Where Ghost Recon: Wildlands Missed The Mark

Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a good game, but a few tweaks would do wonders.

Ubisoft got a lot right with their latest entry in the Ghost Recon franchise, and a few things wrong. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the pros and cons of the game itself though. That’s what my review of it is for. Instead, I’d like to propose a number of modifications that would make Ghost Recon: Wildlands a better third-person tactical shooter.

The Ghosts’ Appearance Should Matter

Ghost Recon Wildlands Dream Team.png
Say hello to Big Boss, Major Johnson, Moss, and Jethro McCleetus

Look, I understand that playing dressup with your dolls customizing your Ghost is a big thing in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Choosing what you get to wear in order to make your character your own, and to make him or her stand out is fun. Just ask Jennifer, and she’d tell you that I spend a lot of time messing with my character.

Why is it that a guy in a trucker cap can hide from the Sicarios just as easily as a soldier in a full ghillie suit though? Why can the Ghost with only a CamelBak® carry as much equipment as someone sporting a military rucksack? What I’d like to see would be a few changes made to the way that clothing factors in.

Camouflage should affect your ability to hide from enemies, larger packs should allow you to carry more tools and equipment, protective vests should enable you to survive more damage, and dressing in civilian attire should make it a little easier to fit in with the locals. Obviously, there would be negative aspects of dressing in different types of camo, wearing heavier armor, and carrying tons of ammunition and explosives. For instance, wearing the wrong camo would make you stand out more, and sporting better protective equipment and more munitions would slow you down or make you more noisy.

Make The Rebel’s Help An Actual Resource

Ghost Recon Wildlands Rebels.png
The rebels are very grateful

Calling in favors in real life is something that has its own currency associated with it. Nobody likes dealing with the friend that constantly bugs others to borrow their car, bum some money off of them, or ask others to help them move their ancient couch. So why should the Bolivian rebels be any different?

I mean, if I were running some sort of guerrilla warfare campaign against a corrupt government and the drug lords they’re in bed with, I wouldn’t be very willing to fork over free helicopters constantly or hand off my soldiers to be part of a human meat grinder experiment. Favors are something that are done with the expectation of a return on investment.

It may invite a little more busy work into the game (not like Ubisoft is averse to that though), but it would make a little more sense if the Ghosts needed to curry favor with the local rebels in order to get them to run face-first into the lead-infused hellstorm of the Unidad. I’m sure the rebels are glad to have a little assistance in their fight against the bad guys, but I doubt they’re okay with being used as a diversion so the Ghosts could snag one of those Santa Blanca medals with a coca leaf on it; because they’re “pretty cool” after all.

Mortars and spotting aren’t much of a risk honestly, but human life and the monetary cost of a McDonnell Douglas MD-6 “Little Bird” is not something to be taken lightly. The Ghosts realistically should be doing more to make the case that the rebels should continue stealing helicopters for them (let’s face it, they aren’t buying all of those choppers).

Speaking of helicopters…

Cut Out A Few Helicopters

Ghost Recon Wildlands Helicopters.png
Where are they getting all of these helicopters?

Helicopters are expensive… Like a few million dollars levels of expensive. It’s a little odd to me that even the Bolivian government would be able to supply their Unidad military police force with the UH-60 “Blackhawk” helicopters in the quantities that they apparently have. The Santa Blanca are just as bad, given that they see fit to deploy helicopter gunships to ferry party guest to a remote island on the whim of one of their play boy drug lords.

I know that drug trafficking brings in a veritable mountain of cash, but there’s no way that the Santa Blanca could afford to supply their foot soldiers with the numbers of helos that they can muster. And if we’re going to take a realistic look at the finances of the Santa Blanca, all the Ghosts would need to do to shut down the drug cartel would be to keep shooting down their helicopters until they went bankrupt.

Don’t act like I’m being unreasonable. This is a Tom Clancy game after all; a series of games that supposedly pride themselves on being grounded in reality.

Factor In A Public Perception System

Ghost Recon Wildlands Bad PR Trifecta.png
Nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted

Military operations in foreign countries are a tricky thing. While I’m certainly no expert on black operations or foreign relations, I know that you generally don’t want your soldiers going around a stealing anything they want from the locals or killing anyone they want. The hearts and minds of the people are important to The United States military for a reason.

That’s why it seems so odd to me that the Ghosts can get away with killing civilians or rebels at all, or are empowered with the ability to steal civilian vehicles as they see fit. The Ghosts are consummate professionals when it comes to their line of work, and collateral damage in the form of accidental civilian casualties would not be something they take lightly. Other games in the Ghost Recon series had it a tad bit easier for sure, since they often didn’t include civilians at all, but that doesn’t mean that offing a civilian should be permissible at all.

Even just stealing a vehicle from a Bolivian civilian is pretty messed up when you think about it. Bolivia is a fairly poor country, and the cars are something that are cherished possessions. To have some handlebar mustached jackass from America come up and steal something you’ve invested in, only to use it as a battering ram to stop a cartel lieutenant so they could find some more Santa Blanca medals to put on their Class A uniforms, would be devastating to say the least.

That’s why I think that Ghost Recon: Wildlands should have some harsher penalties for killing non-hostile locals. A reputation system that shows the Bolivian’s perception of the Americans in their homeland would be a good way to mitigate reckless carnage. If a civilian gets caught in the crossfire, the rebels and populace make note of it. If you tear around a city blowing up cars and offing its citizens, the plug gets pulled on the operation, the player loses their rebel support options, or the Ghost gets some equipment taken away. As it is right now, killing a few civilians nets you a limp slap on the wrist as you’re knocked back a couple minutes to the last save. Let’s see some serious repercussions.

CUT BACK ON THE MINIGUNS

Ghost Recon Wildlands Minigun Madness.png
You know something’s wrong when the weapon is worth more than the truck it’s mounted on

Seriously? Where in the hell are the Bolivians getting all of their miniguns? I swear that they’re going to throw off the orbit of the Earth itself by moving the mass of the world’s supply of 7.62x51mm ammunition to South America!

Okay, that might have been a little hyperbolic, but surely you see my point. As I said in my review, it’s a little strange that every mounted weapon in Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a minigun. For the love of all that is somewhat reasonable, please introduce a little more variety in the mounted weapon department. Get some .50 caliber and light machine guns. Hell, even some recoilless rifles or belt-fed grenade launchers would be a step in the right direction. Anything to give the miniguns a rest.

Are there any things you think should be added, removed, or fixed? Let me know below in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Where Ghost Recon: Wildlands Missed The Mark

  1. This game is sounding more and more like Just Cause the more you talk about it, which honestly seems weird for a Ghost Recon game, but might work fine for what my friends and I will use it for.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t played this, or any ghost recon game as i said commenting in your review. But what I do know is as you said, Ghost Recon’s reputation is to be a very realistic tactical shooter, and the comment above says it very well, this sounds like Just Cause!

    Liked by 1 person

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