After a mixed reaction to the open beta, the release version of Ghost Recon Wildlands seems to have been very well received by the game's community. While it might be stating the obvious, I imagine that the largely positive response has something to do with the fact that the beta weeded out those who scorned it, leaving behind players with a real appreciation for Ubisoft's vast, open-world shooter.
While I ended up criticizing the game quite heavily in my review for being somewhat repetitive and a little rough around the edges, I still really love playing it. Despite technical and gameplay flaws, exploring Ghost Recon Wildlands' gorgeous take on Bolivia, and engaging the Santa Blanca cartel across the game's myriad of missions is just plain fun.
Many players echo that sentiment, and I particularly enjoyed reading sepltbadwy's post on Reddit in which he admitted to being a lifelong Ghost Recon fan, and doing a complete U-turn on the release version of the game. He highlights some of his adventures, and recommends turning off the HUD and cranking up the difficulty level to Extreme to make it feel a little more like an oldschool Ghost Recon game. I certainly don't have the skill or patience to play at that level consistently – I tried it and got wasted repeatedly – but it seems that there are more than a few players who are enjoying themselves tackling the game at the highest setting.
CiE-Caelib is one of them, and his post on the subject had a lot of people enthusing about what it's like playing the game on Extreme, without a minimap, or using any enemy markers. Needless to say, you have to be far more careful when moving around near an enemy camp, and ensure that you use your drone continually to identify enemy targets. Oh, and be prepared to retreat if you're being hunted so you can reset the AI and return after a brief sojourn.
Something interesting that came up in the discussion was an observation from PieceofWoods. He plays with his friends, who have their difficulty set to a different level than he does. That means that while they can wade into the action and survive bring shot repeatedly, he has to be incredibly careful and ensure that he doesn't take any heat, otherwise he suffers a quick death. While I can certainly sympathize that this would indeed be a frustrating experience, I nevertheless think it's a neat feature that players can play cooperatively with their games set at different levels.
A popular topic in the Ghost Recon Wildlands community is the desire to customize the game's AI characters in the same way that you can personalize your own avatar. NE0XY's thread certainly struck a cord with me. I'd love to be able to dress up my squad so that they're more in the style of my character. I've gone for a fairly stripped-down, all-black tactical setup, but the rest of my teammates feel like a real mismatch. One looks like he's stepped straight out of Abercrombie and Fitch, while another is dressed in full military regalia. I want my team to look properly coordinated!
Many more player suggestions are being compiled in this huge thread from Ghost Recon Reddit moderator realmfan56. He's basically tracking bugs, feedback and suggestions, and so far has created a really interesting post that features many popular ideas. One of the things that seems to irritate many while playing the game is the sheer number of radios that are found just about everywhere while you're on your travels. To be honest, it doesn't bother me too much, but it seems other players are being driven nuts by the constant chatter and tunes that are broadcast over the in-game airwaves. Rather surprisingly, there isn't an option to turn it off. The only way you can turn down the radio volume is by using the dialog slider, which also turns off the game's speech between characters. Doh!
One of Ghost Recon Wildlands' most laudable aspects is its graphics. It looks great on console, but if you have a powerful PC, the visuals can be cranked up to look absolutely stunning. The game supports Nvidia's Ansel screenshot program, and some players have already taken some pretty gorgeous pictures. I particularly like this one from adriaan13, which is just beautifully lit, and I was also really impressed with this gallery by DICTATUSNORDIC. Ansel can also take 360 degree screenshots, and some great examples of these can be found here.
As I noted in my review, Ghost Recon Wildlands is not without its flaws, and I've certainly encountered a few glitches and issues while playing the game. Fortunately, none of them have been game-breaking for me, but it seems that there are some bugs that are quite serious. Many are being logged over on the official Ubisoft forums in this thread by community manager UbiKeeba. If you end up running into any problems while playing the game, it's probably worth giving the post a quick once-over to see if other the folks over at Ubisoft have any suggestions regarding a fix.
What I'm interested to see as players spend more time with the game, is what sort of entertaining glitches they'll discover. AWACS-SkyEye figured out that you can actually walk around on a helicopter's rotor blades while it's flying in mid-air, which is a quite novel feature. I also enjoyed watching this absolutely outrageous long-range shot from ernie_ern27, which shows just how much bullets drop over a long distance. This gif from S3atbelt is equally amusing – at least for the viewer. I'm sure that if this happened to me, I wouldn't be quite so entertained.
Yep. It might be a huge heap of fun to play, but Ghost Recon Wildlands has clearly shipped with more than a few gremlins. I'll be highlighting these in future articles about the game. Hopefully, most of them will just be amusing glitches, and not game-breaking disasters.