Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Exclusive Multiplayer Hands-On - Team Adversarial

We grab our virtual assault rifles and partake in some intense multiplayer combat in this anticipated shooter sequel.

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When Ubisoft showed off Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter earlier this month, we weren't allowed to talk about the multiplayer section of the game at that time. Now we can, and Ubisoft and its Red Storm studio (which is developing the multiplayer section) have clearly thought about what players liked about the original GRAW's multiplayer, because they have built upon it considerably. We know because we had a chance to partake in some cutthroat multiplayer matches recently.

It's easy to see why the original GRAW was popular as a multiplayer game. It served up intense, modern-day combat with some beautiful visuals. The good news is that the changes in GRAW2 don't represent a radical departure from the original game, but they do represent some welcome improvements. Graphically, the multiplayer should look a lot sharper thanks to the introduction of dynamic lighting, dynamic shadowing, distance blurring, and more. These weren't in the multiplayer of the original game, but with them you can expect a richer visual experience.

The first map that we played was Aftermath, which is set in a South American village after a natural disaster rips through it. There's knee-deep standing water pretty much everywhere, along with gutted buildings and debris in the streets. We played two different modes on this map. The first was the familiar team-elimination sharpshooter, which was introduced in the original GRAW. Two teams battle one another, with the team with the most kills at the end of time declared the winner. We had respawns turned on, so this mode can last as long as you want. This level features a good mix of close-quarters and long-range combat, as you can try and defend a building by hiding in the maze of alleyways or get caught in a long-range firefight in the streets.

Rocky cove is a level inspired by the popular lagoon map from the original game.

The second mode that we played on Aftermath was a custom mode that showed off how you can create your own victory conditions. The mode was a variant of team territory, which tasks each team with trying to control five different areas on the map for as long as possible. The winner in team territory is the team that has amassed the most control time at the end of the match. In the variant we played, only one control point was active, which basically turned it into a king-of-the-hill mode. The control point in question was located on the second floor of a house at the end of a street, which made for some hectic battles as teams struggled to either defend the position or assault it. Approaching the house is problematic for the attacking team, thanks to the long fields of fire provided from the balcony of the house. Once inside, the action switches to close quarters as the attackers have to battle up the stairways and capture the point. In our match, this turned out to be a seesaw fight, as both teams alternated control of the point.

Next up on our tour of GRAW2's multiplayer maps was Crash Site, which is a cool level thanks to the fact that it's got the burning hulk of a downed US transport plane in the middle of it. This is a fairly large outdoor level, but the plane wreckage provides a handy reference point. You can even enter portions of the fuselage and use it to ambush passing enemies. Meanwhile, the plane has gone down in a small valley, so the nearby ridges offer plenty of sniping positions, though standing atop a ridge can also make you easy to spot since you're silhouetted against the sky. We should also mention that one of the nifty features of GRAW2's multiplayer is the fact that you can play certain maps at different points of the day. We played Crash Site during the evening and at night, and the latter required us to use night vision to see any decent distance.

Fans of the Rocky Cove level from the original GRAW will most likely love the new Lagoon level, which shares many of the same design features. This is a tropical-beach level with plenty of rock formations to provide cover. One of the most intricate of these formations is a rock arch that provides elevation and good places to snipe, though you can also get trapped atop of it. We got a taste of the fun new team-elimination takedown mode, which is like sharpshooter but with the major difference being that one player on each team is designated as an officer. If you're lucky enough to get chosen as the officer (the game randomly assigns it at the beginning of a match), you'll get three points for every kill that you make and 10 points if you kill the enemy officer. The downside is that both officers' positions are always designated on the map for both sides, so you can't hide. Also, killing an officer is worth five points, which makes them a valuable target. That puts the premium on the team to protect its officer. Or, if the team needs to dig out of a point deficit, team members can try to get their officer some kills quickly. If an officer is killed, a new officer is designated from any surviving team members.

The multiplayer levels in GRAW 2 offer plenty of hiding places.

The final level that we had a chance to check out was Back Alley, an urban map full of alleyways and plazas to fight in. We played team territory on this map, and it was brutal, thanks to the claustrophobic nature of part of the map, along with the fact that it can get pretty dark in some of those alleyways. There are plenty of balconies and elevated positions to get a good vantage from, though you're just as likely to be picked off from a hidden marksman. The team-territory mode requires plenty of teamwork, as you have to try and capture and hold as many territories as possible while keeping an eye on both the clock and the point totals.

We also had a chance to play a team mission on the Crash Site map. This is an objective mission mode, where one team has to plant an explosive device at certain points on the map while the other team has to deny them. The attacking team gets the benefit of aerial drone support, while the defending team can be reinforced with artificial intelligence soldiers. We played with respawns turned off, which made everyone move a lot more carefully since there were no second chances if killed. That proved to be a bit brutal, so we then played with a limited number (five) of respawns for each player.

