|System: X360, PS3, PC, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Storm Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 23, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||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 an incredible game that helped to usher in the next generation of gaming in both visuals and gameplay. Its sequel, which has been out for months on the Xbox 360 and PC, pushed the gameplay and graphics a little further, creating a nearly unrivalled gameplay experience that felt authentic and placed gamers into a nearly true to life military situation. Finally, the game has found its way to the PlayStation 3. How does it fare on Sony's more powerful system? GRAW 2 on the PS3 is an outstanding experience, and although it doesn't set itself apart from the Xbox 360 version in many ways, it's still one of the best titles currently available on the PS3.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 once again places gamers in the role of Captain Scott Mitchell and follows directly after the events of its predecessor. PS3 owners may feel slighted in this respect, as they may not be privy to the full story considering the PS3 didn't get the original GRAW. However, knowing the events from GRAW are far from essential to enjoy its sequel. All any gamer really needs to know is that the game is set in the near future, and that Captain Scott Mitchell must battle against rebels in a Mexican civil war with his team of Ghosts, his support, and his wits.
To accomplish his goals, Mitchell will go on missions both solo and team based and he will act as commanding officer for his team whenever available. The gameplay is more realistic than the average shooter, as it doesn't take many hits to kill Mitchell or his subordinates, especially at the higher difficulty levels. Surviving in GRAW 2 requires the smart use of cover as well as the strategic use of your team and your support options, including the UAV3 Drone, an aerial recon unit that can mark enemy positions, and the new MULE, which is an ATV that brings you weapons, health, and ammunition and can provide cover. Mitchell can also call in air strikes, control tanks, and even take on foes from behind a mounted turret from a helicopter in specific sections of the game.
One of the most outstanding things about GRAW 2 are the visuals. The GRAW series has always been known for its incredible graphics and GRAW 2 is definitely no exception, pushing the gorgeous visuals from the first even further. On the PlayStation 3, the visuals aren't quite as colorful as they were on the Xbox 360, but they are still a sight to behold. Some of the lighting, explosion, and smoke effects must be seen to be believed. Speaking of the explosions, they are probably the most realistic of any game to date, although on the PlayStation 3 they suffer a little because of the lack of rumble. However, the screen shakes and the sound of the explosion combine to make gamers wince and grin each time they're expecting a big boom.
GRAW 2's great visuals, incredible sound effects, and gritty gameplay make you feel as if you're really a part of a covert military operation. A lot of the fun in the game comes from the openness of how you can tackle your objectives, using strategy to have your Drone or your team mark enemy locations, flanking the enemy, sending your team in and sitting back, or tackling the situation yourself with your team as backup. The A.I. in both your teammates and your enemies are pretty well done, with your team calling out enemy numbers and positions while your enemies attempt to get the best position location to attack and take out your squad. Even the pre-mission briefings, done while Mitchell rides a vehicle and chats with comrades, help to enhance the immersion factor before each stage.