Omigosh Captain Mitchell there's a mad robot COMING RIGHT FOR YOU
I know, after all these years of agonising wait. Wipe away those joyful tears and suppress the urge to fling open windows and holler gleefully as you read on.

I've played and finished both the home console and PC versions of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2; Ubisoft had impressed me with their considered approach to developing a multi-platform title. The PC and Xbox 360 versions were quite different to one another, and while they shared the same plot and similar missions, they each played to their chosen platform’s strengths and, through this divergence, showed an understanding of the different types of gamer each platform is capable of attracting.

Hey, Alfredo, get a load of this hombre's stunning stucco walls.
So I believe that Ubisoft understands the average PSP gamer to be several things, not least of which is moronic, drooling, in possession of three hands and with an inordinate sum of disposable wealth needing to be offloaded, since this is the only way they could expect an informed consumer to purchase their sorry excuse of a game (note, I am not an informed consumer).

This conclusion derives from several miserable hours contorting my fingers into inhuman shapes to progress through a campaign that is, at best, a pathetic, loathsome exercise in How Not To Do It. Let’s put aside the fact that the PSP’s ability to produce a worthwhile shooter is questionable at the best of times (though there are several very enjoyable stabs at one) and see how Advanced Warfighter 2 stacks against its peers.

Screenshots don't quite convey the AAAARGHNOSTOPFLYINGABOUT feeling of camera control...
The most obvious defect is the game’s control system. It would be unfair to not at least acknowledge how the PSP’s single stick layout doesn’t make a developer’s task any easier, but for Advanced Warfighter 2 the controls are just woeful. The standard setup maps movement to the analogue nub and aiming to the face buttons - fair enough, like most other PSP shooters - but then they lack the responsiveness in game that would make such a control scheme acceptable.

Your in-game avatar, Captain Scott Mitchell, flails about the levels taking his time to fire wildly at dirt, flora and clouds. (God help Western civilisation if this is our most capable protector.) Obviously told by their much-suffering QA testers (I checked the credits, they did have some! I sent them flowers out of pity) that the controls were complete arse, the developers implemented an auto-aim function drastic enough to compensate, which means that if there’s a terrorist standing on the same continent and Captain Mitchell fires his gun, that terrorist is out of luck, regardless if the good Captain was aiming at him, a point five feet to his left or a particularly menacing shrub half the map away. Civilisation is saved!

...so swing your head erratically from side to side while looking at them to get a similar effect.
Further, controls are hampered by the dreadful UI, which boils down to fiddling through menus for 20 seconds to select the C4 you need to blow up the next objective (note, objectives suffer from a lack of inspired variation. Obliterate one artillery piece, you’ve obliterated them all).

The benefit of playing the game spinning in rapid circles as you wrestle to level your crosshairs is that it moves by too quickly for you to notice the level design. I’ll recall from memory how the campaign progresses (spoilers!): jungle, jungle, jungle, featureless box town, jungle, warehouse, jungle, jungle, warehouse, credits. The jungle consists of the same blurry trees stretching fifty feet into the sky hemming you down a path five yards wide because that’s how Latin America looks when you can’t code an engine with decent draw distance to save your life. When the road straightens up, murky fog halts your horizon at about twenty yards.

If this game were a person it would look like your mum.
Throw in a bunch of braindead terrorists to shoot, a plot that strains the boundaries of clich├ęd schlock even by military jingoist standards and a level of class and presentation on a par with a program written in Visual Basic by an 11-year-old in I.T. class and you have what may be the very worst game on the PSP, a new low that lets the makers of such catastrophic PSP titles as The Sims 2: Pets and Hannah Montana: Rock Out The Show off the hook and gives them renewed hope of ever finding work in the industry again.

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