Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Hands-On First Look

We get our first good look at this sequel to the hit military-themed shooter.

It's not too much of a stretch to say that the Xbox 360 lineup struggled a bit at launch. Many games weren't considered "next-gen" enough to warrant that description. Then, last March, Ubisoft delivered Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and everything changed. GRAW, as it's affectionately known, is widely regarded as the first "next-generation" title for the Xbox 360. It delivered incredibly advanced graphics and fantastic gameplay as it immersed you in the rigors of urban combat. GRAW also sold a ton of copies--so it's not surprising that Ubisoft has commissioned Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. Recently, the company gave us a first look of and brief amount of hands-on time with the sequel.

GRAW 2, as it will probably be known as, will pick up immediately after the events of GRAW. Poor US Army Captain Scott Mitchell, the hero of the first game, will turn out to be the hardest-working man in government, as no more than 24 hours after returning from the Battle of Mexico City he's thrown back into combat to stamp out the remnants of the failed Mexican coup. This time around, the action will shift to the US border with Mexico, as the rebels mass their forces in and around the city of Juarez in order to invade neighboring El Paso, Texas. That means that instead of purely urban environments, you'll encounter a mix of wilderness areas, as well as battle in and around American suburbs. Surprisingly, work on GRAW 2 began at Ubisoft's Paris studio before the original game even shipped. That means that the sequel will be able to sport a number of new features, as well as enhanced graphics in some areas.

The basics remain the same, though. You'll play as Mitchell as he both battles on his own and as he leads his team into combat. The plot will involve you not only in stopping the rebels, but also trying to figure out who is behind both them and the failed coup. Clearly something is up, as brushfires erupt all over Central America and it's clear that someone is coordinating the events.

New cross-com and drone functionality will help you bring the fight to the bad guys more effectively.

Many of the gameplay improvements are geared at giving you more control and flexibility on the battlefield. For example, Ubisoft showed off the MULE, a small remote-controlled utility vehicle that can motor around the battlefield and deliver ammunition and supplies, which makes a lot more sense than those ammo and weapon boxes that you kept running into in the original game. The MULE will drive up, and you can access the compartment in the back to refill your ammo load and change weapons. You can't actually ride in the MULE, as it is a tiny vehicle.

What's really cool about the MULE is what you can do with it. It's not just a moving resupply crate. It can also be a valuable battlefield tool. You can give basic movement orders to the MULE, just like you order your squadmates to move to a certain point, and it will move there. Since the MULE has armor, it effectively becomes mobile cover, so you can stay behind the MULE and use it to shield you from enemy fire. You can also take direct control of the MULE, and you'll be able to see through the vehicle's camera in first-person, so it feels as though you're driving around the battlefield. This way, you can use it to scout ahead and detect any enemies or ambushes on the way.

You'll also be able to exercise the same amount of control over many different drones and vehicles in the game. For example, the surveillance drone that was in the original game is back, but this time you won't have to see its feed through a tiny window in your reticule--you can now see a full-screen view of its overhead feed. You can also fly it around yourself, so you can use it to scout ahead.

Using the MULE and surveillance drone in this manner, Ubisoft demoed how Mitchell will fight his way into the outskirts of Juarez. You will battle a number of Mexican rebels this way, and many of the advanced targeting information from the first game returns intact in the sequel. Once detected, enemy soldiers are highlighted in red, while friendlies are green, which helps you avoid friendly fire. The health status of each soldier is also displayed, so you know how close he is to death. You can use this targeting information to great effect, so if you have the sniper rifle, for instance, you can easily shoot through soft cover and take out a bad guy behind it.

GRAW's already impressive graphics engine will boast incremental improvements for the sequel.

Eventually, Mitchell arrived at a huge quarry, which made it a perfect location for a Black Hawk helicopter to arrive and deliver the rest of his squad. Unfortunately, the rebels began to fire mortars at that point, but this gave a chance to show off the beautiful new explosions and atmospheric effects in the game. Time of day is now modeled in the game, so as a mission drags on the sun will move through the sky and shadows will shift. In this mission, the setting sun made for a beautiful backdrop as the explosions ripped through the area.

At this point the demonstration effectively ended, though afterwards we got to play the game briefly. This let us play the opening level, which begins with a long ride to Fort Bliss as Mitchell is briefed on what's occurred over the past 24 hours. It appears that the Humvee will be the transport of choice in GRAW 2, displacing the Black Hawk helicopter and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, as both levels that we saw began with Mitchell arriving in a Humvee.

