Ubisoft is on fire with its running string of new game reveals at the end of their E3 press conferences, and this year’s was as exciting as any other. Among the finales we’ve seen over the past few years, we hadn’t seen Ubisoft reveal an existing franchise in a new genre, until they did just that yesterday.
Ghost Recon Wildlands has been revealed and it is looking like something amazing. Ghost Recon has never been set in the open-world genre, but Wildlands will break through the glass and establish a new precedent for the series.
Over the course of the presentation and the discussion we had with developers on the upcoming game, I gained a better understanding of what Ubisoft Paris is looking to do. Ubisoft is known for its open-world prowess, but this group of developers didn’t just want to create another usual open-world we have seen. They wanted to do something new with the game’s story, world and gameplay.
Ghost Recon Wildlands has something very intriguing and there’s so many things I noticed about it that are unique. The stunning landscapes have incredible diversity from the white sand desert, to the snow covered mountains, to the red clay mudlands. Variety is at the heart of the world and gameplay.
With these varied landscapes means players will seamlessly walk into different gameplay experiences. For example, as a player who is located in the mountain part of the world and is trying to make his way down to an enemy camp, your vantage point is better suited for a sniper or ranged weapon.
For those who are close by the camp in the mudlands, taking cover and using stealth helps break into a facility. However, once you have infiltrated it, open fire combat ends up resulting. A player who may be looking to wander into the desert would do so in a very exposed manner if they were walking, so finding a helicopter and arriving via airborne travel proves to be the better option.
When you play Ghost Recon Wildlands, you are stepping into a world with your friends. You don’t all have to be in the same location, as it seems like it’ll be more common to be spread apart from each other. One person may be on a motorbike trudging through some hills, while another could be crawling through a field.
Converging on missions together provides the need to be communicative in order to succeed. Not only is the need there, but the style of gameplay we witnessed seems to dictate an interest in players wanting to communicate with each other.
Missions can be played in any order, without needing to follow a strict, mission-by-mission structure. The story unravels as you want it to and enables one of the most free and non-linear experiences I’ve seen in a while.
In our main mission, the soldiers had to work together to extract a high-value target in order to gain important intel on a drug-lord. To do so, two players took to the air in a helicopter and provided support from above, while the other two infiltrated the base using stealth tactics. Once the target was in hand, they then opened up to a less subtle approach, gunning down leftover enemies.
The target was tossed into the back of a car and then they met the helicopter at an extraction point in the middle of the white sand desert. From there they left and dropped him off to gain the intel.
What I take away from the game is it’s something I haven’t seen before. When you see Ghost Recon Wildlands, there’s something familiar, but you can’t put your finger on it. Wildlands is extremely intriguing and a world that begs you to become immersed in. The game does seem to have some sort of progression system, but it seems like that is still in the process of evolving.
Overall, Ghost Recon Wildlands looks like an incredibly exciting game that could really push what people think and expect from an open-world game. I can’t wait to see how this game evolves and improves in the coming months, it’s undeniably a game to keep a close eye on.