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Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighters series PC version – Torturous experience

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I have not played the main versions (XBOX360 and PS3) of Advanced Warfighter series. Apparently, the main games are drastically different games with a more casualized approach to the genre and a focus on shooting. PC versions are entirely different games developed by Grin. If the main games are basically a reboot on the series like Rainbow Six: Vegas, the PC versions are spiritual successors to the original Ghost Recon: first-person military sims with far slower and deliberate combat. I bought Advanced Warfighter 1 and 2 on Steam a long time ago, now delisted. I also have the XBOX360 version of the first Advanced Warfighter, which I might play later.

I played a lot of tactical shooters. I finished all classic Ghost Recon games, all OFP games, ARMA 1, SWAT 4, Rainbow Six Vegas 1, 2, Sniper Elite trilogy, the entirety of Delta Force games, Brothers in Arms, often on the hardest difficulty. And I genuinely think Advanced Warfighter series on PC might be the most bullshit difficult tactical games I have ever played. While both 1 and 2 suffer from the same problems, Advanced Warfighter 2 is a marginally better and polished game. But the problems I will talk about are true to both games.

Let's get this out first. Enemy NPCs are both smart and dumb in the worst possible ways. Enemies rarely hide behind cover, mostly stand in one position even when they get fired upon. They also just charge at the player without any plan. They do not behave as a group. Whenever they act smart, it is often due to the arbitrary scripted events during set-pieces. This AI problem extends to your teammates. They often look in the wrong directions. They have problems with close-quarter combat, coming out of covers for no reason, only to get shot and killed.

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However, the bullshit part lies in how enemies have laser fucking sharp accuracy and sight. Their visibility is the same as your max draw distance, which is incredibly limited and short. So what happens is as soon as enemies literally materialize from distance, they immediately detect and kill you before the player can reasonably respond. This happens all the time. It does not help your tactical map is so small, far smaller than both your and enemy's lines of sight. Also, enemies seem to spawn out of nowhere when you reach certain event points and immediately fire upon you when you are on an unfortunate spot. There is a night mission where the player has difficulty to see environments even with night vision, yet guards, who have no night vision, can see the player miles fucking away. The game encourages the player to climb the mountain and snipe the enemies, but apparently, guards just can see and counter-snipe the player with semi-automatic rifles in 80% accuracy? What???

The worst thing about the game is the machine gun nests. So, the most accurate and deadly weapon in these both games is not the sniper, but the machine gun nests. I am not joking when I say they are pixel accurate. Literally. And they kill you in one shot. The reason why they are so ridiculously powerful is that the developers use machine gun nests in a way to encourage the player to take alternative routes to flank the enemies. However, this only makes the levels rigidly linear. The large maps make you think that this game is a sandbox and open, but the level designers enclosed the levels with machine-gun nests, walls, and "YOU ARE LEAVING THE MISSION AREA!" warnings, leaving only one possible way and route to beat the level. Compounded with two or three checkpoints throughout an hour-long level, the game at times gets outright unfair even on the easy difficulty. To be honest, difficulties do not change the game all that much.

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The last mission, The Last Stand, from Advanced Warfighter 2 might be the single worst level I have ever played in any tactical shooter. The mission starts and your helicopter has you and your team rappel down right in front of machine-gun nests. Depending on your luck, either your one or two or the entirety of your teammates die as they rappel. This is not a scripted event, this is just a horrid design and I have no idea how this got passed the quality assurance test. Why in the world would you insert in the middle of a fucking battlezone??? WHY???? Why still would you do so at arm's length from two machine-gun nests?????

Throughout two games, bullshit machine-gun nests served as roadblocks for the player to nudge in other direction to flank the enemy position. Not anymore. You are forced to run through the linear bridge and assault the enemy position with three machine-gun nests head-on shrouded by fog. Fog affects your visibility, yet enemies can see you perfectly fine as if it is clean daylight. There is no alternative route to go around. Again, the machine-guns have pixel-sharp accuracy in the great distance. Your surviving teammates offer no help. If this was a classic Ghost Recon game, the whole city would have been an openworld for the player to flank them.

I don't want to spend more time talking about these two. I have heard the main versions of Advanced Warfighter are great although they are more of action shooters rather than tactical shooters. I rather take a good casual action game over a bad hardcore tactical game any day of a week.

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