STEALING A PLANE HAS NEVER BEEN SO FUN
Despite - or, perhaps, because of - Wildlands' world being so massive and open, after the first area you’re pretty much set free to go where you want. This means you can steal a helicopter or plane and fly to an area with a greyed out map, and start taking down the boss in that region.
It was the side quests, though, that kept us playing hours after we should have been in bed. Every area linked to a side (or main) quest will have resources that you need to unlock skills.
While some are locked behind level requirements, there’s plenty to unearth right away.
The larger resource quests will require you to steal a plane or tackle a convoy, and these are excellent fun. One of our favourite moments with the game was silently killing an entire base of enemies, stealing their plane and delivering it to the rebels, all for a cool 2000 resource points.
EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH FRIENDS!
As you’d expect, this is a game designed for four player co-op, but we’d actually suggest playing a few hours solo at first. Wildlands is a systems-heavy game, and friendly chatter might obscure some understanding of how everything works.
The mark and execute system doesn’t quite work with friends, either. The idea and mechanics stay the same, but there’s no AI to execute - it’s merely a way to line up the shot with your buddies so you all fire together.
One of the best things about the online co-op, though, is how crazy things will just happen. What if you’re in a car with your friend and they're driving, and they decide that a quicker way to get to your waypoint is to just launch off a cliff instead of following the road?
Wildlands absolutely excels with friends and, while it’s a far cry from Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfare, there are tactical elements and skills that are aimed at team play, too. Just don’t be surprised if it goes horribly wrong because you’ve teamed up with a lunatic who decides to forgo stealth and fly a helicopter into a convoy.
TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON WILDLANDS VERDICT
Wildlands is a genuine surprise. It’s tonally all over the place, but, when it comes to the core loop you’ll experience when playing it, this is a seriously satisfying, addictive game.
Sure, the AI can be ropey at times - they’re great at reviving, not so great at killing: we caught our guys shooting a wall - so online play is the way to go.
Either way, though, this is one game that you’re going to have a great time playing.