In a world where shooters seem to be at the forefront of the gaming industry, gamers have plenty of choice from the Call of Duty series to the Far Cry series, but it can be tough to find a game that’s worth the time and money. So does Ghost Recon Wildlands fit the bill?
The plot of Ghost Recon Wildlands focuses on a drug cartel in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, which sends a team of “Ghosts” to take on the drug cartels’ train of command one by one all the way until you get up to the big boss. This may sound like a repetitive way of doing things and it is, however, while the initial story may become repetitive there is almost limitless exploration around the world of Bolivia as different parts of the map open up as you progress. This keeps the game feeling fresh and exciting as there are collectables and weapons scattered around the different areas of the map. In my experience this transforms the game from one where you’re a Special Forces soldier eliminating enemy threats to one where you’re stealing weapons and collectables like some sort of heavily armed pirate.
The gameplay of Ghost Recon feels smooth despite the fact that it borrows elements from different games, combining the player controls of The Division with the locations of Far Cry which coincidentally are both former Ubisoft titles. When in combat you switch from third person to first person when you aim down the sights of your weapon, which is a new element for the Ghost Recon franchise. The way missions are implemented have also changed between games. This time around you can start a mission, annihilate the enemy, barrel role out of an action movie style explosion upon completing the mission and proceed to walk to the next mission while still picking bullets out of your wounds with the fillings of your fallen adversaries. Ghost Recon also introduces vehicles, which makes getting from location to location easier and creating new ways to get up to crazy antics.
With Ghost Recon Wildlands taking a step away from a futuristic setting, fans may be wondering whether the same sort of tactical gameplay is available, the answer is yes. Players will be able to execute similar ways of completing an objective just like in previous games, not only that, Ghost Recon Wildlands has a lot more dumb fun than the previous games as well, the environment is littered with random objects that will explode if you put enough bullets, grenades or even vehicles into them. With it being more modern also comes with modern ways of approaching military style threats, so don’t expect any invisibility or sentry guns that will mow down anything in their path, but instead expect to have to strategically take down threats with either your invincible AI controlled three man team or your incapable and useless friends.
Speaking of incapable and useless friends, Ghost Recon Wildlands has an online co-op feature which allows you to play with up to four other friends or random people you have never met before. The game feels like it is made around being able to play with your friends as there is no real single player option because you’ll always have a team of four who you cannot seem to get rid of no matter how hard you try. While the game would like you to take on heavily armoured fortresses with such finesse that you become the equivalent to a shadow pasted across the night sky but this isn’t normally the case as someone messes something up and ends up being an all-out war that seems to be never ending, which still creates good fun and great banter among your team mates. Sadly no competitive multiplayer (yet) so players will have to put up with the co-op feature for now.
Similar to most games of this generation, there definitely are flaws in the forms of little bugs and glitches, however some of these will most likely be fixed in the future. The first one is that missiles that are intentionally supposed to blow you and the aircraft you’re driving out of the sky don’t seem to be doing what they’re supposed to do, all too often I feel like my impending doom is upon me while I’m taking a leisurely flight over the landscape when all of a sudden a missile hits my aircraft and I don’t explode, while this shouldn’t sound like a flaw and should come as a blessing in disguise but every now and then I prefer a challenge, one in the form of being unable to fly a helicopter straight into a watch tower unharmed. Aside from that, just the norm of characters doing what they aren’t supposed to, in one scenario I parachuted in rolled into the landing only to look up to see a bartender doing his best impersonation of Monty Python’s Silly Walks, not that I had a problem with that.
Ghost Recon Wildlands is a great new addition to the shooter genre. Combining elements of previous games and putting them all together has created a new and exciting third person shooter with a decent story, functional gameplay and a map that is filled with plenty of opportunity exploration and just dumb fun. These major pluses way out the minors which include cliché story and your everyday glitches.