Last year at E3, Ghost Recon: Wildlands was Ubisoft’s big “one last thing” reveal. A reinvention of the tactical shooter franchise, with a focus on co-operative play in a massive open-world that would react to the actions of the titular Ghosts. Enemies would communicate between encampments, missions would span several miles and mobility would be just as important as the weapon in your holster. Ghost Recon: Wildlands promised all of this, but only some of it impressed during my hands-on time with it this year.
Sitting down with two other players and a Ubisoft representative acting as our handler, the Wildlands demo threw us straight into the thick of things. All four Ghosts had the same (or similar) loadouts, meaning we had to actively assign ourselves roles within the battlefield. This was quickly done by splitting the group of four into two groups of two, with both of them often splitting up when attempting to compete objectives.
The first was a simple snatch and grab of a high value target at a nearby farm, which had just enough enemies for us to all take them out with synchronised sniper shots. With the target secure reinforcements rolled in, and I joined two other Ghosts in holding them off with assault rifle fire while our teammate extracted the information we needed from the target. With the Intel secure, we hopped into an enemy truck close by and set out on the road, with a new (much further away) target now highlighted on our map.
Driving through the wilderness entrenched roads of the Bolivian setting really sold me on where Wildlands chose to set its roots. It’s lush in places and barren in others, offering a nice variety of both gorgeous scenery and useful cover. Reaching the helicopter we needed and taking to the skies just blew this scale wide open, and it’s clear Wildlands is one of the largest games Ubisoft has attempted to make. It’s breath-taking from high altitude, and a serene breather before the next part of the mission began.