Intel from inside The Ghost Recon: Wildlands Closed Beta
A select few operatives were chosen to become Ghosts between 3 – 6 Febraury 2017. We were there. Did you see us? …Exactly!
On Thursday morning, roughly 11H00, I got the call… well, Email. I had been approved for the operation. Destination: Itacua, Bolivia. I did not have much time to prep. I powered up my Xbox One, Pre-loaded the 23GB of Closed Beta Data, and waited patiently. I jest! I waited like my Four Year Old waits for a box of Smarties. With patience that is equivalent to the rice paper covering White Rabbit sweets! You guessed it. Non-existent!
Mission is a Go!
First off, we were greeted by an introductory video from the game Dev’s, thanking us for the time we were about to invest in testing the game. (It’s tough, but someone’s got to do it…) After a few action shots and very detailed imagery of the lush responsive environment, we were then scurried over to the Welcome Screen where we were reminded that even though we were playing Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, we needed to keep in mind that it is still in active development and that we might encounter some slight issues and that due to the pre-release status of the title, Ubisoft and Microsoft would not be able to offer support on any issues we encountered, but that we were rather encouraged to report said hiccups to aid in a ironclad Final Release.
Hit “A” to Play
Heading straight into the game, you get to create your own character, who then will lead a team of Four Ghosts with the aim of taking down the Santa Blanca Cartel and 20 of Itacua’s infamous Buchons (Leaders). Naturally, I created my avatar in my own image, beard, hair style and deep brown eyes, finally hitting straight into the dirt where I had to reach a check-point 2.6km away, over valleys and through marshes. I could either do this by foot (yeah right!) or by commandeering and driving a vehicle to the location where I had to interrogate a militia commander for information on the location of a hostage that I would inevitably need to rescue from the clutches of Santa Blanca.
As I played, I was astounded at the responsive environment and NPC’s (Non Player Characters) that quite often had to dive out of my way while I came flying through the air after straying off the path and connecting with a tree stump. I eventually parked firmly, in the branches, above the ground and bailed from the vehicle around 300m from my target (as one does in Bolivia). At this point, I was presented with a choice, either carry on playing Solo with AI Ghosts, or join/create a publicly accessible Co-Op session, where my three Ghost companions are replaced with other Ghost operatives busy playing the Closed Beta. I opted for AI in the first mission to get the feel for the difference.
Equipping my silencer and ordering my Ghosts to hold their position, I snuck around the enemy occupied buildings and up the side of the cliffs while using my trusty Drone to scope out any sentries. Once I reached the top, while seeking shelter in an abandoned tent, I ordered my Ghosts to regroup on me and watch me interrogate the target “Like a BAWS!”.
The mission went exactly as I expected. Locate prisoner of war and rescue him, however, let it be known, I am a better shot than I am driver (Digitally anyway), because some of the times, the AI could not detect my erratic driving capabilities and I ended up killing a few civilians along the road. I was warned by the game, that this will lead to a “Game Over”, which I interpreted as Ubisoft’s version of a “Time-Out”. I now knew how my kids felt. So please, drive safely.
The next mission I undertook without AI, but with real humans on my team and we were tasked with stopping a Convoy that was blocking resources from a very influential individual’s village, whom, if we kept happy, would be the best informant a war-fighter would ever want and need. Again, I took to the hills, running, climbing, and exploring the vast Sandbox Terrain until I remembered that I was playing with three other individuals that just wanted to get the job done and required me to focus and be a valued member of the team. I hope they benefitted from the berries I foraged for them in the wine plantation.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands Closed Beta ended today, and I had so much fun, it surpassed my expectations and will be worth every cent spent! What was even more special was finally seeing the characters that Tom Isaksen spoke to us about at rAge 2016 about. I now fully understand the passion behind this title that has been in development for the passed 4 years. Pre-Order quickly to gain access to the exclusive Peruvian Connection Mission.
Peruvian Connection Mission Trailer (Pre-Order Bonus)
For more information about Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, please visit www.ghostrecon.com.
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