At first glance, Ghost Recon Wildlands looks harmless. It's a decent open-world shooter, where cooperative play leads to exciting shootouts and silly stunts. But Wildland's core is far from bland. It's propaganda. It is jingoism that is made playable and maintains the failed logic that all that is needed to solve the world's problems is enough ammunition.
After a terrorist attack by the mighty Santa Blanca drug cartel in Bolivia, the players take on the role of a "ghost", an army special unit authorized to do everything to dismantle the cartel and deal with its leader, the uncanny, but charismatically El Sueño. With a team of AI companions or in collaboration with up to three friends, players will be transferred to the Bolivian landscape to slowly eliminate the various cartons, lieutenants and key players in the cartel.
With a tactical map describing the organization of the cartel, players can track cartel members by collecting information and completing side missions. These side missions include destroying cartel supplies, tracking and bugging the enemy, and assisting rebels in major battles. Once enough missions have been completed, it's time to take out your goal.
The process is something of a fusion between the mercenary wild bombast and the tactical returns of Far Cry 2. Missions are either clean, precise affairs, or awkward bullet storms full of explosions. Wildlands is a game that picks up military traps, throws out "hooahs" and "checks your targets, folks!" but it's never really about discipline or precision.
The moment-to-moment gun game in Wildlands is strong. Views switch from shoulder to ironsights with ease, weapon recoil is spirited but never untamable, and every successful kill feels like an accomplishment. At best, enemy bases become miniature puzzles with many tactical options. You can turn off the alarm and jump from soldier to soldier and turn them off. You can coordinate with your team to send a diversionary force to their gates while sniffing a comb. There are few things that are more rewarding than cleanly dismantling an enemy camp.
However, this process can get tired over time. Wildlands' core loops offer the illusion of progress and promise you that every bullet will bring you closer to El Sueño. You blow up base by base, defeat soldiers for soldiers, but nothing in the world really changes because of your actions. There is one useful thing in Wildlands: shooting. Everything else is filler to take you to the next gun battle. After so many hours you will be wondering what it is about. In my impressions, I wondered if the fun could last. It is not so.
Progress is further hampered by a redundant skill tree to unlock special equipment or to get improvements in stamina or weapon accuracy. Players collect experience points to level up, generating skill points that can be spent. For each activation, any number of raw materials such as medical supplies or gasoline are required, which can be found and "marked" in the open world. Without the stat-focused RPG elements of the division, Wildlands & # 39; inclusion of a skill system feels out of place.
The rescue of the game is based on the cooperative mode. Wildlands is best explored when accompanied by friends. Overcoming obstacles with a buddy gives them more weight and increases the chance of something going south. It increases stakes – missions are important when your buddy is on the line. The presence of other players fills the game world with real excitement and excitement when playing with AI deficiencies. In addition, the long helicopter flights from target to target will be much more bearable for the company.
It is possible to play the game with a team of AI partners, but their personalities are so bland that you long to leave them at the bottom. They make jokes that go from unbearably boring to overtly obnoxious, and throw out the kind of pithy one-liners that only teenagers would find cool before sitting down to make a homophobic joke. Wildlands wants them to feel seductive, but they mostly just feel like assholes.
Your companions 'chatter is an example of Wildlands' biggest problem. It pretends to be politically mature but has nothing valuable to say. Wildlands, caught between Grand Theft Auto and ARMA, cannot conjure up convincing or meaningful gameplay systems, nor does it bother to take into account the real impact of its weapon-happy gameplay.
The most important thing in Wildlands' ideas is the idea that a cartel can be eliminated by killing royal needles, but this is a controversial theory in real life. Instead of building a system that emphasizes the difficulty of the method, Wildlands assumes that your violent interventionism will not turn out to be a bad thing. In another timeline where Wildlands is a good game, there's a Shadow of Mordor nemesis system that dynamically fills the power vacuum with endless opportunists and gang lords.
Wildlands, which continues to follow in The Division's footsteps, is a game about being special and empowered. You are the player. The person with the gun. The government operates with the license to kill. Your enemies are the wild "Others", no better than wild dogs that need to be put down. Bolivia is your playground that looks like any other video game war zone. It's just the occasional Corrido playing on the radio or a little piece of environmental design that conveys humanity.
There are times when Wildlands wants to say something. The game has a strong connection to social media and information warfare, but only notes how the cartel maintains a strong media presence that the game wants to show in dazzling, confused briefing sequences. Wildlands also lives from jingoism. She wants to talk about "narcostats", but can only muster the brutal El Sueño as a villain while depicting a cartoon of Bolivia.
The result is garbage. Wildlands gameplay is too messy to fall back on Tom Clancy classics like Rainbow Six or the earlier titles in the series. His policies are too vapid to compete with the mushy but forward-looking stories of the Splinter Cell series. Wildlands wants to be everything. He manages to be nothing.