The following review is our own work, and as such squarely falls into our own copyright rules. Any pictures or videos shown in this beta review that do not belong to us, will be clearly cited.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Oh boy, where to begin this review? I could tell you that for all intents and purposes it’s not far off the E3 teasers, and Ubisoft YouTube channels initial offerings; but really I can’t owing to a good and sound mind. I could tell you that the beta shows that the developer has learnt some key lessons from its previous release ‘The Division’ But again I’d be conflicted. All I can really do be honest on this one, and I suspect that other than the general game players out there; the fanboys are going to be pissed.
The Bolivian Tourist Board Presents
Let me set the scene for the whole game here (Spoilers), you are a covert team of US Special Forces aka ‘The Ghosts’ you are sent to Bolivia to dismantle the Santa Blanca Cartel, who are responsible for the death of an American Agent, you also have to contend with the Military who seem to be out for themselves. And that’s pretty much it, I shudder to say this; it seems a little Division story wise.
The picture that gets painted throughout the Beta is that the Bolivian government in order to stop the cartel from killing everyone, just turned around and said ‘If you stop the killing, we’ll turn a blind eye’. Now this is not a good representation of a sovereign nation, or its government; Come to Bolivia, Drug Cartel’s more than welcome’.
Having said the above, the story I suspect will be a little more ‘fleshed’ out by the time of release on Tuesday. It’s not a bad story, just feels rushed.
I’m torn over how to approach this, there are a number of really cool points that came through during my play through. So let’s have some bullet points..
- The character creation is a step up from ‘The Division’ You have a lot more depth to create your Avatar.
- The Armoury is a good mix, your starting gear is more than enough to do what you need to do.
- Story Missions are meaty, multi-part, and can get complicated if you don’t keep your wits about you.
- Weather, sweet Jesus the weather; I thought winter in New York was amazing.
- The game changes when it gets dark, meaning a stealth element emerges.
- Combat Mechanics are charged, when you aim you see down the sights, the enemy will try and take advantage; it makes a change from the dopey AI in ‘The Division’
- Finally, the game world itself; it’s all of Bolivia…
The rub aka ‘Bad Bits’
I’m not going to lie, it’s not perfect by any means even though it was Beta. There were too many moments that smelt too much like ‘The Division’ So time for a few bullet points.
- Vehicle Mechanics were in essence, defying the laws of physics, even for a video game. That said the Suzuki Hi-Jet clone handled like expected; top-heavy.
- The AI is a huge question mark as both the enemy and your own AI team mates seemed to be a bit ‘Special’.
- Ubisoft hopefully will fix the cover mechanics prior to release as they were broken, and seemed nothing more than an after thought.
- Side Missions eventually became boring, and repetitive; even hunting for new gear became a ball ache.
- The bullet drop for the Sniper Rifles is a bit like the vehicles; physics defying.
- Don’t listen to the radio, it’s basically your local radio aimed idiots.
- When you crash something, car or helicopter… You are fine and made of Asbestos.
Conclusion and Rating
I’m truly torn over this game, it’s perfect in respects to other ‘Ghost Recon’ games, but at the same times you can tell that the same people who developed ‘The Division’ had a hand in this one. The movements, combat, feel just screams ‘Dollar Flu’ at me. I want to like this game, I want to hype it but honestly I’m struggling. The lessons that Ubisoft should have learnt from’The Division’ just haven’t been, it has the style, the ability, but yet screams Double A title being held up as a Triple A; Ubisoft need to show it’s fans something different, something finished and polished.
The below is a bit of footage from a fellow beta player Ben Salter on YouTube, it gives you a bit of look.
In the same respect though, it’s brilliant in concept and execution as it fits the bill for the new open game style that Ubisoft want to promote. The game world although not on par with ‘Witcher 3’ is still impressive, its vast, unforgiving, and crawling with bad guys. It’s got potential to have a decent longevity, as long as the DLC is worth the price.
So what do we think? Well we give the beta a 6/10, with the potential full release score being the same. I suppose just like ‘The Division’ it’s a bit of ‘wait and see’ especially over the coming months. We wait with baited breaths here at Castle Flintlock.