My Beta Impressions:
I have always been a fan of Tom Clancy games, whether it be hiding in the shadows as Sam Fisher, hunting terrorists in Rainbow Six, or breaching doors with the Ghosts. Tom Clancy games have always provided an unparalleled tactical military experience and while these games remain popular to this day, their emphasis on a single player focused experience has begun to shift. For example, Rainbow Six: Siege is a drastic departure from classic Rainbow Six, as its focus has shifted to competitive multiplayer, this departure feels like a natural evolution for the franchise. In this instance, I accept these drastic changes as the game has been designed around solely providing a multiplayer experience, as there is no single player portion, development on the multiplayer was Siege’s sole focus.
Part of the problem that I had with the Ghost Recon: Wildlands beta was that it was clearly designed to be experienced in both single and multiplayer, which on paper is an excellent concept, yet it’s Ubisoft’s execution of this concept that I have a problem with. My biggest problem with open world games such as Wildlands is that the missions and objectives the player undertakes are far too repetitive and lacking any distinguishing variables. These are not problems unique to Wildlands, as it’s a problem a majority of open world games suffer from, but it’s something that Ubisoft refuses to innovate on. We saw it in The Division and we saw it in Far Cry 4, sprawling landscapes devoid of anything interesting or diverse to do.
I’m probably coming off as pretty jaded about my experience with the Wildlands beta, but to be honest it only seems that way because the game has a ton of potential. I’m just very skeptical that it will ever fully deliver upon this potential in the final version. This is a game that will surely be more fun when played with friends, but that isn’t an option or preface for a percentage of gamers. When a game has both single and multiplayer capabilities, I think that the single player experience should be the main focus, with multiplayer being an extension of that. Not vise-Versa. I just can’t help but think that the resources and development time dedicated to the game’s multiplayer portion, had it been applied to the single player content it would be a more refreshing experience. I suppose we’ll find out if Ghost Recon: Wildlands delivers on its potential when it’s released tomorrow.