GRAW 2 Feature Spotlight Part 1 - The Improved Crosscom System

Learn more about the new and improved warfighting gear that will help you take the battle to the enemy in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.

In Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, we got an idea of what the US Army's Advanced Warfighter project involved. Ubisoft based the technologies in the game on the Army's project to turn the low-tech infantryman into a networked, digitally integrated fighting machine. This manifested itself in GRAW, where you could rely on your high-tech gear to help turn the tide of battle in a vicious fight to defeat a Mexican Army coup in Mexico City. Fittingly, in the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, you'll be able to take advantage of the 2.0 versions of that gear to carry on the fight as the action shifts to the US border with Mexico. We got a chance to give the game a test-drive to check out this new equipment, and it's clear that you'll be more lethal than ever once you get your hands on this new gear.

Though GRAW 2 is set immediately after the events of the first game, there was apparently enough time to outfit US Army Captain Scott Mitchell (your character) with the latest gear before he is sent out again to fight. In GRAW 2, the Mexican rebels have brought the fight to the area around El Paso, Texas, and you'll have to fight to defend US soil. This also means that you'll go from the urban combat of GRAW to more rural and wilderness battles.

In GRAW 2, the heart of the Advanced Warfighter system remains the Crosscom, an advanced communications system that does a lot more than simply let you talk to your squadmates. In addition to giving you the positions of all of your squadmates, as well as identifying and targeting hostiles, the Crosscom gives you a video feed that lets you see what your fellow soldiers see. This video system gets a huge upgrade in GRAW 2. Previously, the video feed was limited to a small window in the corner of your helmet-mounted display, which was sort of like trying to watch the big game on a postage stamp-sized display. In other words, it wasn't that helpful. In the sequel, you can now switch to a full-screen view of the action by simply holding down the right bumper on the Xbox 360 controller, and this improvement isn't just for looks. By using the full-screen video feed, you can now move the camera around, issuing orders and commands to your troops remotely.

The improved Crosscom system lets you see what your soldiers see, but now it's in full-screen glory.

For example, imagine a situation where your squad comes under fire from an entrenched enemy. You can get cover and lay down covering fire while ordering the rest of your team to a point where they can hit the enemy. They'll automatically engage the enemy if they're under the assault rules of engagement (the other rule of engagement is recon, in which they'll hold fire unless fired upon). While they're firing on the enemy, you can switch to their camera, and if you detect another enemy or a target of opportunity, you simply lock the cursor on the target and hit the up button on the Xbox 360's D pad to issue an attack order. This essentially lets you be in two places at once.

The Crosscom becomes even more useful when commanding the drones in the game. If you played GRAW, then you'll remember the aerial surveillance drone that gives you a bird's-eye view of the battlefield. You now can have full control over the drone, as well as receive full-screen video of its surveillance feed. All you have to do is select the drone by hitting left or right on the D pad and then hold down the right bumper to receive the feed. In full-screen view, you can move the drone around by using the right joystick, so you can scout ahead of your location easily this way. Just remember that enemies can see the drone too, and they'll open fire on it, so don't let it linger too long in one position.

GRAW 2 will introduce another battlefield utility drone: the Mule. It looks like a miniature armored personnel carrier, but the Mule is probably going to be your best friend in the game. Basically, the Mule is a mobile resupply point, which is capable of rearming you if you're running low on bullets or if you need to swap your assault rifle out for an antitank missile launcher. In addition, the Mule will patch your wounds up so you can get back to full health.

However, the Mule can also be useful in a number of other ways. If you need to scout ahead, you can select the Mule by hitting left or right on the D pad and then give it a movement order by simply pointing to the location and hitting the up button on the D pad or by holding down the right bumper. This gives you a full-screen feed from the Mule's camera, and you can use the joystick to drive it yourself. You can then use the Mule to draw enemy fire and use the camera to locate the source of that fire.

