First Impressions of the Latest Ghost Recon Game From Ubisoft
So, I picked this up over the weekend at the behest of some of my regular online comrades. They definitely had to talk it up a bit to me, but I was already on the lookout for another cooperative online game and felt that a break from the humdrum repetitiveness of Battlefield 1’s endless rounds of conquest would be a blessing. Taking down a drug cartel? In a map that’s probably one of the biggest I’ve ever seen? With lots of guns? Yeah, sounds great.
So far I’ve played for only about ten hours, half with friends and half with the 3 AI counterparts that replace your real life buddies whilst playing solo. I prefer the AI. That may seem harsh but hear me out. When playing solo, you are automatically given the role of leader, for obvious reasons. What you say goes and that’s that. No questions asked. Want your team to hang back whilst you silently infiltrate an enemy base? Done. Want to assign targets to your squad and silently explode their heads simultaneously? AI is your friend. Playing with real life friends however can often feel like no-one’s in charge and your all playing your own version. Sure, we might scope the area using our tiny flying drones and binoculars from a nearby bluff, before throwing together a swift action plan designed to get us in and out with maximum stealth but that all quite swiftly goes to shit when someone charges round a corner, gets spotted, enemy reinforcements are called and we all either run away and hide or almost immediately get wiped out and have to start all over. And that’s with people I know well and communicate (seemingly) effectively with. I have yet to try playing with a group of randoms as I feel with certainty that the experience would be so, so much worse.
The actual game itself though, not too shabby. The setting of pretty much the entire country of Bolivia looks and sounds great. Not being familiar with Bolivian topography I’m afraid I can’t comment on the accuracy of the ragged hillsides, sweeping plains and barren deserts, but it’s a damn nice place to explore. Ambient noise, combined with a pretty stellar day/night cycle and dynamic weather make for a pretty stunning overall experience. There are plenty of ways to get around with vehicles seemingly abandoned at random all over the place, and there’s always fast travel if you really can’t be bothered driving/flying.
The combat feels good, and the stealthy option is without a doubt the best one 100% of the time. Seriously. Going in ‘loud’, especially on some of the larger bases you have to conquer is a sure fire way to satisfy anyone’s sadistic need to view the loading screen tips over and over. Mission structure is pretty basic so far (go here, kill this guy, don’t kill that guy etc.) but we’ll see how that pans out as the story line continues. Oh yeah, the story. Something about a drug cartel in Bolivia. And a bad guy with some really crazy tattoos and a big coffin/statue thing. Difficult to get invested in from the start but that’ll improve… hopefully.
I’ll leave it at that for now but keep an eye out for the full review once I’ve put a little more time into the game, as it’s way too early to reach any solid opinions on this one yet. Think I might need to find some new friends as well. If any of you see this, well, sorry about that.