GRAW 2 will also ship with an extensive multiplayer suite, though details on that will come later. Still, what we saw of the single-player looked solid. We're excited at the prospect of being able to use all of the Army's next-generation warfighting technology in the countryside after fighting the pure urban battles of the first game. GRAW 2 simply looks like more GRAW, and that's a great thing. GRAW 2 is scheduled to ship this spring.

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Discussion

173 comments
scottishlocard
scottishlocard

gonna be tha poop... LOL... they censor U know... HAHAHA anyways, "little improvement"???? Nah, HUGE... just wait until U get the real deal in your hands and into the 360... another Game of The Year!!!

stuarthanley
stuarthanley

Played the demo. Anyone else see little improvement on GRAW or is it just me?

WaylanderFW
WaylanderFW

a must have! a "blind" pre-order 4 sure!

mrtweed2
mrtweed2

What? No adobe flak jackets??? LOL Kidding! So many good shooters, so little time. The next 5 months are going to be good for 360 owners!

zero_or_die_777
zero_or_die_777

man....... i hope you will be able to customize your online character more.....like all the gear and weapons.........thats what makes rainbow six vagas so cool..........i hope they bring all those customization features to GRAW 2

pdo4545
pdo4545

ooooooooo yeaaaaaaaa this one looks even beter than the first one :D!

TheThreeSeat
TheThreeSeat

Maaaan...I already had a huge list of games to get....daaaannnnngg....

MCW101
MCW101

I have to get this game

kithooton
kithooton

I think the game is going to be slightly the same, but of course new stuff and maybe slightly nicer things to look at. But Please, please, i hope the online will be as good as the last one.

SandR1979
SandR1979

word @ epormada i hop you cvan stick behind walls and stuff, just like the singleplayer!! and that the graphics are as good as...

epormada
epormada

PLEASE don't screw up the multi-player this time! Four person co-op of the campaign over LIVE would be awesome. This article is correct GRAW was the first truly amazing looking game on the 360, and it came out only a few short months after the systems release, so I guess It's OK that the multiplayer was a little lack luster. I just hope It's more like the awesome single player this time!!!

Night117
Night117

Awesome game...but the Frenchie from Ubisoft sure spoilt the whole mood for me in Trailer 2 lol

asmodeus_z
asmodeus_z

Looking forward to the release * rub palm *

doohuh
doohuh

Idk, I have GRAW for PC and it's really not a bad game. If anything, it has some of the best sound for a game I've ever heard. I have it running on an X-Fi with 5.1 Logitech x-540's. The game does get you mad very easily, but if you're good enough, you'll appreciate it. Oh, and I have a 360 and I beleive the graphics are better on the PC version if you have a beefy enough system. I have a 7800 gt and it's better than 360's hd quality. Anyway, I most likely pick up GRAW 2 for 360 instead. Looks cool.

DesmondPills
DesmondPills

is it that big of a deal to argue whether its an expansion or sequel? for the sake of adding fuel to this fire im saying its a sequel since the game will be donning the title GRAW 2, making it clear that its a sequel. aside from that the only thing i want to see is an online multiplayer system that isnt a joke like GRAW's is. honestly that killed it for me. single player was sick in GRAW as im sure it will be in GRAW 2, however multiplayer was the worst experience regarding the server setup and waiting for ungodly amounts of time before MAYBE getting a competent amount of people to play that wouldnt pull cheap moves over and over. Please Ubisoft, do something that will greatly improve upon GRAW's multiplayer setup, i beg you.

germnaluke2005
germnaluke2005

how can you say this is a add-on? if this is a so say add-on, then Halo can be classed as the same. 2 games have can out, with the second one taking off from where the first one finished. GRAW is doing the same. and many games have and will do the same, so why aint they classed as add-ons? "add-on - a supplementary component that improves capability" GRAW 2 is going to be a all new game, NOT A ADD-ON. so everyone stop moaning. if you dont like it, keep it to yourself! many people moaned about the first one, but still went out and purchased it.

darksusperia
darksusperia

if you already have chapter 2 for the original GRAW then all you get is new graphics and a new campaign, they included chapter 2 so nothing new multiplayer wise. according to an EB MAG for the pre order.

