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October 31 2007
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
22/8/2007UbisoftUbisoftHigh Voltage
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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That's a tonne of enemies ahead.
A couple of days ago we posted our review of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on the Playstation 3 (you can check it out here if you missed it). It was a phenomenal game that stands out as a highlight on the system to date. Impressive visuals, a great single player campaign, and superb online experience combined to make it an essential purchase. After completing that game we decided to check out the PSP version – we had high hopes. I guess the key word there is ‘had’ as it wasn’t long before we realised this game simply wouldn’t be in the same category as the next-gen version. But is it a total mess or is there still something salvageable? Read on to find out...

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That tank is toast.
You are the Soldier of the Future 2.0. All systems have been upgraded to give you more power and control on the battlefield. Following the failure of the "coup d’etat" in Mexico City Mexican rebels have gathered their remaining forces along the US border. Lead your team of elite Special Forces for the first time on US soil - straddling the border between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. The Ghosts have less than 72 hours to stop a nuclear attack. You are the last line of defense and must do what it takes to be victorious.

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Taking out enemies on the bridge!
So what we have here is a third person action title in which you command a soldier around a battlefield, taking out enemies, completing objectives and calling in air strikes when required. Mitchell can carry two weapons at any one time including assault rifles, machine guns and pistols however he also has access to explosives to take out enemy vehicles or objectives. The game is split across 22 missions in total with the majority of these being rather brief - as per most PSP games. This allows you to play the game in bite sized chunks while on the go. The variety is fairly impressive with missions to take out various targets, escort a friendly or recon an enemy position. Each of the missions is set in a range of locations from jungle, to desert to cities and typically includes multiple paths to reach the objectives.

Multi-player is also supported in the game with a Co-Op mode. This allows you to play through the single player game with a friend over Ad-Hoc connection. While it does add some excitement to the game, it actually makes it a little too easy. Sadly there are no online Infrastructure modes available which, in a shooter such as this, is pretty criminal and inexcusable in our books.

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Selecting your weapon of choice.
Sadly this game is far from perfect. We found the game a little on the sluggish side to start with however the biggest problem is that there is simply no say to command your squad mates around in the same fashion as the PS3 version. In fact, there is almost no way to use your squad at all as they rarely make an appearance in the game. The problem with this is that the game simply doesn't feel like a Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter title. In fact it simply feels like a pretty standard shooter - and not even a great one at that. The amount of ammo available to you is too high, healing too easy and the enemies, while showing some form of AI aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. Actually they're pretty damn stupid and will quite happily stand - and not even move to a prone position - to take wildly inaccurate potshots at you. Finally if you thought, or at least hoped, that the game would link up to the PS3 version in any way (similar to SOCOM on the PSP and PS2) then think again too.

Graphically we know the PSP can produce some pretty impressive looking games, but Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 leaves something to be desired – quite a bit in fact. There is the very occasional cut-scene, but certainly nothing like the PS3 version. The background detail is adequate, but nothing earth shattering while some of the texturing leaves something to be desired. The animation is fairly good however you will notice the occasional graphical glitch.

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Shootout in the jungles.
Sound in this game is fairly impressive one some counts, and disappointing on others. The chatter over the radio from your own soldiers is pretty good and at times quite varied. Mission updates are fairly accurate and it becomes an integral part of the overall gameplay. Not quite as impressive is the chatter from enemy soldiers which is pretty generic, and becomes repetitive rather quickly. The explosions are decent enough, as are other sound effects while there is also some use of music to set the atmosphere.

Sorry to say but when you strip out the ‘key’ feature of your franchise – can you really still call it that? I mean would you expect a Batman movie, but never see Bruce Wayne get into the costume? Not being able to control friendly soldiers gives this game a very different – and non-GRAW - feel. Taken as an action game it’s not too bad and will entertain for some time, but it’s not the game we expected. All-in-all this is simply a title that misses a big opportunity to become a showcase title on the PSP.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSGraphically this is a fairly solid but not without flaws.
SOUNDWhile Cross-Com talk from teammates is good, enemies are poor.
GAMEPLAYIt's GRAW by name only, much is stripped out, and its a bit easy too.
VALUENot the longest game, lacking in multi-player modes overall.
OVERALLGhost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on the PSP is really a member of the series in name only. After playing the stunning PS3 version (whcih we fully recommend) this game leaves a lot to be desired.

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