Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (360)
Hands-on with one of the most anticipated 360 sequel of the year.
Preview by (Email)
February 9th 2007
The original Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter might have hit early in the 360's life cycle, but it was one of the first titles with graphics that truly stood out as next gen. Now only about a year later, Ubisoft is set to release GRAW 2 into the gaming wild. The demo recently popped up on the Live Marketplace, instantly bringing back that old familiar feeling as those gritty graphics wash across the screen. But will the gameplay live up to the glory of the original?
The demo presents a snippet of the single player campaign, featuring all the hallmarks of the original with just a taste of some new features and weapons. It opens with you taking control once again of the ghost leader, Captain Scott Mitchell. This time the battle takes place in Sierra de Juarez in the midst of a full scale Mexican civil war in 2014. It's up to the ghosts to stop the chaos from spreading across the border to the United States.
While the threat might be different, the gameplay remain much the same. The single player game still revolves around the basic cover and fire system. You slam yourself against a wall, and periodically pop out to tag your enemies. At first, the demo leaves it up to you and your trusty UAV drone to hunt the bad guys, but you'll soon be assisted in your quest to bag terrorists by your three AI squadmates. It's a good thing too, because by the end the demo heats up with boxes of bullets whizzing overhead and mortars blowing your cover apart. No one said being a ghost was easy.
With only four enemy encounters, it won't take long for “to be continued” to fill your screen, but the demo is long enough to highlight some minor improvements to the GRAW formula. One of those improvements renders your UAV drone more useful than ever when scouting enemy positions and movements. Its usefulness is amplified this time around, because you can bring its camera up full screen with the push of a button. It does leave you exposed when you're checking out the view from above, but the intel is extremely valuable. It's much easier to quickly check out the full screen view, rather than squinting at the small cross-com window.
Another addition hit upon by the demo is the ability to take control of a MULE vehicle for resupplying. Hopefully, you'll be able to use this feature to resupply in the middle of a fierce firefight. Having the ability to swap weapons to gain a tactical advantage in the middle of a battle is an enticing idea. Even though it's a short jaunt through a terrorist camp, using the MULE allows you to get your hands dirty with some powerful new guns, including the AS50 countersniping weapon. Its .50 caliber rounds shoot right through cover, leaving your enemies with nowhere to hide. You'll also have the chance to get your grubby paws on the SCAR-H, the new special forces assault rifle. You'll want to play through the demo a few times to mess around with these fantastic new toys.
With graphical powerhouses like Gears of War and Rainbow Six: Vegas out there, GRAW 2 might have its hands full standing out in a crowded shooter field. The demo highlights some minor new addition and cool weapons, but ultimately it feels like more of the same. But as fans of the series already know, that's not a problem. Gear up, cause March is right around the corner.