Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – Review
Tom Clancy’s Ghosts are back in better shape than ever. After the 360 version and the one for the now oldgen consoles, here is finally the review of the PC edition.
Fortunately, Ubisoft has taken a few steps back from the second chapter (a few lines ago I wrote that it is bad, but why not repeat it also in this parenthesis?) And finally we return to breathe some of the magnificent atmosphere of the first episode. But I’m running too fast, as QuakeMan said before he fell off the bike.
Meanwhile, it must be said that the PC version is graphically and conceptually closer to that for the Xbox 360 than to that for the other consoles (ugly, indeed). This means that the visual aspect is well-finished and that the graphic engine is able to show many next gen effects (which in a few months will not be so much next). We are not here to list them all for decency but we can say that the result is truly remarkable, especially if you have a card with 512 MB of memory, since in this way you can activate the higher resolution textures, which greatly improve the appearance. visual. However don’t worry, GRAW it looks splendid on a graphic level even with the medium resolution textures that allow you to enjoy all its realism without making you feel the absence of the extra feature too much. Obviously, all this Manitù well-being is paid for in terms of performance: the graphics engine is very heavy and, even on very pumped computers, it is never 100% fluid, often engaging in annoying slowdowns that are difficult to explain. It’s impossible not to notice how much more could be done in terms of optimization since if you don’t have a super computer, you risk having to cut out most of the details to get decent fluidity.
The structure of the control system is similar to that of a normal FPS, with the addition of some commands to manage your colleagues. As in the first episode, we will have a tactical map available to give orders and view the mission area from above. Team management is simple and effective even if, it is fair to say, most of the time it will be necessary to rely on AI, given that the orders that can be given are vague and are often disregarded by personal initiatives (which may not be such … but I cannot consider otherwise the cases in which a “ghost” has decided to turn a corner on his own business, being riddled with shots by a passing rebel). However, by installing the patch released promptly by Ubisoft, in the days immediately following the release of the game, some AI problems are solved and it is possible to keep the exuberance of our men at bay by limiting their suicidal strategies.
The action is the classic one of the genre: slow, thoughtful and made up of cadenced movements aimed at discovering the areas where the enemies are supposed to be. Those who enjoy running among millions of monsters screaming “it’s time to kick *** and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of gum” shooting as hard as they can, can change the article and wait for the review of Duke Nukem Forever (and in the meantime he can start a family and mature his pension) since here, more than anything else, we crawl. It is when you are engaged in firefights against opponents led by the AI that you notice the biggest flaw of GRAW: it is not only our men who are as intelligent as the competitors of the Big Brother house; even those driven by the CPU think in a way that is decidedly alien to the context. Let me explain right away: are you shooting at them and are they behind cover? Well, they won’t stay there for long since, in a completely irrational way, they will often tend to find themselves getting caught in the open field (obviously a bullet in the forehead is what it takes to celebrate such stupidity). It’s okay to try to make the game more accessible, but this will nullify many of the tactics that can be applied by exploiting our teammates: does it make sense, for example, to give orders trying to track down the enemy when the enemy is perfectly fine alone?
That said, there is no doubt that GRAW both a high-level title, with dozens of goodies (such as the numerous weapons that can be selected during the briefing phase) and a truly excellent mission structure. Most of the objectives are achieved in a linear way, but, in some cases, greater freedom of approach is left. The urban setting is cared for and turns out to be the best ever seen in a video game, surpassing the competition by several hands in the number of details and scenic splendor.
The difficulty is of medium / high level; despite the flaws of the AI, overcoming the different skirmishes is not easy at all, especially due to the lack of quick saves. We proceed in this way paying attention to the slightest movement and moving slowly between one corner of the building and the next. The single player campaign lasts, overall, 12 hours net of the times that one is forced to reload due to death.
To add longevity we think the multiplayer sector, with two very interesting modes, unfortunately affected by a few too many bugs.
To run decently Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter you need a really well equipped computer. The minimum requirements marked on the box (a 2 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent, 1 GB of Ram and a 128 MB video card compatible with DirectX 9.0c) certainly allow you to play decently, as long as you reduce most of the effects. For best results, bring the processor to 3 GHz, the ram to 2 GB and equip yourself with a video card with 256 MB of ram (better if the latest generation). To get the most, as already indicated in the article, you will need a video card with 512 MB of ram… which is definitely not cheap. Tested on a P4 with 3.4 GHz, 2 GB of ram and a GeForce 7800 GT video card, GRAW did not present particular problems, if not some annoying slowdown. There are no stability problems to report.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is a title with very marked lights and shadows that determine a good but not exceptional judgment. Visually excellent, it pays for a non-optimized graphics engine that makes it difficult to run at its best on many computers. Another defect, already underlined in the article, is the artificial intelligence that is not always up to par, which dampens many situations by trivializing the performance of the action. Fortunately, compared to the console versions, it is possible to take advantage of your teammates in action, without having to consider them simple dead weights. In short, a very good title that could have been exceptional with a few more tricks.
- Visually beautiful
- Finally a hardcore tactical shooter after years in which the genre seemed run down
- Campaign studied in a perfect way
- Heavy duty graphics engine
- Artificial intelligence with more than a few naiveté
- A few bugs too many in the multiplayer mode
When Rubbini told me: “I found a safe job with great career potential” I was already doubtful. When he added: “we will travel the world, we will be in contact with very advanced technologies and we will visit a lot of famous cities” the doubts have grown. But what to do? The jobs are all precarious (the only ones who have a permanent job are those who go on television to say that the precariousness is beautiful and good), the wages are low and the cans of my cat more and more expensive. So I followed him without batting an eye. When they put a strange uniform on us and gave us some strange glasses with a built-in monitor, the suspicion that the “sun” was imminent became almost a certainty. Receiving an assault rifle with a precision sight has dispelled all doubts. At the first outing on the field (for a practically deserted city) the first meeting with other human beings was not the friendliest. “Rubbini, they shoot at us …” “So it seems, but still better than in Harlem. Anyway, pretend on a mission of peace, you will see that they calm down. ”
Obviously we are not here to discuss the temporary agencies that Rubbini uses (of course when he read the name, “GEA”, he could get the suspicion that there was something strange), but to talk about Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, third title of the Ghost Recon series (I immediately anticipate the question of the uninformed: no, the second episode never came out for PC … fortunately, given how bad it was), signed by the ubiquitous (in the Ubisoft catalog) Tom Clancy (in my opinion the old Tom with the PC only plays in Prato Fiorito … now I said it). The story behind the game is a typical plot made up of rebels, insurrections and terrorists; just an excuse for some healthy tactical shooting, in short.