Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands First Impressions


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands released yesterday, March 7, 2017, and I’m not all that shocked I’m not liking it very much. It’s like every Ubisoft game from the past few years scrambled in a blender and presented without any source of individuality.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands isn’t like any other Ghost Recon game and that is a bummer. Where Zelda Breath Of The Wild swung for the fences and succeeded, Ghost Recon changes things up for the worse. I played Wildlands for about 6 hours last night and was less than impressed. I didn’t play with friends and will be trying that later this week so if you want to play with me on PS4 add me @brockmclaughlin. I’m not ready to write this game off yet, but man did I not have fun last night.

I’ll say that the visuals are good. They aren’t great. This isn’t Horizon Zero Dawn. This is just a good looking open world that has no load times, which is impressive in an open world setting like this. It’s very reminiscent of Just Cause 3 in terms of look and feel and I HATED that game. I didn’t realize that you could drive cars at first so I ended up walking past the car left for my team and trotting through the forest for 2.4 KMs bored out of my skull. Sure, huge open worlds are great, but if there is nothing there to see or do they aren’t very fun.

Driving feels like a super weird experience. The cars don’t have horns which I find strange especially when NPCS seem to like to walk in the middle of the road. There doesn’t seem to be a penalty for hitting them, however, but are you are penalized when you shoot them. I don’t understand that mechanic. I also don’t understand why there are no crash physics. Why am I not ejected from my car or motorcycle when I hit a tree doing 80mph? I can drive my car off the side of a 100-foot mountain and land intact and keep on driving. I can drive my motorbike as fast as it can go into a mountain and I either slowly fall down or I go up it. I like my Ghost Recon serious, this aspect turns it into a comedy.

Also, I’ve heard so many bad stories and bits of dialogue in my quick run-through from my NPC teammates that I hope they get shot and die. I desperately try running ahead or leaving them behind so I don’t have to hear some dumb story about what goes up a hill with four legs and comes down with three. I never want to hear, “And baby makes 3” ever again please.

The level of detail when designing a person and customizing your clothes and load out is actually pretty good. For a game that is going depend on multiplayer, this is a huge bonus. A lot of the gear is actually cool AF and I spent a lot of time designing my guy. A few things were locked until I got further in the game so I’ll be switching my threads whenever I can.

There seems to be a level of polish missing and the game is pretty ugly in parts. It’s considerably noticeable when you take the helicopter out for a spin. Driving the helicopter is actually pretty fun and a much more enjoyable experience than trying to maneuver one in any Grand Theft Auto game. The controls are wonky however and I haven’t nailed the landing yet.

The AI on Normal difficulty are bullet sponges and I seem to have unlimited health so I’m not too worried about just going in guns blazing. I also am not a fan of the alert system. One enemy spots you and the whole base is notified. It’s hard to gauge where the enemy base starts half the time so you’re always getting screwed.

Flying the drone is fun, but I felt like there was a lot more depth in and options in Watch Dogs 2. The gun mechanics are good as well. When bullets hit your enemies go down as they would in real life.

I can see this game getting incredibly repetitive fast. Perhaps with friends joining in and having some good conversation over beers, I’ll be able to play longer but as it is I’m already bored. Ghost Recon feels like it Franksteined together shitty parts of other Ubisoft games and combined them to make one big open world shitty experience. I’m not sure why Ubisoft felt the need to change Ghost Recon so much. All military tactics are out the window. The 11-year wait doesn’t seem worth it.

A full review will be up later this week unless I fall asleep writing it.

Ubisoft provided me a PS4 copy of Ghost Recon: Wildlands for review.

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin

Brock McLaughlin 🕹 🎮 Twitter @brockmclaughlin New Media (B)Rockstar. Blogger. Video Gamer. Podcaster at the Game Moose. UnBrocxer. Host/Producer at @comedygamers4u. Somewhat Charming.

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