Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare and a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts.

G.R.A.W. is the first Xbox 360 title that has really impressed me. Others, such as Kameo, impressed me, but G.R.A.W. is almost stunning at every turn. A great multiplayer mode and a solid single player mode make this title highly recommended. However, there are a few little glitches that hold me back from rating it a 5.

The graphics and graphical details are breath taking. The heat haze over Mexico City and the fact that you can even read the small print on various signs around the city are two examples of the attention to detail. Everything's textured and the lighting and particle effects are attention grabbing. The sound effects are pretty strong also. The gunfire sounds realistic, the explosions will rock your living room, and the enemies' shrieks of pain will make you feel good.

Using the Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology, you'll always be kept up to date on the latest happenings on the battlefield. Attached to the soldier's monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones. It sounds great, but it's takes a lot of my attention away from the actual combat.

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One of my gripes is that my comrades seem particularly stupid and like to stand there in plain view as if no one ever trained them to take cover. Another is that enemies seem like they're in plain sight but I can't shoot them because their cover extends magically beyond its visual presence.

Now that I got that out, I have to admit that the single player campaign is as thrilling as any I've played. And that's not even what the game seems to be about. The developer's focus must have been on multiplayer because there are a ton of different game modes. You could play a single life last man standing or a 16-player capture the flag and anything in between. There are a ton of maps. Co-op play over Xbox Live is supported, although it's different from the single player campaign and not as much fun.

All in all, G.R.A.W. is a great game that falls just short of being perfect.

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