E3 2016 | Ghost Recon Wildlands Hands On
Ghost Recon Wildlands is the newest installment in Ubisoft's Ghost Recon series and is a third-person military shooter set in an open world setting that can be played entirely in single player or four player co-op. The game is set in the near future in Bolivia and will feature more realistic and available weaponry and technology. The country has become the world’s largest cocaine producer and the Santa Blanca drug cartel has taken over the country bringing to it lawlessness, fear, and violence. You are part of The Ghosts, an elite US Special Forces team, tasked with breaking the alliance between the cartel and to corrupted government.
The demo was played in a squad of four - three of us and a game dev played as the squad leader. We wore headsets and he gave us commands on what to do. It was really cool and how I would like to try and play this game (Now accepting squad member applications!). We started out on a cliff top surveying a gas station with several enemy targets and one we needed to interrogate. Each player is equipped with a sidearm, assault rifle, a sniper rifle, and a drone. From our vantage point, it was best to deploy our drones and mark the enemies and locate our target. Once we did that, we got into position, lined up our shots, and carried out a coordinated attack.
Next we hopped into a helicopter to get to our next objective and the dev took a moment to show us how beautiful Bolivia’s varied terrain was rendered in the game. We flew over salt flats, near mountains, and over villages. In order to get to our rendezvous point, we got to parachute out of the helicopter. I was the first to jump out of course!
Our next move was to infiltrate the enemy camp and release the prisoners. You will have to make a decision on how you want to engage the enemy during your missions. Using stealth, distraction, tactical, or frontal assault are all possibilities. For this mission, we wanted to use a stealth approach, so we split up into two groups of two. One team would snipe from above and my team would infiltrate the camp.
I was moderately annoyed to discover that there is no cover system in the game. Why some of these tactical military games don’t feature cover is beyond me. I suppose it ramps up the difficulty. You can crouch and go prone, so I guess I’ll have to be happy with that.
Unfortunately, one of us alarmed one of the enemies and we got into a small firefight. Luckily, we had eliminated most of the key targets and the rebels decided to fight back which helped us escape. The target was on the run so we all hopped into a vehicle to chase him down. We engage in a grand vehicle chase and apprehended our target which ended our demo.
The characters are a bit loose in their control so they sometimes feel like they go all over the place. This may be my own adjustment period when I jump from game to game but if not, I hope it gets tightened up a bit before its release.
The Ghosts will be fully customizable including gender, ethnicity, hair (please have but hair as an option!), clothing, tattoos, and gear. I am quite happy with this as I can revisit my Ghost Recon Island Thunder days when I created all female squads and kicked some ass. Multiple customization options will be available as well as upgrading your character with the experience and loot you gain in the game.
There are over 60 different vehicles at your disposal, including dirt bikes, SUVs, and dune buggies. There are also multiple types of terrain with weather effects and day/night cycles. The game will also feature side missions, which is new to the series.
The co-op promises to be a seamless experience using the game’s hot join/hot leave feature.
I was pretty amped to play this demo and I wasn’t disappointed. I am eager to see more about the game and more gameplay as we get closer to the release date.
Ghost Recon Wildlands drops on March 7, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PS4. I'm pretty sure you will see me playing this on day one on the Xbox One.
Our demo was played on the Xbox One.