Ghost Recon: Wildlands – Beta Preview
Ever since its surprise announcement at the 2015 E3, Wildlands has been on my radar. I have always enjoyed the Tom Clancy games and the idea of an open world take on the Ghost’s tactical shooting was one that I found immensely appealing. So I have been watching with eagerness as the Wildlands moved closer to release and now thanks to a closed beta, I have finally gotten my greedy hands on the title. I am glad to say that my eagerness seems to have been rewarded.
The setup for Wildlands is rather basic. I was thrust into the role of a Ghost soldier (of which I could customise quite heavily) and inserted with a team of three others into the South American country of Bolivia. Bolivia it seems has come under the control of a corrupt military and a nasty drug cartel and it was my team’s job to disable and undermine that control. Apart from that I purposely avoided any story cutscenes so I could enjoy them fully upon the game’s release.
The setup might be simple but the gameplay is anything but. Wildlands feels like a natural progression of the previous Ghost Recon games but at the same time, there are elements from other Ubisoft titles such as Far Cry and The Division. This all comes together to create an exciting game of tactical combat that gave me a plethora of options on how to approach each encounter. The game gives the impression that it is a straight up action title but rushing in is a short road to death. Scoping the battlefield is essential and Wildlands gave me a handy drone to do just that. Using the drone I could mark enemies and plan my attacks with precision, precision that is needed for successful infiltrations. There is a wonderful joy to plotting the perfect attack and getting in and out of an enemy base with a minimum of fuss. It is really the biggest drawcard from my time with the game.
I am playing the beta on PC and I must say it looks wonderful. The mountains and villages of Bolivia are thoroughly impressive, with a wonderful attention to detail evident in all areas of the game. The audio is also well designed with satisfying weapon sounds and background noises that fit well with the setting. I did come across a few instances of frame rate stuttering but that could well be that I need to tweak the graphical settings or just a small problem with the beta.
The only problem I forsee with Wildlands is whether the game can hold my interest for a long period. I worry that it will get repetitive and not offer enough variety to make it a must finish title. From what I have played each of the mission types and side activities are all very similar, so while I am enjoying them immensely I would hate to think that they are the only types of challenges the game has to offer. This question, sadly, won’t be answered until the game is released next month.
From my time with the game, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is looking like it will be an entertaining new entry in Tom Clancy lore. It has wonderful combat, an amazingly detailed open world and some stunning design in both the visual and audio departments. Sadly I haven’t been able to play the game in multiplayer mode as yet but, as is usually the case, I imagine the game would be even better with three friends along for the ride. As long as Ubisoft have some more variety in mission types up their sleeve there is no reason that this will not be another huge hit for the publisher.