The original Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter took the Xbox 360 by storm. After suffering through too many months with too many underwhelming launch titles, the Tom Clancy-inspired tactical shooter knocked us back with the force of a nuclear air strike. Everything about the game - the ultra realistic graphics, the hyper intelligent squad tactics, the futuristic military hardware and the expansive multiplayer modes - screamed "next-gen." A new standard had been set and there was no going back.
Now it's less than a year later and we already have a sequel. With such a short development window, can the GRAW franchise possibly revolutionize the genre and the console again? No... not exactly. But while GRAW 2 does not break any fresh ground, it provides so many satisfying improvements that the experience is actually more engaging and exciting than the first one. This is an absolutely fantastic follow-up.
To begin with, the story is better. Picking up mere hours after the last left off, Captain Mitchell is called back into action to prevent yet another group of extremist Latin American rebels from securing yet another set of stolen nuclear devices. While the premise may not have changed much - or at all - the way it unfolds has. CNN-worthy news footage pipes directly into your HUD, providing a scarily realistic look at the global conflict surrounding you, while Disneyland-worthy jeep or helicopter rides introduce and immerse you into each setting seamlessly. Events aren't as patriotically straightforward as before, either. You may be asked to destroy damning evidence against the US government or wage battle in fragile, economically depressed towns. The plot is no longer just black and white, but tinged with the slightest shades of grey.