The best laid plans soon turn to shit when every dickhead has an AK47.
"The jungle would light up with chaos and fire, pissing all over my 15 minutes of careful planning. Rarely did my stealth aspirations come to fruition without interruption from some goon."
The Ghost Recon: Wildlands open beta has come to an end, forcing us to lay down our weapons and retreat to the shadows. At least until the full game hits release next week on March 7.
But what do you think of the return of the Ghost Recon team?
My overall impression was one of chaos that I just about had enough control over. Open worlds are great when there's so much going on, but it felt like a lot of what was happening with the Rebel Forces, the Santa Blanca Cartel and Unidad was overpowering.
I planned my approach to missions carefully. Used the drone to tag enemies, scope out higher ground, pick routes through buildings and take down the most lethal guards first. And as I started my methodical takedown of the cartel we'd be off to a good start with a few satisfying head shots using the most generous sniper rifle ever designed.
But then out of the blue the Rebel Forces (who were supposed to be our support) would drive by the same cartel base I'd spent time staking out and launch a full-on attack. The jungle would light up with chaos and fire, pissing all over my 15 minutes of careful planning. Rarely did my stealth aspirations come to fruition without some interruption from a goon who was supposed to be on my side. I'm all for random and escalating gameplay, but what the actual fuck is everyone doing?
"The map was so busy I crashed into an enemy convoy, gave chase to an officer in a sports car, dropped a helicopter slap bang in the middle of a cartel camp. Surprise!"
The team AI didn't help in this regard either. They seemed either wildly trigger happy or cowardly, with little action inbetween. Going stealth felt like I was carrying three other guys behind me. Going weapons-free sent them berserk. Clearly Wildlands is built with four-player co-op in mind. It works much better with a team of friends, but that's not always a practical solution. I'm not sure there's a middle ground to be found but I hope there is.
I probably enjoyed the Ghost Recon: Wildlands open beta because of these problems. It's haphazard approach meant it was never dull. It litters the map with icons and things to do, missions trigger as you pass them, multiple coloured blobs indicating bad guys and good guys spring up and demand your attention. The map was so busy I crashed into an enemy convoy, gave chase to an officer in a sports car, dropped a helicopter slap bang in the middle of a cartel camp. Surprise! It was all the Ubisoft things in one game: Far Cry and Assassin's Creed and a little bit of The Division.
I died a lot but it didn't matter because the next time I idly checked I had 16 Skill Points to unlock stuff. A steadier aim, a parachute, a quicker revive from my idiot team mates. It's like it knows it's a bit janky but throws so much at you it hopes you won't notice. The radio never stopped chattering, the bullets never stopped flying. I laughed at the absurdity of it all. It's probably not what dedicated Ghost Recon fans wanted or where expecting. But I can see myself going back to this because there seems so much stuff to do with three buddies who equally are out for laughs and guns and noise and nonsense. It's not so much Ghost Recon as Drunk A-Team.
What did you think to the Ghost Recon: Wildlands open beta? Did it convince you to drop dollars on the final game, or put you off entirely?