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Posted on May 3, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Recon (PC)

James Lombardi

To give a brief outline of the scenario (don’t read ahead if you don’t want anything spoiled for the first mission before you try the demo yourself):

You and your team deploy in a courtyard and have to make your way north through city streets to get to the President’s position. For a city (and I’ve never been to Mexico City so I can’t speak for accuracy) there’s surprising few paths you can take. There are typically only two streets you can use which usually meet up in a larger open area that then has another two paths to take. In most cases, there’s a fairly clear right path and wrong path. One puts you to the front of the bad guys and the other lets you flank them.

I told them I was afraid of heights when I signed up, but they didn’t listen. At several points these light vehicles will come in at you, but picking off the soldier on the machine gun is a fairly easy task.

There are a few light vehicles that come in against you and occasional pockets of organized defense (with deployed heavy machine guns) but generally the resistance along the way to the first objective is fairly light. Predictably, when you reach the objective, you find the Presidential limo empty and rather damaged (hopefully it was insured).

Command attempts to patch you in with a Captain that’s with the President in another location, while you hunker down with your team against a light rebel counterattack (where the enemies seemed to trickle in rather than make a concerted and coordinated attack).

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Command tells you that they need you to attack a rebel position to provide a diversion while APC’s head into the President’s position to extract him. You and your team have to now track back over a bit of ground you already covered and make your way south to the rebel position (after all, there’s four of you, why wouldn’t you go on the offensive). The same setup of only one or two paths to take along the way eventually brings you in sight of a large fuel tanker conveniently parked in this rebel position. A few bullets into the tanker and you get the necessary diversion, and the mission (and demo) end.

Because this is the opening mission of the campaign, I’m willing to forgive the rather dull and linear mission design. Hopefully, the full game will be more varied, open, and realistic. That said, the game at least provided a fairly challenging and interesting experience. There’s a good bit of challenge in managing the tactical situation along with the actual fighting. After a bit, I found myself giving up on trying to send detailed orders and just issue quick advance orders to my team and hoping that their AI led them through any resistance – and they were able to manage dealing with threats while they advanced with a good bit of success.

So nice of them to park this completely full fuel tanker right here, who said rebels aren’t considerate people? As usual a mission debrief tells you how terrible a soldier you are. And no, I didn’t arrange for my team to specifically fire that many bullets.

My overall impression of the demo is favorable, but I hesitate to recommend the game flat out. This is one to wait to see how the reviews come in on the full game. There’s a lot of promise here (especially playing the multiplayer co-op campaign), but it’s by no means a sure winner.

Download the demo for yourself here and discuss about it on our forums.

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