First off, GRAW is quite possibly the dumbest acronym ever. How about we just call it GR3? Sounds good…
As I mentioned in my last post, I picked up an Xbox 360 and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (yes, the full name is pretty dumb too) last weekend. I’ve been playing it quite a bit and have almost completed the single player campaign. I think I just wrapped up the eighth or ninth mission of eleven. Really enjoying the game, until this last mission. Let me quote the back of the GR3 box…
In 2013, the Army will unleash a new breed of soldier. A soldier whose lethality has been honed by the finest technologies.
See what your squad sees, call in air strikes, and command forces in real-time with the Cross-Com.
Doesn’t that sound exciting? It sure does – and man does GR3 ever stand up to all the hype that’s been surrounding it for months. But I just found myself, for the second time, doing a solo mission with no air support, no Cross-Comm and a busted HUD. Now that’s advanced!
Ghost Recon games are hard. The first one in the series was ridiculously hard! I’m talking, you’re lying prone in the middle of a wooded area and there’s some dude sniping you but you can’t see shit and if he hits you once you’re dead, hard. I can’t tell you how stoked I was the first time I played GR2 and it was nothing like that. Unfortunately, I just had a GR flashback while playing GRAW… I mean, GR3, dammit! During that solo mission, I picked up a sniper rifle from an ammo box and made my way out the back doors of a rail yard. Between myself and my objective is a big, open field outlined by buildings of all shapes and sizes. As I carefully made my way towards the crest of the first hill I hear a bullet whiz by. “You’ve got to be kidding me”. Normally, once an enemy fires at you, they appear as a red diamond on your HUD – but let’s not forget, my HUD is broken and I’m literally viewing the game through static. After being picked off this dude a good half dozen times, I jumped on GameSpot to see if there was a game guide online yet. To my surprise, someone had posted a list of cheats. I didn’t think they left cheats in console games any more? I ignored them and figured out where the sniper was from the guide. I picked him off, hopped up to my feet and got shot in the face instantly. Hooo-ly, shit.
At this point, I would have really liked to just shut the game off and come back to it another time. But like most console games, it’s not that simple. I guess developers still haven’t figured out how to build quick saves into console games. I mean, they’ve been in PC games for as long as I can remember. The old F5 key. Tap that bitch and you’ve got yourself an instant save point. F9 will even load it up for you, just like that! But somehow, the Xbox 360 in all it’s next-gen glory can’t handle this super advanced functionality. *sniff* I miss my PCCC!
Maybe I’m being overly sensitive here? But as much as I love video games, they’re still a hobby. Something I do when I have some spare time. I hate the thought of knowing that once I start something, I can’t stop until it’s finished. What if something comes up? What if the half hour I had allotted to shoot some dudes wasn’t enough to get in the entire mission? Too bad dude – you’re not leaving that chair until your finished! Ugh… flashback from Christmas 1987 – Mom cramming brussle sprouts down my throat when all I wanted to do was play Duck Hunt.
Anyway, I got a little off track here. I ended up using the invincibility cheat to get myself through the level so I could shut down the damn console and go to bed. Surprisingly enough, I still got the 25 point achievement for beating the level. I checked my stats – gone! Everything’s been reset to 0 and my score is -500. I guess that’s the price to pay for cheating. Oh well, I’ll definitely play the campaign through again and I’ll get my stats then.
It may sound like I’m not enjoying this game at all, but it’s actually the complete opposite. I fuckin’ love it! Man, it’s great! Definitely feels ‘next-gen’… if that makes sense? I’ll follow this up with a review and hopefully some gameplay footage soon.