Community Review: Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta

Image: Ubisoft

There hasn't been a glut of major releases in 2017 yet. They're still coming - March is seriously stacked - but until then, it's been a good opportunity for stress testing.

Ubisoft's done a bit of that, with a closed beta for For Honor and most recently Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The Wildlands beta is still running for about another day, which gives everyone a chance to offer their two cents on how it's coming along.

I only got a couple of hours with the game on PC this time around, having previewed the game a couple of weeks back on PS4. The performance wasn't too bad - around 60fps with a i7-4770K at stock speeds, 32GB of DDR4 2133Mhz RAM and a reference GTX 1070 - although there was some weirdness trying to get three people all into the same game.

But once that was sorted out, we started hijacking cars and just treating Bolivia like a giant playground for burnouts. It's nice that Ubisoft still lets you run over your teammates, even if civilians (who can be shot) dodge out of the way like it's Midtown Madness.

And as it turns out, civilians have no problem turning elite soldiers into roadkill either (skip to 57 seconds):

The bike physics haven't been mucked with either, which I'm happy with. I know Wildlands isn't supposed to be an inherently silly game, but it's fun when you can effectively drive off cliffs with little to no consequences.

Did you try out the closed Wildlands beta over the weekend, and if so, what did you think?


Comments

    I played and finished the beta over the weekend and have to admit I rather enjoyed myself.
    It felt like a mash up of Far Cry 3 and Future soldier.
    Lots of fun beta bugs to play with but found it way too easy with helicopters and finally used Ansel for the first time with mixed results.
    It felt as if ubisoft put too much emphasise on 'tactics' when a C4 strapped jeep off the side of a cliff into a military base works just fine.

      you flying the helicopters with a controller or joystick? as the keyboard mouse combo stinks.

        I used keyboard and mouse because I couldnt find my controller but yes, vehicle controls are terrible on keyboard, I managed to get the hang of the chopper but still couldnt aim with the on board guns to save my life. I just let the NPC's handle the shooting as they have 100% accuracy in the chopper.
        Put the difficulty on max and played with 2 mates and it was way too easy so I just played singleplayer

    Was a bit of fun. Nice to have CO-Op with more than one person.

    The vehicle physics kinda suck but its not exactly a sim and like you said can be part of the charm. Flying helicopters is far from intuitive though and i find it hard to believe that without a lot of hours of practice you could do anything useful with the mounted machine guns

    It's pretty damn taxing on the frame rates but G-SYNC is saving me from an immediate need to upgrade my whole rig.

    The overall look of the game is pretty good and the unlock system keeps you wanting to progress nicely.

    The biggest letdown of the game for me is the audio quality, I am an audio guy by trade though. It doesn't go close to something like the battlefield series. Its sometimes overlooked in BF because of the hectic nature of 64 man servers, but get in an empty BF4 server and walk around with some headphones on and i guarantee you will here details you never knew where there but add to the immersion. With an open world game like this you spend lots of time out of combat and that's when you notice the environment audio is below par..... then as soon as you get into combat and there are explosions going off that sound like party poppers its even more of a let down.

    Those criticisms are knowing its a beta though so hopefully they add some more polish before release.

    If i have a few friends that are keen to buy i might as well.

    Last edited 06/02/17 11:42 am

      I totally agree on your point regarding the battlefield audio, the only video game to rival it IMO was battlefront (because I'm a sw geek) but with the similar development cycle and the same development team it isn't hard to see why

    Physics are royally screwed. The AI is absolute trash... the vehicles handle like a 120 year old trying to perform brain surgery.

    Wtf is up with the bike physics???? its like the moment you step on the bike, it is magnitized to the ground... fly of cliffs, run into walls, no consequence. then i hit a rock the size of a football and i get launched 300m in the air...

    played with a friend of mine and got to the part where you have to evacuate a hostage. we accidently blew up the helicopter so my friend grabbed an open tray Ute. it was only a 2 seater so i thought id stand on the open tray.

    my friend drives off, but my character doesnt move with the truck. its like that shitty magic trick where you snatch a table cloth and the glass is still on the table. i was the glass and the truck was the tablecloth.

    i really felt bad for the devs especially listening to the guy at the intro talk about how they've poured their heart and soul as well as 4 years of their lives into this...

