Last weekend a lot of us got our first taste of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands in closed beta form. I was lucky enough to get a code along with 3 of my buddies and was able to put in some time with the game. This is a game that I’ve been looking forward to playing since first seeing it all the way back at E3 2015. It’s a been a long while since I’ve played any Ghost Recon games and one that features a completely open world environment can’t be all that bad, can it?
For a beta, I got to check out quite a bit during my time with it. The area you were allowed to play in is quite large and only a portion of the overall map. I was able to check out both solo and co-op modes with a good mix of regular story missions and side missions.
- Character creation is intuitive and there are a lot of choices when it comes to making your character your own. You can choose both male and female here with lots of different faces, hair types, clothing, and accessories. It reminds me a lot of The Division with character creation, which isn’t too surprising since it’s also a Ubisoft game.
- The world seems pretty huge and heavily populated. There are lots of civilians roaming around as well as wildlife and and various vehicles traveling around. The environments seem quite lush and there is a great variety in terrain and landscape.
- Joining your online friends in co-op isn’t too hard. You can pretty much just jump into each other’s games and help complete missions. There is no team killing with your weapons, but you can team kill with vehicles.
- There seems to be a decent variety of vehicles and weapons to acquire.
- Playing with an NPC squad is actually not bad at all. If you order them around, they do as you tell them and are pretty efficient at taking down enemies. However if you don’t order them to do anything, they just stand around half the time and don’t really help you all that much.
- Flying a drone is pretty cool. This seems like an idea taken from The Division when that game had drones.
Now comes the bad. I know that this game currently is still in beta and in development so hopefully there will some improvements before we see the next beta. There is a lot of potential with this game, it just needs more polish, balancing, and tweaking in certain areas.
- Like with some open world games, you sometimes lose track of what exactly you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re not constantly looking at the map, it’s hard to figure out what are story missions and what are side missions. Things kind of just happen and you can find yourself way off mission.
- I hate the enemy AI. This is one of those instances where the enemies are just too smart and borderline cheap. You can be in the best hiding spot possible and snipe enemies while suppressed and somehow, his buddies will still zero in on your location. It makes it very difficult to really play the game stealthily and it’s one of those things I think that really needs to be balanced more. In its current form, it’s very frustrating.
- On the subject of frustrating, the vehicle controls were equally that. It was incredibly hard to fly a helicopter and driving a car was also a chore. They need to take some lessons from GTAV in this department because that game has way more responsive vehicle controls than this does.
- Gunplay in Ghost Recon Wildlands isn’t terrible, but it’s not amazing either. Gunplay seems a bit clunky and slow and no where near as satisfying as it is in The Division. There will need to be some tweaking here otherwise the game will be more frustrating than fun.