Commands for your teammates are pretty basic. You can command them as a unit, and they'll respond to move, attack, or regroup commands. If you position them well, behind some low cover for instance, they're generally effective at shooting enemies, but they're not so smart about operating around corners. Too often when you command them to fire from around a corner, they'll step out and expose too much of themselves. They're also not so good about keeping themselves safe when they're following you behind a tank, but they do try to use the environment whenever possible to stay under cover. Commanding teammates may not be one of GRAW's highlights, but since you're probably doing most of the shooting anyway, it's not too big of a drawback, and they can be very effective in the right situations.
Get used to peeking around corners--you'll do it a lot in this game.
Advanced Warfighter affords you an impressive amount of control over your character. You can sidle up to any wall or flat surface and peek around the side by pushing up against it, which lets you peek around the corner while remaining safe. The game lets you fire around the corner or over a low wall with a minimally exposed profile, although this method of firing is less accurate. If you use a scope, you will expose more of your body to fire. You can kneel or go prone and even dive for cover if you try to go prone while running. There's a low-light mode, which you'll need to use for darker areas of the game. You do lose a lot of sharpness and resolution in this mode, so even in dark areas, you'll probably find yourself frequently switching in and out of this mode.
The fact that you can die in a single hail of fire, or just a few glancing shots, means a slow, tactical pace for GRAW. This is definitely a slower-paced fare than something like Call of Duty 2, since you can't fire accurately while on the move or at all when you're on a dead run. You'll definitely need to take advantage of corner-peeking and recon vehicles whenever possible to plan your movements and attacks. This aspect gives the game a bit more of a cerebral feel--but make no mistake, there's plenty of action in the game. There are no medikits. Occasionally, though, you'll find ammo stations on the battlefield that will heal you, and you'll also get healed whenever you rendezvous with a troop carrier to get new teammates or move to another location.
The game's campaign should last most players around 10 hours or so, counting restarts from death, but the campaign is fun enough that it's probably worth a replay on the hardest setting, which is devilishly difficult. GRAW offers plenty of value outside the single-player campaign as well, with 16-player online play over Xbox Live. There are standard deathmatch and capture the flag modes, which are fun and work pretty well with the 10 maps that are included. Some of the maps are symmetric, while others are not so much, and the environments offer a good variety no matter what sorts of levels you like--lots of cover for sneaking or more-open environments for faster gameplay. The most interesting aspect of GRAW's multiplayer repertoire is the included cooperative campaign. These are four specially designed missions for co-op play that can be played locally or online for up to 16 players. They're pretty fun, and the difficulty does scale depending on how many players are in the game.
The minimap is a useful tool for planning out assaults or movement.
The game's sound is an excellent complement to the fantastic graphics. The different guns have very unique sound effects, and they're all very sharp and impactful, which adds to the chaos of pitched battles. The best sound effect in the game, though, is the high-pitched whine of the Vulcan cannon as you spin it up and fire out the side door of a Blackhawk during the helicopter-combat portions. Just the sound of that gun as you hose down enemy infantry and vehicles with a hail of depleted uranium is enough to get any action-fan's blood pumping. Tank cannons and rocket explosions are literally deafening, as the game muffles the sound coming out of the speakers briefly if any explosions go off near you, thus simulating a deafening effect. There's some music that spools up during the gameplay, and the thumping beats suit the theme for the most part, but during some of the helicopter rides, licensed rock music comes up that sounds oddly out of place.
If you like shooters or action games, and you own an Xbox 360, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is a must-own for your library. A solid and challenging campaign and a unique, online-co-op mode combine with an unmatched presentation in what is arguably the best game yet on the Xbox 360. Even those who don't necessarily like shooters may want to at least try the game out, as GRAW represents the best of what a tactical shooter can offer and can serve as a useful graphical benchmark to judge other games on the console by.