|System: X360, PS3, PC, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Storm Entertainment/ Ubisoft Paris||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 7, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter was one of the first games that showed the world what the Xbox 360 was capable of. GRAW's gorgeous graphics and realistic scenarios plopped players right in the midst of squad based combat waged in various urban environments. GRAW was an undeniable success and a sequel seemed inevitable, especially considering that GRAW was one of the "Tom Clancy presents" games, most of which are very high-quality military games. The wait will soon be over as gamers can expect GRAW 2 early this year, not just for the Xbox 360 but also for the Playstation 3.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter once again places you in the shoes of Captain Scott Mitchell immediately after the resolution of the first GRAW. The game is set in the not-too-distant future, not even twenty-four hours after the close of GRAW. The probably weary Captain Mitchell must go and combat the remnants of a Mexican coup and prevent rebel forces from destroying a walled border separating Mexico from the U.S. This conflict is the major premise behind GRAW 2 as Captain Mitchell protects the border from the Mexican rebel force in single-person missions or while controlling a squad of soldiers to assist him.
The original GRAW was known for its beautiful graphics, one of the first games that really started showing the power of the 360. The character models were large and detailed, and the environments were stunningly realistic, really drawing the player into the game and creating an immersive experience. GRAW 2 is going to build upon that foundation, adding detail to the already insanely realistic-looking characters as well as adding nice touches like full, moving shadows, heat ripples, and amazing explosion effects. There is also a new physics engine in place, so the raining debris from the explosions will fall more realistically. There are even more destructible objects than before, so players can expect exploding cars, tanks, buildings, and the like. The time of day even changes, so that longer missions will have the sun moving across the sky and eventually setting.
The Cross-Cam UAV drone has been enhanced as well. Now you can view the surrounding area from the bird's eye view that the drone offers. As with the original GRAW, using the UAV drone allows you to pinpoint the enemies' positions, but being able to see from the top-down perspective adds to the experience. There is also the addition of the MULE, which is an armored vehicle that carries ammunition and different weapons for your team. It can be ordered to traverse any roads and can also provide cover from enemy fire in addition to allowing the team to switch weapons and refill their ammo. You can even view the field from the MULE's point of view, much like the UAV drone, so the MULE can also be used as a land-based scout. Unfortunately, the MULE isn't usable as a form of transportation for Captain Miller or his team, but its utility in moving ammunition, weapons, and providing cover should make up for that lack.
A new addition to the team is the medic, who isn't as efficient at combat as the rest of the squad, but can be used, obviously, to heal injured teammates. He does have a limited number of medicinal supplies, however, so he isn't able to heal at will.
Besides the additions already mentioned, much of the gameplay of GRAW 2 remains mostly unchanged from that of GRAW, which is definitely a good thing. GRAW was a great gaming experience, receiving critical and commercial acclaim, and there wasn't much to fix where the gameplay was concerned. The AI has been reworked though, allowing the enemy to anticipate your arrival and attempt to trap you instead of walking around aimlessly until you appear like they did in GRAW. Also, there are now more civilians and animals populating the cities, so that each urban battlefield won't be purely you versus the enemy. This adds another element of realism, as GRAW's locales were all eerily deserted and mostly devoid of any life beyond the combatants.
Unfortunately, there hasn't been any details released about the multiplayer, but GRAW's multiplayer was a lot of fun. We can definitely expect GRAW 2 to at least have more of the same, with probably some new maps and scenarios.
GRAW 2 is a highly anticipated title for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Fans of GRAW are already rabidly waiting for each new bit of information and each new screenshot. With its greatly enhanced next-gen graphics, new features, better AI, and new scenarios, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 will definitely be one of the hottest games of 2007. Although there isn't a set date yet, GRAW 2 should debut sometime in the second quarter of 2007.
CCC Co-Site Director