Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands Hands-on Preview – Massive Ambition
It’s time to save the country from the cartel.
If there’s one thing Ubisoft understands it’s how to make a game massive. That’s exactly what their next game unleashes in the largest open world game ever created by the teams at Ubisoft with Ghost Recon: Wildlands. With many different scenarios to play out, some of the most ruthless enemies out there, and a land to bring back from the brink, this title is more than just a massive open world, it’s one of the most ambitious games I’ve ever seen from Ubisoft.
Think of a massive world where you can take on mission after mission by running in with your rifle and taking out the enemies by slashing, shooting or some form of tech. Sure, there are a lot of games like that out there, but none so diverse and open as Wildlands. In Wildlands you’ll be in a squad of four spec-ops surging the country of Bolivia and trying to free the country from the evil Mexican cartel who’ve somehow managed to take the country over and turn it into a narcotics state.
What was introduced at the E3 show floor demo was an enemy named El Sueño, a particularly nasty fellow who created the Santa Blanca cartel and brought it power in Bolivia. At the start of the game, you quickly realize that when you are playing with three real life partners alongside you, it becomes very important to communicate. Yes, this game can be played in solo mode, but for the sake of demoing the game, we had a chance to play with an entirely real team.
"The drone is a great tool and it can be expanded upon later in the game."
Ubisoft balanced the game so no one person within multiplayer co-op is more important than the other. We each had a job to do whether that be extracting prisoners, distracting guards, racing through deserts on vehicles, or shooting up the enemies in deadly silence; no one person can go out and take everything down while his/her friends sit behind and watch the dust settle.
As we approached enemy territory far into the desert, we hopped out of our vehicles, pulled out our drones and researched the entire facility below a canyon. The drone is a great tool and it can be expanded upon later in the game. But for the demo we were able to scout out enemy locations and key points of interest; that gave us an advantage of being able to take the forces down in a smart way rather than heading in blind, gun blazing and not knowing where anyone was coming from.
Two teammates on sniper watch in a tower, one rescuing hostages, and one on ground infiltrating the campsite. Timed sniping with a partner to take out multiple targets from far away was a very important part to let the other members of the squad dig deeper into the facility. Realizing that this game takes place in an ultra-realistic setting, you aren’t going to find many unbelievable moments within this game. In fact, Ubisoft have stated that the weapons are all real military-style rifles. Don’t expect energy weapons or some crazy contraptions. Everything I saw exists in today’s time. From the two weapons I was holding, my assault rifle and sniper rifle, they both felt as though they were balanced very well and accurate.
"The dirt glistened from the sun’s rays from above to give it than shimmering effect that sand often has. Some very minor moments like those really brought out a new level of realism."
After figuring out who needs to take control of which situations, such as shooting the remainder of the enemies, freeing the last of the hostages, and collecting vehicles, everyone rushed to one of several vehicles outside of the facilities outskirts to make our way out. We completed our operation pretty smoothly with little sacrifice.
Some other noticeable moments within the demo was the attention to detail. Even when just roaming through the desert — and yes, there is way more than just desert in this game — I found the beauty of the desert plants swaying in the wind pleasant. The dirt glistened from the sun’s rays from above to give it than shimmering effect that sand often has. Some very minor moments like those really brought out a new level of realism.
What I took from Wildlands is more ambition than originality. It played fine, it did everything it was supposed to do with no hiccups I could attest to. But when we were asked to go to the map, zoom out and see our characters were nothing more than specks on a overly abundant map, it felt as though maybe size was more important than originality at that point.
However, that is of little matter. The game played well, and it’s impossible to judge the game at this point until we get our hands on the final product. But I will be waiting and researching and hoping this game is every bit as great as Ubisoft wants it to be.