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Getting back on the game


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It's been 2-3 years since I've touched this game. At best, it feels kind of refreshing after getting owned a lot on mission 1 on normal difficulty. I said "owned" instead of "killed" because my standards include teammate deaths as a sign of defeat. Anyway, the hard part for me wasn't really about the difficulty curve as much as it was remembering every darn limitation the team AI had. It wasn't long before I got used to the whole thing again though and I somehow even managed to enjoy myself more than when I used to play it back then. Most likely, few of my old as well as recent discoveries about this game had something to do with it.

The reason I started playing this game again was that I just recently finished unlocking every SP campaign decoration of the PS3 version. That game was actually pretty fun and probably the only things I hated about it were the annoying Narcom videos, your even more annoying stereotypical general, and the even MORE annoying stereotypical mexican loyalists. So perhaps the single most reason that led me to play the PC version? 3 words: No Narcom Mod. that was pretty much it in a nutshell.

After playing two very different version of a single game, it would be perfectly normal for any person to start making comparisons in their minds. In my case, the first thing I thought about was the team AI. The GRAW series in the consoles constantly shoved down our throats the concept that taking cover during a firefight is key to survival and your team really does a good job of utilizing that concept. While the concept still stays the same for your character in the PC version, it's surprisingly the complete opposite for your teammates. So much so that they actually reminded me of [GR]'s team AI. In fact, GRAW2 PC is almost like a miniature version of [GR] if only because two of the frustrations I experienced in this game bear much resemblance to the same ones I've had in [GR]. Any form of obstacle becomes a total hindrance to the team AI's attacking capabilities and once the opponents start shooting first, your team is practically screwed. I'm not saying that the AI completely sucks though. Unlike what most people think, your team actually have more uses than simply guys that cover your back. In my opinion, they are a very formidable bunch once you start pulling the right levers.

With all that said though, the AI's backwards logic really gives an awkward feel to the game. Instead of normally trying to drop targets from concealment, the most effective way of fighting enemies using your team is by having them stationed right out in the open where the clearest trajectory between them and the enemy exists. I wish I was kidding but I swear, this really really works. Take for example the mission "The Price of Peace". Before the end is a church where you get bum rushed from two sides of the park. Right before the ambush starts, have your guys form at the center of the park where they can clearly see the streets that the bad guys are going to come out from and have them set to assault. Once all hell breaks lose, you can pretty much just hide behind a wall and constantly pick your nose while your team wipes out an entire battalion of mercenaries until the evac trucks roll in. It looks totally ridiculous but it works.

One thing I've always wondered about GRAW 2 on both versions are the weapons. Both versions provide you with a great number of weapons to choose from yet I keep asking myself which one should I really be using, specifically the rifles. They all have different looks but the only way for me to differentiate them all in terms of functionality is a very brief description below them and these things don't even really say much about anything. When I used to be an avid Rainbow Six player, I could always pick out which gun I want to use because they all had numerical stats that clearly differentiate them from one another. From those graphs, I could easily figure out which gun was the most damaging, most accurate, or has the least recoil, etc. After trying out every weapon in GRAW 2 console, I just kept using the RX4 in the end simply because it was the first weapon on the selection screen. Even in the PC version today, I just pick the RX4 again simply because I'm used to how it looks and that's it. I just wish the interface actually explained to me more about each weapon so I would at least know what I'm getting myself into whenever I'm choosing a weapon layout for me and my crew.

Nitpicking aside, I still think both games are fun. I really like playing a single mission over and over again until I start forming routines that go with the mission's flow. The console version kept score at every end of a mission and sometimes I would play a mission repeatedly simply to find out how high a score I can get. It's a shame that the PC version doesn't have something similar except for the achievement titles. It would've been nice to have something else contribute to replay value instead of just the fun factor but whatever. The game is fun and I'm gonna keep playing it until I grow tired of it. :)

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I kinda agree about the weapons, it was obviously a conscious decision not to give much in the way of stats at the loadout screen, but it would have been a cool addition.

I hear ya about replaying missions trying to find what works best, but I take it you are talking about custom missions and not the stock campaign missions?

