Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (PS4, XB1, PC)
Genre: Open World, 3rd Person Shooter, FPS, RPG
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Version Played: PC
Time Played: 4-5 hours
Ghost Recon Wildlands is the latest entry in the Ghost Recon franchise, the previous entry (Future Soldier) coming out in 2012. It’s another Ubisoft game, meaning: a huge open world with various collectibles, missions, enemy patrols, skill points, and the like. Despite having such a massive world, it felt incredibly hollow. Granted, I mostly played in one of the two areas available in the beta, so the full game will likely showcase the range of different landscapes, and what you can do in them.
However, the gripes I had with one area may extend to the full game. For instance, the kilometers between missions, side quests, and collecting skill points is excruciating and tedious. The time and distance is sometimes worse when you’re cutting through the mountains. It doesn’t help that the controls for most of the vehicles border on cartoony. The car’s handling is incredibly loose, and the camera is so sensitive it may induce vomiting. The numerous (and quite frankly, too many) helicopters are practically useless in the state they’re in — the handling is way too stiff, and toggling the helicopter forward doesn’t actually move you forward. You have to play this game of altitude and jostling the helicopter back and forth to get anywhere. The boats worked okay. Thankfully, motorcycles were the saving grace. Being on those was fun as hell given all the off-roading you’re practically forced to do.
The combat was both refreshing and frustrating. Going from 3rd person in exploration to 1st person as you aim was a very jarring experience to say the least. If this bothers you, you can change the settings so that you’re mostly in 3rd person unless you go into sniping. At first, the change in perspective was frustrating, but ultimately serves a purpose: tactical precision. Combat in general feels very much like a militaristic operation — scouting enemy positions with drones, tagging enemies to coordinate kills, looking for the best entry point to get in and get out undetected, finding weaknesses in an enemy base (killing the power, for instance), calling for support from the local militia, etc. If you’re caught out of position, or the enemy spots you, you’re likely to die and quick. If you’re hidden, are caught, and run the enemy will not stop chasing you because you hid in some bush for 30 seconds, no they will chase you for 10-15 mins no matter if you’re in a car or boat making combat more exciting/nerve wracking if you’re the only person alive in your squad. The game’s RPG elements come in leveling up, allocating skill points, and the extensive attachments/modifications you can make to your weapons, changing their damage, recoil, accuracy, etc.
Your team’s AI can be great, or can be incredibly stupid. Walking outside a church to 6 enemies with no cover and dying instantly is moronic. Defending your flank efficiently, and lining up headshots for coordinated takedowns is awesome. Personally, to have the best experience you have to play with a group of friends. Nothing like strapping a car with C4, driving into an enemy base and blowing your friend up in the process. But seriously, squad up because it makes the game so much more tactical in its approach, and really has you plan for the various random encounters you’ll have throughout the world.
Being a beta, I encountered a few bugs, like a friendly player looping in an animation when getting on a helicopter, vehicles popping in front of you and killing you, things like that but nothing game breaking. However, it did crash on me twice for seemingly no reason. I’ll give it this though: the game is absolutely beautiful. Lush, vibrant jungles, dirt mountainous roads, snowy landscapes, etc. However, do I think it’s worth your time and money? I can’t say it is. Maybe buy it as a Game of the Year edition fully loaded with DLCs and fixes?Leave a Comment