Ubisoft are releasing things early this year and putting out their latest open world adventure next to Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda Breath of The Wild. Not bad company to be in, but difficult in terms of competition to succeed. For my Ghost Recon Wildlands review I was hoping for similar quality and level of experience in order for this one to really compete.
While it’s a good game with many enjoyable elements, unfortunately it’s not quite at the level set by other open world games around at the moment. But with a huge map that includes an incredible amount of things to do, and fantastic co-op action it does have something different to offer. It’s more than worth playing for fans of the series and people wanting to play together.
Check out my thoughts below and if you’re playing this one or thinking of getting it let me know your thoughts in the Disqus or Facebook comments at the end.
Look and Feel – Bolivian Paradise
When a company focuses in on open world gaming as Ubisoft have you’d expect them to be very good at it. And once again they have created gorgeous one that is vast and has so much to admire.
Everything here works and sucks you right into this Bolivian paradise, corrupted by drugs and cartels.
The map is downright massive and what’s most impressive about it is the verticality of it all. Giant hills and mountains, valleys and villages all look mighty impressive and every aspect is wonderfully presented.
Details are there too as you explore with foliage in worn out looking vehicles and locations fitting the scene nicely. Character models are good too with some nice touches, especially on the customisation options you have from the outset and can unlock as you play.
It all performs pretty smooth now a few patches had gone on. Usual open world things like pop-in happen as you go faster in vehicles but generally, it runs very nicely.
Story and Gameplay – Keeping Up With The Cartels
Now, there is something I really dislike about Beta or demos of games. Call them what you want, it’s a demo to sell the game. But when I start the final game I don’t want it to be exactly what was in the test version. Especially when what was in the test version was really poor for such a highly anticipated game in terms of setup.
While there is so much to do in gameplay terms, I have to admit early on I lacked the motivation to do any of it.
My big issue with Ghost Recon Wildlands generally comes from the setup and motivation that never really got me hooked into the story. First of all, after enjoying creating my character with a number of options, I immediately felt nothing for her afterwards. There was no reason or motivation in the early moments of the game to keep going and I worry if Ubisoft want to go down this road with story in the future.
Far Cry games offer similar in terms of open world activities and settings, but that story and setup initially is really important in terms of motivation for me personally. And while the story parts of the game as you hunt down the Santa Blanka Cartel and their leader El Sueno do make for a good tale in the end, I had to force myself to engage with it at times, to the point that if I wasn’t reviewing I would have probably just left it.
That’s One Big Map
Now, back on to the good stuff. While there story elements struggle to get the game going, the gameplay on the other hard is definitely more entertaining. If you’re after some fun with friends with tonnes of things to do on this giant map then you are going to love this game.
There is simply so much if it given the scale of the map and the activities you can do. While single player it’s less entertaining for reasons discussed, there is still a lot to enjoy and get involved in just exploring the open world.
As Ghosts your aim is to get in and get out of your missions as smoothly and cleanly as possible. The gameplay I generally built around stealth as you mark enemies using tools like the classic drone and sneak in and take them down. But when things get loud you need to be ready to get into the action.
Personally I find the gunplay really effective in terms of your stealth moves. Takedowns are quick and realistic plus the use of gadgets is smooth. But when things get a bit more action packed and bullets start to fly it becomes a different game. Honestly, it’s much less enjoyable at this point and becomes a fairly standard shooter.
Everything though revolves around getting resources, better equipment and items to customise your characters. Plus the fun of taking on missions with friends make for a worthy package. Especially with some of the vehicles you can control zipping around the world make for some great moments. Bikes and helicopters my personal favourites.
It’s all good particularly in co-op thats much of where the gameplay is focused on. Yes it’s decent on your own but this really is a play-with-others experience to really get the best, and most fun, out of it.
Ubisoft make some great games, I’m not one of those who like to hate on them. But they are falling into a pattern with their games that see them start with great potential end end up being just “good” games. Some developers would be more than happy with that, but the potential of Ghost Recon Wildlands, other titles is often greater than what they realise.
And here you have an amazing open world full of really cool stuff to do. But there’s little motivation to get on with anything unless you play with others.Story is important to a game as is identifying with your character and wanting to stop the villain. I got there eventually but it was hard work.
The great stealth gameplay is really well done as is the loot system and the base takeovers too keep you entertained. I’ve enjoyed my time with the game but, the other big problem for the game is that some top class open-world games have been released around it.
I try not to compare too much in reviews as each game stands alone for me. But the bar has been raised recently and this isn’t quite to the level of Horizon or Zelda, especially not in terms of single player experience.
It’s still a great title however and one to pick up if you like open world stealth action, especially playing with others. Check out my scores below and don’t forget to drop me a comment below with your thoughts on the game.
About This Ghost Recon Wildlands Review
Developers & Publishers: Ubisoft
Gaming Platform: PC Games, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Multiplayer, Open World, Shooter
Ghost Recon Wildlands Verdict
Graphics - 9/10
Story - 8/10
Multiplayer - 9/10
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Fun Factor - 8.5/10