Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands
|Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands|
|Series||Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon|
|Release||March 7, 2017|
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is a tactical shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Paris and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide on March 7, 2017, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as the tenth installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon franchise and is the first game in the Ghost Recon series to feature an open world environment.
The game moves away from the futuristic setting introduced in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and instead feature a setting similar to the original Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Ubisoft described it as one of the biggest open world games that they have published, with the game world including a wide variety of environments such as mountains, forests, deserts, and salt flats.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is a tactical shooter game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective with an optional first person view for gun aiming. Players play as members of the Delta Company, First Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, also known as "Ghosts", a fictional elite special operations unit of the United States Army under the Joint Special Operations Command. It does not feature the futuristic setting used in Advanced Warfighter and Future Soldier, but instead adopts a modern-day setting, similar to the original Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. As a result, the equipment featured in the game is based on weapons and gear commonly used by military forces around the world. However, it features some original equipment, such as drones that can be used to tag enemies and show objectives. These drones have limited abilities until upgraded. The game is the first entry to feature an open world environment, which consists of nine different types of terrain, such as: mountains, forests, desert, salt flats, and also introduces a dynamic weather system as well as a day-night cycle. Completing missions during day-time allows players to spot enemies easily, while completing missions at night grants players a tactical advantage, as the night offers players better concealment and easier infiltration due to some guardsmen being asleep. Players are tasked with making observations before carrying out missions. A variety of vehicles, such as dirt bikes, helicopters and dune buggies are featured in the game. Unlike its predecessors, Wildlands features several side-missions.
When completing missions, players can reach the location where the mission starts through a variety of ways. Players can parachute from a helicopter, walk overland, or drive towards their objectives. Players are allowed to use multiple ways to complete objectives, such as utilizing stealth, melee combat, or using long-ranged or short-ranged weapons provided in the game. The game also features outposts that can be taken down by players. Players can grab enemies at close range with one hand for defense as human shields, while using the other hand to shoot.
When not completing missions, players can interact, and build friendly or hostile relationships with other non-playable characters, such as the citizens, officials or the rebels of the world. These interactions require strategy, as interactions will bring consequences and impact the game's world, and change how players can achieve their objectives. Players can also gain experience points to level up. The playable character can be customized, and loot found on enemies' corpses can be equipped by player characters. Weapons and gear can be upgraded as well. According to the creative director of the game, the AI of the game is unscripted and has their "own motivations and agendas".
Each of the 21 areas on the map is controlled by a buchon, who is also associated with one of four divisions of the cartel's operations: Influence, Security, Production and Smuggling. Clearing missions in an area and collecting key intel unlocks missions where players can target a buchon and eliminate him or her by killing or capturing the target (with some exceptions). Eliminating enough buchones in an operations division allows players to target that division's underboss, and eliminating that underboss and all of the buchones in an operations division leaves the division head vulnerable. Capturing this division head cripples and destabilizes the division and makes the cartel boss more vulnerable.
It features cooperative multiplayer mode, in which players can be joined by up to three other players to explore the game's world and to complete campaign missions. The game can also be played solo, in which the player will be accompanied by three AI teammates, which the player can give orders to. A competitive multiplayer mode has been released as part of a free update on October 10, 2017. It features an elimination type of game mode in a timed 4v4 match with revives. Players can level up through multiplayer gameplay which enables them to improve the different class of characters available. 
The game takes place in Bolivia in July 2019. The country has become increasingly unstable as the Santa Blanca Cartel, a previously minor Mexican drug cartel, gains more power and influence within the country to the point where Bolivia has become a narco-state and the world's largest producer of cocaine. The rise in power of this drug cartel concerns the United States Government, as Santa Blanca's influence has begun to spread beyond Bolivia. The last straw comes when a bomb targets the U.S. embassy in La Paz and its intended target, DEA agent Ricardo "Ricky" Sandoval, is kidnapped, tortured and then killed by the Santa Blanca. As a result, the United States initiates Operation Kingslayer, a joint operation between the CIA, DEA, and JSOC. The United States Army dispatches a Ghost Recon fireteam to destroy the cartel and reveal the connection between Santa Blanca and the local government. The Ghost team consists of Ghost Leader "Nomad", Tactical Gunner "Midas", Engineer "Holt", and Sniper "Weaver". The Ghosts individually make their own way into Bolivia. They rendezvous and are brought to the mission area in Bolivia by helicopter along with their CIA contact, Karen Bowman, who was also a close friend to Ricky. When they land in the province of Itacua they are met with Pac Katari, leader of the Kataris 26, the only resistance against Santa Blanca. Pac Katari gives them their first mission - to recover Amaru, an older man whose ideologies inspired him to found the Kataris 26, now captured by the Santa Blanca. After this mission, the Ghosts are more or less free to tackle the cartel in any way and order they see fit.
