There are games that claim to provide gamers with the freedom of choice and within that choice, lies a mechanism for affecting the world around them. Some titles can pull it off, while others struggle to. However with Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ubisoft Paris is looking to make every action, every choice and every kill have a tangible impact on the living world around you.
For the first time in the history of the Ghost Recon series, a game will go open-world, adding yet another popular franchise to the already impressive portfolio of Ubisoft’s open-world brands. Gamers can play each mission in whatever order they wish, not forcing people to experience a linear story inside of an open-world. Ghost Recon Wildlands gives players a new way to play through a plot and lets gamers shape the world around them, one kill at a time.
But how exactly does this work into the game world? Does killing a faction leader then send a direct ripple through the other factions in the game world? In an exclusive interview with atombash.com, Ghost Recon Wildlands Creative Director Eric Couzian talked about how gamers will change the universe of Ghost Recon Wildlands.
“If in a region you kill this guy from the cartel, then it will impact the way the other factions are living in the world. It’s how you live just by walking in the world and traveling in the world, you feel the impact [of your own actions]. Depending on your play style, if you like to manipulate the factions you can do so to help destroy each of them,” Couzian said.
It sounds like taking out a faction leader will then influence how other enemy AI behaves as a result. We don’t know exactly what this means, but one would assume it puts other AI on high-alert, changes up their behavior patterns or does something to that effect. Couzian went on to talk further about the connection within the game’s AI.
“What’s interesting about the cartel is that it’s the sum of many people working, sometimes together and sometimes separate. You can destabilize this guy and just because the AI and everything you do in the game has an impact on the world, you can change things between each of the factions,” Couzian said.
This triggers the thought of perhaps turning factions against each other through various in-game actions from the player. It would be something to see if gamers could incite rivalries or wars between factions, making the task of eliminating the cartel far easier.
With Ubisoft’s decision to take Ghost Recon into the open-world, they are taking a definitive step and know that this may rub some fans of the franchise the wrong way. In order to achieve innovation though, sometimes a few feathers must be ruffled. Ghost Recon Wildlands Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud talked about Ghost Recon’s genre change.
“The biggest challenge was choosing the right topic, the right subject. Obviously, it kind of fits at the core of the game but we had to decide how far we could bring the tactical elements of Ghost Recon forward. Some people wonder if it’s different, some people who know the franchise may be like ‘this is too different,’ however we knew [above all] the game had to be about tactics,” Abboud said.
In this new generation of gaming, franchises have been rebooted, redefined and redone all in an effort to bring something fresh to a formula that existed before. Ubisoft is hoping they can achieve something great by taking one of their more beloved series into a new direction.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One present an enormous amount of potential for developers to create new, engaging worlds that not only immerse the player, but they also interact with them. Abboud and his team knew there was a lot they could do with the new consoles and high-end PCs, and it’s part of the reason why Ghost Recon Wildlands is open-world.
“All of us said that with the new consoles and PCs, we can create this gigantic world and breath life into the tactical [world], instead of having to create a specific set of rules. We can finally just give the freedom of choosing the time of day, the vehicles, the weapons, etc. in each mission [to the player]. It all gives the possibility of being freely tactical,” Abboud said.
It is still early in development for Ubisoft Paris, but they certainly seem to have impressive ambition for what Ghost Recon Wildlands can be. Given some of the possibilities we’ve heard, it’s hard not to think this game could end up reshaping how open-world games are fundamentally created, not just at Ubisoft, but in the industry at large.