Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is the latest entry in the almost 16 years old franchise. It is also pretty much unrecognizable from the first one. Ghost Recon: Wildlands features a massive and unrestricted open world to play either solo or in co-op and do whatever you want in the way you want.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Genre: Tactical shooter
Designer: Dominic Butler
Developers: Ubisoft Paris, Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft Annecy,more
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows (tested)
Set in a fictional Bolivia, the gameplay in Ghost Recon: Wildlands is more similar to GTA than to previous installments, but it also includes a set of features from other Ubisoft titles. You can help the country’s insurgents and you will be able to summon them later to aid you in your battles, just like in Far Cry 4. You are also able to surveil and mark enemy targets and pilot a backpack drone, like in last year’s Watch Dogs 2. You will also be able to play in co-op with just a click away, the most notorious title with this “seamless multiplayer” feature is The Crew. And the map is packed with optional collectibles to flesh out the game’s backstory and unlock new abilities. This is pretty much all titles since Assassin’s Creed shook the industry in 2007. On top of that, it features a living open world with the ability to interact with civilians, tons of weapons, vehicles, and everything in between. Bolivia is huge: it features 21 regions, all packed with different climates, vehicles, weapons, missions and subcultures. On top of that, it features dynamic weather and day-night cycles. Each one is unique and will add something different instead of just being just another region.
Ghost Reacon: Wildlands answers the question: What if, in the near future, the relatively peaceful country of Bolivia was invaded by a Mexican drug cartel. The real Bolivia is one of the largest producers of coca leaf in the world. The plant is used to make everything from tea to medicated balms and toothpaste. The coca growers’ union is a powerful force in the nation, and counts the country’s current president, Evo Morales, among its members. The reason for you and 3 other Ghosts to be in Bolivia is because of El Sueño, the leader of a powerful Mexican drug cartel called Santa Blanca. Thru extortions, black mail, trafficking, murder and corruption, they are invading and converting Bolivia in a narco state, and only a small but specialized military unit will be able to help the insurgents fight them back. Santa Blanca prides themselves in being a huge organization, and as such, it will be your duty to start digging from the very bottom. You can explore this very big country in any way you wish, but it will be smart to start by collecting intel. Each piece of intel will give you a small portion of info to track one of the “Buchones” (whistle-blowers). Hunting them down will get you closer to more important and powerful criminals within the organization, divided in 4 branches: Influence, Trafficking, Production and Security. Hunt these leaders down and you will be a step closer to El Sueño.
Each branch has their story, and it can get as complex as you are willing to dig and learn. Influence, for instance, is the propaganda machine of the cartel. It’s how Santa Blanca win over the hearts and minds of all the people in the game world, but also how they instill loyalty in their members. Santa Blanca even has its own religion: Santa Muerte. The spiritual leader is an excommunicated Catholic priest named Gustavo Serrano, known by Bolivians as The Cardenal. In his mind, Santa Blanca is not just making money and smuggling drugs. For him, the drug cartel is employing people, building churches, schools, hospitals, running charities, and in return, people are turning against their government. When you add the Security branch, which gives El Sueño access to high-end military equipment, the Trafficking branch and the Production one, you realize you are in a well thought and crafted world full of possibilities.
At the very core, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is an open world, tactical shooter utilizing a third person perspective with an optional First-person view for gun aiming. With that being said, it is pretty easy to guess what kind of gameplay we get: a very similar one to other Ubisoft titles, but with a completely different theme. Playing as part of a elite special operations team, it is quite fun to gather intel, learn about our enemies, tackle them in different ways and to always have the feeling of being us who decide what to do next. For instance, Bolivia has tons of mountains and it is up to us to get on a bike, do the long way trip and help insurgents in our way there, collecting resources, gathering abilities and losing ourselves in side missions, trying to be sneaky and launch coordinated attacks to avoid the alarms. And then there is the other extreme: get on a chopper, flight right into the mission, use your parachute and kill everyone on sight. The game will literally throw at you everything it has to offer: trucks, humble cars, luxury machines, bikes, helicopters, boats, you name it. There are always different ways to get where you need, even fast travel checkpoints.
Another point of difference between Wildlands and previous entries like Advanced Warfighter and Future Soldier is the equipment. This is not a futuristic setting, and as such, a drone to do some reconnaissance is the most advanced piece of equipment you will get. To complement this, pretty much every skill and or equipment can be upgraded. Doing side quests will grant you different type of resources, and with them, you will be able to level up different skills, from personal abilities like being able to run more without getting exhausted, to squad abilities like healing faster, synching more targets at the same time, etc. You will be able to upgrade your drone to tag and attack your enemies, and even level up the insurgents to launch different attacks or simply call them for help in battle. When not completing missions, you can interact, and build friendly or hostile relationships with citizens, officials and the rebels of the world.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands features a huge and wide-open sandbox-style world with a polished gameplay and a seamless co-op that will keep you coming back for more.