ross's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (Xbox 360) review

GRAW is Very Solid, But Not Perfect

Introduction
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is a third person tactical shooter with some squad elements mixed in and overall, is a beautiful game that, most of the time, is fun to play.

Gameplay
The gameplay in GRAW is solid. The controller rumbles every time you shoot a bullet, are close to an explosion, or get hit. The campaign is decent sized at around 10-12 hours. 

On most of the missions, you will have a squad of three by your side. These three are smart (most of the time). You can give them commands like give them directions to cover. Another command is to tell whether to go into assault mode where they shoot once they see an enemy or recon mode where they are more tactile about when and when not to shoot. Also on most missions you will have a UAV drone which is basically a small circular flying object with a camera. When you bring up your tactical map, you can tell your drone where to go to check things out. Much like your squadmates, you can give the drone commands. It can go into scout mode which keeps it higher in the air so they are safe from enemy fire, or detect mode where it gets closer to the ground and and can show you where enemies are but it is succeptible to enemy fire.

Another important part of the gameplay is your heads up display (HUD) called the crosscom. While your playing, whenever you have allies under your control, there will be a box in the upper left hand corner of the screen showing you what your teammates are seeing through their eyes. In the upper right hand corner, there will be a box that appears usually showing either a general from the military giving you orders, or any other important NPC that is not part of your squad usually giving you new objectives, or giving you news that progresses the story.

One of the only complaints that I have is that sometimes, the realistic damage modeling can be too punishing. One bullet takes you from green to yellow on your heartbeat monitor, another takes you from yellow to orange, one more takes you from orange to red, and one more finishes you off. That might have sounded like a lot but it's four bullets. I like realism as much as the next guy, but it may be a little to realistic for it's own good. 

Graphics
The graphics are some of the best the system has to offer so far. The particle effects are good. For instance when a grenade explodes to a pillar of fire when a car gets blown up. Everything looks great. Your fellow ghosts look good too each wearing something different helping give them their own personality. 

But some character models don't look that great including the VIPs and the enemy models. You don't really notice the how well the VIP looks when your trying to get him to the extraction point cause you're trying to kill every rebel who gets in your way. But once you get them to safety, for instance, at the end of a couple levels you and the American president get in the back of the transport vehicle. And if you look over at him while he's talking, you'll notice that he doesn't move his mouth when he talks and he doesn't look quite as good as the other characters. And the enemies get old after awhile. They look pretty much the same up close, and they aren't spectacular looking. But these things are very minor. 

Mexico City looks really impressive when you're flying from a helicopter looking over the city when the sun is rising. All of the buildings are very detailed. The on foot action looks great to with shadows and lighting effects everywhere.

And in my experience with the game, I didn't have the framerate hitch up on me at all.

Sound
The sound in GRAW is excellent. The weapon sounds are pretty well done. The voice acting is good and the chatter from your enemies is in their native language and sounds good. The explosions sound like they have force to them and GRAW even goes as far as when you're flying in the helicopter and there isn't any action going on, you hear the pilot and co-pilot playing their music. The sound is really well done.

Value
Like I said earlier, the campaign takes about 10-12 hours to complete. You might be saying, "Is there anything else to do?" HECK YEAH! I've got one word for you...MULTIPLAYER. The multiplayer in GRAW is awesome. There are a lot of different game modes with variants you can pick such as number of respawns and enemy density. You get to customize your online personality with sunglasses, hats, and camo. I'll leave the rest for you to find out but remember. It is very addictive and very fun. The multiplayer alone prolongs the time you spend with the game. It prolongs it a very long time.

Conclusion 
Overall, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is a great 3rd person shooter with good gameplay, great graphics and sound, and a lot of lasting value with the multiplayer. But keep in mind, if you run and gun in this game, you will be killed within seconds of running out in the open and shooting at people you see. So if you like a solid 3rd person tactical shooter with some squad elements mixed in, check out Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
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