I would like to be the first to say that I am a complete nerd when it comes to gaming.  Ever since I can remember I have been holding a controller in my hands.  Arcades, Consoles, PC either joystick or controller these hands were meant to take on any challenge set forth.  Battling for the ultimate supremacy has been apart of my living as much as breathing.   From Pong to the bizarre world of Goat Simulator, I have played my share of video game bliss.  Countless amount of hours have been put forth into saving the princess, battling mutants/aliens, or stopping a villain from taking over the world.  That’s why when BustedWallet.com offer me a chance to review Ubisoft Paris’ Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, I jumped at the chance to do it.  Dearest Busted Wallet Gamers here is my review of Ghost Recon Wildlands for the Playstation 4.

Have you ever wanted to be so bad ass that you could take down an entire drug ring?  How about over throw a corrupt government and free those who were oppressed by it?  Well then Wildlands is your time to shine.  The game takes place in Bolivia in the near future of July 2019. The unstable country has become primarily taken over by the Santa Blanca, a Mexican drug cartel, who has gained it’s power and influence by becoming world’s largest producer of cocaine.  Of course the US Government becomes alarmed at their influence decides to get involved.  The US Army sends a elite special opts unit called “Ghosts” to destroy the cartel and reveal the corruption of the local government. The Ghost team consist of “Nomad” (which is you), “Midas”, “Holt”, “Weaver”.  Santa Blanca is split up into 4 main cartel part and has 22 leaders, all run by the leader known as El Sueño.  You must take down this power before Santa Blanca’s influence spreads beyond Bolivia.   As Ghosts rendezvous with your contact Karen Bowman, who is a little pissed that the cartel killed her friend.  After the first mission the Ghosts are, more or less, free to tackle the cartel in any way and order they see fit. The goal for the Ghosts is to dismantle the cartel piece by piece, they eventually must go after el Sueño.

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If you’re not up to date on this franchise here’s a little history lesson… Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is basically a series of tactical shooter games published by our friends at Ubisoft. The player is in charge of a squad from US Special Forces from either Delta Company, 1 st Battalion,  or 5th Special Forces group depending on the game. Their operations are considered highly classified, hence “Ghosts”.

The first of the series, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon was released back in 2001.  It broke the mold for first person shooters.  Instead of your normal “shoot first ask questions later” game, Ghost Recon punished those who used the run’n’gun tactic. This forced player to use everything in their arsenal to complete the objectives for each mission.  Ghost Recon 2 was released in 2004 but was only released on consoles.  The game play was similar to the original game, however big changes was the ability to “Lone Wolf” missions in which the player completed objectives without any teammates. Advanced Warfighter (2006) rebooted the series with a significant game play changes, depending on which version you had.  Advanced Warfighter 2 (2007) follows on immediately from the events of the first Advanced Warfighter.  One of the biggest upgrade brought about from those 2 titles was the improved AI.  Shadow Wars is a massive change in perspective for the franchise. Created for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, Shadow Wars is a turn-based  game causing the player to use a completely different style of tactics.  Using different styles of solders across various landscapes.  Future Soldier (2012) features the use advanced near-future military technology like optic camouflage and also the ability to customize their weapons.  Phantoms (2014) currently is a MMO game, Phantoms did feature third-person combat between teams of players using one of three soldier classes.  All leading up to the latest installment Wildlands.  An sand box style tactical shooter game developed by Ubisoft Paris. It is the first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world environment.

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Key Features:

  • HUGE Sand Box world-  Aka Open World, meaning you can go anywhere and do anything.  The story is not linear allowing the player to adventure to every point of the map.
  • Fully customizable- There are tons of weapons to find throughout the world and add to your arsenal.  Each of them has a number of different components for each players style of play.  As well as the ability to create a fully customizable player.
  • Multiplayer- Have up to 3 friends play online.  (Be careful with this one, once you tasted the awesomeness of playing with friends you will never play solo again.)
  • Difficulty- Hard for the even the most advanced players
  • Content- Hours upon hours of missions and exploring
Ghost Recon Wildlands Review Breakdown

Game Play:

Third person with first person aiming, a perfect way to go about this game.  The controls handled well and felt very fluid.   From switching through guns to going from third person to first all could be done seamlessly.  Ubisoft does know what they are doing.  Not to say they are perfect but as far as the action goes, (the most important part) they were spot on.  Large battles never got bogged down or skipped.  It just worked.  A few glitches and clipping happened but what game does not have a few.  When they do happen realize the immense amount of code that it takes to run this game, then just go back to playing.   Vehicles were not quite as fluid, the handling is very clunky. Driving is not this games strong point, but after a while you do get used to it.   The one vehicle that they did right was the dirt bike.  For a good 10 minutes I tried to crash it and failed.  I do not think you actually can fall off the bike.

