Review – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
Tom Clancy’s name has been attached to a lot of military games over the years, but Ghost Recon Wildlands is an outlier in that – while it’s yet another military title heavy on shooting action – it doesn’t have the focus on realism that past games, particularly those sporting the Ghost Recon brand, have had.
Wildlands features a realistic setting in modern-day Bolivia, and – in many ways – it’s an awful lot like past Tom Clancy games. A squad of soldiers take on a variety of missions using whatever method of approach seems to suit the player’s style the most. Tasked with getting hold of intel gamers can either stealthily infiltrate the base, taking out only those guards they have to, or hit the front gate with the flaming wreck of a truck and gun down everything that moves.
Where this differs from past titles is that it leans far more toward ‘fun’ than ‘real’ when it comes to the gameplay. Enemies tend to not notice the disappearance of their partners, for example, which helps when using the ‘sync shot’ – where the player and up to three real or AI (artificial intelligence) teammates can synchronize their gunfire to eliminate multiple enemies at one time. So long as a patrolling guard can’t see the body, they seem unable to remember someone SHOULD be on guard in that location.
There are also heavy concessions made towards the AI teammates and their inability to keep up when players commandeer a vehicle. Wait long enough and they’ll usually climb aboard anything that has the room to hold them, but if players aren’t patient enough simply driving far enough will teleport them into the vehicle.
Gamers will need to use vehicles, as the map pack some serious real estate. This recreation of Bolivia might not be exactly 1:1 but opening the map and zooming all the way out is still an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Fortunately, all this area is packed with encounters, missions, vehicles, enemies, and the general day-to-day business of the civilian population. What’s more, simply exploring the wilderness will populate the map with side missions discovered via proximity – often transforming a simple excursion ‘to see what’s out there’ into a multi-hour series of hilarious encounters, battles, close calls, and escapes.