I’m pleased to welcome avid gamer, Richard to Reads & Reels today!
Pleased and proud! Richard hails from a household of gamers (mine). Not only is he a talented gamer, he also happens to be my son. He will soon be launching a series of videos where you can watch live game play and tutorials. I’ll keep you posted.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (Release Date: March 7, 2017)
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is an open world tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Paris. The game was released on March 7, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as the tenth installment in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise and is the first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world environment.
Do you like guns? Do you like recklessly driving cars in places you shouldn’t? Do you like to “accidentally” cause the death of one of your friends? Well, as long as you’re okay with doing that just in video games, then you are in luck!
A Mexican Cartel called, “The Santa Blanca Cartel” have taken up residence in Bolivia. They’ve taken control of their coca farms and plants (the coca plant is cultivated for the drug cocaine). Having paid off government officials and the police, they essentially have free reign over the country. Never fear! Enter “The Ghosts” a squadron of four american operatives, including you, the player character, who will root out and find the members of the cartel, take it down and liberate the country.
Let’s just rip the band-aid off and get through the worst part first…The story. It’s awful, bland, and probably the only reason to not buy and play this game.
Once you are dropped off in Bolivia you can do whatever the heck you want. In fact, you can spend hours playing the game without even touching the story, and have more than enough fun to make the game worthwhile. The only reason I say “it’s probably the only reason I could give…” is if you are a person who needs a story to follow, and needs to know what makes your character tick, you’re going to be disappointed. Your character is a “sir yes sir” kind of dude, who follows orders and has a strict moral code. Annnd that’s all there is to say about him, and his friends. Thankfully, the game makes up for it in a lot of other ways.
You see your character from a third person view 90% of the game (over the shoulder) and the only time this changes is when you aim down the sights of your gun. Roaming through the provinces of Bolivia in an open world, in a totally non-linear game, is a riot!
Navigating your way through gets easy, real quick. With a fast travel system and easy access to vehicles at all times, you will get to where you want to go. Your HUD is super helpful and player friendly, hardly taking up much room on the screen, but still giving you all the information you would need to progress smoothly. The map is accessible at any time during the game, and provides you with an outline of each province, and its level of difficulty stemming from 1-5. With and incredible arsenal of guns and vehicles at your disposal, this is definitely a “play your” kind of game.
I feel like we gotta talk about this one for a bit. We’ve got Assault Rifles (21), Sub Machine Guns (14), Light Machine Guns (8), Sniper Rifles (14), Shotguns (6), and Handguns, (13) with 3 of them being compact SMG’s. That’s a total of 76 weapons! And you are able to have 3 equipped at once. Two primary weapons, and one handgun. That’s a lot of combinations, and a lot of play styles to work with.
You want to get up close and personal? Find yourself a shotgun or SMG. Yeah that’s right, find yourself. Guns and their accessories are conveniently scattered throughout Bolivia, and once you find it, it’s yours forever. Unfortunately, picking up a gun off a dead enemy doesn’t count as finding it, which was kind of a bummer when I discovered this.
The game does not expect you to walk from one side of the province to the other. With over a dozen different provinces that’s a lot of ground to cover, which is why we get vrooms and zooms.
You wanna go fast? My personal favorite, the Lamborghini, isn’t the most common car to find, but it’s there. And let me tell you, when you find a clearing, You. Are. Gone. If speed isn’t your thing and you like to enjoy the scenery and drive carefully, (that’s kinda lame) maybe you can just snag a jeep or a minivan? I dunno you’ll find something. But, when you need to get down to business and kick some cartel ass, you’ll also find some armored vehicles with mounted guns too. That’s a ton of fun! And oh yeah, HELICOPTERS AND PLANES??? FLY? PARACHUTE? WHAT? Yeah, one of my favorite things about the game is piloting a chopper or plane, then bailing out without telling your friends! You will catch a few of them browsing the map, or changing their loadout, and have them come back to the game only to find that they’re 30 feet off the ground in a crashing plane (Ha). Also, Barrel Rolls.
To Co-op or not to Co-op:
In a word, yes. To be more precise, HELL YES! Not everything has to be tactical espionage action, “Solid Snake” lurking in the shadows, sometimes you wanna gather your friends, and mess things up together. Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly satisfying clearing an entire base without anyone being seen. And it can be done, with proper planning and co-ordination. Ubisoft did and amazing job of rewarding players for patience and planning.
They’ve also included the “Arcade” difficulty setting, which allows you to stand in the middle of five enemies and survive. But yeah, stealth is good, use it. On the other hand, playing co-op also lets you do fun stuff like; run over your friends, blow up your friends, run over your friends, and lets not forget, blow up your friends. Half of my time on Ghost Recon is spent thinking of and acting out ways to kill my friends, which, when put that way, sounds incredibly sadistic. I promise, I love cat pictures and memes as much as the next guy, but it’s oddly satisfying watching your buddy get into a car you know you’ve rigged with explosives, and blowing them sky-high when they least expect it.
Co-op is what takes Wildlands from a good game, to a great game.
At the end of the day, if you like shooting things, driving/ flying things, and playing like a ninja, this game is absolutely for you. It wouldn’t be fair of me however, to neglect mentioning the main drawback. Ubisoft has once again outdone themselves with their match-making/ online issues. It can be difficult at times, to connect to some friends, but it’s getting better, and I hope it continues to improve.
All in all, I love this game and will be playing it for a while. I suggest you do too.
Thanks for reading!