Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (“Ghost Recon Wildlands”) is a tactical, open world, third person shooter game developed by Ubisoft. The game is the tenth instalment within the Ghost Recon franchise and is the first to include open world gameplay.
Ghost Recon Wildlands is set in Bolivia at a time where the Santa Blanca, formerly a small time Mexican drug cartel, began to rise in power and influence, making Bolivia one of the largest producers of cocaine in the world. With such power, the Santa Blanca intends to turn Bolivia into a narco-state, with the Santa Blanca ruling in a dictatorship.
When DEA Agent Ricardo “Ricky” Sandoval is kidnapped, tortured and then killed by the Santa Blanca, the United States Army responds by initiating Operation Kingslayer and dispatches an elite special operations unit called “Ghosts” to destroy the cartel and reveal the connection between the Santa Blanca and the local government.
Players play the game as Ghosts and are tasked with dismantling the cartel bit by bit as they work their way up to the leader of the Santa Blanca. Played in an open world setting, in the third person perspective, in either single-player or multiplayer modes, the game feels very similar to the likes of other Ubisoft games like those within the Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed series. Like those games, Ghost Recon Wildlands provides players the opportunity to explore a wide map and complete missions in any way that they choose.
Being the first entry into the Ghost Recon series to feature an open world setting, Ghost Recon Wildlands includes nine different types of terrain and introduces a dynamic weather system as well as a day-night cycle. Gameplay is different during the day in comparison to the night. For example, tackling missions during the day allows players to spot enemies easily whereas night time missions provide players with a tactical advantage, as the night offers better cover. Notably, Ghost Recon Wildlands includes various side missions that previous games in the series did not.
Both the single-player and multiplayer campaigns are similar, with the only real difference being the ability to play with up to 4 friends in multiplayer mode. Single-player mode can feel stale after a few hours with repetitive gameplay wherein players play alongside three non-player characters (NPCs) that can be ordered to carry out certain tasks. Whilst enjoyable at the beginning, at some point players are able to simply play the game by commanding their team to do the ‘dirty’ work and simply relying on them throughout the game. The game is far more enjoyable with friends in multiplayer mode as each player is required to carry out tasks and will need to rely on each other rather than one player sitting back and watching the rest of the team.
Despite being more fun with friends, the repetitive gameplay loop can become tiresome. After a couple of hours, Ghost Recon Wildlands starts to feel rather lacklustre with a rather stale concept and a rinse and repeat game cycle of traveling to new places, carrying out investigations and killing bad guys.
However, while repetitive, I certainly enjoyed the visual graphics of the game, which was stunning. Almost every aspect of the game was visually crisp and clear, providing an almost realistic impression of what such missions would be like in the real world.
Ghost Recon Wildlands is certainly made for multiplayer gaming, however, is nothing original to other open world games. If you are a fan of multiplayer third person shooters and enjoyed the Far Cry series or other Ubisoft titles, you’ll likely enjoy this game. If new maps, varied gameplay and more of a story is what you’re looking for, perhaps give this title a skip.