Sunday, 5 February 2017

Impressions: Ghost Recon: Wildlands - Beta

We've been gone for a little while and you may be wondering why? Well in truth there's been some unavoidable home life stuff (and a small coma from watching the Switch reveal) but we have also been deep into a heap of games, such as Ark, Battlefield 1, and a pair of Ubisoft Betas. Today we're going to talk about some of our experiences in the Ghost Recon beta.

Don't I know you?
Right from the get go there is a sense of Dejavu and that is initially very true, as Ghost Recon shares a lot of DNA with Ubisoft's other third-person shooter; The Division. However don't rush to write GR:WL off as "Division in the jungle" because unlike its RPG focused brother Wildlands is all shooter. Headshots are instant kills, melee attacks kill, and there isn't a health bar in sight. 

I know that last bit seems obvious when compared to other shooters but it clearly divides the two games and as such any potential buyer, for better or for worse, shouldn't affect any player's decision to play Ghost Recon. In fact after an hour or so Ghost Recon felt more like a co-op Metal Gear Solid V than Division. 

'Open'  might seem a weird subtitle there but it nicely sums up Wildlands. The game features a lush open world, characters are open not locked into classes, the entire game is open to co-op, missions are open to multiple approaches and playstyles. (Told you open was the right word), I know some people will read "co-op" and worry about the single player but as with all GR games single player features you commanding AI squad members (who aren't acting like players) who are there to support you NOT to take glory or get spotted. 

The mission one, for us at GKUK, is a key selling point. we've carefully sneaked up on a base, whip out our drones tagging bosses, before sneaking in to eliminate them (has not always gone well). We've casually driven in front of a convoy and had one of use pop out the boot/trunk to light up the drivers. I've also cleared out an enemy base by rolling a C4 covered bulldozer down a mountain.

The signature Ghost Recon Gunsmith returns giving players full access to their weapon, for example allowing us to take an assault rifle and alter the stock, scope, trigger, magazine, under the barrel, rail, barrel and muzzle.

Now that's not to say the beta is perfect, far from it. The games lush tropical beauty covers a whole lot of roughness that we fear isn't simply down to its beta status. There are little things like how NPC react to bullets, how enemy bodies disappear, guards with helmets seem surprisingly weak to bullets, and basically, anything to do with vehicles.

The cars don't break fences as easily as they should, it's surprisingly heard to fall off a bike, vehicles slip out from underneath players (which is doubly odd as it gives you a prompt to climb onto them), and planes have an odd level off,,, well can you tell me what went wrong here.

Yeah... that, that was not right. like at all.

Ultimately it's the "here as some toys, here are some things that need doing" approach that has us excited to see the full game, even with the flaws/roughness of the beta its till a very tempting package. If the PR speak about the game reacting to how you.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands is due out March 7th and is coming to the usual Xbox One, PS4 and PC combo

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