Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter: Hands-On

When you're a member of the United States' premiere fighting force, life is a constant barrage of other people's problems. Sometimes, you're just minding your own business, protecting the head of a foreign government like you're supposed to, when some chump with a rocket launcher comes along and frags your Blackhawk. Okay, so maybe that exact example doesn't happen in the game, but we don't want to spoil the plot for you. The point is, judging from our hands-on time with the single-player campaign of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, even when you're at the top of your game, it'll never be enough to keep the world from erupting into a crazy crap-storm.

Sure, you've got super-hot shotties like your prototype MRC (a rifle in real-world development which fires caseless rounds) handy when hordes of Mexicans flood the street with AK-47 assault rifles. You've got the highest tech information delivery system ever, the Cross-Com, but it won't keep your Ghost Team from getting shot to pieces in middle of some godforsaken plaza in Mexico City.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter challenges its players to step into the nomex/Kevlar composite boots of one Scott Mitchell and stay alive. Under fire from every angle, you must attempt to halt a coup brought on by a vast chunk of the Mexican army, and things are not going well ... not for our side, anyway.

Gameplay depth versus visual splendor is not a choice Microsoft's latest toy has to make, so the 360 version of GRAW has got plenty of both. The expansive levels show a lot of detail, though occasionally some of the textures did appear a little rough in the preview version. You're also able to execute some new gymnastic maneuvers such as sliding into a crouch or flopping onto your belly out of a run, which made navigating Mexico City that much more dusty. Grabbing enemy weapons delivers some cheap thrills, but seems pointless since your MRC rules all other guns.