Some games don’t reinvent themselves and future sequels start to feel the same after a while. This isn’t the case for the Ghost Recon series as it has managed to change its formula multiple times to great effect.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is the newest iteration of the series and it has changed for the better. This time, the game is an open-world playground and it has the biggest map that the franchise has ever seen.
Before the release of Wildlands, the Ghost Recon series featured traditional style levels where you need to go from point A to point B. The level design was also pretty small offering a more linear approach.
All that confinement has been thrown out the window as Wildlands allows you to travel the way you want to. You can even tackle missions in any way you want to. You don’t always have to rush through the front door all of the time.
In Wildlands, you can search the outskirts of Bolivia which has been divided into 21 sub-sections. Each sub-section is big in itself featuring roads, enemy bases and more. Due to the diverse terrain, this game allows you to explore the massive landscape in a variety of different vehicles that are on offer.
My favourite part of the game is driving all of the vehicles. You can drive cars, boats, bikes, helicopters to even planes and everything is playable. I don’t think I have encountered any vehicle in this game that was off limits to the player. Every vehicle is playable and this makes exploring in the game very fun.
That being said though, the game is best played if you are able to acquire a plane or helicopter though. There are times that the game gets annoying if you crash and you are stranded in the middle of nowhere. Sure there is infinite fast travel to hideouts, but driving long distances can sometimes get tedious after a while.
Still, the open-world elements make storming enemy bases really fun. Unlike a game like Call of Duty where the enemies always see you, here in Ghost Recon Wildlands you have more options to tackle missions. You can stealthily take out enemies without being seen, or you can parachute from above and take them out that way if you want to.
If the enemy base allows it, you can even drive in with a jeep and shoot everybody with a turret. You also have access to a drone where you can target enemies and let your partners take them out. Speaking of partners, the A.I. in this game is pretty good as they are very helpful.
Unlike A.I. in other games, your partners are good at shooting enemies and will always revive you when you get shot. You can also tell them to hide or shoot whenever you want to as well. To make things even more fun, you can cooperate with up to three other players online. Co-op online is fun, although make sure you communicate well because missions can be troublesome if you have unreliable partners!
Another thing I like about this game is that there is no mandatory online connection needed to play this game. Ubisoft has made most of its recent games to be connected online at all times, even if you want to play by yourself. Due to the bad weather, my internet was down for 24 hours, but I was still able to play Ghost Recon Wildlands. Sure I wasn't able to partner up with people online, but the A.I. isn't a bad alternative.
It's worth mentioning there is no PvP mode available for the game at launch. Ubisoft says a free update will be available later this year that will add a PvP mode where you can face up against enemy teams. It could be fun whenever it will be released.
Gameplay wise, this game offers tons of missions and side-missions for you to undertake. Each territory in this game is controlled by a head honcho and you have to take them out to take back control of the region. You can also find lots of collectibles to improve your equipment such as adding a grenade launcher or scope to your guns.
Despite having lots of missions, this game tends to feel slightly repetitive the more you play it. The mission structure starts to feel the same and it repeats itself. It's like you drive to a location to find intel, then you drive to another place to find more evidence. After that, you storm a base to kill/capture a head honcho and then you do it all over again.
The missions may lack variety, but the environment of Bolivia offers a lot of diversity. The graphics in this game are excellent as you will see lush forests, islands to even snowy mountains. It can be fun just looking around to see how realistic the environments look.
Anyway, Ghost Recon Wildlands is without a doubt one of the best Ubisoft video games I have played recently. It's far more enjoyable than The Division and it's fun to play this game with a group of friends online. The only flaw that mainly holds the game down is that it needed to have more mission variety.