Ghost Recon Wildlands is out in the wild - sorry just had to, and we have been playing it for a few days now. If anything, the amazing co-op brings the best out of the game. We have seen elements of the gameplay in different titles like GTA V and The Division, but Wildlands mergers all this into one casual, yet explosive cooperative game. So what makes the Wildlands experience so different from previous co-op titles, and what sets it apart from the usual?
A lag free party
- Tested: SkyFi Fibre with 30Mbps download speed 10Mbps upload speed
Right off the bat Wildlands runs beautifully, and the matchmaking is flawless. Opening up your squad privacy to your friends means they can instantly drop in and out of your game at any time. It also means that you are welcoming them into your world to help you explore the vast land of Bolivia. The game has no loading screens after you have booted into the game world, and even joining up with friends results in a quick and easy wait time. The only one issue I did encounter while playing on PS4, was the back and forth invite system between friends just did not work that well. Say I want to send an invite to my brother, he would have to then accept it, which will prompt me to send him a confirmation, and after he accepted this he would be able to join the game. It is confusing and way too much work when all you want to do is play the darn game. It was also much easier to just join him or a friend through a chat party we were in.
Connectivity wise, it was an absolute dream. Zero lag, no disconnection from lobbies, and even the fast travel system instantly teleported me to my brother within seconds. Every sniper shot hit the target, without ever worrying about them rubber banding across the map. All this flawless netcode is vital to the game's overall experience, and I am so pleased to see it work.
Casual meets co-op
Right from the start of Wildlands the drop-in and drop-out co-op is unlocked in the game, and no matter how far you are, or what level you are, you can join, or be joined on by any friend regardless of their level. They can leave to go grab a pizza, and come back and join you in your game, without being left behind. From my experience, one major draw to the co-op has been the awesome way it handles its gameplay. Three friends head into a base under the dark of night. One heads to the power box to trip the power, leaving the enemies blind, while the other tags the enemies using his drone. When the area has been completely tagged of all enemies, we all head in and slowly pick them off one by one. If someone screws up and gets seen, then we just take off our suppressors and open fire like crazy kamikaze soldiers.
There is nothing to lose if you fail, and most of the time you can get out of a sticky situation by just thinking smart. Often this means that I look around for a helicopter and plan an escape for us, while screaming like Arnold Schwarzenegger "get to the chopper!!!". If you are not in the chopper when I get there, I fly away without you, and giggle while doing so - my bad.
Another option is to find the closest, and hopefully fastest car around me, climb in and scoot away. If this means I need to drive off a cliff to escape the mob chasing us, then off the cliff we go. I have not experienced something so great since my GTA V Online days, where my crew and I would head into the desert and have intense online fights against random players. Wildlands of course is co-op, but driving recklessly around Los Santos, or flying in a helicopter with friends, and laughing as I smash us all into the side of the mountain, is home to Wildlands.
No one cares if you mess up
I play a lot of intense multiplayer games like Overwatch and Destiny, and often I mess around, because life is too short to be serious. I have found that my outbursts are more welcome in Wildlands than say Destiny. No one likes the person who shoots the Hive during the totem section in the Taken King Raid, but I have found sanctuary in trolling my team while playing Wildlands. You can do nothing but run around the vast map collecting gun parts, and you will still find reason to laugh until your cheekbones ache. If you are not experiencing this feeling, then you are playing with the wrong people.
If you alert the entire army of your presence, then so be it. Your team will find a way to pick up and carry on like nothing ever happened. Drive off a cliff to your doom? Reload and move on. There is a rare sense of freedom, that does not come at any cost in the game like long loading screens, or tedious back tracking to meet your team. If you just happen to stray off the path and end up on the other side of the map, you can instantly fast travel to them by just holding down a button.
Do not expect things to go smoothly all the time though, as the game does get a little intense after a while. Later on you will be faced with anti-air guns, and even harder enemies to take down. The more people you are playing with, the more chaotic it all gets as everyone will try and do their own thing when the going gets tough. Imagine four players now all trying to get this hideout cleared of enemies, and the more you kill, the more keep coming. It is so much fun, and something that I have not experienced in a long time.
Where Ghost Recon Wildlands succeeds is in its enjoyable co-op that never feels like it relies on strict team work. That, in combination with a gorgeous open world, creates a unique game that I will always go back to, just to blow of some steam and have a laugh with friends.
Have you picked up the game yet? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.
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