Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Initial Impressions

I picked up Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the Xbox 360 on the release date. I had looked forward to it on launch day for the Xbox 360, but it slipped to the right. At first glance, it appears to have been worth the wait.

I haven’t had a chance to play all that much yet, but the visuals are quite nice and definitely a step up from the xbox and playstation 2. The game exhibits a steady framerate.

For the couple of levels that I have managed to get in on single player, they are immersive and hold your attention. The controls are pretty tight and responsive except for when you have your weapon zoomed in. In this case, the slew rate is bothersomely slow and their is no option to change the rate. It can be quite frustrating to be zoomed in, see a target pass through your scope and not even be close to being able to follow it. Now, I dont want it to be unrealistic, as slew rate when zoomed in has to be slower than unzoomed, but it takes way too long to swing even 90 degrees when zoomed and causes you big time issues. The designers would have been much better off allowing a faster slew, but distorting the view or causing some sort of alignment imbalance. After all, with a real gun/scope combo, you can slew just as fast as unscoped, but of course you wont see or be able to hit anything due to image instability. The designers just chose to make you slew slow and it will cost you a few lives.

The other irritant thus far in single player mode, is the lack of your squad’s AI. Basically, they are just pretty stupid. They have no issues with standing out in the open until gunned down and like to cut across your line of fire. In my few missions thus far, I have yearned for a “stay here” command so I can go engage the enemy without their incumberance.

Multiplayer on Xbox Live is a blast. I managed to get a couple of hours in this past weekend with my son and we just enjoyed the heck out of it. This will be the strong suit for the game, I believe. Could this be the game to finally unseat Halo 2 as the most played on Xbox Live? The one weak point for multiplayer is that the “wall stick” tactic does not work. When playing single player, you get very used to this useful, life saving tactic to reduce your profile to the enemy. For some strange reason, this feature was deleted from multiplayer.

That’s it for my first impressions. While I tended to focus on the negative, the game is very enjoyable and worth the price of admission. It will be in my library for some time and get ample play time, especially on Xbox Live multiplayer. After some more extended sessions, I will try to get an updated review up here.

Now we (Sean and I) cant wait for Oblivion to be released on Mar 20… It looks like a really sweet RPG…