As the Ghosts dismantle the cartel piece by piece, they eventually are given the option to go after El Sueño. Upon raiding an empty Cartel stronghold, the Ghosts receive a call from El Sueño. He attempts to bribe the Ghosts into working for the Santa Blanca, promising huge benefits. The Ghosts refuse. After further dismantling the cartel, Pac Katari requests the Ghosts meet with him in person. Upon reaching the meeting place, the Ghosts find no signs of Katari and instead find the dead body of Amaru. Suspicious, the Ghosts ask Bowman to set up a meeting with the rebel leader, though her transmission is cut short. The Ghosts eventually find Bowman captive in the presence of the rebels. Told that Katari has betrayed them, the Ghosts race to El Sueño's mausoleum to capture him. After fighting their way through both rebel and cartel opposition, the Ghosts and Bowman find and surround El Sueño, who has just beheaded Katari. Despite El Sueño surrendering to the Ghosts, Bowman receives a call from her superiors, informing that Sueño had made a deal with the Department of Justice to give up the heads of other drug cartels in exchange for immunity.
The story ends depending on whether the Ghosts fully dismantled the cartel. If remnants of the cartel remain, Bowman will execute El Sueño, leading to her dismissal from the CIA and be arrested for murdering El Sueño, although she has no regrets of doing so, placing the lives of the Bolivians and her best friend Ricky above the lucrative cocaine trade. If the Ghosts have fully dismantled the Cartel having taken down others involved with Santa Blanca, Bowman takes El Sueño into protective custody. El Sueño provides further intel on other drug cartels, terrorist groups, and arms smugglers while in custody. Bowman predicts that when the intelligence has run out, El Sueño will either be extradited by Mexico or cut loose and start a new drug cartel, starting the cycle over again, for which she and the Ghosts will again prepare themselves.
The development of Wildlands began in 2012, and was revealed in the end of Ubisoft's E3 2015 press conference. Ubisoft also claimed that Wildlands will feature the largest open-world environment the company has ever created. In order to create a realistic Bolivian environment, the developers visited Bolivia for two weeks and asked for consultation from local Bolivians. A modified version of the AnvilNext engine for supporting the large open world environments was used for the game.
In March 2017, the Bolivian government expressed their dissatisfaction over the game's portrayal of their country as a violent narco-state, and filed a formal complaint to the French embassy in La Paz. Bolivia's Interior Minister Carlos Romero stated that the country has the standing to take legal action.
Ubisoft responded with the following statement; "Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is a work of fiction, similar to movies or TV shows. Like all Tom Clancy’s games from Ubisoft, the game takes place in a modern universe inspired by reality, but the characters, locations and stories are all fantasies created solely for entertainment purposes. Bolivia was chosen as the background of this game based on its magnificent landscapes and rich culture. While the game’s premise imagines a different reality than the one that exists in Bolivia today, we do hope that the in-game world comes close to representing the country’s beautiful topography, and that players enjoy exploring the diverse and open landscapes it moved us to create."
Ubisoft released a 30-minute short film titled Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within the Cartel on February 16, 2017 on their Twitch channel and later on Amazon Prime. It stars Tip "T.I." Harris and was executive produced by Roberto Orci and Orlando Jones through the production company Legion of Creatives. Avi Youbian directed the short.
As the game was revealed at E3 2015, some critics called the announcement one of the most surprising reveals during E3. Wildlands was nominated for IGN's E3 2015 Game of the Show, Best PlayStation 4 Game, Best Xbox One Game and Best PC Game awards, and received one of GameSpot's Best of E3 2015 awards. It was also named the best co-operative and the best shooter by Game Informer in their Best of E3 2015 Awards.
The beta of the game was released on Steam and lasted from February 23 to February 27, 2017. On March 1, 2017, Ubisoft revealed that Tom Clancy’s: Ghost Recon Wildlands' beta-phase had attracted more than 6.8 million players, making it its most successful beta to date.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands received "generally favorable" reviews for the Xbox One version of the game, while the PlayStation 4 and PC versions received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
Praise was given to the game's shooting mechanics, visuals and design of Bolivia, while criticism was directed towards the game's narrative, bad vehicle controls and repetitive missions.
Since the release of Wildlands, four DLC packs have been released. The first one, Narco Road, sees the player infiltrate the remnants of the Santa Blanca drug cartel. The second DLC pack, Fallen Ghosts, sees Ghost Squadron return to Bolivia to thwart Los Extranjeros, a coalition of corrupt special forces units that are threatening to seize control of Bolivia. The third and most recent DLC is Ghost War, which is a free download to all players is made up of a four-aside player-versus-player mode. Players must pick a class and choose its perks. Each class has a special ability which can be used to take down other players. The fourth DLC titled Operation: Watchman features Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Splinter Cell series.
The game was nominated for "Best Co-op Game" at PC Gamer's 2017 Game of the Year Awards. It won the award for "Best Cooperative Multiplayer" at Game Informer's Best of 2017 Awards, and also won the awards for "Best Setting" (Bolivia), "Best Comeback" in multiplayer, and "Best Cooperative Multiplayer" in their 2017 Shooter of the Year Awards. EGMNow ranked the game 23rd on their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017, while Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation ranked it second on his list of the Five Blandest Games of 2017. It was also nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay" at the 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
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