Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Review
|Release Date:||March 10, 2006 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Russell Linn (ralinn)|
|Buy now at Amazon.co.uk|
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3: Advanced Warfighter is set in Mexico Districto Federal, Mexico City to you and me. You play the role of Scott Mitchell, team leader of the Ghosts. An elite U.S. special forces group made up of the best men and women there is. The year is 2013 and the US President has been captured by Mexican soldiers while trying to sign a North American Joint Security Agreement with the Canadian Prime Minister and the Mexican President. Your job, as you may have guessed, is to save the President and maybe the Canadian Prime Minister and Mexican President along the way.
Jumping straight into the main game isn't the best idea, trust me you'll need to play through the tutorial, as there's quite a bit to get your head around. If you jumped right into the game (as many people do), you'll pretty much get your butt kicked as the action jumps right out at you. You'll get the chance to practice how to use the games best feature, the CrossCom. Now this is one nifty piece of kit. Using it in combination with your mini map in the select menu, it will enable you to pinpoint enemies anywhere in the battle area. It will even help you find helpful things such as weapons and ammo points and even mounted weapons. Using the CrossCom will give you one hell of an advantage over the enemy and trust me, you'll need all the help you can get. The CrossCom will give you control over tanks, helicopters and team mates. You'll need to learn how to use all this in order to survive what the game throws at you later.
Once the action begins, you'll have your tongue hanging out over just how damned good everything looks. This is no doubt one of the first games to truly look "Next Gen" on the Xbox 360. The draw distance on the levels is simple breath taking. This combined with graphical features such as HDR, makes the game a joy to look at. There can be some dodgy low resolution textures in places but it really won't bother you in the slightest.
The combat system in Ghost Recon 3: Advanced Warfighter, is one of the games strongest points. You'll be able to take cover behind a wall simply by walking up to it and pushing up against it. It's like a mixture of Metal Gear Solid and KillSwitch. But better of course! From here, you'll be able to shoot from cover (you will have to stick your head out, obviously, risking it getting blown off), reload, throw grenades from cover and safely issue orders to your team mates using the D-pad.
The sound in Ghost Recon 3: Advanced Warfighter is also one of its strong points. Gun fire sounds realistic, explosions sound amazing, and squad mates talk amongst each other giving you a nice sense of realism all around. The music is very well put together and shows that the game has been played through by the developers rather a lot just to cue the music in at the right times. You'll even recognise bands such as Ill Nino kick in whilst in the helicopter from time to time.
At one point in the first mission, I found myself having to hold an area while protecting a VIP when a swarm of enemy troops surrounded our position and began to shower us in lead. Right when the action was getting tense, cars were exploding, gunfire everywhere, the music kicked in to give you that extra adrenalin rush. I've never had a better action experience like this in any other game I've played. Enemies would jump and duck into cover, lay down cover fire for pushing team mates and even try and flush you out with grenades. This all adds up into one hell of a fun experience.
The missions in the game never get boring either. You'll find yourself on the way to one objective, and then something will happen that will take you by surprise and completely change your mission. This can be anything from a building exploding to one of your friends or mission objectives being killed. I enjoyed this greatly, the game didn't get too predictable and kept me sat up straight on my seat pretty much all the way through.
The game is certainly not without its flaws though. The team AI can be very frustrating at times. You'll be finding your self shouting at your team mates quite a bit as they try to take out tanks by them selves with a pistol or rifle while you're standing there with an RPG wondering how the hell he got into an "elite" group such as the Ghosts. Running out into the open thinking they're Arnold Schwarzenegger while 20 odd Mexican soldiers are glaring down the sights and scopes of their anti-face weaponry is also one favourite tactic of the team AI. All this while you're trying to tell them to take cover next to you. You may find yourself having to run into fire at times trying to treat their wounds. I never did this though. I felt that I had to send another team mate to do it as a punishment for being such an idiot.
The enemy AI can also be quite annoying too. There are some missions set at night, so you'll have to use night vision in order to see anything. This doesn't seem to be a problem for Mexican soldiers though. Obviously they listened to their parents as a child and ate all their carrots, and plenty of them. They can see fine in the dark and you'll this can make you feel at a major disadvantage especially when some missions have areas where your CrossCom is jammed. You'll have to look carefully for the enemy, this is where the night vision comes in handy of course but vehicles also glow, so if the enemy is standing in front of a vehicle, you're not going to see him. You'll be firing blindly at everything that glows like a complete loon.
Unfortunately multiplayer isn't quite the same game. You are unable to push up against anything and take cover, so the game play is completely changed and it no longer seems like Ghost Recon 3, but just another average multiplayer First/Third person game. The controls are quite sluggish for a fast deathmatch game and you'll find yourself having a bit of trouble trying to turn quickly and aim accurately. Of course, you'll get used to it but it all seems such a shame that it could have been so much better. The game play is exactly the same for co-op too, so don't expect that to be anything like single player. The CrossCom is still in there though, and a good feature is being able to flick between First Person views of your team mates in the top left of your HUD.
Don't get me wrong. Multiplayer can still be fun, and I still had quite a laugh going through some co-op missions with my brother but over all, it completely disappointed me. I think I'll leave it at that for multiplayer.
One of the best action games ever made, stunning sound and impressive graphics make this game a MUST have for your Xbox 360 collection. It's just a shame about to over simplified multiplayer.
- Great sound and a superb mixture music from both in-house and bands such as Ill Nino
- Jaw dropping explosions and action
- Impressive graphics
- Fantastic combat system
Not so good stuff
- Annoying team AI at times
- Disappointing Multiplayer
- Some visual environment and player model bugs here and there
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