Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is back to a modern day setting. It’s Ubisoft’s another take on the open world formula. With features currently announced, the expectations are high.
To say that The Division was a downer is to say nothing. When I’m writing this preview, the post-apocalyptic shooter from Ubisoft Massive received two expansions and several major updates, and still isn’t as satisfying as it was expected to be. With Ubisoft announcing another open world shooter, this time developed by the Paris team, the risk of failure is much higher. But confident marketing and some interesting gameplay ideas are surely in favor of Wildlands.
Welcome to Bolivia
It’s a tactical shooter, to be specific, and you play as a member of special operations unit, the Ghosts. They are elite soldiers prepared to work in ever-changing conditions. You’ll travel to Bolivia, the biggest open world that Ubisoft has ever created. During your missions you’ll visit various cities, outposts and structures located in mountains, forests or even salt flats. The main trouble Bolivia faces is the Santa Blanka drug cartel, which is led by a dozen or so bosses. To exacerbate the situation a bit, those criminals are supported by Unidad, a local military force on the cartel’s payroll.
It’s important to mention that you will have a lot of freedom both in choosing your mission and planning the strategy for a specific tasks. As various side quests are also available, you’ll gather intel on your targets – information on their whereabouts, additional maps etc. One of the bosses heavily represented in the gameplays is El Pozolero or “Stew Maker”, as he is called. The criminal is responsible for over three hundred deaths in the last year and he’s famous for putting people in drum barrels, which he fills with caustic soda: sodium hydroxide. An interesting strategy, as after 24 hours nothing’s left. No bodies, no proof, you might say.
There’s a day-night cycle with a dynamic weather system, but you’ll appreciate more than only the aesthetics. Your team has to behave differently depending on the time of day and other circumstances. During daytime it’s much easier to notice enemies and mark them for teammates. Night missions are better for stealth approach, especially if there’s a storm (remember about dragging enemies out of sight!). We should all remember that enemies behave differently in the morning and during nights – it doesn’t always mean that they are sleeping and additional patrols might be on the way! Night time is also the moment to destroy generators to turn off the lights and alarms. It’s your choice, as always, as the enemies won’t be able to call the reinforcements, but will stay more vigilant.
Our characters are fully customizable. It’s still unconfirmed if our outfit will impact how easily we are noticed by enemies. More than 50 weapons are available, each with hundreds of attachments. Different “ballistics model with piercing, dispersion and bullet drop” were mentioned, but from what I can tell after watching gameplay videos it’s more a marketing slogan than Wildlands being a realistic, hardcore shooting simulation.
Drones are at disposal for all teammates. You can equip them with thermal vision to mark enemies at night. Other upgrades include an EMP pulse to deactivate electronics, a noise generator and high explosives. Be careful – if you come to close, drones get noticed and guards will blow the whistle.
Sync shot feature makes a return and you are able to assign targets to yourself and your team. Fear not, you don’t have to play Wildlands in co-op if you wish – during solo play you’ll be supported by AI teammates with the ability to direct them with simple orders.
- More than 60 types of vehicles exist in virtual Bolivia. That includes helicopters, motorcycles, ATVs and dune buggies. A lot of ways to travel fast and get to your destination.
- There are rebels fighting Santa Blanka cartel – a faction called Kataris 26. Sometimes you’ll be able to free them and grant yourself a distraction.
- And concerning distractions: C4, landmines, frag, flash and diversion grenades are at your disposal. Suit yourself!
- Sometimes your actions will change how the world works. If you kill a leader of a gang, it might happen that two factions will start fighting. As presented in the videos, there are at least three outcomes of White Hat’s Drug Lab mission, one being the boss killed by his own people.
If you preorder the game, you’ll receive access to an additional mission – The Peruvian Connection. At the time of writing this preview details are scarce with only a small synopsis: “Travel to the high mountains of Bolivia to break the deadly alliance between the Santa Blanca and the Peruvian cartels.”