It’s been quite a while since the release of Ghost Recon Wildlands. And since then, the game has gotten a lot of criticism for what it turned the Ghost Recon franchise into.

For starters, Wildlands isn’t really Ghost Recon as much as it is more of The Division. The gameplay and strategic thinking fell more in line with your typical shooter than the slow tactical precision that one would expect. As you can tell, this wasn’t well received by fans of the previous installments.

 

(Enemies aren’t too tactical and have a tendency of just rushing at you…)

Wildlands also felt either way too forgiving or way too unfair. Depending on your difficulty, you’ll either be mowing down waves of enemies with almost no consideration for what weapons to bring, or you’ll be dying a lot from getting shot just three times. Enemies on higher difficulties have ridiculous laser pinpoint accuracy and have a tendency to rush to your position. It felt more like trying to stop a wave of Spartan soldiers than clashing with a modern group of sicarios. Stealth is also quite challenging since they can spot you faster than you can move to cover.

On easier difficulties, the game almost presents itself as devoid of any form of challenge. Dying is merely an inconvenience as you can be revived over and over again for a maximum of three times. While that doesn’t sound like much, your enemies will take forever to just get rid of one of your lives. AI teammates are ridiculous competent to the point that you could just sit back and leave everything to them.

The Update:

Thankfully, the new Ghost Update gives you a whole another reason to play the game again. This new update gives you “Ghost Mode” which will completely change the way you’re supposed to play.

In this new mode, no longer will you be able to swap other primary weapons. You’ll be stuck with one, and just one. The only way to change it is through the ammo box as you can no longer change your weapon from your arsenal whenever you want. This finally gives the game a layer of depth in strategy, as having two primary weapons used to eliminate that. Your pistol was practically useless.

This time, you’ll have to think hard before tackling each mission. You can’t just change weapons to fit the situation. If you want to swap your primary weapon for something else, then you’ll need to pick them up from whatever it is that you find lying on the floor. This is great. In the game, I never really had to pick up enemy weapons before because I never needed to.

Ammunition must also be conserved from now on. If you reload without using all the bullets in a magazine, then those bullets are gone. Your ghost operator will just throw away the cartridge to put in a new one without adding in the former’s bullets. I thought this was great. Ammunition was never a problem before and I never really had to think about conserving resources because I might need them later. This was really the same issue I had in Metal Gear Solid 4 where I can just buy bullets anywhere at any given point in time.

(No silencer? Everyone is going to be on him in a few seconds…)

Death is permanent. If that sounds scary, then you’re right. This is probably the only mechanic in the game that I feel conflicted about. Once your character dies without being revived, you lose all progression and have to start from the beginning. I’m not sure if this includes story missions as well or just character ability and weapons. I’m a bit divided. While it sounds like it will add more tension to the game, it also feels scary to think I’ll lose everything just because of one mistake – which does give that sense of realism, but it also feels a bit too much.

Since death is permanent, you should also be careful about who you invite to your team. Friendly Fire is always there. Add up the dots. If you partner up with a toxic player who decides to kill your for giggles, then you’ll lose everything. Ghost Mode isn’t a place to screw around in.

(Think carefully with your squad before heading in…)

The fact that there’s really almost no limiting factor eliminates the need for a plan before tackling a mission. In Ghost Mode, strategy, tactics, and logistics are everything. You need to weigh down every decision you make before putting them into action. Surveying the area and plotting are no longer optional but necessary for survival.

This update really does well for the atmosphere of Ghost Recon Wildlands. Before this mode, you’ll feel like an overpowered American soldier mowing down a bunch of cocaine addicts in foreign territory. With this update, you’ll feel like an American soldier whose government support was cut, forcing you to get your hands on anything you can find to take down guerilla soldiers in foreign grounds.

What I Question About This Update?

Normally, there are a couple of things I find questionable about this update. Since there is permanent death, that opens up a whole lot of other questions.

For example, since it’s possible to get stuck and die inside a vehicle when it explodes, then that means sometimes you can’t be revived and it’s an instant death. And if you jump off a cliff and couldn’t activate the parachute it’s an instant death because you dove face first into pavement. It will be very frustrating when this happens. Imagine losing everything just because of this. Perhaps they removed instant death with no chance of revival? They never quite clarified that.

(This guy will ruin everything for you!)

Trust will also become a huge factor when it comes to enjoyment. Granted if you’re in a firefight in real life, you won’t just trust some random dude to cover your back. Since there will be toxic players and a lot of them will inevitably see opportunity to mess with people, will there be punishment for team killing? There should be consequence for deliberately killing off your teammates so they lose all their progress.

What do they mean by “losing all progress?” Do they mean just the character progression as in weapons and ability points invested? Or does that also mean story missions as well? Hopefully, story missions will still be completed but only the operative will be dead forcing us to make a new one.

I have been gathering some info around the net. And I do hear the fact that if the operator dies, everything will have to be restarted from the beginning, including the story missions. So far this hasn’t been confirmed yet. But if it is true, it’s not something I like. It’s too consequential.

With the new update for Ghost Recon Wildlands allowing us to use Ghost Mode for those who don’t have year pass coming up. We’ll finally be able to experience Ghost Recon Wildlands in a new way that even those who hated it might love!

A bit of final advice: don’t easily trust anyone with your back. A single troll, griefer, and incompetent teammate can destroy your whole progression.