Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands Review

It is not often that I participate in a beta. I am a bit of a snob I spose, but I want to play a game fully finished without the bugs and glitches. I tell you this so you can appreciate it when I tell you I have participated in both the closed and open beta's for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. I have been looking forward to this one for a while and now that I can get my hands on it, let's see if it lives up to not only mine, but everyone's hype.

Set in Bolivia, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands puts you in the boots of a "Ghost". A highly trained operative with specific orders to bring down the Santa Blanca Cartel. Being the highly trained deep cover operative that you are, your orders are clear and they are to bring down the cartel. How you do that is completely up to you.

The Santa Blanca Cartel rules the Bolivian Wildlands, producing huge amounts of cocaine and distributing it throughout North and South America. The cartel has become so powerful and influential that the Bolivian government has made a deal with them. Stop killing our people and we will turn a blind eye. You really are on your own. Officially anyway.
Unofficially you're working with the rebels, a small group of farmers led by a man named Pac Katari, out to claim back their country. They lack the firepower to take on the cartel and corrupt government force by themselves but with your help, they will rise again.

Then we have government themselves, the Unidad Forces. Unidad maintains order and they will tolerate the cartel as long as they are not fighting. Can you use this to your advantage? Only time will tell.

Bringing down the cartel will not be an easy task. Santa Blanca is broken up into four business units. Security, Production, Influence and Smuggling. All of these are overseen by El SueƱo. The only way to get to him is to pull apart his business piece by piece.

Ghost Recon Wildlands blends a few of your favourite game types into one. First person shooter, third person shooter, a massive open world and a skill tree reminiscent of many an RPG. While I was originally sceptical, it works seamlessly.
Wildlands is all about working your way through the regions and taking apart the cartel. As above, it is your choice how you go about it. You are one of a team of four. The other three are either your friends (or match made online) or AI. While human team mates are a little less predictable, when running around with your AI team you have full control and can approach each situation any way that you want.

Want to go in all guns blazing? Then order the team to strike. I have to admit though, nothing is better than the full tactical approach. The AI is amazing to work with, on approach to a target you can order your teammates to hold, or move to an overwatch position. When you get close they start to recon the area, marking targets, getting ready for the next step. You have the option to synchronize your shots with the other team members. A simple pull of the trigger and four bad guys drop, or you can just listen to them and they will give you information on the enemy's movements and when an area is clear.

Going from the third person to first person view is as simple as aiming down sights, pull on the left trigger and you zoom in. If you're not a fan, a simple click on the right stick pulls it back to an over the shoulder third person view.

Character creation, while there is not a great deal of difference in the facial features, there is a huge amount of small features available to you to customise your character. I went with something completely inappropriate for someone trying to be a Ghost, tank top, sunglasses, Mohawk and of course tattoos including a very patriotic sleeve showing off for all to see. But I have to admit I do look pretty awesome though!
Ghost Recon Wildlands looks absolutely stunning. Visually it is not a massive leap from titles available now but it is the little things that makes it stand out. The difference in regions is astounding from wide open plains, to farm land, dense scrub to rolling hills and let's not forget the mountainsides.

Bolivia itself is a living and breathing region that you can tell is under the rule of a dictator whose best interest are his own, not that of the people. People go about their daily lives and will react to you and your team. But remember to check your shots. Take out a civilian and you'll hear all about it.

While playing on your own is fun, where Wildlands really shines is playing in a group with some like-minded friends. The matchmaking works, and works well, but you always run the risk of getting "that" player joining you.
If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it is to listen, just listen to the area around you, listen to your team mates and enjoy the jokes they come up with or stories they tell. Take the world in and enjoy it.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is a game about choices, and the choices lay in your hands and the hands of your team. Each mission, be it main or side can be done in any order, at any time of the day and in any way you see fit.

Get some like-minded friends together get out into the Wildlands and enjoy.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands
Release Date: 7th March 2017
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris

Pat (Snoogan512/Snoogs)

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