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  • GRAW Demo - first impressions

    Playing GR last night with a friend (via Hamachi) we went through the demo together and had a blast. Having just the minimum requirements needed to play the game (I run a P2.0 Ghz, 1 Gig 266ddr RAM and a ATI9500 pro) it actually ran smoother hosting the game than it does if I have the AI ‘wingmen’ with me. I assume this has to do with AI cpu cycles but anyway, it was nice to have smooth game play even though I do miss out on all the graphical wonders. Having played through the game already with the AI, I was keen to see how it played in MP. We started as three but a lost connection took us down to two but it was enough to work the mission.

    One of the first things I noticed about playing MP was that the map seemed to get a lot bigger. This illusion is exposed because when you are playing with people, your style of play is a lot different than when you play single player. For instance, as the SL I had my friend on point. We had to work together closely and as he didn’t want to die, he was careful and methodical when it came to checking out corners, etc (with me reminding him to “check the roofs” every now and then). Because we were moving tactically and covering each other, our progress through the terrain was a lot slower than when I played SP (I hate SP so I just ran around the map to test it).

    Thank god for multiplayer coop is all I can say. What a difference it makes to play with a friend. Having people you can rely on and talk with is what makes online gaming the gaming method of choice. I’m no stranger to MP coop gaming (having played the original GR here at TG for 2 years) and this game had me experiencing enjoyment like I did years ago with the original. Grin have done a good job with this demo – let’s hope the finished product doesn’t disappoint – yeah there are some things that are annoying (like only 4 people able to play), but the actual game play is really well done.

    We had a few choice moments in the mission where we’d save each other from being shot. This was achievable because we moved tactically and covered our angles. It is important to go into this in some detail because a lot of players do not know how to move tactically.

    When moving as a squad it is imperative that everyone follows the plan. The main part of any plan is cover. You cover your assigned area. You cover even if there are things going on behind you. This is why the guy guarding your six must guard the six. I cannot tell you the amount of times the whole team has been wiped out simply because the guy who was meant to be guarding the six turned around to see the action going on at the front. While doing this the enemy came round the back and shot everyone. That’s game over now we have to do it all again and remember, there’s nothing quite like completing a mission first time round.

    It’s important to mention also the two guys up front. They must cover each other and the basic premise of this is that the number two guy covers the area that the number one guy isn’t. There is little point in both of you looking west if the bad guys come from the north and shoots both of you. The point-man will be looking in the places most vulnerable to him, as number two, your job is to protect him by covering the angles he cannot.

    The Squad Leader then takes the three position and it is his/her responsibility to remind everyone what there job is, where to go, where to cover, relay the plan, check the map and provide support to the other three members. He does not engage contacts unless necessity dictates.

    Those are the basics and from there you will build up your knowledge on how to operate effectively as a member of an elite Special Forces team – well virtually. This is certainly not religious doctrine and it relies on the player to adapt to the situation presented to him, using the above as a base of operation.

    So back to the game and it’s nice to find the above procedure worked very well with very little injury to either of us. This however may be due to the AI being somewhat stupid. At times the AI seems to work well but at other times, they just seem to sit there. For instance, when rounding a corner we were given ample opportunity to set up on 2 guys who were looking off to the left (from our perspective – i.e. perpendicular). I’m not sure how long we could have waited there, but they weren’t moving. Not really realistic to have two guys looking in one direction permanently with no peripheral vision but it is only a game. It would be nice if game devs could spend more time on the AI bad guys instead of just making them things to shoot at (ala Lock Down). It’s too early to really give an accurate picture of the AI yet but my first impressions are that they are a bit dim and slow to react.

    Overall though the experience was good and we made it through the mission in one piece with a few narrow escapes. Highly enjoyable and impressive enough for me to order my copy. Let’s just hope the modding community can make us some outdoor maps and other addons. Developers produce games, the mod community produce longevity in games.

    All in all GRAW is a pretty good game if you play it multiplayer. I maintain that single player games are a thing of the past if you have AI members to control. The fact that it only supports 4 players is disappointing but it does work. If we put 8 players in, will we have 4 people sat around doing nothing? This is the first FPS in a long time that has actually interested me enough to take notice. However, I still wait the release of Armed Assault. In the meantime though, GRAW looks likely to be a pretty good diversion.
    Jex.


  • #2
    Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

    Great write up, jex.


    Originally posted by jex
    We had a few choice moments in the mission where we’d save each other from being shot. This was achievable because we moved tactically and covered our angles. It is important to go into this in some detail because a lot of players do not know how to move tactically.

    When moving as a squad it is imperative that everyone follows the plan. The main part of any plan is cover. You cover your assigned area. You cover even if there are things going on behind you. This is why the guy guarding your six must guard the six. I cannot tell you the amount of times the whole team has been wiped out simply because the guy who was meant to be guarding the six turned around to see the action going on at the front. While doing this the enemy came round the back and shot everyone. That’s game over now we have to do it all again and remember, there’s nothing quite like completing a mission first time round.

    It’s important to mention also the two guys up front. They must cover each other and the basic premise of this is that the number two guy covers the area that the number one guy isn’t. There is little point in both of you looking west if the bad guys come from the north and shoots both of you. The point-man will be looking in the places most vulnerable to him, as number two, your job is to protect him by covering the angles he cannot.

    The Squad Leader then takes the three position and it is his/her responsibility to remind everyone what there job is, where to go, where to cover, relay the plan, check the map and provide support to the other three members. He does not engage contacts unless necessity dictates.