Oh, and welcome back :thumbsup:

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Stock campaign actually. I just thought that since I spent time racking up highscores in the console version that it would make sense for me to do the same here in the PC version. I've yet to encounter a mission where I received anything less than an S Ranking but since there are still those title achievements that I can't seem to light up, I've been thinking about finishing missions on the highest difficulty with an S rank as well as all achievements acquired. I'm not exactly sure how I'm suppose to do that though since even the instruction manual doesn't elaborate on how the achievements work so any information about that would be well appreciated.

As for where mods are concerned...I'm not that eager to download some at the moment but I've already browsed the mods section in advanced and I'm thinking that I'll most likely be going for the OTS view mod and the custom SP missions (assuming those things allow me to use AI teammates) in the near future. I honestly don't have any reason to use custom weapons at the moment given the circumstances I've mentioned previously and anything regarding online is out of the question since lag is one hell of a killer for me.

By the way, could anyone care to remind me how to unlock all the weapons for the early missions? I'm not too fond of riflemen but there's just no point in using a grenadier when the M32 isn't even available yet.

UPDATE

It's not the highest difficulty but its a start

graw2normalperfect.th.jpg

From what I experienced, it's very possible to get all achievements by doing the missions by yourself but the ranking seems to get hurt alot from this. I'm not sure if whether the mission time or support units score factor in on the results. If it's simply the later, then I guess it's a good thing the game is encouraging you to use your teammates instead of going in solo. Hopefully, the mission time doesn't count on the final grade because urgency is the very least thing I need in this game.

Edited by mark2000
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The first time I played this game , I was playing it on "easy" difficulty. And to tell you the truth , it wasn't that easy. LOL

Right now , I think that I'm pretty good at GRAW.

Today , I changed the difficulty "hardcore" and it's not that hard for me now.

I agree with you that your team A.I is pretty bad...

But like you said , you need to use them correctly.

Also , brez mod really helped me. It has one weapon , which is abs. the best one in GRAW. It's SCAR-H Sniper ad.

Deadly , Accurate & Tactical.

Right now I'm really having fun in this game.

Try to do missions on your own , you'll be surprised , it's actually harder. LOL.

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Playing lone wolf is definitely hard although the benefit of doing so leaves a lot to be desired. Like I said before, the score of your support crew influence your overall rank so ignoring them is simply not a good thing when going for perfection. I've yet to test whether or not this also applies when you start the mission solo though so I'll be doing that when I have time.

SCAR-H Sniper-ad? What? Is that like a scope add-on for the SCAR-H? Does it also include all the other assault rifles? I've always been ######(<---- LOL ) at the fact that the PC GRAW was limited to dot sights even though the console version had magnified scopes so this interests me a bit.

Edited by mark2000
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  • 2 weeks later...

And now for an update

Here are the missions I've done so far.

graw2m1.th.jpg

graw2m2.th.jpg

graw2m3.th.jpg

graw2m4.th.jpg

I've honestly given up on mission 4. I just can't find a way to up my stealth rating. I don't even have a good idea on how it works, to be honest. Does switching your teammates to Assault affect the stealth rating?

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The first time I played this game , I was playing it on "easy" difficulty. And to tell you the truth , it wasn't that easy. LOL

That's because regardless what difficulty setting, the A.I. are rediculously accurate. Too accurate, too often. Period. In order to be as accurate as the A.I. a shooter would have to 1) be a marksman, 2) take the required time to set up and make such shots, instead of spotting you for a split second and instantly sighting and nailing you from 200 yards away with a G36. Even with a PSG you should be an extremely difficult target if you are on the move. But I think we all know the only way to get by a sniper in graw is to 1)get shot by him, 2)memorize his position 3)load the save point and engage him on your terms, i.e. get into position and peekaboo around a corner and take him out.

If a simple "video game" challenge is what you crave then you will find this acceptable, but if you want the realism that this series has boasted since day one, you will realize this incredible accuracy is actually unrealistic and thus a flaw. It always has been, whether my fellow GR purists will admit or not.

Ironically, this type of "uber challenge" actually deminishes the tension of a firefight.

Take for example the mission "The Price of Peace". Before the end is a church where you get bum rushed from two sides of the park. Right before the ambush starts, have your guys form at the center of the park where they can clearly see the streets that the bad guys are going to come out from and have them set to assault. Once all hell breaks lose, you can pretty much just hide behind a wall and constantly pick your nose while your team wipes out an entire battalion of mercenaries until the evac trucks roll in.