Having the aerial drone around highlighted another nice new feature of GRAW2. The crosscom communications system that was introduced in the first game has been improved considerably. Before, you would have to watch the drone feed or the feed from your teammates' camera through a small window on your helmet-mounted display. Now you can get full-screen views of both, and you can even control the drone directly by telling it where to go on the map. Of course, the drone can also get shot down if you're not careful.

Choose from 62 different weapons in a huge variety of gameplay modes.

In addition to the new modes and maps, GRAW2 multiplayer has a lot of new everything. The addition of 27 new weapons boosts the overall total to 62, and there are plenty of new weapon types for each of the four multiplayer class types. Throw in new customization options such as new helmets and accessories, as well as a new female player model for multiplayer, and you have a lot more freedom to tailor your appearance in GRAW2. Judging from what we saw, GRAW2 should offer plenty of fodder for multiplayer fans to play through, and we haven't even talked about the cooperative multiplayer game yet. We still can't talk about that one, but it does look promising. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is scheduled to ship later this year.

Discussion

100 comments
jarhead1990
jarhead1990

For me, G.R.A.W 1 was like crack. It owned my summer. And now this...:(

keinuveye
keinuveye

loved R6V don't know about this series.

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

ok i don't understand the current GRAW priase, i love clancy and i hate the 360 graw games, 60 dollars for a linear slow action game, it's not a tactical shooter, not with the AI and the crappy level design i experienced in the single player, not graw 1 not graw 2. the pc graw was bad but better, AI that can take cover, levels with more than 1-2 paths, first person perspective true to the original. i own graw one 360 and pc, i played graw 2 demo for the 360 and found it to be a slightly prettier version of the previous game. linear level design isn't tactical, that is something they need to know. don't think i'm a clancy hater i have every graw rianbow and splinter game out there, for more than one system, and as a avid fan i'm appaled at the games, gears is a more realistic game. sometime it feels like ubi soft is in it for the money.

tartar23
tartar23

Please , Everyone take a look at the designer diaries . This will be "THE MOST ADVANCED" game world has seen. period.

rosscero
rosscero

This game looks nice... GRAW have modern weapons,fast game play and other awesome features...

James_Bond006
James_Bond006

Hopefully they fix the ranking system. I just bought GRAW and all the time I join in a RANKED match and the guy who made it is allowed to boot me? Just cause I am a lower level? Also why was the cover system not in GRAW's multiplayer?

Rob9307
Rob9307

this game will be the best game i own

rex41e
rex41e

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

yohanjr
yohanjr

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jos08
jos08

looks good but is it good enough to buy if you already have the first one

importon
importon

Ok, so for all you guys who are lovin on the MP, arent you the least bit disapointed that the attention to detail that was put into the SP is missing from the MP? I mean come on. how hard would it have been for them to implement that awesome handheld cam into MP, or make those flares on the ground actually emit light, or have some sort of cheap sprite-based splashing effect in the water? If the MP was a stand alone game I would say "that looks decent, i'm definetly getting it". but then I've already seen/played the SP and it is so much tighter. anyone?

datniccah187
datniccah187

Its rediculous how sickening this game is going to be. I think i'm going to preorder it tomorrow if possible.

Spoon_Ditch
Spoon_Ditch

GRAW is one of the best games the 360 has to offer. I spent weeks playing the first game both in single player and multiplayer and if this one is any better I think I'll have to book a few months to spend with it. GIVE ME MORE GRAW!!!!!!!!!!!!

BarNone101
BarNone101

I say this game looks pretty sweet...on the other hand i'm very curious to see how the multi-player plays as well as the campaign. If it's anywhere as good as the previous installment I'd say we're looking at a pretty nice game.

thekey
thekey

Well all I know is I still love the first one and I'm preordering this one, so I can't wait to play it.

MortorVos
MortorVos

i Cant understand why people are saying things like "meh" at this game... GRAW 1's single player was amazing first time around but the multiplayer had some of the best gameplay and map design (Nowhere anyone? CS would be proud to have it!!!) on any 360 game. Animations are more fluid in the multiplayer than the single player as well so anyone who sez otherwise are talking out of the a***. And why shud a cover system be implemented? In GOW people can see u in cover any way lol. In Graw Adjust the camera so u get a gd view, then leap out! O and also Who ever said that the guy on the vid wasnt shooting at anything is because the guy wasnt using the aim trigger like he should of been! With the added Clan support and better graphics i will be playing the multiplayer side of GRAW 2 for a very long time!!

kiro900
kiro900

i dont know it looks alright just another one....id say but it looks alright

dragonknightx0
dragonknightx0

Another game, yet fun, yet full of killing, yet tactical advanced warfare, great combination in my opinion, ive played most of the ghost recon games, kind of got sick of them as time went on, but it seems as if the games are starting to enter a more compelling chain, i play the last ones every made for the xbox, i never acculy played Gaw 1, so i cant say much about the series, but i will admit, this game looks like a good purchase, or a definate rental.

