XBF Spotlight: Ghost Recon Wildlands
Just when you had all gone and forgotten about Ubisoft’s other big white hope the awesome looking Ghost Recon Wildlands goes and drops the mother of all trailers to put it back front and centre in the 2016’s release schedule. For those who have forgotten or simply missed the handful of trailers that have made it out of Ubisoft Wildlands is a departure from the traditional Ghost recon universe and instead of another Advanced Warfighter game a series I always really enjoyed we have something altogether different this time around.
Wildlands takes your Ghost Squad out of the urban areas the series is so famous for and sticks you right slap bang in the jungle. That’s not the only big change Ghost Recon has gone all open world on us with a mission structure more akin to Far Cry than previous games and Ubisoft have claimed Wildlands is on the largest games they have ever published. You’re free to tackle the missions in whatever order you like and Ubisoft have gone to great lengths to make the game world feel not only full and rich but to change depending on your actions.
The game is set in Bolivia and pits your team of operators against the well-armed Santa Blanca drug cartel than effectively controls large areas of the country. Objectives are yours to tackle in whatever order you like and how you do it is up to you. Options are available to go all guns blazing, stealth or a mixture of both and you even get a choice how you arrive at the objective. Fancy parachuting from a helicopter into the area? You can do that or drive in the choice is yours to make but every action in Wildlands has a consequence.
It’s a sandbox and ours to fuck with however we want.
Outside of the main objective you’re free to explore the sandbox and interact with the various NPC’s that you encounter. Winning the hearts and minds of the native population will hopefully be key to the success of your overall mission much like real counter revolutionary warfare. These interactions will impact the game world and directly impact your objectives and missions. By taking out one Cartel you may unintentionally increase the power of another and damage the local village’s dependant on the drugs trade. If handled well by the developers this approach could help build a really immersive game world.
Previous games in the series were set in the near future and as such had some pretty nifty technology on show. My personal favorite was the Cross-Com system that allowed you to control and view the surrounding of your squad mates. This most likely will not be there this time around but not to worry it’s been built from the ground up for 4 player drop in cooperative play and there are still plenty of cool toys to play with. Drones will be a key part of the game enabling your team to recon areas, tag enemies and even take them out from a distance.
Action is still very much at the heart of Wildlands it’s still a tactical third person shooter but it looks and feels more like a modern evolution of what was really a series that thrived on the Xbox 360. Taking it forward into the Open World genre really makes sense and fits this generation much better. The Series can grow and grow on more powerful hardware with an immersive and responsive game world to enjoy.
As you would expect from a modern action game there is a standard upgrade system in place that enables you to upgrade your skills, customise your character and loot enemies for equipment. Unlike The Division which is a by the numbers RPG with HP and a deep looting system I don’t expect that sort of depth with Wildlands at least not to the point of grinding the game to get better gear. Cosmetic upgrades, armour and such like will probably all be handled in the standard well rehearsed way and no mentions yet of any micro transactions or DLC.
Release date is scheduled for Q4 2016 barring any delays of course. It’s certainly looking good for the most part and a game I’m really looking forward to seeing more of in the coming weeks and months.