Nukes over the border

The time is 2014, just seven years from now, and the threat of nuclear warheads over the border is certainly not fantasy for Israelis.

October 11, 2007 11:01
3 minute read.
nuke disk 88

nuke disk 88. (photo credit: )


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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, a DVD-ROM in English by Ubisoft, distributed with a 21-page Hebrew-language user's manual by Hed Artzi Multimedia, requires Windows XP and above and a 2 ghz Pentium 4 PC or better, for ages 16 through adult, NIS 219. Rating: *** 1/2 The time is 2014, just seven years from now, and the threat of nuclear warheads over the border is certainly not fantasy for Israelis. But in the scenario for this first-person tactical shooter, the enemy is a gang of Mexican rebels on the other side of the US border who have nukes among their armaments and are keen on aiming them at key American targets. The original GRAW was designed first for Xbox 360 and then for PC. Like the first version, this one needs a great deal of computing power, and if you don't have it, you'll have to run the game at low resolution. In the original game, the time was 2013, and the unit was trying to save the president of the United States from the scheming Mexican rebels. In GRAW2, the story isn't much, but the fighting is realistic. It too is based on a novel by Tom Clancy and also puts you in the boots of the fictional Capt. Scott Mitchell, the leader of the elite squad of soldiers called "Ghosts." They are armed with highly realistic automatic assault rifles, machine guns, silencers, grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons and other powerful armaments. There is also an unmanned, remotely controlled vehicle called the MULE that you can use to bring in more weapons and ammunition, but it isn't available in every mission, so don't depend on it to provide supplies. If you're not an expert in this genre, go though the tutorial to learn the ropes of how to control your squad, handle the weapons and use them on a firing range. As this is a tactical game, you can't just shoot, but as a squad leader facing missions, you must plan ahead and then click the mouse wheel on your choices in pull-down menus (follow, attack, cover, all-go assault, recon or stop) to give them orders. The more you accomplish as stealth reconnaissance interspersed in attacks on the rebels, the better your chances of survival. You learn what your missions are from video briefings by your commanders that are based on news reports. Tactical maps help you work out your battle strategies, but even the lowest of the four levels of difficulty (easy, normal, hard and hard core) is quite difficult and will likely frustrate all who are not expert micromanagers and tacticians. Your job is not made easier by the fact that the IQs of your squad members are pretty low, and even when facing the enemy, they won't always fire or even hide on their own volition. They constantly gab and call you "Sir," which I found annoying, and quite often they did not follow your orders. These guys could definitely use a higher dose of artificial intelligence. Frustrated by the lack of my comrades' cooperation, more than once I was "killed," the screen turned red and I had to start again from the last place I had saved. The danger is not only from direct shots but from bullets that ricochet off walls and, for some reason, there is no command or key for jumping into the air. The single-player campaign mode has only 10 missions, making completion of the game possible in 11 to 16 hours, depending on your skills. But there is an on-line multiplayer game, which extends the action. The lighting is very good, and sound quality - the specific sounds of rocket launchers, machine guns and hand grenades and the sound of bullets entering your body - is high and very realistic. While the urban scene is sprawling and expansive and the graphics quality is excellent if your computer is high powered, the location is in northern Mexico, so colors of brown and gray make the scenery seem drab. You're also spared nerve-racking musical backgrounds except between missions. There is quite a lot of blood, curses and violence, which explains the 16+ recommended age for players. According to Ubisoft, the PC version of the game was designed specially for the personal computer with more emphasis on planning and reconnaissance rather than the stress on action and shooting in versions produced for the various consoles. But this emphasis boosts the tactical side of the game, and unless you love having your fingers in every pie, micromanagement can get very tiresome and even exhausting.

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