When it comes to building an open-world, creating diversity in a universe’s landscape, terrain and environments is an important part of keeping the experience fresh. If a game continuously throws the same colors and open space at the player, things can become a bit repetitive. All of that said, it doesn’t sound like that will be an issue for Ghost Recon Wildlands.
The diversity of landscapes that players will encounter ranges from a bone-dry deserts, to jagged mountain tops, to lush swamps and jungles. Ubisoft made an immediate choice to make sure each of the nine environments are unique, interesting and that they make players consider how they’ll play through one part of the map versus another.
Some open-world games have a few or even a half dozen unique environments, but in Ghost Recon Wildlands, there will be nine. Ghost Recon Wildlands Creative Director Eric Couzian spoke to atombash.com about the variety people will find not only in the game’s environments, but in the types of strategies implemented as well.
“There are nine different environments, which are all very different. The terrain will completely change your approach because of your line of sight. When you’re in the jungle, the way you play with your friends is completely different because you have to tell your friend exactly what you see due to your point of view. It’s completely different in a desert because the challenge is trying to find cover. Every time you’re in a different environment, the co-op is different and you have to adapt to each one,” Couzian said.
We saw a bit of this from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Depending on if a mission was set during the day or night, you had to make different gameplay choices in regards to the tactics used in a given mission. From what we’ve heard about the game’s AI and world, gamers will need to be just as thoughtful in Ghost Recon Wildlands.
A distinct element that will have a significant impact in how players experience Wildlands is its co-op. Players will need to communicate and strategize effectively as a group because all it takes for a mission to go wrong is one person who deviates from a plan.
Technology has played a large role in some of the more advanced and impressive games we’ve seen so far this generation. Ghost Recon Wildlands Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud spoke a bit about that as well as whether or not fans of the original Ghost Recon will recognize this game, despite some of the new things it is trying to do.
“The funny thing is with what’s available right now with technology makes it is the right time to redefine the franchise. The people who loved the first Ghost Recon are going to see many things in the game that remind them of the good ole days. It’s important for us that all of the design elements feel natural and that nothing is forced,” Abboud said.
We’ve seen a lot of franchises try and “redefine” themselves with new characters, new worlds and new stories, but no matter the sorts of changes a series undergoes, it is still important for the spirit of the IP to remain at the heart of the experience. Couzian further explained the emphasis the team has in mind for staying true to what Ghost Recon is.
“You can play tactically by your instincts. We want to stay true to what Ghost Recon is, with the tactical spirit of the game. We want to make it accessible so the hardcore gamer can enjoy the game’s tactical [elements]. It’s based on your instincts. Even the Special Forces when they go on missions for a long time, they don’t rely on technology. In the end, these guys are good because they are trained and it is based on their instincts so it’s all about hearing and watching,” Couzian said.
There is still quite a while to go before Ubisoft Paris completes its work on Ghost Recon Wildlands. The game’s reveal was certainly one of the more surprising announcements during all of last E3 and hopefully we’ll see the game arrive sometime next year. We will have more from our interview with Ubisoft in the coming days, so stay tuned.