite communication devices and
enhanced survivability into one fully integrated
combat system. The IWS program has been developed
to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can
be tested on the battlefield.
an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the
U.S. Armys most elite Special Forces team
is deployed to the center of the conflict to
regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered
but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite
team is the first and last line of defense on
the battlefield. They are the quiet
professionals. They are the Ghosts.
gaming technology: Tom Clancys Ghost
Recon 3 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.
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.
feature: Use the revolutionary Cross-Com,
a communication device powered by satellite
technology. Attached to the soldiers
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.
urban environment: One capital, multiple locations.
Tom Clancys Ghost Recon® 3 takes
place entirely in Mexico City, one of the
worlds largest cities. A stunning, meticulously
detailed universe will provide complete immersion
in the urban war of the future.
multiplayer experience: Tom Clancys
Ghost Recon 3 returns to deliver industry-leading
multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for one
of the hottest online franchises.