Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is an open world tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Paris. It is the tenth instalment in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise and is the first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world environment which is one of the many reasons why I had a lot of fun playing this latest iteration in this long-running franchise.
I’m not usually a fan of shooting games, it’s been years since I’ve gone near a Tom Clancy game but when I got my hands on a Closed BETA code for Wildlands I couldn’t help myself. Especially when one of my best friends was by my side since he too was playing the Closed BETA. The Closed BETA was a lot of fun, there was so much to see, so much to do and it was only one small section of this country-sized map. The world felt alive, the villains were brimming with character, and the gameplay was so much fun especially with my very own wingman battling the baddies. There were issues, of course, animation glitches and the frame rate sometimes dropped but apart from those technical hiccoughs I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I finished the Closed BETA and eagerly awaited the release of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
I’ve been playing it for a few weeks now, and I can say now without a doubt in my mind that Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in recent years. This is due in no small part to the multiplayer aspect. It’s outstanding I’m spending hours with my best friend dishing out justice to the villainous Santa Blanca while we ride on dirt bikes through the streets of drug filled Bolivia. I couldn’t believe the level of detail put into Wildlands, every street corner, every forest, every desert has something to offer the intrepid collector. As I traveled through Bolivia I tried to collect every collectible, every bonus medal and all the intel on offer and Wildlands made it a treat to get them all.
This is how you conquer Santa Blanca, learning about your enemy El Sueño their leader so that you can take him and his colossal drug cartel down. You first go through his lieutenants, eradicating their operations until you are given the opportunity to take him on yourself. And his lieutenants are a mixed bag full of crazy cats; there’s a lot of personality and flair put into these “mini-bosses” and finding intel on them to flesh out their backstories is a lot of fun. The various locales are wonderful, and there are so many ways to reach them. You can fast travel, but where’s the fun in that, or you can steal any vehicle you wish and these range from motorbikes, to jeeps to helicopters and even planes. It offers so many different perspectives and avenues to tackle your various missions and side missions which can range from simply taking down an outpost, finding a target to interrogate or raiding a supply depot.
If there are any problems with Wildlands, it’s that the game feels empty when you don’t have a friend with you. I thoroughly enjoyed taking down the Santa Blanca cartel as my buddy, and I used our various tech and weaponry, but when you’re on your own, it can feel oddly lonely. The “chemistry” with the AI characters is nonexistent, and unfortunately, their clichéd personalities add nothing genuine or meaningful to the story. Apart from that, the story is a lot of fun. The real issues that crop up are on the technical side, the animation issues from the Closed BETA are still present, and there are connection problems that can rip you out of the multiplayer experience.
Ultimately though Wildlands is a hell of a game, filled with a ton of content, brimming with character and just shy of greatness. The technical problems and lack of real originality in the story stop it from being perfect.