Ghost Recon, the name alone reverberates through gaming history as a game that put in the boots of an elite task force sent on some of the most black ops of black ops. The series took a lot of cues from it older brother, Rainbow 6, and infused it into a more heavily military style game set in modern times. Throughout the series long and storied history we have seen a myriad of changes, though some were not always welcomed by the Ghost Recon crowd. Now entering into the first game of the series on current platforms we expected its return to be something big and in my honest opinion, this is by far the biggest shift we have seen in Ghost Recon history.
Gameplay, Concept, and Execution:
These will be the essential keys to the kingdom for Ghost Recon on whether it succeeds or fails and with Ghost Recon taking a lot from what The Division did last year, Ghost Recon Wildlands aims to set itself apart from it in many different ways. From a macro perspective, you could say that Wildlands is just an improved The Division and in some ways that maybe but in all honesty, Wildlands is what The Division should have been. A completely open world where you can tackle objectives, snatch vehicles, and do things the way you want to do them, There is no penalty for attacking a mission any given way but it is advised that you tackle them in a way that will keep you and your three friends, whether A.I or actual people, alive. There is no RPG style hit-point system in place in Wildlands so if you land a headshot with a sniper rifle it is a headshot. Weapons can be customized by finding parts throughout the world so if you like to play one particular way you can custom fit some of your weapons to fit that play style. There is a skill tree implemented into the game which requires not only that you get the points by earning but to use them also requires currency in the form of points that rebels give you for completing missions involving comms disruption, snatch and grab of supplies, S&D, hostage rescue, or just by simply tagging items that the rebels may need. Engagement ranges are as wild as you can imagine and this is where Wildlands really shines. In my playtime with the game I made it my explicit purpose to be any groups dedicated pilot, being as though I am Transport pilot in games like Arma 3 where these are sometimes the most critical part of any operation, and in doing so I added a mobile sniper’s nest to my groups repertoire of skill sets. At all time with the designated person that was to stay on the helicopter with me did my team not have some form of overwatch and if we couldn’t get in optimal range for helicopter overwatch then I and the sniper would find the highest vantage point we could get to get him a proper sight-line without endangering him. I would then proceed to an adjacent sight-line to where we could have a criss-cross fire zone that would effectively help the remaining operatives complete the objective. While I’m on the subject of sniper rifles, prepare to have those skills tested as we will have to account for bullet drop…..that’s right you will have to account for bullet drop, distance traveled and leading of targets if you want to be effective in this game. This game will also be the first in the history of the series to explicitly show some of the atrocities of Narco-terrorists… there will be torture, dismembered bodies, hangings and other things that as a parent myself I would not want anyone under the ESRB recommended age to view.
*(Just an old programmed habit to give that info out regardless of audience.)
As a long time Ghost Recon fan and albeit a Tom Clancy book fan I can finally say that this has the potential to not only bring in some new blood to the series but bring back some of the older crowd as well all the while bringing 3 buddies along for the tactical open world ride. I have enjoyed my time with the closed beta and I can’t wait until launch gets here cause I am ready to dive right back into Bolivia and eliminate El Sueno and the Santa Blanca Cartel piece by tiny piece.
Ghost Recon Wildlands launches March 7th 2017
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