Take down the Bolivian Cartel with your friends while enjoying a graphically stunning backdrop.
Whether you’re a fan of Breaking Bad or Narcos, the rise of entertainment examining the South American drug trade and cartels has certainly experienced somewhat of an upswing. Following that trend is the latest in Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series, Wildlands.
After two captivating cinematic trailers the player is immediately let loose into the open world created by Ubisoft. This fictional recreation of Bolivia contains 20 Provinces, creating one of the biggest open world maps to date (excluding MMOs). I spent 3 hours alone in the starting province just exploring and discovering loot crates, resources and unlocks. If you’re looking for in-game exploration, Wildlands will do it for you.
When playing single player mode your AI teammates will provide ample banter to entertain you on long drives (did I mention the game map was massive?). In combat they’re usually helpful, spotting enemies you might have missed or snagging a flanking enemy. However, when it comes to stealth it’s a no from me. They do not hide well from enemies. In fact most of the time they will stand so close to the enemy that they could be holding hands. This will either leave you laughing at the situation, or angry for how stupid the AI actually is.
Once you replace the AI with actual friends, however, Ghost Recon Wildlands really comes into its own. I jumped in with a couple of friends and cranked the difficulty settings up to extreme (ed’s note: you monster). Well, the difficulty setting are definitely well scaled and the multiple hours of gameplay that followed were pretty satisfying. Exploring the beautiful map and its different provinces was a great experience, with each province having its own “feel” and difficulty rating.
Having reliable teammates enabled a multitude of new tactics we could use to complete missions, however, we soon realised after the second or third province that gameplay can feel a bit repetitive. Your mission is almost always blowing up drugs or weapons, hacking or photographing for information, or interrogating a target. Having said that, the problem is easily solved by chopping and changing up your plans and roles within your team to experience things differently.
A couple of difficult components to Ghost Recon Wildlands are the vehicle mechanics. The physics of driving and flying are not entirely realistic and it will take you some time to get used to. Land vehicles are very forgiving if you make a mistake (which you undoubtedly will – the roads feel like black ice), and you can get away with just about anything.
Aircraft will take a lot longer to get the hang of, with the mechanics of flying a helicopter in this game differing from the standard control mechanics you might be used to. Once you get used to the controls, however, it becomes second nature. Meaning you can sit back, enjoy the gorgeous map and decide who to attack next.
My advice. Make the most of Ghost Recon Wildlands’ multiplayer co-op experience. Roaming around Bolivia taking out bad guys is a lot more fun with your friends than with the game’s AI. If you’re a fan of games like Far Cry 3 and 4 you’ll undoubtedly have a good time with GRW.