With an impressive string of games under their belt already, it was going to be a big task to wow fans of Tom Clancy’s titles with a new game that exceeds all others. Now is the time for us all to get a taste of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
I have played a number of games under the banner of Tom Clancy but none were as enjoyable as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and I have been excited about the release of Wildlands since its announcement.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is based in Bolivia 2019, a much smaller step into the future in contrast to previous titles of the series. Your objective within the game is to take down the drug cartel piece by piece and in any way that you choose. This has been made possible with the open world map. A first for the series, this allows the players to prioritise missions or travel anywhere they wish at any time. The main feature of this is timing, for example, players might want to wait until night time to start a mission which would maximise your stealth attack. Alternatively, you could wait until day time to storm a base with full-noise gunfire, the choice is yours and it is something that really makes this game stand out above the rest.
Similarly, you have the freedom of travelling in a number of vehicles. These can range from dirt bikes, cars, helicopters, boats, and planes. I have even found tractors and a front-end loader which was fun for a bit of carnage. That seems to be one of the key points for this game, true freedom to play how you please. If you want to step away from the story missions, there are a vast number of side quests that you can do which can reward you with extra equipment or levels that can be used to customise your equipment or unlock advancements to your character and team.
There are a number of abilities that have carried over from previous titles which include the drone and sync shot. These can be very effective and are regularly used by myself whenever approaching an area or base with multiple enemies. The drone allows you to mark targets within the area so you can plan your assault with maximum effect and hopefully minimal detection. Further expansion of the drone can allow extra features to assist you as well. The other feature that I especially like, is the sync shot. When fully unlocked, this enables you to “tag” 3 enemies for your team mates to target whilst you target another. Once you fire your weapon, the others will fire as well. This means you can take out a group of 4 at once when you normally would not be able to. This feature also works when playing with your friends which is great.
Completion of side quests is something I tend to do fairly early as it can help you accessing more advanced equipment, also it keeps me entertained whilst trying not to complete a game too quickly. Another perk of completing these is that it helps out the local rebels. These rebels can also help with your assaults in the form of extra fighters, mortar drops and more. They can be the difference between victory or failure, however you are not required to use them if you don’t want to, but just knowing they have your back if needed is reassuring. Aside from the side missions, you can also gain their support by marking select objects throughout the map. These can be fuel/oil drums, weapons caches, or fuel convoys which you have intercepted.
I am really enjoying Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, however there are some things that have not been as good as I would have liked. The cars don’t seem to feel quite right, whether it is a weight thing, I’m not sure. However, I appreciate that this is not a car racing game and that it still passes due to it not being too bad. The helicopters are a different story. Being the quickest way to travel from point to point, it is one I gravitate to, but controlling them is not great. It took me a while to figure it out but even after all the time I have spent playing, there is not a single trip that doesn’t have a near-death experience. The biggest problem I have encountered is the enemy detection system. You may know that you can hide prone in the grass or hidden behind an object to avoid detection. This generally works well, however if you shoot someone and another enemy hears it, they will instantly fire directly at you when realistically, they would not be able to see you or have known where the shot came from and yet, before you know it, you already have bullet holes in you.
Graphics and Sound
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is stunning to look at. The open world map is huge and amazingly detailed, I have taken a break from the action a number of times just to see what I can find. You could be travelling through bush land to come across a clearing and find NPC’s tending to crops or a windmill in a field. The level of detail is amazing. The characters look very good and lip sync is spot on. Despite being in the middle of a large gunfight, I did not notice any drops in frame rate, stuttering or clipping of any sort.
When it comes to sound, I was equally impressed. The variety of weapons and vehicles have individual sounds, the environmental ambience is very impressive and the voice acting is great. I especially liked how random NPC’s will just have random conversations, your AI team mates will chat away and even tell a joke, I loved that part.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is both a single-player and a multiplayer game. You are able to be playing alone and have a friend join your game seamlessly which is really impressive. The added advantage, other than being more sociable, is working together to achieve your tasks. You can co-ordinate your attack by approaching from different angles or travel together and have each other’s back. It is a great way to play the game, and one I’d recommend if you can. Alternatively, you can be playing within the same game and be in completely different areas of the map.
As for PVP, currently this is not available but will be released post-launch. If it is anything as good as Future Soldier, it will be one that I’ll be looking forward to playing.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands feels like a combination of Ghost Recon and Farcry, the best of both games mashed into one. It is a great experience, whether playing the story or customising your own assault throughout the map, there is always something you can do whenever and however you want to do it. I’d recommend any Ghost Recon or Tom Clancy fans to ensure they get this game as well as invite any fans of shooter games to give it a go.