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Wildlands Sitrep – The Pros And Cons Of The Ghost Recon Closed Beta

Matt Bertz
 

Five years since Ubisoft Paris first began its development, we finally got extended hands-on time with the next entry in the Ghost Recon series. Set in a sprawling open world and supporting up to four-player co-op, Wildlands is a drastic departure for the tactical series. Javy Gwaltney, Ben Reeves, and I all spent some time with the game over the weekend, combining our forces to eradicate the Santa Blanca cartel from one of the less protected regions of Bolivia. Bertz: I played a small segment of the game at this past E3, but this was my first exposure to the rhythm of the game – seeing how the more involved missions intersect with the open-world environment and its myriad activities. I expected to see a lot of analogs to Far Cry, and they are certainly present. Players cripple the local powers that be by taking down enemy bases and gradually cede control to a rebel group.

Side activities can help fortify the rebellion’s efforts, and at the same time grant your squad new abilities like being able to call in a vehicle or mortar strike. Those elements feel pulled right out of Far Cry 4, but the game Wildlands most reminds me of is Mercenaries 2, the open-world, third-person shooter developed by Pandemic. Both games are set in South America, and revolve around a small military team gradually taking control of the country and giving it to an opposition group. They provide the player a variety of vehicles to travel around the map, and focus the action on micro-skirmishes. What were your first impressions? Javy: I got to play an earlier version of the beta’s content last month at a preview event, and I think my biggest surprise was just how willing I was to dive back into those same missions and make my character all over again.

During the preview event I spent a lot of time running into camps with my A. I. teammates and that was fine. Gun battles are fun and your squadmates are competent enough to hold their own (even if their idle chatter is terrible). But the difference between playing with A. I.

and human players on your team is night and day. Things become much more tense. Constantly updating others as you proceed with your plan is super important especially, as is often the case, when your plan falls apart and all four of you have to scramble to come up with a new one as bullets fly over your head. Ben: I never played Mercenaries 2, but I’m a big fan of the direction that Ubisoft has taken the Far Cry series, so this game immediately resonated with me even though I’ve never played a Ghost Recon game before. I like the level of freedom at hand. For awhile, I was shooting up an…

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