Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands wasn’t on my radar when it was announced at E3 2015. It wasn’t until I took part in the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege beta back in 2015 and one of my squad mates, Bubble4life9, asked me if I was going to get it. Since I had just been killed by a suicide bomber and was waiting to respawn, I quickly pulled up the trailer on YouTube, and fell in love. Squad based, third-person, open world AND I get to be a sniper? Oh, hell yeah!
So you can probably imagine my surprise when I received an email from Ubisoft inviting me to participate in the Wildlands’ closed beta. I’ve participated in open betas before: Rainbow 6 Siege, The Division; but this would be my first closed beta. So, Thursday night, I set my alarm for 7:00 AM Friday and got ready to play.
One thing I dislike about a beta is the lack of content. So it was no great surprise I was disappointed after completing the entire single player campaign and repeating the side missions three times in a little less than six hours. Yes, I know, Wildlands is a multiplayer game, but still — I wanted to play the single player side as well.
Jumping into multiplayer and not seeing my “Tom Clancy” group (Firing at Will, Reaping Raven, Bubblez4life9, and ReikoPanda),I joined a public server with some random gamers. UGH! I don’t know why it is, but 99% of the time, I get stuck with some group of dumbasses. This was not that 1%. Over and over I ended up with teammates who wanted to run and gun instead of snipe and stealth. (Much to my dismay, my microphone was on when I thought it was off and my teammates didn’t appreciate me calling them “dumbass” and “idiot” – believe me, being killed by your own teammates and then having them teabag you while you watch is NOT a pretty sight).
As a member of a covert Ghost team, you’ve been dropped into Bolivia to secretly destroy the Santa Blanca drug cartel: destroying bases and taking out regional leaders. As you play the game, your character gains experience, which allows you to unlock everything from extra health to skills, like the ability to use a parachute or increase the range and battery power of your drone. Your progression also allows you to upgrade the local militia if you call them in for back-up. Personally, I hated the militia. I prefer the stealth, and every time I started silently killing members of the cartel, the damn militia would roll in and screw everything up! While some gamers might like running into a cartel camp guns blazing, I think it takes away from Ubisoft’s intended gameplay experience and, to be honest, makes it more difficult to complete the missions.
All in all, my only real complaint about the game, something Ubisoft could easily fix, is the same complaint I have had with Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 (also Ubisoft games): the driving mechanics. Please Ubisoft, PLEASE, either partner up with Criterion Games, Rockstar North, or just freaking hire some coders that understand driving! Other than that, Wildlands is everything Ubisoft promised us and I am just as excited today as I was the first time I heard of it.