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Review in Progress: Ghost Recon Wildlands

Mike Cosimano
 

It was hard to imagine what Ghost Recon Wildlands would be in a post-Sicario world. Denis Villeneuve's taut crime thriller portrayed a world of drugs and murder where there were no easy answers and no good guys; the kind of moral relativism that makes you feel bad about your place in the food chain. Conversely, the early hours of Wildlands has the player character shoving the business end of their pistol into a bad guy's face and calling him a "fuckstick. " Mama mia. I feared the worst -- that our gradual shift towards portraying the drug war in shades of grey would have fallen on deaf ears, and we'd be treated to another unironic depiction of macho American exceptionalism in an era that super does not need any more of that, thank you very much.

And although I have not finished Ghost Recon Wildlands (hence the "in progress" you see in the headline), I've seen little to convince me otherwise. Pity that Wildlands has such an ill-timed release date, because it's got some of the smartest mayhem-focused open-world design I've seen this side of the Just Cause games. By playing off the player's inherent desire to cause a ruckus, Wildlands makes its plentiful side activities feel meaningful, even when you'd rather be doing something else.  If Ubisoft is looking for a new sandbox template to viciously beat into the ground, they could do a lot worse than this. Read more…

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