Title: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Platform: Xbox 360
Trying really hard to break the record for the longest game title, GRAW2 came out this week to a relatively decent amount of fanfare. Sort of. Well there IS a TV trailer which doesn’t even show in-game footage, but lets not go there.
If you’ve played GRAW1, you’ve played GRAW2. The gameplay is nearly identical, with some generally good improvements. Graphically, it’s a pretty large leap above GRAW1, which was pretty interesting in that GRAW1 looked pretty fracking good. Here the shadows and lighting effects are unbelievably good, with a very cinematic quality which immediately sets the mood for you. Things are almost too realistic here, it’s even more of a challenge to spot the enemy which makes the gameplay move at a more strategic pace.
The Cross-Com interface has been improved with some neat enhancements, such as the ability to hold down the RB button to see a full-screen view of the team member or support unit you’ve got selected. You can manually control drones this way, and with squad member in single player it lets you swivel the camera around and issue orders. You could almost stay back away from the action and just coordinate efforts from that view. It’s pretty slick.
Multiplayer has a new co-op campaign to play though, and has a couple of new game types such as Helicopter Hunt, where it’s your squad vs. an onslaught of helicopters. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the later choppers are gunships with missiles. Ow.
Overall though, the multiplayer area of the game is obviously where the development focus was, so if you’re buying this for the single player campaign you’re going to be slightly disappointed. The SP campaign is good, don’t get me wrong, it’s just ridiculously short. GRAW1’s was longer than this, but that being said GRAW2’s is far more cinematic and intense, as well as being easier to manage with all the Cross-Com enhancements. Still, multiplayer is where it’s at here, so if you didn’t enjoy that with the first game then give this one a pass.
You can even change the time of day in the non-co-op matches, so you can play during the day or at night. This means you probably won’t see too much in the way of $20 downloadable content consisting of relit maps, something which is universally considered to be a great big pile of crap.
Otherwise if you even liked GRAW1 in the slightest, this is definitely a great evolution of the game. Well worth trading in the old game for this, since I doubt anyone is going to be playing that anymore.