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Goldfinger


David Vargas David Vargas: (dave-deleteme[at]-deleteme-squishycomics [dot] com) 2007-08-10 08:28:14

Mr. Yun Is Out Of Town


Heyo. Dee's out of town on a business trip so he's left me in charge of doing today's upload and news post. Don't worry, he also left one of his reviews which I've attached below, so you have some of his words to comfort you through the weekend.

Today's strip was a first for us. Dee simply handed me a situation and the dialogue. It was up to me to decide each panel's action, as well as what dialgoue went where, and I'm happy with the results.

If I have any further thoughts to add, I'll do so later today. In the mean time, enjoy Dee's review.


===

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is a third person
shooter, steeped in the typical Tom Clancy
slightly-future tech universe. The plot isn't
earth-shatteringly original: you're fighting against a
military coup in Mexico, which involves protecting the
presidents of both nations, thwarting nuclear
retaliation, and eliminating the generalissimo
responsible for the chaos. It's nothing more than a
sufficient vehicle to set up the action.

Out of all the 360 launch window titles, I'd say that
only Call of Duty 2 has a more impressive visual
presentation. Mexico City sprawls on forever, and the
urban canyons and trenches it forms are engaging and
immersive. GRAW is one of the first titles to deliver
"next-gen" graphics.

The gameplay, however, remains distinctly last-gen,
albeit well-executed. There's nothing new here that
you haven't seen before if you're a fan of the squad
based military shooter genre. GRAW attempts to
combine tactical action with fierce gun play. Neither
achieves anything near landmark status, but the
combination of the two is definitely satisfying. It's
as if Ubisoft took Full Spectrum Warrior and Gears of
War and watered them down in an effort to combine the
two.

On the tactical side, depending on the mission, you're
able to command 3 infantrymen, surveillance drones,
attack choppers, and heavy armor. The tanks are
satisfying to let loose, as they can blast their way
through pretty much anything. Your only concern is
protecting them from infantry RPG fire, so in this
regard, GRAW feels like an accurate military scenario.
Unfortunately, the actual tactical depth is extremely
limited. There's no way to establish a fire team to
suppress, while you flank enemy positions. The A.I.
of your squadmates is atrocious, and I occasionally
found myself ordering them to stay out of the action,
so I wouldn't have to babysit them. Furthermore, many
of the missions are old school corridor gauntlets,
where you have no options regarding the route you
take.

As for the gunplay, sluggish is the word that comes to
mind. It's definitely slow paced and methodical - a
far cry from the tight control of visceral shooters
like Black or FEAR. None of the guns "feel" quite
right - despite sharp audio and rumble tactile
feedback, they just aren't satisfying when you fire
them. I believe every shooter fan knows exactly what
I mean. To make up for this, the weapons are highly
configurable. You can designate a wide variety of
firearms and attachments for yourself and your team.
Also, there are several segments where you handle
machinegun responsibilities on a Blackhawk swooping
through the city skyline. It's a simple point and
shoot affair, but still as gratifying today as its
80's arcade predecessors.

The "Advanced Warfighter" refers to the cutting-edge
hardware that military contractors are currently
developing for U.S. troops. The key aspect of this
tech is a H.U.D. that constantly feeds you pertinent
information. The picture-in-picture views of your
squadmates or vehicular assets, friend/foe indicators,
and instantly available maps (action continues in real
time while you access them) are all pretty cool. I'd
imagine an entire army outfitted with streaming visual
intel would be extremely formidable. Annoyingly,
there are several missions in which the enemy has
"jammers" that muck with your Warfighter display,
rendering it a static filled mess until you destroy
them. I wish I had the option to raise my tactical
visor and simply use my "eyes", as opposed to wading
through the electronic visual chaff.

My last complaint is largely a subjective one. I
strongly feel that a Ghost Recon title should capture
the feel of war, with larger scale battles. GRAW is
more of a methodical terrorist hunt, a style more
suited to the Rainbow 6 franchise. I much preferred
Ghost Recon 2 (original Xbox) over Advanced Warfighter
in this respect.

Lastly, I must mention the online play. The
deathmatch modes are of no significance, but co-op
play is where GRAW shines. Like Ghost Recon 2, it's
possible to have a multitude of players (up to 16)
joining forces to defeat the campaign missions. This
is one of the best online experiences to be found
anywhere, as all of the jackholes who thrive on
insulting and teabagging each other turn into comrades
who cheer each other on.

I've focused on all of GRAW's minor shortcomings,
while glossing over the myriad of aspects it gets
right. I'd like to give it an A grade, but other than
the massive graphical upgrade, GRAW is nothing more or
less than a solid rehash of what this genre has
provided for an entire console generation.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter - B

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