That is true, but in fairness the enemies in that scenario are being picked off as they are still sprinting to get into position. It's a turkey shoot.

Great points in your post though Mark. Sadly I have loaded GRAW and GRAW2 several times lately and just stared at the missions screen trying to decide on a mission, only to sigh and close the game because I realize yet again I have played the same scenarios too many times. I have sqeezed more miles out of these games than I should have been able to, given their minimal replayability. Thanks to the No Narcom mod, and some awesome weapon mods.

I'm basically now just waiting on O F P 2, not as the "next" shooter to play, but as THE one I've been hoping for for the last 7 years.

I've honestly given up on mission 4. I just can't find a way to up my stealth rating. I don't even have a good idea on how it works, to be honest. Does switching your teammates to Assault affect the stealth rating?

Those achievements, particularly the stealth and accuracy ones, do not truely reflect your mission effectiveness. Only you can really judge how well (how realistically) you played. For example, cover fire or suppression will kill your "accuracy" score, but this is a major part of combat. And some missions, if played as realistically as possible (not chasing scores) will never give you a good "stealth" score because you simply must take actions that will reduce that score.

My advice: don't take a perfectly good combat sim and make a video game out of it. Take the mission debriefings with a grain of salt, knowing that even though the debriefing is not stellar, in actuality you "did it right".

Disclaimer, I realize graw is not actually a "perfectly good combat sim" I was just trying to make a point, LOL.

Edited by doubletap
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Those achievements, particularly the stealth and accuracy ones, do not truely reflect your mission effectiveness. Only you can really judge how well (how realistically) you played. For example, cover fire or suppression will kill your "accuracy" score, but this is a major part of combat. And some missions, if played as realistically as possible (not chasing scores) will never give you a good "stealth" score because you simply must take actions that will reduce that score.

Well, I'm only playing this game again just for the score so it's really disappointing that there are some areas that will never reward you with perfection simply because of how the mission was built. Mission 4 is one of those and I don't even know why. Maybe its the tank that can instantly detect your presence and constantly whale on you the second you expose a square inch of your body (i.e. thank god for smoke grenades). Or maybe it's the spawn script of the enemies themselves since I've noticed that majority of enemy spawns are ambushers that already know my position for some arbitrary reason. I don't know and I don't really care anymore. I'm moving on to mission 5 and the rest.

I doubt playing this game realistically is even logically possible. Your teammate AI is already counterintuitive enough that applying real world logic to their performance will just give you a kick in the balls almost all the time.

But I think we all know the only way to get by a sniper in graw is to 1)get shot by him, 2)memorize his position 3)load the save point and engage him on your terms, i.e. get into position and peekaboo around a corner and take him out.

That's only in GRAW 1. Things work pretty differently in GRAW 2 (although they aren't any less unrealistic). The enemies in GRAW 2 have a disease that someone I know would call 'Metal Gear Solid Henchmen Syndrome'. It's a disease where opponents can't see anything past 30 meters in front of them. In GRAW 2, every human enemy, including snipers, have this disease. Therefore, as long as you are in a crouching position (the game apparently considers this as 'stealth mode') and is positioned beyond a 30 meter distance from an enemy, you can take your time to line up a shot and the sniper won't ever notice you.

This logic doesn't seem to apply to the last mission though. Apparently, every enemy there has bionic cyber vision that can spot your exposed fingernail from behind a car 9000 yards away. I'm predicting that this will be the same as mission 4 in a way that it'll be impossible for me to achieve a perfect score.

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doubletap: But I think we all know the only way to get by a sniper in graw is to 1)get shot by him, 2)memorize his position 3)load the save point and engage him on your terms, i.e. get into position and peekaboo around a corner and take him out.

mark2000: That's only in GRAW 1. Things work pretty differently in GRAW 2 (although they aren't any less unrealistic).

You're refering to what I call Invisible mode (crouching) and instant target mode (standing). In my post I was indeed talking about sniper encounters while not in recon (invisible) mode. I do not move about in recon mode unless a particular moment requires it.

I doubt playing this game realistically is even logically possible. Your teammate AI is already counterintuitive enough that applying real world logic to their performance will just give you a kick in the balls almost all the time.

