Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise has roots that begin with the Rainbow six titles, all popular and entertaining games that received good reviews in most aspects of presentation and game play. The first Ghost Recon title sold pretty good, good enough to warrant the start of development of Ghost Recon 2, until it was cancelled so GRAW could begin development on Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
The good parts (4 out of 5)
A great first person experience that had me devising plans to get my less than well-trained team mates to operate as the urban weapon we were trained to be.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on my Paladin rocked the visual scale with textures and visual effects that were absolutely top-self, not the best I’ve ever experienced, but close. Character and environmental details work beautifully, all the guns are beautifully articulated, the clothes have wrinkles that move, all my kneeling, sprinting and diving for cover movements were smooth and detailed enough to immerse my senses completely at times.
The new and nifty overhead display map looks wonderful and is handy and useful for allowing you to issue commands to your team members and tracking the movements of both your men and the enemy.
Parts that need improvement (4 out of 5)
In order to immerse yourself in the game to the extreme that it’s capable of you need a high powered system. On a lower powered system the explosive effects of vehicles will cause the frame rate to drop noticeably, and a lot of action on screen will cause similar problems. I used a Gamer Paladain F875 running Vista Home Premium to test Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, but I also tried it on my other, less powerful computer, and found that frame rate problems cropped up at times of intense action on the screen.
The multiplayer mode had several bugs that appeared during play that while simple and really having little effect are still inexcusable for in a game with such a storied history.
The AI can occasionally be really stupid, but then a true AI is a dream, so far, but this one likes to interpret your commands in its own way, so you need to be careful and learn the way to properly command your squad members to get them to do what you want. Your men may decide to walk in front of fire or move to a spot without the proper cover, so you need to make sure your commands are carefully crafted.
The graphical look of the game (5 out of 5)
Amazingly detailed and immersive visual and audible environment are breath-taking on massive interactive maps with intricately designed urban combat environments that are more massive than the Xbox 360 environments.
All the environmental particle effects of explosions, animation details of the moving elements, and outstanding smoke and fire effects will thrill and awe you with the details that jump out at your eyes.
The PC version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter supports the AGEIA PhysX Card for advanced physics effects and particle effects, my system used a NVIDiA GeForce GTX-295 1.792MB video card and I had an amazing experience.
Sounds in the game (3 out of 5)
The music score is wonderfully dynamic during the intense action scenes and then changes appropriately to match the different moods of the game, complimenting the immersive effects of the presentation and definitely adding to the entertainment value of the game without dominating the sounds of battle.
Bold and realistic sounding explosions, gunfire, engines, and environmental effects complete the environments, creating an atmosphere of danger and adventure.
A lot of the voice acting appears to have been taken directly from the Xbox version, with a few new lines thrown in, but still outstanding writing that was well performed.
The story line (4 out of 5)
You play the game as Captain Scott Mitchell of the elite US Ghost Recon on assignment as part of the internal security force for a joint Canadian, Mexican, and US summit in Mexico city. Mexican rebels attack the summit, killing the Canadian Prime Minister, hardly a major offense, and causing the American and Mexican leaders to go missing amid an urban play ground that is the perfect environment for intense action. Your job is to find and protect the President and Mexican leader, but mostly the President, from the deadly intentions of the rebels.
Playability (4 out of 5)
The single player campaign was the best of all the versions I have reviewed, with even more massive maps, a well written story line and absolutely first rate presentation.
There’s a multiplayer mode that’s just about as much fun, but it had a few small bugs that while they weren’t game ending always take you out of the moment, just for a second.
There’s a co-op mode on line for up to four friends to play and if your friends are busy the computer will even take over and play with you. I was even able to find a few people to play with, and we had a great time playing this mode and the domination on line mode, which was a cross between a capture the flag scenario and on slaught mode you might have seen in Unreal Tournament.
The bottom line (4 out of 5)
The PC version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the best hardcore tactical shooter my eyes have witnessed, with outstanding game play elements and mechanics, challenging and dangerous urban environments, and amazing immersive atmospheres that engage the imagination and force you to use team tactics and strategies to defeat a tough enemy. Gamers loving previous Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon titles or a good tactical shooter will be enthralled after playing this game and if you’ve never given this genre of game a try, this is one of the best titles to start with.