If the frustration of the single player save point method gets too much for you, or you finally tire of healing your comrades while no one sees to your medical needs, you can always try some multiplayer action, and here I’m glad to say GRAW excels. If you manage to join a game where the other participants are willing to play as a team, you’ll realise what a squad based, tactical shooter is all about. Forget about issuing basic commands to your computer controlled squad, simply tell your real, live team mates where to go, what to do and how to out flank the enemy. The multiplayer maps look simply stunning and add oodles of atmosphere to the proceedings. Although the general game styles are standard multiplayer fare, GRAW looks and plays so well, that you can’t help but enjoy every moment. For me, GRAW offers the best multiplayer experience on the X360, although that will probably change once Battlefield 2 rears its head.
But despite the fact that the multiplayer aspect of GRAW is undoubtedly impressive, it too is not without its issues. For a start, the control method is different from the single player version. Neat touches from the single player campaign like being able to take cover behind walls and obstacles are not possible in multiplayer mode. At first you don’t realise this and will be busy trying to stick to a wall and peer around the corner, while the enemy wonders what the hell your doing, all the time firing in your direction. Also, although there’s a cooperative mode, you can only play limited cooperative missions and can’t play through the main campaign mode with the help of your mates.
Ultimately Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter is like a flawed diamond – it’s beautiful from so many perspectives, but you can’t help but notice that it’s not quite perfect. The graphics are nothing short of breathtaking, and the gameplay can be totally immersive at times, but the annoying issues like the save points and inability to receive medical attention soon destroy the illusion of an urban combat reality that GRAW tries so hard to create.
If you want to see what makes the Xbox 360 so special; what makes it “next generation”, look no further than Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. I’d be hard pushed to think of a game on any platform that is as visually impressive as this one. If the rest of the game had been as polished as the graphics, this would be a classic of epic proportions, unfortunately the annoyances and frustrations that you encounter during play, take some of the shine off. That said, even with its flaws, GRAW is a great game and one that heralds the next generation of interactive entertainment – if this is a taste of things to come from Ubisoft, I’m very excited indeed.