Ghost Recon Wildlands
Ubisoft have taken a risk by dropping it’s Ghosts into a sandbox environment. Previous Ghost Recon games have been very structured and linear, and have worked well. But now the Ghosts have an entire country, with something like 21 distinct regions and an entire dictatorship to take down. The risk here is that the game could become overwhelming to some, but fortunately Ubisoft have delivered a carefully crafted game that will either direct you along a pre-drawn path or (more likely) give you unlimited freedom to explore and approach missions in any order you want.
Every region in Ubifsoft’s Wildlands is open from the start of the game, but all areas also have a skull rating, from 1 to 5. You start off in a one skull rating region, and obviously it’s not recommended that you proceed directly to a five skull region. But you could.
The purpose of the game is to scout out and find intel, disrupt the cartels influence, and eventually take out the regions boss, clearing region by region, until the country is free again. Each region has a number of missions as well as a plethora of side quests and collectibles.
As you complete missions, do side quests and uncover collectibles you’ll level up and amass skill points that allow you to upgrade yourself, your equipment, your team or the rebels. Weapon upgrades and new weapons are acquired through Intel and physically going to a location to pick up the equipment.
All of this combines to create a game that has you actively wanting to explore every little part of the world. One night I decided to hop on, grab a helo and just have a look at what the far corner of the map looked like. Once there I parachuted in and decided to check out a couple of undiscovered locations. One thing led to another and soon I realised it was 1 am. The game is so much fun and so easy to get lost in.
I think a lot of this has to do with the absolutely stunning world that Ubisoft have created, a living breathing world full of incidental stuff, but stuff that you will want to find.
Of course this massive sand box of fun would be so much better to play with a group of friends, and as such four player co-op is available. So my mission now is to convince three of my friends to buy Wildlands.
Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.