If a soldier stinks of blood, urine and tobacco, then the soldier is doing everything right. If a soldier is hungry for battle, then the soldier knows what he is doing and knows what is expected of him. The soldier is fearless, the soldier understands what the Motherland needs. But he will always remain a man, and human nature will not allow him to simply participate in an aggressive war. A soldier has a couple of motivations – wealth or fame, but neither one nor the other shines for the Ghost’s special squad – perhaps the most dangerous people on the planet that no one knows about. They won’t get their names in the papers, they won’t be presented with awards, and they won’t be paid enough to pay off their hard work. This is a team with a high sense of duty, incorruptible and unstoppable. These are the perfect soldiers to go deactivate an atomic bomb with a hammer and jigsaw.
However, at first, not about themselves, but about their creators – Ubisoft publishing house. If something doesn’t work, Ubisoft fixes it, but everything that functions perfectly is squeezed dry. But what to do with the series, whose popularity is long gone? Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six was sent to the genre of tactical multiplayer, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon moved the camera to the back and sent players to the battlefields of the future. Alas, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier did not justify the hopes placed on it and was not received as warmly as the publisher had planned. However, the series did help. As mentioned above, Ubisoft loves, knows how, and practices fixing what doesn’t work well, and Wildlands clearly demonstrates this.
The first thing the authors did was to send a team of “Ghosts” into the open world. No more linear levels, just complete freedom of movement across a truly gigantic area. The task is simple: eliminate the Santa Blanca drug cartel in Bolivia and deal with its leader – the charismatic preacher Dreamer. Of course, you can’t get to him right away, otherwise it would be too boring, so before moving on to the “main dish”, you need to talk with his many followers. Assistants to the chief guard are responsible for the production of cocaine, influence in the country, smuggling and the armed forces. There are many, indeed many. Even if you refuse to complete side objectives, the followers alone will take more than thirty hours of gameplay.
The second thing the authors abandoned is futurism. No more invisibility suits for you – everything is in the spirit of realistic modernity, and of the devices only night vision devices, a thermal imager and a drone with a wide range of actions. The third-person camera was left behind for the sake of extensive options for customizing uniforms and appearance – a very important element in cooperative games: you have to show your friends that it was not in vain that you took paid expansions and DLC with clothes. Yes, the cooperative also remained – moreover, for the sake of the cooperative, everything was started.
Having abandoned works with a global plot, the publisher directed its efforts to ensure that the player gets something in return. Wildlands is packed to capacity not only with the side quests needed for leveling, but also with a large number of main ones. Not a single area here is made according to the “copy / paste” principle, therefore, each operation should be approached responsibly: plan, coordinate actions, try not to make noise and not show up, clear the territory methodically and accurately. Co-op is rarely conducive to such tactics, especially if you play with random people from the network, but Wildlands is trying its best to force the four members to be more careful. This is not Watch_Dogs 2 and The Division, where breaking into a room and shooting everyone was the only right approach. The closest analog of the game is Rainbow Six: Siege,
The plot itself is not focused on our heroes, but on their enemies. Local stories focus on the assistants of the head of the drug cartel, their interactions and reactions as you destroy the criminal network. Instead of one big story, the developers made dozens of small, moderately interesting subplots that do not interfere with the game. If you want, ignore the narrative as such; if you want – study biographies, watch videos and hit as hard as possible, the game will be on your side anyway.
But do not rush to rejoice, because Ghost Recon: Wildlands will not always be loyal to you. When the creators distributed intelligence to the population of the game, partner bots lay in some pissed basement and, having melted their brains with cocaine, foamed at the mouth. They rarely shoot at enemies, they hit even less often, and when it comes to reviving the most important member of the team (you), then they completely throw a coin: who will go, when they will go and whether your dying body will be raised at all – no one knows. Having live players as accomplices is much more profitable. Let the focus with the automatic “synchronized shot” at four targets not go through with the living, and they won’t teleport to your transport, but they certainly won’t give offense.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is not an experiment in the genre, only a high-quality use of mechanics proven over the years. There are bugs, there are a lot of them, you can salt them for the winter and never go hungry again, but, frankly, they do not interfere with playing. Here optimization should be tightened. However, if everything was perfect and the game worked the way we ordinary gamers wanted, then now a medal of great value would hang below. As you can see, the place under it is pristine. The authors undercooked the project in their boilers, but it is quite possible to eat this dish.