Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

I picked up my copy of Ghost Recon: Wildlands on release day, but have not had a lot of time to play it. I have a total of 2 hours of gameplay so far, but I gotta say...I LOVE IT. I wish the character creation features were more detailed as far as facial, and body customization, but I'll take it as it is. 

As I plan on streaming this on twitch, and also playing through on my own, I decided it would be best to make two characters. The character picture above is my Twitch character, she is female..meanwhile my personal character is a male (which can be seen in my first wildlands video)

First of all, what I love about the game is the amount of detail they seem to have put into the story. The whole semi-cult-of-personality feel of the main villain, El SueƱo is very reminiscent of the leader of the real-world Knight-Templars Cartel, which seems to have their own twisted Narco-Trafficking Cult, but I would not go as far as to say that this is 100% based off of the real-life cartel, it simply reminds me of it. I love the use of realistic Narco-Religious symbolism, such as the use of the Santa Muerte (Holy Death)

Statue of the Santa Muerte
La Santa Muerta is actually a religious symbol/icon often used by Cartels in Mexico, it has also developed a semi-legitimate religious following as Catholicism is mixed with Narco-Culture in many places south of the border. 

One of the things that had me worried about this game was that I thought there may not be enough action in between objectives. I was wrong, such as with other Open-World Ubisoft games, namely those in the Far-Cry series, you encounter many scattered enemy patrols. These patrols definitely work in making travel between points a lot more interesting, and challenging. You really feel like you are in Narco-State where you can't trust the local military, and any of the plain clothed young men nearby could potentially be agents of the Santa Blanca Cartel. Unlike Far-Cry 3 and 4 (the last two Far-Cry games I played) I feel like this game does the whole enemy infested land mechanic a whole lot better. 

Ambushing an enemy patrol in Far-Cry 3

I also love that there are bountiful amounts of civilians scattered across the map, creating a more realistic feel where you definitely have to clearly ID your target, or face the guilt inducing fuck up of accidentally murdering a civilian (which has happened to me at least twice by this point). The one thing that kills the immersion though, is the constant switch between English and Spanish chatter over the radio, isn't Bolivia a Spanish speaking country after all? This does not kill the gameplay, but it sure doesn't make me feel like i'm in Bolivia. 

Finally, I love the customizability of the weapons, and the soldier's skill tree. I have been playing the Mass Effect Trilogy over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of the Mass Effect: Andromeda release. Mass Effect is legitimately my favorite video game franchise of all time, but one thing it sincerely lacked with weapon, and skill customization. Sure there was skill points which could be used to enhance your character, but to me they felt very limited. Sure, there was some level of Weapons and Armor Customization, but again , it was very limited. Wildlands allows you to customize your skills a lot more extensively, and the weapons customization is detailed to the point where you can customize trigger selection...I love that. The amount of weapon, clothing, equipment, patches, and accessories which there are to unlock also has me extremely excited as I feel like I can make a soldier which is very unique to my style of play, and my prefered aesthetics.

I can not wait until I get a little more time with this game. I want to see how the story resolves, but most importantly I want to see if after all is said and done, if this game has any replayability. I want to see if there is any fun left after the main story is complete. It would suck for this to be like Far Cry 3 or 4, where when you complete the main story, there is really no reason to continue playing the game.  Please join me as I continue this story by following, subscribing, and sharing this blog, and participating in my other social media projects (found below).

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