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Graphics:

I would love to first and for most say the graphics for this game are incredible.  Every bush, every spec of dust (yea that’s a thing in this game) looks amazing.  Random gusts of wind blow and move the trees and even cause dust to fly around in the breeze.  The Ps4 held the frame rate to around 30 FPS which was smooth enough to not cause must delay.  Rarely did I experience lag or any sort of pixelization.  It just sucks that you only get to see it for about 6 in game hours.  Why?  Well you are taken away from it’s beauty when the night falls.  Ubisoft, you spent so much time on making this game look life like but the you have to look at it through night-vision goggles.  In the jungle, obviously there is not much light.  I understand the need to have it be dark during the night time, but not everything has to be pitch black.  At least give us some moonlight or make the rooms bright enough that I do not need night vision goggles the second the sun goes down from high noon.  Giving the benefit of doubt I attempted to play around with the settings to possibly make it bright enough but after an hour I gave up.  After a while the green screen just killed part of the game for me.  The gorgeousness of the game fell away and it became more of an eye strain.  I would of hoped that the night would offer more of cover as well.  Enemies seemed to be able to locate you just as easily during the day as at night, does not seem to make sense.

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Equipment:

Fully customizable…  Finally a game that gets what that actually means.  As you progress in the game, you pick up parts for different guns.  From then on you can install those portions on that particular gun. Sounds super simple but some games do not always get it right, and it is the simple things in life that make Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® Wildlands_20170316212620me happy.  This is one of those.  You are able to customize every part of the weapon.  The tough part, however, is finding the ones you actually want.  As for the other equipment, everything you have is heavily needed in the game play.  This means you are not carrying things you won’t ever use.  Be prepared to have the drone be your best friend.  It is probably the most helpful instrument you have in your arsenal.  The usual suspects are all included.  Grenades, C4, and binoculars are all there to help get the job done.   I think I had more fun jumping out of the helicopter and parachuting around more so than actually playing the game itself.  Climbing to ridiculous heights only to jump out and free fall until the last second, was very thrilling.  One of the best thing this game does better than any other out there is the availability of helicopters.  Every town, every lonely farm house, they all have a helicopter.  It was so nice to quickly move between missions without spending 30 minutes just looking for a fast vehicle.

Multi-Player:

This game was meant to be played with friends.  Taking down the drug cartel with 3 friends made me forget about all the little glitches and faults of this game.  You can play solo, where you are accompanied by three AI teammates but trust me when I say play with others.  Even a random pickup group is better than playing alone.  The game response for the multi-player was spot on.  I never had any sort of connectivity issues while playing with a few friends.  I did notice the AI players will disappear if you do not have a full roster, but strangely enough their voices will still be there.  Another wonderful part of this is the 4 on 4 battles.  Only played a few rounds but it was intense.  Going the multi-player route is best way to really play this game.  So much fun had utilizing all that it has to offer.

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Artificial Intelligence:

I am not sure if everyone was supposed to feel like they are coked out of their minds but that is what it felt like.  Your AI squad figured they were invincible and would run up on everybody unless you gave them specifics.  Not complaining by any means, they were bad asses in that sense.  Taking on the whole army if it was needed, which did however lead to a lot of saving downed comrades.  Eventually I started to give directions and they were not so Rambo-esq.  The drone was ideal for laying down the plan of attack.   The bad guys seemed to have a little extra keen sense.  They always had a idea of my plan before I even did.   The only thing I really could not stand was the civilian AI.  Multiple times I was in a intense gun battle with the whole freaking Bolivian Army and some moron walks into my line of firing.  Thus killing a civilian!  Or I am flying down some back country dirt road at 3 am in a Lamborghini when some dummy decides it is the perfect time to go for a walk.  Mind you they do not have night vision like I do.  Seriously? Another civilian kill, thanks squad I know that I will fail if I keep doing that.  As you might have guessed that annoyed me often.

For all those who are fighting the fight , thank you for everything that you do!

Buy Now: $59.99 or to learn more, go to: Ubisoft.com

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands
Being one who loves RPGs, this is right up my alley.  The game play is well versed but I still felt it needed to few things more things to be worked out.  Story line was easy to follow and made sense but felt lacking with the other NPC's.  Missions were meant to be difficult and made to punish those who were Rambo like.   The landscape and visuals were amazing, when they weren't always in a green haze.  I will not lie, the constant night vision killed a lot of the game for me.  I understand outside of the cities there in not much light but give it a little slack here.   Otherwise the game was great.  So much content that I will be playing until the next "Ghost" game releases.  The AI acted accordingly, with a high amount of difficulty when needed.  Gadgets were basic but still needed every single one.  After all said and done I really did enjoy the game.  I can not wait for the DLC to drop to hopefully fix a few of the issues and expand the already insanely large game even more.
Game Play8.5
Graphics6.5
Equipment8.6
Multi-Player9.4
Artificial Intellgence7.8
The Good:
  • Amazing game with friends
  • So much exploring and missions
  • Gorgeous views
The Not So Good:
  • Night Vision
  • Clunky Driving
  • Glitches
8.2Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
9.1

About The Author

All my life I have been a critic. From the technology I've used to the changing outdoor toys of the seasons. My Chinese zodiac refers to me as quick witted, resourceful, and versatile. It also says I'm plagued by a sharp tongue and have a tendency to be a fault finder. My expert reviews come from my background in cutting edge technology and almost every outdoor experience to keep my geekness balanced. I'm always available to answer questions so feel free to reach out. Cheers!

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