Developer: Ubisoft Paris Publisher: Ubisoft Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Our 50 best games of the year countdown isn’t in any order, we’re just going through fifty of the finest the year has given us. Find out more here.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a fantastic third person shooter that takes place in a gritty environment in a country that is crippled by drugs. The overall feel of the game is one of oppression, with the weight of the drug cartel weighing down on the people that live there. You play as one of four members of a Special Forces unit that have been tasked with sole aim of eliminating the Santa Blanca Cartel.
Ubisoft did a fantastic job of creating the intricate web that is the inner workings of a drug cartel, with each of the captains having their own unique backstory, giving you a reason as to why they must be either captured for questioning by the CIA, or killed. Wildlands shows the effect that removing one of them had on the overall cartel, making each one feel like it mattered when you removed them from power. By removing a captain, you weaken one of the four major assets that make up the cartel: Influence, Production, Security and Distribution, with each captain having their own effect on each asset.
Graphically, this game will not win any awards, but what it lacks visually, it makes up for in smooth gameplay, with each firefight as tense as the next, as well as being able to attack enemies whilst on the move in a vehicle. There are numerous sidequests which involve aiding the local rebels or capturing certain supplies, which you will need if you ever wanted to level up your character as you progress to harder bosses. Wildlands also allows you to take the fight to the Cartel with a friend or a group of you, but playing solo does not take away any of the enjoyment from the game – it just offers you a different way to play.
Sure, this game is full of microtransactions, but at no point did I feel pressured into buying them – everything I needed I could unlock while playing the game, but Ubisoft are regularly updating the game, having recently introduced a PVP mode and also tweaked with the controls to make flying helicopters and planes a lot easier. Wildlands also offers some of the best DLC that I have ever played, with Fallen Ghosts requiring you to infiltrate and take down a rogue cell who has been lured to the Cartel’s side with the promise of fame and fortune, and Cartel Road allows you to take down new bosses and stop the flow of cocaine leaving the country.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a journey into the world of drugs, the people who deal them, and the steps the government will take in order to bring the people involved down. Although the gaming world could be more populated, and the ending could have been done totally different, this is still a solid game, which just goes to show what Ubisoft can achieve if they set their minds to it.