Ghost Recon Wildlands – Fun, with a Few Friends

ghost recon wildlands review

I’ve been playing Ghost Recon Wildlands on Xbox One for a little over a week now and have just over 18 hours into the game and I’m still having fun with it. I’ve been saving the actual story missions for when I’m able to play with friends, and all of the side stuff for when I’m playing solo. There’s so much to do and find in this game that after 18 hours I’ve only managed to fully clear three sections of the map of all of the documents, weapon/accessory cases, intel, and story missions. I may start having to do some of the story missions on my own since I really only have maybe an hour a day to play with friends, and at that rate it will take forever to finish the story.

Ghost Recon is the latest game to come out of the Tom Clancy series and the first major release in the Ghost Recon series since ‘Future Soldier’ was released in 2012. Unlike ‘Future Solider’, ‘Wildlands’ features an open-world style of gameplay where you are free to explore the map as much as you want, while attempting to complete the story missions laid out for you. There are tons of side missions, tons of weapons and accessories to be found, not to mention a few easter eggs hidden around the map. If you are determined to complete the game 100%, then it’s going to take you quite a few hours to get through; if you’re just in it for the story, you can blaze through it much faster on the normal difficulty level.

The overall main storyline of the game follows a team of ‘Ghosts’, you, as they explore the world of Bolivia trying to track down and destroy El Sueno and his cartel. In order to search out the location of El Sueno, you must first dismantle his network of underlings province by province. Along the way you can level up your character by helping out the rebels in the area by freeing them from cages, tagging various items like gasoline and communications equipment, and completing side missions. There is a lot to do outside of the story missions, but things do get a bit repetitive.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands - Xbox One
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Just as with most open-world games, there is a lot of going from point A to point B, killing a bunch of dudes, then going to somewhere else to kill a bunch more dudes. The side missions are all very similar depending on which type of side mission you’re attempting, and the weapons can be easily found once you’ve unlocked the intel that tells you where all the weapons crates are. So all in all, if you don’t like open-world games, this probably isn’t going to change your mind about them. However, if you do like them, and you have friends that like them, then this game is a hell of a lot of fun.

While I have played a lot of the game solo so far, I would definitely recommend that you grab a friend and work through the story missions together. Hunting out weapons and accessories, skill points and intel, is fine to do by yourself, but the story missions are way more fun with a friend. Each mission can be carried out in a number of different ways, and doing it with a friend adds to the fun, as well as difficulty. If you play through solo, you have 3 teammates that you can command to take out different enemies and move to different areas to attack. This kind of makes it a bit easier, because you can tag a bunch of enemies at the same time and have your team take them out all at once. When you’re playing with one or more friends, you have to actually communicate and time when you’re going to shoot at the enemies to ensure that you’re not detected, and that can be frustrating as hell sometimes.

I can see the game getting boring for some people over time, but so far I’m still really enjoying it, although I do miss Rainbow Six Siege at the moment. It’s a nice change of pace from some of the other games I’ve been playing even though the stealth aspects aren’t quite up to par with what I’d like. It’s amazing that the AI can see you in the dark when you’re completely hidden or they know exactly where a shot came from in the middle of the night, but it’s really not as bad as some people online are making it out to be.

I’ve read lots of complaints about the game, some are very valid like falling through the map, getting stuck in rocks, guns not really being all that much different in terms of damage, etc., but I haven’t found anything that has truly taken the fun away from the game itself. People are seriously complaining about the lack of customization for characters and the non-existent customization for AI teammates, I mean really? That’s what you’re going to complain about when it comes to a game? Who cares if you can’t add 1000 pairs of sunglasses to your guy, or have the choice of 100 different hats… that doesn’t change the gameplay… Helicopters taking off on their own after you land them, insane dismounts when you crash a motorcycle… those are things that I can see complaining about, but the shoes your character is wearing, or even the controls of the vehicles, are not really things that I have any issue with.

Yes, lots of people have been complaining about the controls of the vehicles, helicopters in particular (planes to some degree as well). And I’ll admit, the helicopters were a bit frustrating to fly at first, but after you get the hang of it, they fly just fine for what you need them for in the game. If people would rather have the GTA style of helicopter piloting, they are crazy, those are some of the worst helicopter controls I’ve ever experienced. I’m sure it’s just from a lack of practice with them, but I could not stand doing the missions in GTA where I had to fly a helicopter and land it somewhere, they were a nightmare. I would much rather have had the simplified controls that ‘Wildlands’ has over that any day. Same with the planes. I see no issue with the plane controls in ‘Wildlands’, but I do see where people could want a little more control. Unlike the helicopters in GTA, I liked the plane controls in that game, so seeing similar controls here wouldn’t bother me.

Overall though, despite a few minor complaints (from me), and some pointless complaints that I’ve read on the internet, this game is a lot of fun to play with friends. The fact that every mission and everything you do in the game can be completely different depending how you want to approach it, and with whom, makes things so unpredictable and I love it.

Let us know what you think about Ghost Recon Wildlands in the comments below. Are you enjoying it so far? Are you pissed off you don’t have enough customization options for your character? Do you really truly hate the helicopter controls? Let us know!


About the author

Tom

35 years old, married with children (1). My gaming is done exclusively on the Xbox One these days, but my gaming history goes all the way back to the Atari 2600. FPS and racing games mostly, but I dive into other genres on occasion.

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