Another cool aspect of the Mule is that you can use it as mobile moving cover. Let's say that you need to cross an open expanse under heavy fire. If you order the Mule to move ahead while you stick behind it, it'll shield you from the bullets. But you need to be careful because while the Mule is armored, it's not invulnerable, and we lost our Mule after letting it take too much damage.

You'll also be able to use the Crosscom when it comes to larger vehicles, such as a Bradley fighting vehicle, but you won't be able to control those directly. However, you can use the full-screen video feed to see what the vehicle commander sees, and this is useful for designating targets or scanning the battlefield from a relatively safe position. And like in the first game, you can still give general movement orders to vehicles, so if you're working in conjunction with an M1 tank crew, you can tell the tank to halt while you clear the area of antitank missile-armed infantry.

You can now get a live feed from the surveillance drone of the battle, which is sort of like a bird of prey looking for a victim.

The new Crosscom system represents a significant improvement in GRAW 2 because you'll be able to use it to think and act more tactically than before. The positioning of your soldiers is now important because they become remote cameras from which you can observe and direct the action. However, it also looks cool because the video feed looks like the action is being captured by a combat cameraman. The game takes a few liberties in that regard--a "phantom" camera usually shows you a third-person view of your soldiers--but it's a nice cinematic effect nonetheless. You'll be able to check it out for yourself when Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 ships next month.

Stay tuned for a look at the other specific new features in GRAW 2 in the coming weeks

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Discussion

105 comments
Blackcow100
Blackcow100

LifelessBoy, GRAW's cover sucked too, and i dont care if it was out before GoW, GoW is a much better game, and handles the cover system phenomoly (sp?)

Groovay_Dude
Groovay_Dude

I might get a 360 for this (and Gears). Good times!

Bulletlagsucks
Bulletlagsucks

please someone tell me how people like these games? I bought GRAW and ended up taking it back, but i see so many people who love it and it gets good reviews. I tried it and thought it was no fun and too hard, maybe i need to approach it differently...

duck_watson
duck_watson

i still havent finished the first game but i am enjoying it but lets just hope GRAW2 has some more realistic achievements, i think anyone who played the first game can agree with that!

LifelessBoy
LifelessBoy

Blackcow100 GRAW was here way before GoW so they did not steal the cover system you big fat dummie

3rd360
3rd360

this looks good!

esbshalo
esbshalo

Me can't wait for this...better get a 360 fast

AFWorm
AFWorm

I'm loving their new features!

Blackcow100
Blackcow100

i thought that the demo really wasnt that much fun, i hate third person shooters (i made an exception for GoW, but that game was worth it). The cover aspect in GRAW 2 is poorly done, imo, and it seems almost copied from GoW...there wasnt anything original. i liked the crosscam, but i felt that it was hard to control your teamates and the mule, i got used to it after a while, but it did take some time.

dnathug
dnathug

This si a different approach, see how it fares against the other when it comes out on retail, I can't believe how often we see these titles. damn

Myrkan
Myrkan

I never liked these games, the interface is messy and hard to use...Always. not only that, but the gameplay is just as sloppy, trying to manage your squad as well as make sure your not being sniped. ~Meh, never been a fan of these games...this one might turn out better, we'll see.

thestrateger
thestrateger

wool a cool game, and it has a many many new things :D

lil50cent
lil50cent

this game is going to be sick just like the first...from the sounds of it this new cross-com system is gonna be sick

bubbalooga
bubbalooga

oscarVD.... i dont think it will look much better than the 360. the graphics might be dirtier, but thats it. i think it will be a great game weather on 360 or not.

Weddum
Weddum

Why argue whether it will look better on PS3 or not? Theres a PC port, its obvious what it will look best on (considering you have the hardware).

