Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Xbox 360 Review Ithaca NY

The GRAW series is back but has it managed to add on to the original enough for the full price tag?

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The original Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter was the first real game on the Xbox 360 to show what the system could do. It was a marvel of technological genius paired with stunning graphics and intense gameplay. Of course, with such a high pedigree and success a sequel was inevitble, however how quickly this sequel has come to being is a real concern. It's only one year since the original game shipped and given the detail in next generation games, it was hard to see a quality game being put together in a year. To an extent Ubisoft have managed to do this but it fails to impress as much as the original.

GRAW 2 picks up where the first game left off. Mexico has been saved, and the Mexican president evacuated to the United States to sign a peace pact. However all is not well in Central America with militias rising up to take on the US forces and local forces in protest of this alliance with the US. The ghosts are once again called into action and as the colonel says "you've really done enough for one man today, but I have to call on you again". Unfortunately, due to the 24 hour time frame difference between when GRAW's storyline finished and GRAW 2's starts, technology improvements in the game are limited which is a disappointment.

The game is once again controlled from a third person perspective, and can switch to a first person perspective for precision shooting. While you are limited to controlling the one character, you can now give orders while looking through the helmet cameras of your teammates. This is actually quite a useful feature as it is entirely possible to now play the game as a tactical commander and not fire a bullet throughout when you are in squad based combat. It's also nice to see your character giving hand movements when issuing orders while looking through the other member's visors.

Unfortunately, it is quite easy to label this game as a full priced expansion pack, as the missions are very similar in feel and look to the previous game. This is because they are once again set in Central America. Whilst it is nice to see the story continue, releasing this game with a lower price point as an expansion to the original would have been much better. This is basically our biggest disappointment - the game is just too close to the original game and if you didn't find the first game all that interesting, you won't find anything new here.

There are some more innovations which have worked well however. You can now control the UAV drones and specifically target areas plus you now also occasionally have the option to control helicopters and other vehicles through the cross-com system employed in the original game, although you won't find yourself doing much new in the way of actual objectives which primarily remain as destroying tanks, saving the hostages etc. Overall the gameplay is very reminiscent of last year's hit and as such you should be able to get right back into it without missing a beat.

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