GHOST RECON: WILDLANDS
By Jordy "The Soldier" Thijssen on March 6, 2017
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is an open world tactical shooter that revolves around a group of US Special Forces, also known as "Ghosts". These Ghosts are men and women that operate in areas where using a normal army in inadvisable and would not get the desired results. This time, the ghosts have to go to Bolivia, where a cartel by the name of "the Santa Blanca Cartel" has seized control. The Sata Blanca is lead by a man named El Sueno, who also controls the local army called "the Unidad". These are the people responsible for the murder of your colleague, agent Sandoval and, as Diana "DumeeGamer" Adams-Dumee mentioned in her Ghost Recon: Wildlands beta report, that's where your big adventure starts.
The Unidad is a much more of a wealthy organization, compared to the Santa Blanca cartel. While Unidad soldiers are wielding all modern equipment, the cartel only has AK47's to fight with. But of course, nothing can beat the equipment owned by our friends: the Ghosts. They have cutting edge weapons and technology at their side, like drones, high level weapons, mines, flares, etc. And, if all this dangerous gadgetry wasn't enough in itself, you can also fully customize your weapons. Things like the weapon skin and even the visor, everything is possible when it comes to customizing.
You start off the game with a standard weapons-kit, but don't worry; during the game, you can pick up other weapons from enemies you've killed. But beware. If you die and start over from the last checkpoint, the weapons load-out you were carrying at that time will be reverted to your standard kit. On the other hand, if you buy weapons from the load-out chests that are spread out through the world, these weapons will be permanently added to you standard load-out from that point on, until you switch it out for a bigger, more badass weapon, that is! Even if you manage to get yourself killed somehow (which isn't too hard to do in Ghost Recon: Wildlands), these weapons will still be there when you respawn... SWEET! And here's a free tip from yours truly: It is truly recommended to add a sniper rifle to your arsenal, especially if you like to go for the stealthy approach!
You will have to search for other weapons and weapon parts in enemy territories, like Army bases and Santa Blanca Cartel camps. Another option is to take down certain important people to get special weapons that you won't just find lying around anywhere. These weapons make your life quite a lot easier and lets you stir up a fair amount of trouble for your adversaries. So basically, Ghost Recon: Wildlands gives you the possibility to get your hands on an arsenal of killer weapons, but it won't be easy!
When you attack a camp or an army base, there are multiple ways to go about it... oh wait... there are exactly two ways to go about it, actually! Your first option is to ram your way through the gate with your Humvee, which is equipped with a mounted machine gun, and start shooting everything that moves. Your second, and much more stealthy option, is to take your time, use your drone, mark the spots where your enemies and items are located and proceed to eliminate everyone silently, one by one. So whichever way takes your fancy, the choice is all yours...
The open world character of the game offers you a lot of freedom and the map and legend are well-designed and perfectly implemented. It's easy to separate your main and side quests and, in case you don't like completing quests but just like to gather stuff, just go for the question marks, skill points icons, weapon(part) icons, documents or other icons that represent collectibles on the map. Yes, Wildlands is somewhat different from previous installments in the Ghost Recon series, but this change brings with it much more hours of game play in that familiar Ghost Recon style and setting that we love so much!
I also like how your choices have some influence on the game. You can let rebels fight alongside you or bribe Unidad members. Also, if you choose to rush into battle all Rambo style, your enemies may call reinforcements, often Unidad militaries. The world will respond to your actions, so choose them wisely.
If you love co-op games and having tons of fun with your online friends, then I would highly recommend this game to you. Up to four players can simultaneously play through the entire game in online coop mode. Personally, I think it would be convenient if you all communicate using headsets, otherwise it will be quite difficult for you to establish an overall strategy before invading a base. But hey, that's just my advice...
We had a blast during our coop round. My team consisted of Diana "DumeeGamer" Adams-Dumee, Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee and myself of course. The first phase of the game is building and customizing your character. Diana choose to be female and I choose male. I expected that Diana would literally be the only female in the team, but to my surprise Michael also chose a female character. His reasoning behind making this choice was hilarious: "If I have to watch this character for the next sixty hours of my life, it better be something worth watching!" Mike, your wisdom knows no bounds, I salute you!
Of course, you can also just play Wildlands on your own of course, and let the AI be your teammates. And I can already hear you think; "Jordy, these AI controlled teammates will probably all be absolutely awful!". Well, if you really though that, you would find yourself to be mistaken quite badly, because the AI is pretty much equally skilled as player-controlled teammates. Plus, you are giving them orders so they execute every mission just the way you want them to.
In every aspect, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is an amazing game! Both the single and co-op mode are a great way to experience this story about the drug cartels in Bolivia. The lush environments and richly detailed characters look awesome and the game handles like a dream. If you're looking for a cool and awesome tactical shooter to play alone or (and this really has my preference) with three of your friends, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is most definitely a game I would recommend!
GHOST RECON: WILDLANDS
March 7, 2017