Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ghost War
When Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands first came out earlier this year, it was both lauded and maligned by two distinct sets of gamers. One contingent dismissed the game outright because they said that it was boring and didn’t have any replay value. However, I did notice that they invariably made the mistake of describing how they played the latest Ghost Recon. They stated that they played it just as they would your typical Grand Theft Auto game. In other words, running or speeding all over the open world map and randomly rushing through missions.
On the other hand, many gamers embraced both the stealth aspect of Ghost Recon Wildlands, as well as assigning roles to each player within a four-man team. For instance, our crew had a pointman for CQC and assault; a LMG guy for suppression; a long to mid-range marksman; and a demolitions expert. In that way, everybody served as a spoke in a larger wheel, and complimented each other instead of being redundant. We also played the game as it was meant to be played—utilizing stealth and taking our time with each mission. It really allowed us to get much more out of the experience than others.
I’d long wished Wildlands had shipped with a multiplayer mode, in fact that was my only real gripe about the game itself. I’d heard that Ubisoft was going to implement it later on in the form of a free update, but boy, has it been a long time coming.
Well, Ghost Recon Wildlands’ new multiplayer mode, titled Ghost War, is finally here. The backstory is that after the evil Santa Blanca Cartel has been destroyed by the various spec ops squads that liberated Bolivia from it, they turn on one another in order to reap the spoils of war. In other words it’s all about black ops on black ops action, which is a pretty cool twist. It’s much more believable than trying to explain how various counter-terrorism and spec ops groups are going up against each other in Ubisoft’s other big tactical shooter, Rainbow Six: Siege.
Just as in the game’s main campaign, Ghost War is based around four-man squads, only this time they’re pitted against other player-controlled four-man squads in 4 vs 4 matchups. There are eight maps to play upon that range from lumber mills surrounded by forests, survival camps surrounded by forests—actually, come to think of it—every map is pretty much surrounded by lush vegetation except for a boulder-studded mining site. There is only one mode offered so far: The first team to win two out of three rounds wins a match.
Fortunately, Ubisoft made each of the rounds eight minutes in length as opposed to a much harsher limit, such as Siege’s five minute rounds. These longer time limits suits the larger maps, and even though the maps are all sort of same-y in a way, there are plenty of opportunities for stealthy flanking maneuvers as well as cover-based gun battles. Wildland’s third-person perspective also allows for players to scope out the large areas around them so that they can better spot their enemies.
The maps also take place during different times of the day or night, and time actually passes by as you play each round. Not only that, but you’ll play under randomized weather conditions, such as storms, fog, and overcast. I can’t tell you how fun it is to creep through lush jungle foliage at night with my NVGs (night vision goggles) as rain cascades down on everything and lightning flashes overhead. Talk about being a sniper’s nightmare.
Beyond your eyeballs, there is another way to detect your enemies in the form of drones. Fling a drone up into the air and guide above suspected enemy locations—from there it will indicate them with a red icon which also lets you know what class they are.
Speaking of classes, there are twelve in total divided among three broader categories—Assault, Marksman, and Support. There are some really cool classes that you can (through gaining experience) get access too, such as the Assault category’s Assassin class, which can quickly dart around a battlefield and take out foes with silenced weapons; or the Support-based Diversionist, who has tiny devices that distract enemies by mimicking gunfire. All twelve of the classes are fairly well-balanced, and I can’t wait for Ubisoft to add more to the game in future updates.
Each class also has a selection of both active and passive perks that they can use during matches. For instance, I tend to play the Assault-based Pointman, who has a perk called “Quick Getaway.” This gives me the ability to reduce his detection time from five seconds to just one, once he breaks contact with an enemy drone’s line of sight.
This allows me to quickly fade back into cover or concealment and remain hidden from detection. Or, I could give him the “Safety First” perk, which turns him into a more forward-based mobile mine-detector. Ghost War’s perk system really allows you to tailor each individual class to match your playstyle or your team’s strategy, from round to round.
In all, I found Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ghost War to be an engaging and immersive multiplayer mode for an already excellent tactical shooter. Although I would have loved to have seen slightly larger maps and round times—with perhaps vehicles present—as it stands it’s a heck of a lot of fun to play with a group of friends. Just make sure that you utilize a mic to boost your side’s teamwork potential.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ghost War features great graphics that make its tactical shooter gameplay come alive. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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