En­ter­ing Narco ter­ri­tory

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Re­con Wild­lands

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX / REVIEW - by John Law

A whole new (open) world

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Re­con

Wild­lands (here­with re­ferred to as Wild­lands) is an open-world game with an ex­ceed­ingly sim­ple premise: a drug lord known as El Sueno (Span­ish for ‘The Dream’) has set him­self up as the king­pin of a well-run, well-oiled, and well-man­aged drug car­tel, turn­ing one Latin Amer­i­can coun­try into a Narco state. The pow­ers of jus­tice have de­creed that the drug car­tel must be de­stroyed, and the team to do this is the Ghost squad.

If you’ve seen the trail­ers and game­play footage that sprung up on­line since its E3 2015 an­nounce­ment, you’ll know just how well Ubisoft has man­aged to Xerox the coun­try of Bo­livia into Wild­lands. Un­like the Ghost

Re­con ti­tles be­fore it, Wild­lands claims the mile­stone of be­ing the first open­world ti­tle of the fran­chise.

Vast, ex­pan­sive, and in­nately de­tailed, the land­scape is painstak­ingly gor­geous. Its real-time day/night cy­cle pro­vides play­ers with the choice of con­duct­ing op­er­a­tions in broad day­light, or in­con­spic­u­ously in the dark. Even the ran­dom weather gen­er­a­tor is an added bonus, with thun­der­storms and rain mask­ing the sound of your pres­ence.

But beau­ti­ful as Wild­lands’ take on Bo­livia is, the land is just as deadly. Dan­ger lurks around just about ev­ery cor­ner and can be found any­where.

With a lit­tle help from friends

Game­play and com­bat me­chan­ics in Wild­lands es­sen­tially lies on the edge of the coin. On one face, it’s a mas­sive im­prove­ment over the pre­vi­ous ti­tles. En­gag­ing en­emy com­bat­ants feels a lot more fluid and dy­namic, and is very sim­i­lar to the com­bat me­chan­ics of Ubisoft’s Far Cry fran­chise (sans the bru­tal and styl­ized melee take­downs).

But that’s the other face of the coin: en­gag­ing tar­gets in

Wild­lands can be done in one of three ways: ei­ther you go in guns blaz­ing, an­nounc­ing your­self to the en­emy, or sim­ply kill them silently and com­plete your ob­jec­tives like a ghost (pun in­tended). To that end, you can ac­tu­ally im­prove your char­ac­ter’s per­for­mance in ei­ther as­pect via the game’s skill tree, with skill points gained ei­ther by ex­pe­ri­ence or by pick­ing up spe­cial medals scat­tered through­out the world.

Where Wild­lands shines, though, is in its mul­ti­player mode, and more specif­i­cally, play­ing with ran­dom peo­ple. Yes, you may some­times get paired with some less-thanca­pable play­ers, but trust us, there’s just noth­ing more ex­cit­ing and en­ter­tain­ing (hi­lar­i­ous even) than at­tempt­ing to co­or­di­nate a sync shot or con­duct­ing a raid on an en­emy base with said play­ers. If any­thing, our writer was hav­ing a laugh at the way a sim­ple mis­sion could so quickly de­scend into chaos, and his group hadn’t even reached the tar­get yet.

One of the core fea­tures is the cus­tomiza­tion of your gear, ap­parel, and char­ac­ter’s ap­pear­ance.

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