Got the game yesterday. Played for perhaps 90 minutes. (Single player training and the first "real" mission.) It's too soon to give it a rating, but here are some of my thoughts:
It seems like a well made game, and I like a lot of the individual features, but so far the gameplay hasn't "grabbed" me. I think that's probably just because I'm still learning the controls, and adjusting to the very different feel. In particular, the shooting mechanic feels soooo much different than COD2 (the only other console FPS I've played), that it wasn't much fun. Awkward. Slow. Seperate
aim and zoom controls? But hey, I probably just need to play a bit more and it'll start feeling more natural.
The cityscapes, as viewed from the helicoptor, are very well done. I've never seen that pulled off in a game so well.
I saw several graphical and AI glitches in the first mission. Mexicans doing odd little dances behind cover, and bullets coming out of the ground at one point. Not horrible, but I hope that sort of thing doesn't become too common.
I feel the missions (the first one, at least) are poorly explained to you. You're told to meet somebody, but no mention is made about the rules of engagement as you traverse the level. It was not clear if I was supposed to kill everything that moved, or stay covert in order not to blow my contact's surveillance op. I'm now thinking that it doesn't matter. Also, your orders seem to often imply that time is of the essence, and that you need to sprint everywhere, but the game itself seems to favor a slow and careful approach. Are objectives actually "timed"?
I like the 3rd-person aspect, even though it's brand new to me. I think it gives you better situational awareness.
I'm a little disappointed that I can't order my squadmates around individually. It seems like the cross-com would make that very easy. (Have each guy, as well
as the entire squad, in individual "slots".) Maybe that comes later in the game?
My little UAV thingie got killed! <sniff> I guess I'm not totally clear on the proper way to use it. Are you supposed to just dip it down for a second or two before popping it back up to a safe altitude? If you do that, do you have to remember
where the enemies were, or do they stay on your HUD for a while? I was positioning the UAV in the tactical map, but now I'm wondering if it could be better controlled in the "regular" view. Something like:
- You're at the end of a street. There's a barricade way down at the end.
- Select the UAV on your x-com, point at the barricade, and push UP on the d-pad. (UAV floats to a point high above the barricade?)
- Order the UAV into low-altitude mode, while you keep your eyes on the barricade.
- Enemy diamonds appear behind the barricade. They start shooting at the UAV.
- Order the UAV back up to a safe altitude. Start your attack, now that you have some idea of the enemies numbers and position.
Is that how you're supposed to use it?
I too am seeing a bit of overscan. I can see most
of the HUD "border", but little bits of it are off screen. I thought perhaps this was on purpose, but I guess not. It's no biggie, but I will experiment with some of my TV's "aspect" controls to see if I can improve anything. Heck, if I can fix it, it may help my enjoyment of other games as well. I never noticed that the screen was cut off before now!
I kind of agree with DaGamePimp's initial assessment of GRAW. So far, to me, the game seems impressive, but not actually much fun. I however do not agree with his decision to "give up" on the game after 2 hours. GRAW strikes me as being unusually "deep" and different, as compared to most combat games. Giving up on it after one session seems... hasty. Like deciding that you don't like a new album after a single listen. Different strokes for different folks, though.