Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter Features for Xbox 360

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9Out of 10
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Think you'll be able to play Crysis without hassle? Dream on.
Think you'll be able to play Crysis without hassle? Dream on.

Think you'll be able to play Crysis without hassle? Dream on.

Welcome to Pro-G's Monday Morning Rant, our latest regular feature where one of the team gets to vent their spleen on anything that annoys them about the wonderful world of gaming. No subject, no matter how taboo, will be free from our cutting comment and vicious vitriol. Got that Monday morning feeling? Read on, and brace yourself for a wake-up call.

10 years ago I was a pretty hardcore PC enthusiast. I enjoyed reading about new PC hardware as much as the latest video games. But today, with home consoles competing with PCs in terms of visuals and offering a far easier play experience, PC gaming is becoming increasingly tedious. Windows Vista was hailed by Microsoft as the operating system to make gaming easier, and better, but most users would argue that it's done the opposite.

Let's take BioShock as an example of a recent high-profile PC and console game. On the Xbox 360 I'd turned the TV on, loaded the game and begun my adventure into Rapture in about a minute. On the PC it was a different story. To start with it took nearly 15 minutes to install the game - way to dampen your enthusiasm before the game's even begun. And that's just the beginning of the nightmare that is playing a modern PC game.

Next up came checking for a new display driver. The big two video card manufacturers (Nvidia and ATI) tend to release new optimised drivers for their cards to coincide with big new titles, so this whole process can add another 15-20 minutes to the install - depending on how thorough you like to be when removing and installing drivers. But anyway, 40 minutes after first placing the game disc into my PC's DVD drive and I was ready to play.

BioShock might look better on PC, but you can play it hassle free on 360.

BioShock might look better on PC, but you can play it hassle free on 360.

Well, play is a loose term. I was actually ready to spend the next half-hour tweaking various visual settings to get the game running and looking its best. Many games these days claim to be able to work out what settings are best for your system, but in reality you're going to need to spend some time changing various detail, texture, shader and filtering options until you find the perfect balance. So, finally I'm ready to start, I admire the lovely water effects and then my PC reboots. Brilliant.

To be fair, that random restart was the only problem I encountered during my play through the game on PC, but that kind of occurrence is something I've come to expect from PC gaming. Another gem PC developers like to throw in is patches that make your previous save games invalid, giving you the option of continuing through the game with numerous problems or starting from scratch and hoping the patch actually fixes the issues you had in the first place.

When Vista arrived I believed, perhaps foolishly, that PC gaming would take a turn for the better. We were promised all kinds of things, from better visuals via DirectX 10 to streamlined installs that would give PC gamers a console-like instant gaming experience. I'd love to hear from anyone that's managed to experience this PC gaming nirvana as Vista's caused nothing but misery for me. If PC gaming on XP was a hassle, on Vista it's a chore.

On Vista's launch gaming was a joke. None of the drivers were mature enough, the games ran terribly and the much talked about DirectX 10 games were nowhere to be seen. Even today, almost a year after its debut, Vista makes even the best gaming machines look like OAPs, while XP boasts far superior gaming performance. Even EA's Crysis, a game that is almost single-handily waving the Vista and DirectX 10 flag, runs better on XP - albeit without some of the DirectX 10 effects.

Vista and DirectX 10 still have a lot to prove

Vista and DirectX 10 still have a lot to prove

So the question that begs asking is: why spend £2k on a new gaming PC if you're just going to get a headache? It's a hard one to answer. PC gaming and the personalised nature of the hardware has some kind of pull that I can't get away from, and as much as I moan I'm not likely to abandon a hobby that is 10+ years in the making. I just hope that Microsoft, Nvidia, ATI, Intel and all the other big players involved in PC gaming sort out Vista before it's too late. I want to be able to experience Crysis in November without spending a week tweaking it.

So here's my Monday Morning Rant: Make PC gaming less of a hassle. It's time for Vista to deliver on some of its promises.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments

Andy3536's Avatar
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Fantasy meister, but the piont is console gaming isn't 'chillzone'

The amount of trouble with getting online games and the much poorer quality of the hardware used in consoles mean thier more unreliable than the PCs.
I have both and the PC is much better.
Cheaper games
Longer games.
editing modes.
much better online in both map sizes and connectivity.
Also there seems to be more simulation games on the PC. The games specificly for PC's seem to target a more mature audience.
Posted 22:33 on 31 October 2007
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Bloodstorm

I migrated the other way, PC to Console, simply for the peace of mind.