    Those are the basics and from there you will build up your knowledge on how to operate effectively as a member of an elite Special Forces team – well virtually. This is certainly not religious doctrine and it relies on the player to adapt to the situation presented to him, using the above as a base of operation.
    I think this is why I haven't really enjoyed the multiplayer component of GRAW yet. The times I've played it, there were people running, gunning, sliding, and just generally not moving tactically. There was no recon of areas before moving in, there was no attempt at stealth, and there was no careful covering movement as a squad. What you're describing is the way the game should be played, in my opinion, and I think I'd enjoy it more if this were the case. I'd like to join up with you if/when I get the full game.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

      Originally posted by Strag
      Great write up, jex.


      I think this is why I haven't really enjoyed the multiplayer component of GRAW yet. The times I've played it, there were people running, gunning, sliding, and just generally not moving tactically. There was no recon of areas before moving in, there was no attempt at stealth, and there was no careful covering movement as a squad. What you're describing is the way the game should be played, in my opinion, and I think I'd enjoy it more if this were the case. I'd like to join up with you if/when I get the full game.
      Thats because the demo got played out. Everyone knew where everything was so we just ran full speed (then did a cool slide) to the next batch of baddies.

      With the length of the full version maps, I predict this will have to stop. It's not whether or not you can take out that group of 5 or 6 bad guys, but if you can do it without taking any damage. Because you absolutely have to preserve your 'health' as much as possible to be able to actually FINISH the level.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

        Originally posted by BHack
        Thats because the demo got played out. Everyone knew where everything was so we just ran full speed (then did a cool slide) to the next batch of baddies.
        These situations are when players could be practicing tactical squad movement, so that the first time through new areas, they're prepared for this:

        With the length of the full version maps.......it's not whether or not you can take out that group of 5 or 6 bad guys, but if you can do it without taking any damage. Because you absolutely have to preserve your 'health' as much as possible to be able to actually FINISH the level.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

          A few other things, to build on what jex talked about above:

          - Before moving into an area, the Team Leader should use his map (and possibly his sniper) to perform recon. This sort of intel can greatly help the Team Leader to decide the best course of action, whether it be to bypass an area, come in from a different direction, or proceed on course. The Team Leader can also use this intel to decide how best to place his team if engagement is imminent.

          - Using suppression can help to draw less attention to the team. Try having a team member (usually the point man) take a suppressed rifle so that he can engage quietly when necessary.

          - Whenever possible, make sure every team member is under good cover and has a good field of fire before engaging. When encountering tangos that are unaware, the Team Leader can assign targets to members of the team, get the team set up, and then engage with coordinated fires. A short countdown from the Team Leader can allow for a quick, surgical burst from the entire team, cutting down all targeted tangos within a few seconds. Then the team members can wait for reaction from their positions of cover, with each member watching his area for new threats.

          - Review the SOPs for the Contact Report, the SITREP, and for Fire Discipline. Use them. These were written for a reason, and can be put to good use by a well coordinated team.


          Remember -- using stealth, surprise, and coordination, a small team can successfully defeat a larger force. The key is for the small team to engage when and where it chooses, and to be seen and heard when and where it chooses.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

            Originally posted by Strag
            A few other things, to build on what jex talked about above:

            - Before moving into an area, the Team Leader should use his map (and possibly his sniper) to perform recon. This sort of intel can greatly help the Team Leader to decide the best course of action, whether it be to bypass an area, come in from a different direction, or proceed on course. The Team Leader can also use this intel to decide how best to place his team if engagement is imminent.

            - Using suppression can help to draw less attention to the team. Try having a team member (usually the point man) take a suppressed rifle so that he can engage quietly when necessary.

            - Whenever possible, make sure every team member is under good cover and has a good field of fire before engaging. When encountering tangos that are unaware, the Team Leader can assign targets to members of the team, get the team set up, and then engage with coordinated fires. A short countdown from the Team Leader can allow for a quick, surgical burst from the entire team, cutting down all targeted tangos within a few seconds. Then the team members can wait for reaction from their positions of cover, with each member watching his area for new threats.

            - Review the SOPs for the Contact Report, the SITREP, and for Fire Discipline. Use them. These were written for a reason, and can be put to good use by a well coordinated team.


            Remember -- using stealth, surprise, and coordination, a small team can successfully defeat a larger force. The key is for the small team to engage when and where it chooses, and to be seen and heard when and where it chooses.
            Yes the tactical map was not used as it could have been in the demo. I found it somewhat more realistic to not have a constant over head few of all enemy movements, but I guess this is going to be necessary to complete some of these missions.

            It certainly is a tactical advantage to have the SL stay in tacmap throughout an engagement. The only downside to this is that you've got one less gun firing. I almost wish the player count was 8 or so. This would mean you could use better flanking, get better use of the SL's tac map, and not loose 25% of your firepower by trying to be as tactical as possible.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

              Originally posted by BHack
              I almost wish the player count was 8 or so. This would mean you could use better flanking, get better use of the SL's tac map, and not loose 25% of your firepower by trying to be as tactical as possible.
              I agree completely. In fact, I wish the coop player count was set to at least nine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

                Originally posted by Cadian
                Couple of squads would be great.

                Recon - suppressed team running point (2)

                Rifle - main engagement force (3)

                Support - HVY and LMG (2) Suppressing and covering fire

                Sniper

                SL

                Oh, gaming goodness. Where are the mod tools when you need them. LOL
                Hey, that sounds just like the original Ghost Recon! ;)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

                  I might get the game, I tried the demo but I didn't like how it forced you to go one way and the max players if four. I hope the rest of the maps have more options and the modders can up the max players. Is it true that when the leader dies the game ends? If so that needs to be modded out too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: GRAW Demo - first impressions

                    Tell me when they up the player's to at least 6 and when the leader dies the game continues. Then Ill hop on, till then I'll enjoy the original GR . ;)

                    Comment

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