DDR_Midian
DDR_Midian

Funny you say that danielson, considering the last GRAW was awful on PC and amazing on the 360.

danielson
danielson

i have a feeling the A.I for enemies and friendlies is still gonna suck console graws will always suck long live ghost recon for pc !!

shepp4
shepp4

racist sh*t always the same poor clancy...

AFWorm
AFWorm

It's almost guaranteed to be a hit!

drakersen
drakersen

hahahave tototo wawawawait totototo sesesesee i i i i i it

rocker2010
rocker2010

this game looks good i couldn't understand the guy in the review but it looks like a repeat of the last one and is no way worth my sixty dollars but the original G.R.A.W was a good game and maybe it will have a longer story mode i dont know

nu-animal
nu-animal

I've got a horrible feeling this is gonna be a GRAW 1.5... but will have to wait and see.

bigpimppapa
bigpimppapa

They are trying to take us for a ride, first this guy that was speaking you could not clearly understand. Second it is an add on to another game it is not at all worth $59.99. They are playing us for fools smarten up do not buy this game unless it sells under $9.99 since it is an add on and an add on only

KreepLX
KreepLX

Looks like they didn't improve much. It should be a downloadable expansion pack if you ask me.

mac24
mac24

First game to show the ACU's. This is the most up to date military game franchise, IMO.

flubagalub
flubagalub

Hopefully if they make a PC version it won't be as buggy as the original GRAW.

DanielKhronic
DanielKhronic

Looks crazy, only played a bit of the GRAW liked it alot though

Alucard62889
Alucard62889

looks nice. I liked the mix of third person shooting and strategy of GRAW. Hopefully GRAW2 maintains this same feeling for a longer campaign.

snoobo117
snoobo117

They might make the Campaign longer. The average should be around 15 -17 hours.

UrbanUK
UrbanUK

You stick with "Gears".. i lost interest after the less than 10 hours it took to beat on Hardcore... $60 for ten hours.. what a joke.. GRAW was the same and GRAW2 will be as well.. the next game that will generate any excitement for me on the 360 will be OblivionV (lol) or Halo 3..

usedboyi
usedboyi

??? this game looks exactly the same as the last one.. this is basically a $60 expansion pack..i'ms sticking with gears..suckers

Shaner258
Shaner258

I rented Graw and I didn't like it. Your guy moved waaay too slow.

smurfa1
smurfa1

I can't wait until it is released. Loved GRAW, the campaign was a bit tricky on hard, but it was not impossible.

Stukes
Stukes

i dont understand y it couldnt be a microsft exculsive title. it would give msoft a highter edge on sony and im sure bill can foot the bill.

imrlybord7
imrlybord7

The pc version of this game was completely different than the 360 version. The last gen versions were all terrible and the pc version was okay, but the 360 version was the most immersive war game I have ever played. The multiplayer was pretty good, too. I can't wait for GRAW 2.

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

well i hated the original GRAW for many a good reason and GRAW 360 stands as a shining example of why pc gamers think console shooters s#ck. this game looks like a clone, boring and unneccessary.

zippyzee
zippyzee

This came out pretty quick. I wonder how creative developers can be throwing new games out so quickly. I guess if it was on the PS3 it would take developers 8 times longer to program.

shikovi4ik
shikovi4ik

I playd it on Pc. pretty good. But i still like CS better. But it's just me

lobobizarro
lobobizarro

murdoch_x GRAW Could look 'better' on the ps3 -- GRAW could run better on the X360 J/K I admit it, the PS3 has stunning graphics, but X360 is still the best :D What's all this mexican BS? I'm from Puerto Rico, so it's not directed to me, but still. Racist can go frack themselves. This is the modern world, kids, grow up. If you want to be racist, do it against the people that elected a guy for president of USA in 2002 and 2004 who makes Forrest Gump look smart.

SonySucks21
SonySucks21

That will be an excellent game. 360 rules!

murdoch_x
murdoch_x

GRAW Could look 'better' on the ps3

pummelweed
pummelweed

I was preety sure it was the stryker and black hawk that went from mission to mission in. They said blackhawk and bradley. ???

11010100
11010100

Why are people racist towards mexicans?

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

RE:Keith4RFC17 You got a F***ing problem with Mexicans? Racist @$$hole.