Well that's why I said as realistically as possible. If you strive for what realism the game facilitates you will often not get the achievements and scores you would like to see, nevertheless you may have played the mission admirably and worthy of acheivements not listed in the Debriefing.

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You're refering to what I call Invisible mode (crouching) and instant target mode (standing). In my post I was indeed talking about sniper encounters while not in recon (invisible) mode. I do not move about in recon mode unless a particular moment requires it.

I'm actually quite the opposite. I'm almost always crouching throughout the mission unless a situation requires me to stand (usually only lasts for about a second or two though). But then again, I AM playing for score so meh. :D

Well that's why I said as realistically as possible. If you strive for what realism the game facilitates you will often not get the achievements and scores you would like to see, nevertheless you may have played the mission admirably and worthy of acheivements not listed in the Debriefing.

When I was talking about realism being logically possible, I meant it to be black and white as in realistic or unrealistic. Talking from personal experience, I've honestly yet to find anything realistic about this game besides the common knowledge that gunshots kill people. When I first played this game years ago, I've experienced so much frustrations that I eventually reached a point were 'realism' and real-world logic are the only things I never ever think about when playing this game.

It's weird for me to say this but aside from the Solid Snake missions and Rail-shooter moments, the console version actually made a lot more sense than this game.....and that's just wrong.

Anyway...

Progress Update:

I am currently grinding through mission 5 at the moment. While my stealth scores are WAAAAY better than they were in mission 4, my major problem right now is getting the 'Leader' achievement. There are just too many ambush scripts that require me to use my teammates, not to mention the big gunfight at the last part. I could possibly work my way through the last part by going at it solo to keep my teammates out of harm's way but I fear that doing that may kill other aspects of my score.

Honestly though, I've had more trouble monitoring the status of my teammates than keeping them undamaged. I blame it mostly on the interface. While it does include a health bar of every teammate, that bar doesn't output the damage accurately enough. To put it simply, a single bullet that hits my guys will count towards my final score yet I won't have any way to know that until the end of the mission because all there health bars still appear to be full even though they've been damaged already.

My point is if the game is gonna punish me for every single damn papercut that my teammates get, why can't I atleast know their status in a more detailed manner instead of just showing me a vaguely defined health bar? I honestly never had this kind of problem in the console version because any damage they take always turns them to a yellow status and they ALWAYS notify me when they get hit.

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To put it simply, a single bullet that hits my guys will count towards my final score yet I won't have any way to know that until the end of the mission because all there health bars still appear to be full even though they've been damaged already.

With regards to playing for high scores, what good would detailed feedback on the ghosts damage be during the mission, as apposed to the debfiefing? During the mission, how would you use that info with regards to your score? Would you load save points and replay a section until your team took zero hits, then press on?

When I was talking about realism being logically possible, I meant it to be black and white as in realistic or unrealistic.

There's plenty of grey area. There are opportunities for the player to make use of at least some of the realistic tactics and methods he has in his 'realism bag', on varying levels and in different aspects. Frankly I would have deleted the game years ago if this wasn't so.

Again, I have found however, that your more realistic options will often lead to a mission debriefing which doesn't truely reflect how well you did. It just depends what you're after I guess.

But anyway, realism this, and realism that, that's probably getting on your nerves by now so I won't go on anymore on that, lol.

Edited by doubletap
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With regards to playing for high scores, what good would detailed feedback on the ghosts damage be during the mission, as apposed to the debfiefing? During the mission, how would you use that info with regards to your score? Would you load save points and replay a section until your team took zero hits, then press on?

The 'Leader' achievement requires me to finish the mission with all my teammates uninjured. With the current interface, I'm essentially wasting my time trying to finish a mission since I can never know whether my teammates are really injured or not.

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With regards to playing for high scores, what good would detailed feedback on the ghosts damage be during the mission, as apposed to the debfiefing? During the mission, how would you use that info with regards to your score? Would you load save points and replay a section until your team took zero hits, then press on?

The 'Leader' achievement requires me to finish the mission with all my teammates uninjured. With the current interface, I'm essentially wasting my time trying to finish a mission since I can never know whether my teammates are really injured or not.

Ah, I see your point.

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