Mustang92
Mustang92

I think at some point Ubi has lost touch with gamers. I want them to sell tons of copies of their games because I enjoy their franchises and want them to continue. Making games more noob friendly while also making them needlessly complex is not the right path. Bring back the stategy and intensity and gamers will come, but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE THE ONLINE MODES WORK PROPERLY.

solo4321
solo4321

i cant wait for this game i got graw a few days ago and let me tell u that game is asome

Mustang92
Mustang92

Just got done playing R6 Vegas on Live but decided to take a break after the 4th time my game froze. Maybe they can implement this awesome feature into GRAW2 but I bet they just stick to getting dropped from your match instead. I'm already getting excited for the GRAW2 downloadables, I hear it will be the same maps but different lighting and only 15 bucks! SWEET!!!

taco4life
taco4life

Hopefully this will be a lot more usefull.

BrandynC20
BrandynC20

It may look pretty on PS3 but PS3 online is terrible it will be way better for 360

StarFoxCOM
StarFoxCOM

OscarVd where did you here that? But any way i must get this game

oscarVD
oscarVD

this game is going to look much better in the ps3 then the 360

SHIMANGOO
SHIMANGOO

ive never played a graw before. i played this demo and immediately knew that it was necessary for me to buy this game. its gonna ROCK!!!

paradyme777
paradyme777

Can't wait, the demo was awesome and after replaying the original just recently. The new GRAW is twenty times better.

nas-tmayne2k6
nas-tmayne2k6

co-sign mustang 92 Im not getting this POS or buying any DL content for r6 vegas

coodename007
coodename007

Looks nice...but i am not really fond of GRAW`s.

brannigancarter
brannigancarter

i played the demo, all i can say is I WANT THIS GAME~!!!!!

makemeweak
makemeweak

This sounds great - I'm really looking forward to it.

pyromofo
pyromofo

i loved GRAW 1 it was a great. im looking forward to GRAW 2 the graphics look better too.

Ghostse7en
Ghostse7en

I'm definitely picking up GRAW 2. I enjoy post WWII and 'near future' military-shooter games. Sorry but HALO isn't on my must play list at all. Yes, you read it right, HALO is a no-go for me this XB360 console generation. Army of Two, Mercenaries 2, Kane & Lynch, Dogtag and Rogue Warrior ( Dick Marcinko is the awesomest Bad @$$ on the planet) are.

pdo4545
pdo4545

Graw 1 was awesome and im looking foward to thesecong GRAW 2

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

Nice games, but the stories are written for some real backwoods yokels. The last one was like a standard Michael Dudikoff movie.

dnathug
dnathug

Played the demo on Live. don't klnow what to think right now. But tthese games are usually amazing. The last one was great, I got pretty far it's a pretty good demo.

the_greenzero
the_greenzero

hmm know I finally know the big improvement for G.R.A.W. 2 I hope there's plenty more than just that, and for those who said this is boring it's called a tactical shooter for a reason.

JMDavis07
JMDavis07

I don't know about "best" 2007 games, but hey, I'll be renting it right along with BIA:HH. Crackdown 2 days w00t.

Spikenenspikspi
Spikenenspikspi

GRAW is soooooooo boring. This "sequel" will not be any better.

Mustang92
Mustang92

ZeroAlarm is right, Ubi is becoming the new EA. Slinging out marginally improved sequels to games that no longer push things forward for their franchises. Overpriced downloads are released instead of patches to fix broken online modes. What has happened to my favorite developer of the last generation?

Thornorway
Thornorway

Playable and very good, will keep me busy until May when Forza 2 burns out the garage

Moonfast
Moonfast

Yes, it's gonna be one of 2007 best games, just like GRAW was in 2006

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

sounds complicated, wheres the fun in that

pdo4545
pdo4545

I want this soooo bad!!!

AlonShen
AlonShen

Another AAA quality title coming right at ya!

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

Dude I can't wait for this game!

Mjasoom
Mjasoom

sircrayzie no there's no cross platform multiplayer. But I bet you that out of the 3 platforms ps3's online network will be the worse and have the most bugs. who want's to bet on this. Get a life

sircrayzie
sircrayzie

no there's no cross platform multiplayer. But I bet you that out of the 3 platforms ps3's online network will be the worse and have the most bugs. who want's to bet on this.

spelledarn
spelledarn

Does anyone know if the PS3, PC and X360 owners will be able to play against each other? ^_^