Ghost Recon Games have always been about a group of soldiers conducting covert operations on enemy territories against an army, however, Wildlands sees a slight thematic chance which doesn’t work as well as we hoped.
As the beta starts, Ghost Recon Wildlands tries to convince us that this is a Ghost Recon game. But once the players take control it loses almost all of what makes a property Ghost Recon.
Firstly, let’s talk about the open-world setting of Ghost Recon Wildlands. While it is a welcome change, it was not necessary as it takes the sense of being a ghost out of the game.
Similar to Far Cry and GTA, you end up doing random activities such as driving around and trying run over NPCs. Ghosts on the other hand, they go in stealth, complete their objective in stealth, not openly roam the streets while ramming anything in their path.
The stealth element is put in the background while completing your objective. A linear or at least semi-linear setting would have been far better for the game’s overall design.
Now Ghost Recon Wildlands puts Ghosts against a drug cartel known as Santa Blanca Cartel. The problem with the setting is that Ghost Recon lore have always put Ghosts against an army not some amateur cartel enforcers wielding guns who are too easy to kill in an all-out gunfight.
Of course, you can crank up the difficulty level and harder enemies will cause a problem but combat is relatively easy when compared to previous Ghost Recon games.
The game gives the option to play the either in co-op or solo with three AI-controlled allies. The devs have done a good job about how the player have total control over its AI partners. However, this is also the problem sometimes.
While doing a mission in stealth you can control what and how your AI partners can do but if it is an all-out gunfight against the cartel the AI partners are too dumb to do anything even if they are ordered to eliminate all hostiles.
The only one taking out the hostiles are players while the AI either roams around or just lets us know that all hostiles have been eliminated once the player has taken them all down.
Visually, the Ghost Recon Wildlands is just breathtaking especially on the PC, despite the obvious downgrade that Ubisoft has become known for. The level of detail is just amazing, the guns look good, the environment is just beautiful and I look forward to seeing the rest of the areas in the game as it will feature 11 different eco-system.
The dynamic weather also plays an important role in how the player can approach a certain objective and this is what a Ghost Recon game should be about.
However, that is just not enough to make it a good Ghost Recon Game. If it was a brand new IP from Ubisoft, it would have made sense but giving it the title of Ghost Recon is just disrespecting the franchise’s legacy. The world feels empty and althrough it is a beta the feeling of emptiness doesn’t go away.
Ubisoft needs to be careful when putting the name of Tom Clancy on a property, to fans Tom Clancy name still means something.