Originally posted on 03/10/2006 at 1up.com

We'll get to my mastery later. The beginning is the beginning I guess, today I rolled $30 worth of change so I could afford Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter earlier instead of later. I could have got it Friday, but my 360 looked so sad sitting there, hating the copy of Perfect Dark gathering dust within it, that I was compelled to make use of this wonderful machine once again. ... and thank goodness I was. In short, GRAW is "ohmygodgood".

In long, GRAW is the most next-generation of next-generation games to date. It puts Perfect Dark to shame, because it's a better shooter, with more depth, better graphics, and a respectable multiplayer. Sure it's not 16 on 16, but I don't much care, because it has polish. It has 'panache'. So let's get into it eh ??

Within the game you're playing as whoever doing whatever mission in Mexico City killing whatever badguy rebels and so on and so forth. Now I'm kidding, but that's honestly how you feel. The story sucks, the characters suck. This game was made for the gameplay. ... and how it shines. The game just doesn't fuck it up, (except one thing), switching weapons, moving your (very intelligent and important to have) team, hiding against walls, peeking from cover. Everything is done with excellence. Your Ghost team suprised me the most, they're basically a necessity, they'll be who you rely on to blow up vehicles when you're only carrying a rifle, they'll be there to draw fire, they'll go where you tell them to, or stay where you tell them to stay, all in all, they're like ... good or something.

The game is centered around the fact that you have a team, and all these neat-o things like the crosscom (which shows a goddamm live feed from a teammate or a vehicle right in the corner of your screen - talk about next gen) at your disposal, and because of that, the game doesn't allow you to play how you want to play. It's interesting, but it's OK. The game actually changes how you play as you learn. I guess that's what they call a learning curve, but shooters have been pretty much devoid of such a thing lately. You learn to peek around every corner, or to send your team out first around a corner and into cover. It's pretty captivating gameplay.

It's also pretty damn hard gameplay. Try to play the game like you're playing Halo or F.E.A.R. and beware. You'll suffer the same fate I did, the sweet embrace of death (over and over again). *SPOILER I GUESS* Most notably when the embassy is under attack, as hard as it was, it's been my favorite moment of the game. The explosion is like film quality, and there's like opera playing in the background. Talk about production quality.

The music is another interesting segment of the game. It makes me wonder if they were going to market a soundtrack, because at random times here and there, some heavy rock will just take over my surround sound. Most frequently when I'm in the helicopter. The helicopter itself is kind of a moving loading screen, it actually informs you of the next mission while it loads it. I don't know why it took developers until the 360 to think of that, but thank God.

Hmmm ... and on to the Multiplayer ( ... and my mastery ). I've only delved into the Team vs. Team deathmatch mode, but the multiplayer is solid. The maps are creative and very different from each other. All weapons are available for multiplayer, and choosing a player type like Marksman, Rifleman, or Grenadier; will give you bonusus using certain types of weapons. The character models have basically changeable faces and face gear, but it doesn't amount to much. I'm pretty sure the camoflauge gear on the body changes with the level. Which is true-to-life, but I still really wanted to make my Ghost an all-black ninja style warrior. Oh and another thing, I don't think there's a melee at all. That's pretty awkward. ... and hence, my WARMASTERY.

Honestly, I've only played about 20 or so multiplayer games, so sue me if I'm being premature. ... but I'm good. I've never finished lower than second place on my team, and I man the drone in the sky better than anyone. I played one on three in a match and handed some sorry fools their asses. I'm cursing myself I know it, but I OWNED!!!

My only gripe about the game is this. Clicking the right analog stick in causes your character to do this creative little dive right into laying down mode. But that's a pretty poor button placement. I click that damn thing accidentally like every other time I get into a firefight. Luckily, it most often works to my advantage. ...but it's still a nuisance.

So ... go buy it now! ... and .. I promise it looks this good ... all the time ..

Edit: No matter how good the game is, Tom Clancy still = douchebag. Always and forever.


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