With consoles every game you buy will work, with PCs you're always crossing your fingers that you won't have to wait another few days to play the game you just bought while you wait for another 1GB RAM and the latest £300 GFX card to arrive by express delivery.

Plus I'm cheap, consoles come out on average once every 7 years and only cost ~£400, over that period I've spent around £3500 on PC hardware. I should have just saved it and bought every single XBox/XBox 360 title ever released instead.

My current PC is an £1800 state of the art box that won't do anything because I'm waiting for a poxy fan to be replaced.

In short:

PC gaming - stressfest
Console gaming - chillzone
Posted 18:32 on 31 October 2007
Bloodstorm's Avatar


As a Console gamer-turning-to-the-PC i know why i am doing so. Voice chat with everyone. I'm sorry but i hate hearing kids singing down the mic, i hate people shouting abuse for no reason. I like Teamspeak, that's the best a man can get. Yea, i'm paying around £1500 for my new PC but i know it's gonna be worth it, UT3, wont have to download ALL the maps if i get the 360 version plus it's not going to be slowed down. Crysis, my god, what a game that's turning out to be. At least with PCs we have a better backwards compatibility (i still play Duke Nukem 3d to this day)
Posted 18:09 on 31 October 2007
Wido's Avatar


Netmind would love to contribute to this thread.
Posted 18:09 on 31 October 2007
Anonymous's Avatar
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Grano it's not DX10 thats copied, it's a few individual dx10 efects.
I game on vista and other thatn the graghics driver issue don't have a prob.
*note it's graghics drivers are the issue, not vista itself*
2nd poster is right though, consoles are pretty awful now too.
Have had alot of trouble trying to get games online.
Posted 17:45 on 31 October 2007
Grano's Avatar
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Facts are facts. Vista, though better now, is still a bloated mess. And it is getting to the point that you need a new driver download for every friggin release. And Tom's rant about Bioshock is a fair call; If you spend good money on a game you shouldn't have to wait for hours or days until the servers are back online just to be given permission to play the damn thing (makes me wish I pirated it, if you're going to be treated like a criminal you may as well be one...). I just bought a new top-end PC, with Vista, best of everything, mainly for gaming, and more specifically Crysis. And then, oh joy, the demo comes out and someone figures out with a simple hack you can get all those "Vista/DX10 only" effects in XP. With better preformance to boot. So far neither Microsoft or Crytek is prepared to comment. Funny that. The sad thing is, I never really expected anything else from Microsoft. And I guess it shows that Crytek can be bought just like anyone else. And the we have Halo 2. Vista only, but graphics so dated they could easily be rendered in DX8.1. Which says it all really. I only upgraded to Vista because of all the "benefits" of DX10. So I've been shafted. Again. I never wanted to be a console owner, but hopefully this rig will get me through till the next Xbox/Playstation model, then I'm turning to the dark side. I've had enough of this B.S.
Posted 09:24 on 31 October 2007
Anonymous's Avatar
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Lets be honest there are as many problems with the 360 than i have with my PC.

PES 6 and 2008 are crap online.
Battlestations midway was beyond shocking online.
Call of Duty 3 had some extreamly long waiting times when it first came out to get an online game.

The games are twice as much and then you get charged for any extras that should and could have been included in the game!

And i havn't even comented on the fact that the majority of 360's sold break before the end of the first year.

Games for PC tend to be much longer too, you get editing modes aswell to add longevity aswell as some games being constantly added to by modding communitys.

Easier controls on PC's too. Especially for first person shooter lovers.

You completely missed the failings of the consoles and it's not as one sidded in terms of getting games working as you make out.
This was posted not days after the PES2008 post about Konami apolagising for the PS3 games with frame rate and tearing issues aswell as online issues.
It needs to improve for both consoles and PC's!
Posted 17:56 on 29 October 2007
NinetiesKid's Avatar


I agree 100%, it's why I ended up buying a 360 and not playing PC games anymore.
Posted 15:58 on 29 October 2007

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 10/03/2006
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 2,544 16
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