It’s no secret that Ubisoft and Tom Clancy games have had some rough starts over the last few years. What was once considered one of the top level of military shooters has become somewhat mired in broken games and fouled launches. Rainbow Six Siege launched in 2015 but took a while to get beyond its broken points but has remained a popular game after fixing itself up a bit. The Division launched in 2016 and still struggling even after major overhauls but has one last planned expansion to try to win players over.
The upcoming Ghost Recon Wildlands is vying to break this trend. Set to release on March 3rd and hosting a closed beta in February, the game is hoping to woo and wow gamers. Since it is a beta and likely the code is months old, there are notable problems that will hopefully be fixed before release. Issues like audio being out of sync or a helicopter sinking into a mountain should be fixable. However, there are other things that may not be as easily fixable that may be of greater concern.
As soon as I started up the game it felt like I was playing Far Cry and I’m not sure that is a good thing. Everything from the map set up to visuals just looks and feels like Far Cry. For those that want to go back to Far Cry that is a good thing, for those of us that don’t it is not so good. It brings to front all the things that are good and bad about those games. Things like driving back and forth across the map to do missions like capturing camps or blowing up towers. If that is your thing then this is your game. If you are looking for something else though you best look elsewhere.
The game tries to convey a greater context but its hard to see it from what we see in the beta. The story is supposedly about taking down a drug cartel and planning out the missions to do so but so far the game looks more about doing busy work. Every time the game is shown of at shows like E3 they show mission gameplay of squads making strikes against targets but looking at the map in the game, it appears that these missions may be a smaller part of the game than the developers are letting on.
The perspective I have on the game is my own and others may differ. I can see the game being a blast if you have a regular crew to play with, however playing with random players or solo may be a lot less enjoyable. I played solo and found that the AI teammates weren’t the most helpful. Perhaps my expectations were wrong based on previous Tom Clancy games but I expected to have a little bit more control over my squad. There is a limited set of commands you can give your squad like open fire, hold, or regroup. Maybe I missed it but I don’t see a way to command a squad member to a certain position or selectively take out a target. Those are the kind of things I looked for and couldn’t find. If you are playing with live people this becomes a moot point since you can just tell them via mic. This scenario works great if you have a steady, regular crew but if you happen to end up with someone not communicating things may not go so well.
It could be that I had the wrong expectations going into the game. From all the trailers and gameplay reveals, I really thought that the game was going to be more like Rainbow Six Siege – just on a much larger scale. I did not expect to see the mission map with all the side missions and outposts. After doing a couple of the side things I got bored with the game and couldn’t continue playing. The expectations I had of missions being tactical strikes was washed away when I discovered that you have to do all the open world side-stuff to get the intel and then go do the mission. I never even got to the mission in the beta.
Looking at the bright side, the beta helped me save about $60. I was on the fence as to purchasing this game or not and the beta had convinced me not to. That doesn’t mean I want the game to fail or do poorly, quite the opposite. My hope is that the games does well at launch and beyond giving Tom Clancy fans the game they have been wanting for years but you’re not going to be finding me playing it.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.