Thanks to heavy discounting I decided to pick up Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and for the most part it has been a good decision. The shooting is solid, the graphics are amazing, and there are a variety of things to do. The problem is that it should not be called Ghost Recon. Wildlands has more in common with Far Cry than Tom Clancy; it is just you and a group of bros assassinating a bunch of dudes down in Bolivia.
With the older Ghost Recon titles, the games were always about finding the best way to tactically take down your targets. To make sure that you were never taking fire because that meant instant death. In Wildlands, you get out your drone, mark all the targets, and then make sure to get them all as you do what needs to be done. If you want to go in guns-a-blazin’ that is fine, just don’t stand out in the open too long. Even better, why not jump out of a helicopter, or crash a car through the front gate. Again, you don’t quite have the god-like powers you do in Far Cry, and you have to kind of make sure to scout the place first, but it definitely doesn’t take the skill and planning of the older Ghost Recon games.
To add to this, all the secondary audio seems like it was added from an ‘R’ rated military cartoon. The bad guys brag about murdering people on the radio, and your squad says pretty offensive things at times. Meanwhile the main story cutscenes and media are dead serious. Tonally this game is all over the place. It seems like they didn’t want to make another Far Cry game, so they slapped the Ghost Recon brand on it, and to justify that they gave you a squad of bros, made you slow down, and kind of think about what you are doing. A little.
Listen, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is around $20 these days, and it has enough positives that make that a worthy investment. It is just a shame they couldn’t commit to a playstyle for this game. Because an actual open world Ghost Recon game would have been pretty sweet, but this is just Far Cry’s slightly more grown up bro. Waiting for you to come murder sicarios with him.