Ghost Recon Wildlands Just Came Out Flat – Impressions from the Beta

Apparently I was really excited to play Ubisoft Paris’ Ghost Recon Wildlands when it will be available at game stores, I even had plans of pre-ordering the game. However, going through the closed beta made me go back a little further and had a second thought – is the game worth it at this point?

For Honor’s beta was impressive, it was filled with tense moments and exhilarating experience in multiplayer on all modes. It kept me coming back for more, that craving feeling to cut off your opponent’s head with two samurai blades or an axe. The closed beta made me want to get the game. I know Ghost Recon is different, but it doesn’t deny the fact that the gameplay is that horrible, uninteresting, lackluster, and just bland. However, the co-op feature is something to look forward to.

Platformed Played: PS4
Preview is based on the closed beta stages of the game.

My uncle is a big fan of the Ghost Recon franchise, he was the person who introduced me to the game after letting me try out Rainbow Six Rogue Spear on the PC when I was a kid. I got hooked up with the first Ghost Recon title that was developed by RedStorm Entertainment. It was challenging and fun, the pace was great, and the idea of tactical approach made me love the genre even more. With Wildlands going to an open-world setting is ambitious. The different direction of Wildlands is something I wholeheartedly agree. However, they didn’t get the right formula to make Wildlands standout from its competitors.

Wildlands didn’t live to my expectations after I got to play the beta. Aside from its disappointing visuals, the closed beta had a lot… really, a lot of glitches and bugs. There were trees that constantly twitch when moving, cars suddenly bounce while running, physics are just outlandish where character models just go through the doors when they get in and out of the vehicles. I just can’t deal too much of those glitches. I finished the 6 available missions in the beta along with some other players within a day, and even replayed them in single-player mode to know how well the AI cooperates.

You can compare Wildlands to something like Watch_Dogs 2 and Grand Theft Auto V mixed together. There are gadgets like the quadcopter drone that you can use to mark enemies on your minimap (like Watch_Dogs 2). Vehicles also include a chopper and a plane (GTA V) where you can also jump once you unlock the parachute feat. Now, this is actually senseless. Acquiring parachutes shouldn’t be a feat, but an item that you can unlock in a certain mission or something that should already be in your inventory.

Speaking of feats, there are a lot of skills and abilities that you can upgrade like damage resistance, healing allies much faster, and even the quadcopter’s signal distance and battery life. I do love the idea that Ubisoft Paris decided to make the quadcopter limited when it’s in-use. There’s a cooldown after you use the quadcopter when it runs out of batteries. This game design encourages the player to efficiently use the device than abusing it.

The skill tree will make a whole lot of sense if the tutorial is handed to you at the beginning, but it seems that these tutorials are separated into bits of pieces when you initially start the game. I haven’t explored too much in the skill tree though since it was useless. You’re able to survive in the first sets of missions in the first location without tinkering that much with your feats.

Aside from ineffective feats, the driving was tad horrendous. It was wonky, and slippery. It didn’t matter if you drive a 4×4 or a sedan, all of them had the same horrible handling controls. The overall controls feels unresponsive, especially in combat. Panning the right analog stick to get an accurate shot is really a struggle.

Given that Wildlands is still on the beta stages, there is still time for Ubisoft Paris to fix these horrible bugs and glitches before it launches on March 7, 2017. Impressively, Ubisoft’s servers for Wildlands are stable compared to For Honor’s. But we still have to consider the amount of gameplay experience we get from both games, and that’s where Wildlands flop at this point. Hopefully, when the game launches, Ubisoft Paris will have the issues fixed, and also to add more things to make Wildlands be more engaging.

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