datniccah187
datniccah187

Something tells me i'm going to be stuck on the GRAW 2 multiplayer. It happens to me with a lot of games lately. I usually storm throught the single player campaign and then once i'm done with that i end up playing the multiplayer versions of the game on xbl for week on end. Like i've finished Gears and Rainbow Six Vegas weeks and months ago respectively and i still play them almost most daily via the multiplayer modes. Too me a good multiplayer system is what solidifies a games re-playability. I just finished up the GRAW 1 single player mode and tomorrow i'm sure i'm going to get sucked into the multiplayer. I can't wait!!!

usedboyi
usedboyi

Intence multiplay? he doesn't even shoot at anything..this is a joke..just like the whole game!

rose_please
rose_please

I had played the GRAW2 campaign demo via Xbox Live Marketplace, and was quite satisfied. Im a big fan of the Cross Com, and with 2.0 I was able to split my squad, and send them whereever i wanted going solo, where as in GRAW, it was only safe and effected to send them within view of Mitchel. Here I was able to send them on the other side of the battlefield putting down as much hurt on my target. I hope they incorporate more of the Cross Com into the the multiplayer, and would be even better if multiplayer was closer to the singleplayer. What I hated was that they never fixed the reload. Putting imaginary magazines into your weapons looks really bad on the game. Other than that it was pretty well done! Great Game! Now avaliable at the Xbox Live Marketplace. Ps: The UH-60's look really weird now...

Nishua
Nishua

DesmondPills Thank you. You hit the nail in the coffin. Others here will just boast about excellent the game was. Not saying it was bad but the single player experience was 10 times better then the MP for several reasons.

gamespotter001
gamespotter001

Cant wait for this come march. IMHO GRAW's net code is waaay better than R6 Vegas. Vegas was too Laggy for me

CrossCheck
CrossCheck

They should change the games name, the series isn't even Ghost Recon anymore. The classics kick GRAW and the second ones butt. (Thats as clean as I can say it.)

DesmondPills
DesmondPills

yeah i still probably wont get this one after the major let down the first one was. Im speaking strictly about MP. single player was a huge hit for me but honestly MP was terrible. if you had your friends with you it was fine as you could start a room no problem. the servers though for the most part were atrocious. nothing like waiting 15 minutes for 3 people and then have them quit more often then not or not be able to connect. ill wait for the word on the street so to speak before buying it. a final thought though, if R6:Vegas can basically have MP that mimics single player play, why cant GRAW? i dont get it. that video did nothing but make me want it less also.

importon
importon

I totally agree! the animation in the multyplay is absolute crap. also the there is no cover system in the multyplayer so those screenshots they gave us where you see a guy is leaning against a wall are total b.s.. Thanks for lying to us ubisoft. and on top of that the cool handheld camera work that's in the singleplayer is missing as well. and it also looks like they've changed to cheaper grenade explosions in mp as well. what is thier mp dev team doing?!!! ubisoft must have run out of money when it came time to budget for multiplayer. huge disapointment.

gavdav_1
gavdav_1

foot movements seem off hmm better fix it and that video was a bit pointless i was excited to see this and then just a guy aimlessly walking around and when he went over the first hill and you see the water he didnt even get his scope up:?! could of been shot so easily

lillitu
lillitu

I think the lean against walls feature in rainbow was so much better than the one in G.r.a.w they should have used it in stead. plus more interactivity and destruction is what people are looking for in next gen games.

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

looks like an awsome game i liked the first so hopefully there are many improvements

rugbygod
rugbygod

Crappy footwork on the multiplayer can spoil a great game. This looks like unfinished crap. They are skating way too much...take a lesson from great multiplayer games like Gears and Rainbow 6 Vegas.

--michael--
--michael--

big improvement and cant wait for the release

NicAgent
NicAgent

Seems like they still have work to do - foot movements were less than ideal.

esbshalo
esbshalo

This is like so cool. 60 over weapons, great multiplayer, WOHOO.

nas-tmayne2k6
nas-tmayne2k6

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

datniccah187
datniccah187

This may be one of my most anticipated games of all time right here. I'm soo ready for it i'm playing GRAW as we speak. This and Metal Gear Solid, cannot wait. March cannot come quicker!!!!

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

looks good, but id rather be playing a game where u get to fight Iran or North Korea, fighting in mexico feels akward...

xtremeg4m3r
xtremeg4m3r

You wont notice how much the graphics improved unless you really concentrate on the enviorment.

snoobo117
snoobo117

The places in the video looked kinda same from the first game. Though, i think that the graphics really improved.

F1sTDaCuffS
F1sTDaCuffS

i agree with the guy below me. this game blows. im not buying it or even renting it. ill pass. ubisoft is getting soft

awarriorofgamin
awarriorofgamin

your mom is overrated boring and single player is dumb robboh GRAW was over rated. The multiplayer was boring and the single player had dumb AI

mitchell27520
mitchell27520

i really hope they dont add a cover system because that is what made rainbow six gay it takes no skill to lean off a wall and kill somebody, it takes much more skill to lean like in the first graw.

paciouno
paciouno

this game looks awesome... great job microsoft... another game about to go platinum

robboh
robboh

GRAW was over rated. The multiplayer was boring and the single player had dumb AI

jancotianno
jancotianno

yeah, i hope the have the wall-hug in MP too