Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2

Spotlight

Xbox Live DLC Roundup

Call of Duty 4, Overlord, GRAW 2, Guitar Hero III, Turok and more.

Digital FoundryX360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round Seven

One man, 12 games, many arguments.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

War's nothing to get het up about.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Give the people what they want.

Key events

Ghost Recon/Ass Creed films coming?

Ubisoft wants to hear your thoughts.

Ubisoft is considering film versions of its Ghost Recon and Assassin's Creed franchises, so suggests a new customer survey from the French publisher.

Tom Clancy sale assaults Xbox Live

Plus, Pac-Man going cheap.

Next week sees a host of Tom Clancy-related titles attempt to sneak up on Xbox Live users and pry open their wallets, armed only with a set of price discounts.

"Big" Ubisoft announcement this week

Ghost Recon studio Red Storm involved.

Ubisoft's gearing up for a headline-grabbing announcement this week.

Company community bods Aymeric Evennou and Kimi Matsuzaki both Tweeted in preparation.

"I'd only say: 'Big announcement coming up next week,' and I mean BIG," said Evennou on Friday.

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PSN update: Killzone 2 demo tops bill

PSN update: Killzone 2 demo tops bill

Plus: Burnout Paradise, DLC, wallpapers.

A bundle of new stuff has appeared in the PlayStation Store, including a playable Killzone 2 demo.

It's likely to be in high demand, but we're downloading it right now and there don't appear to be any issues. Unless you live in Germany, of course, where the demo will not be released. Sorry, Germans.

Also out now is the Burnout Paradise Ultimate Bundle, priced at GBP 29.99 / EUR 34.99. For that you get the full (and excellent) game, all the free updates and the Party Pack. This is a new add-on which introduces a pass-the-pad mode for up to eight players, new challenges, and enhancements for the modes, visuals and vehicle dynamics. The Party Pack is available separately for GBP 7.99 / EUR 9.99.

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Xbox Live DLC Roundup

Xbox Live DLC Roundup

Call of Duty 4, Overlord, GRAW 2, Guitar Hero III, Turok and more.

You only need to check out the Game Add-Ons tab in the Xbox Live Game Store to see that the world of downloadable content, once so feared and mistrusted, is here to stay. There's been a bunch of notable new material released just recently - and even more since we started on this instalment in our Xbox Live DLC Roundup series - and most of it has helped to prove the naysayers wrong. There's been fresh content for recent blockbusters, and older cult favourites. There have been updates for full price releases as well as Live Arcade games. And, best of all, the paid-for content has generally been reasonably priced and balanced out with a surprising amount of freebies. Here are some recent examples that you might want to check out.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - Variety Map Pack

Overlord - Raising Hell expansion and Challenge Pack

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GRAW 2 Co-op Collection 2 on Live

Tom Clancy keeps on giving.

Everyone's favourite military fetishist Tom Clancy has taken time out from typing to release a second Advanced Warfighter 2 Co-op Collection pack on Xbox Live.

X360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round Seven

Digital FoundryX360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round Seven

One man, 12 games, many arguments.

After a joyous yuletide spent playing Naughty Dog's supreme Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, it's back to the frontlines of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 console war for this reporter, with the latest battery of cross-platform confrontations. You know the score by now: impartial criticism on each multi-format release is the name of the game, the aim being to supplement the original Eurogamer reviews with additional commentary relevant to each version of the game, with gameplay the primary concern.

As is the norm with our face-off comparison features, each game feature is supplemented with a range of ultra-clean screengrabs losslessly extracted from the HDMI ports of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Elite. A Digital Foundry HD capture station is used to acquire every last pixel output by the consoles at full 24-bit precision, with the unit calibrated to full-range RGB and both systems set up likewise. As 1080p performance is so variable on PlayStation 3, we've included screenshots of this video mode in action where applicable and how the results compare to the Xbox 360's in-built GPU scaler on the same titles.

So... the games then. A colossal array of wares to get through in what is the biggest face-off feature yet; 12 titles that between them rate a 'not bad at all' 7.5/10 when their Eurogamer review scores are taken as an average.

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Fresh GRAW2 content in Nov

Co-op missions, Achievements.

Ubisoft will be air-lifting new co-operative content for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 onto Xbox Live next month.

