I really, Really like the GRAW games and got heavily into the Co-Op portion of both one and two. GRAW was the second game I bought for my 360, and was the very first tactical shooter I ever played. I never really knew I liked sneaking around corners and sniping dudes until I played that game. So when they first announced a new Ghost Recon I got really excited, but it seems with all the Call of Duties and Army of Twosies etc my love for military dudes shooting other dudes in the face isn't as strong. I was going to play this game regardless of the reviews. I really enjoyed the story in the last game and watching red triangles turn to white triangles while ordering about my squad mates. This game has all of that, but isn't really what I was hoping for.
Some of the levels look really nice. There's a level set in the snow, some woodland areas and various parts of the world that look really good and when there is smoke billowing from things or masses of things on fire the game can look quite stunning.
Squad mates are useful and doing the mark and execute move works really well. When you pull it off and take down four targets whilst they move around civilians it is really satisfying.
The game for the first two thirds is quite challenging, you can only take two or three hits before you go down and playing the game like Call of Duty will get you murderified quite quickly.
Some of the music is quite pleasant I suppose.
The problem with all of the good things is that there is always something to counterbalance them, The art in some levels is nice, but the cut scenes really do look almost like PS2 quality. The faces of the soldiers are abysmal and you wouldn't believe they are in a game in the year 2012. The in game character models are mostly fine and some of the animation is nice, but everyone is faceless and looks exactly the same.
Squad mates cannot be controlled, and while they are very good at killing dudes they often rush forward into danger. In the early parts of the game this is fine, but when youre facing tanks and turrets and wubwubwub special forces, you start seeing them drop like flies because they are so twitchy to put as many people as possible down.
the wubwubspecial forces. Now there's challenging and cheap and the special forces, even on normal wubwubwub take you down in one hit about 90% of the time. It can get really tough when they start showing up and you know they're about to ambush you because wubwub wubbbbbbbb... the dubstep kicks in.
Frame rate is atrocious at times and the game required me to do a little install on the 360 AND I installed it fully to my drive.
Story is nonsensical and I have no idea who the dudes I killed at the end were. They try to make you care about the team, but they could be any grrr military stereotype and any of the stuff they do hint at with the half Russian dude you play as is said in a couple of lines. The ending is probably meant to mean something or set up a sequel, but it just seems out of place and kinda confusing.
Now, This is the part that is so annoying. INSTANT FAILURE for being spotted in stealth sections. I'm not bad at games, and I don't just rush about like an idiot, but this game has some of the most frustrating "YOU WERE DETECTED, TRY AGAIN?" moments. I have ever encountered in a game. I think all of the missions in the game have a section where you can fail just by killing the wrong dude/ set of dudes at the wrong time, and the A.I is really inconsistent. Sometimes it spots you, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes one of the four people in your synced up shots doesn't die and you fail etc. Most of the earlier parts like this are easy, but there are two missions where the vast majority of the level you are required to go through these long stretches taking out at least eight or so patrolling guards with seemingly random logic in which ones you should take out first. It is all very, very trial and error. I got stuck on one checkpoint for about an hour, partly because the game checkpointed me infront of a guard and it was 50/50 whether i'd get an instant detection or not, and because it made no sense in which guards I need to take out in order.
On top of this I had missions decide to not move on because one last guard in an area got stuck on some scenery, another section where it kept telling me over and over that the area was clear and then spawning another couple of soldiers, and a checkpoint kicked in with 20 seconds on a timer requiring me to start a mission from the beginning among other little issues here and there. Parts of the game really do feel a little unfinished.
So that's most of the things about the game, I'm really disappointed with it. As soon as you realize the game boils down to the exact same thing on a loop. Sync shot-alert-gunfight-stealth-big set piece at the end of a level rinse and repeat. It's also quite annoying that in any area where non-fail stealth can be used for taking out a handful of guards, you will ALWAYS set off an alert and have to shoot your way forwards taking out the reinforcements. It feels really gamey and happens all the way throughout the game.
So that's a bunch of my thoughts, this was longer than what I wanted to type, I can't help but feel like a lot of the game was designed around co-op. I'm really bummed out that the awesome co-op missions were dropped in favour of full campaign and what little multiplayer I have played seems to want you to play tactically, but rewards you for being a run & gunner with an smg, although that will probably balance itself out when more people are playing it. (or get worse) Oh well I guess, that's about it. I'm going to go make a cup of tea and think about what a big nightmarish insta-fail fest the last mission is.
Nothing says special forces like dubstep.