Free 360 content for GRAW2

Two throwback packs for you.

Ubisoft has decided to reward you with a second and free Throwback content pack for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.

GRAW2 PC patched

GRAW2 PC patched

Clancy that.

Ubisoft has released a new patch for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on PC that addresses problems with server listings when looking for a game to join online.

It follows on from version 1.01 just days ago, which put the kibosh on speedhacking, fixed various little bugs and added sorting filters and tabs.

You can update from original retail version 1.00 to the new 1.02 update with this file, or apply a small plaster from 1.01 to 1.02 with this one.

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Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

War's nothing to get het up about.

Perhaps I'm just a bad leader. Even though I don't get my men killed that often and they diligently trot out "nice shooting, sir" when I make a headshot, I don't get the impression they're happy. Or even conscious, to be honest. They don't talk to each other, they don't joke, they don't complain about being told to walk backwards into a firezone. Occasionally, if left to his own devices for a while, one will pathetically inquire "sir?" in a voice that sounds like a slightly butchered C-3PO awaiting instruction. But that's it. It's creepy. That's why I've started tackling missions on my own, leaving my squad back near the insertion point to stare blank-eyed at the floor. I might well be in extreme danger as a result, but at least I no longer feel like I'm being followed around by three shop dummies wired up to dog brains.

Such unease aside, GRAW 2 on PC is a significant revision from its earlier console incarnation, especially in terms of squad control. A new overhead tactical map mode means long chains of orders can be set for one or all of those dog-robots in the guise of men, even down to the direction they face and the width of their firing arc. While this does mean your control over your Ghosts (for the uninitiated, they're a squad of near-future US commandos fighting insurgents) is absolute, a certain self-sufficiency has been sacrificed. These guys can only do what they're told. More positively, this means GRAW 2 is entirely your game - your dog soldiers will only do your dirty work if you're canny enough to tell them how to do best do so. Your own glory is never snatched away by gung-ho AI.

There's a real pleasure to setting a skirmish up then watching it be played out exactly as planned. Your men move into position, there's a handful of bullet noises, and one by one the red diamonds that signify enemy locations blink out. It's over in seconds. These Middle-Eastern terrori... ah, 'Mexican renegades' are no match for US might, it seems. ("Thees ceety, what haff we done to her?", asks a Mexican loyalits you're allied with as he regards the ruins of Juarez. "It's called the price of peace," responds your character, apparently only just holding back a yee-haw afterwards). You don't need to fire a shot yourself, though conversely being an accomplished mouse-jockey means most skirmishes can be mastered without your mates on the easier difficultly settings. In either case, such military precision, if you get it right, rarely fails to raise your mouth into a smug half-smirk. While GRAW 2 might be lacking personality, this is certainly a slick game. The tactical map is far easier and more intuitive than anything involving the word 'tactical' usually tends to be. Its odd, satnav omniscience is not a requisite either - you can direct your men through the FPS HUD instead, with a couple of mouse-clicks sending one or all of them to anywhere within sight distance.

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GRAW 2 PC demo available

Single-player war taster.

Ubisoft has crawled out of cover to release the single-player demo for the PC version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.

GRAW 2's "Throwback Pack"

Seven blasts from multiple pasts.

Sneaky Mexican-shooting ghosts can spook their way over Xbox Live Marketplace this afternoon to avail themselves of seven new battlegrounds.

GRAW 2 PC beta soon

GRAW 2 PC beta soon

On PC-exclusive map.

Ubisoft said today that registration for a closed multiplayer beta test using Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 on the PC will begin in April. That's next month, calendar-deniers.

The full game's due out in June, but developer GRIN obviously wants a bit of feedback on its efforts - and will allow those who get in to help it out by testing PC-exclusive map Calavera in Recon vs. Assault mode, while Team Deathmatch also returns in GRAW 2 PC.

More details should be showing up on the game's official website in the very near future, and in the meantime there are a couple of ghostly screenshots lurking in the margins for those who want a glimpse of Calavera. We'll let you know when you can sign up for the beta.

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Ubi down to two PS3 launch titles

Ubi down to two PS3 launch titles

Oblivion, GRAW 2, Double Agent, Rainbow Six all for later.

Ubisoft's ranks of PlayStation 3 launch titles were reduced yesterday as Splinter Cell: Double Agent slipped a week, Rainbow Six: Vegas and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 both disappeared into the distance and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion ran away for a month.

Blazing Angels and Enchanted Arms will both still be available in three days' time, at PS3's 23rd March launch, but Double Agent will only arrive on the 30th, while Oblivion is now down for 27th April. Ubisoft declined to comment on why the latter - released in the US this week - had slipped.

Meanwhile, the French publisher's latest schedule lists Rainbow Six: Vegas as "spring" (not the PS3's favourite word) while GRAW 2 is down for "June", whenever that is.

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The Eurogamer TV Show - Episode 8

GRAW for real, Oblivion PS3, Xbox goes urban and ATEI 2007.

Ever fancied taking part in a live action video game? Us neither, since it generally seems to involve smart-arse students with nothing better to do . Ubisoft's invitation to such an event, however, was not one to dismiss lightly.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Give the people what they want.

You can say what you like about GRAW. Admire the lovely visuals, wax about the intuitive control system, or the tense duck and cover squad-based gameplay, but you can't say the single player portion was exactly polished. It had some of the most infuriating, sofa-punching difficulty spikes of any of the big games of 2006, with inconsistent checkpoint spacing, the worst night vision system of any game ever (seriously), ridiculous health issues, ammo problems, graphical glitches, you name it. There was a real feeling of the game being so close to greatness, but being rushed out before it was ready. Happily, almost every single thing that we complained bitterly about last year's version has been fixed. In many respects, GRAW 2 is the game that last year's version could and perhaps should have been - though this is an admittedly shorter game than last year's.

In the 'fixed' column there are an extraordinary number of improvements which make a vast difference to the enjoyment levels over the course of the game. For a kick off, the game now looks superb all the way through, with not a single hint of a glitch, bug, or any of the general craziness that seemed to routinely affect the original. Not only that, Ubisoft's Paris studio has gone even further in terms of creating the kind of gritty visual opulence that you expect from a next generation system. The general standard of the lighting and effects adds a host of subtle improvements to what was already one of the show-piece next generation titles. This isn't a title that will inspire moans about v-sync tearing or frame rate glitches - it's very much a sign of next generation game development moving to the next phase. Flying over entire cities, watching plumes of smoke billow out of ruined buildings has never looked so good.

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GRAW 2 MP demo on Monday

Only on Xbox Live.

The first way to test out your online tactical tenacity for GRAW2 will be on Xbox 360, as Ubisoft has announced a multiplayer demo will be available on Xbox Live on Monday.

GRAW 2 PC takes shape

New MP mode, map editor.

Tactical fact has spilled from Ubisoft's mouth again, this time highlighting the difference between console and PC versions of GRAW 2.

Soldiering is hard work. So is being an Ubisoft franchise hero, a Tom Clancy one especially. The French publisher demands its action stars march to the same annual beat as most virtual sportsmen, no matter how taxing and ambitious their adventures, whether they're grizzled spies or foppish Iranian acrobats. After Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter delivered an early hit on 360 in March of last year, 2007 was always likely to find Ubi demanding its brave men hit the (pay)dirt on the double.

GRAW2 SP demo on Live

Breach some Mexican walls.

Good news for those of you whinging about the absence of a new Xbox Live Arcade game: the promised single-player demo of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 has turned up on Xbox Live Marketplace instead.

"Spring" for PS3 GRAW2

Still: new trailer to ogle at.

GRAW 2 PS3 will now be available in 'spring', according to Ubisoft's latest release schedule, despite previously being listed as a launch title for the console.

GRAW 2 Xbox 360 demo mooted

SP version on Marketplace 'soon'.

The exact timing may be fuzzier than a ghost's night vision camera, but Ubisoft is definitely claiming that a demo of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 will appear on Xbox Live Marketplace.

GRAW 2 details, platforms

GRAW 2 details, platforms

Ubi releases info and assets.

Ubisoft has shed some more light on Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, revealing that the squad-based shooter sequel is in development for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and PlayStation Portable.

It's due out in spring 2007, and will see the Ghosts upgraded with better AI, new Cross-Com features and expanded support as they take to new battlefields - including some in the US.

You can see how Ubisoft's development teams in Paris and at series mainstays Red Storm are doing in first screenshots and a teaser trailer.

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