      I had the same issue with vehicle controls. The bikes were a hassle to use, but the helicopters were a nightmare.

      Overall the game was good fun, but there were control and handling issues all over the place.

    For all its worth I had quite a bit of fun.

    But driving my motorbike off a cliff and surviving, or landing a plane on top of a mountain tip just by flying it slowly and then letting it drop and it not exploding was kinda... hmmmm.

    Co-Op is a blast and I feel wouldn't be worth solo pay (?)

    The character creation is pretty tactiCOOL - But my dude, Jason 'Long' Wang ex LAPD dirty C.I.A agent. Sporting a mo, bleached ponytail, white polo tee and blue jeans. pistol only (sadly didn't find a revolver)

    Aside from that, as Zetrox2k mentioned, vehicle handing is trash and resulted in many plunges. AI could be better and the stupid "one guy see's you = the whole compound see's you" trash is there. Also there may be too many points of interest ? ala Far Cry 3 - Primal with a whole lot of empty pointless space in between, anyone know if there are hostile animal?

    7/10 will play again

      Yeah for solo play it wouldn't be worth the purchase, coop makes it fun atleast but with some open world games repetition becomes a bit dull and can see that very easily happening in this game. The missions all kind of felt the same, capture base rinse repeat etc. However this game does remind me alot of mercenaries with the open world military feel minus the destruction and chaotic nature of the game. I'm still on the fence whether I will get this game...........mercenaries 3 however, I'd jump on that if it existed

    I finished the beta this Sat. It's really fun to goof around with friends, but the missions were hugely underwhelming. Yes, you can use strats to complete missions, but the truth is, you don't really need to. It's fairly easy even in ghost mode.

    I just hope there will be more substance to the missions in the full release game.

    10/10 would buy to jump out of helicopters without unlocking the parachute perk and be ran over by friends in a smoking Bentley.

    Played the beta, unfortunately only solo, bored out if my mind and found it very clunky. Co-op probably would make it more fun but it's off my list for now, especially given all the other amazing games coming in March

    I'm really glad to read this.
    Ubisoft have this ability to get me really excited, but I haven't heard a single(player) reason to buy it.
    I'm usually a Day One purchaser because the price is right at JB/KM/BW.... But, like Primal, I'm feeling the fatigue by Ubisoft's cashgrabbing/lack of detail. 4 years and it feels like they spent most of it on marketing strategy.

    Started out trying to access the PC beta and it failed repeatedly with the VRAM error a large amount of people were experiencing. I then switched to Xbone which I was really glad I did and didn't just move onto something else. Enjoyed my time with it. It ran pretty flawlessly as well, I don't recall any time that I had frame rate/freezing issues. In fact I was so impressed I am pretty much sold on the XB version.
    Really beautiful at times (being chased down a muddy dirt road in an open top jeep, at dusk, in the middle of a thunderstorm - check), but occasionally found it too dark during night sequences (something night vision partially fixed). Vehicle controls were odd at times like everyone has mentioned, but I was happy with the heli controls on the controller. I can see keyboard for this being a nightmare though.

    The one major question I have and it wont be answered until release, is how much will the missions change from map to map? I was beginning to get bored at the repetitiveness of missions after about the 6-8 hour mark and thats not great for a beta and a single map. The map was huge but lacked tension in anything I was actually doing. Go here, do this, kill that, collect this, take it here. Repeat. I didn't feel there was a sense of my character actually changing anything in the world and as a result the walls closing in requiring me to be more cunning or stealthier. Or to be an actual ghost. But this is a small gripe considering what we have been given, and that might change in the full release with that continuity and effect maybe translating into other maps. I can understand why some people are saying 'I cant find a reason to return to this in a months time'. I cant think of enough reasons not too at the moment. Must buy for me.

    The game itself seems alot of fun although there might be a few things which arent right.. The vehicles dont control well for one But while playing with friends the game seemed to much fun to miss on any further action.. Sure to play the full one.. :)

    i smashed out about 5 or 6 hours in one hit and finished off the solo campaign they were offering. i found it rather repetitive and dare i say boring. i did have fun for a hew of those hours though. i thought the controls were good (i used keyboard and mouse), intuitive and not difficult to remember the various key functions. combat was pretty good. the AI let me down on numerous occasions while standing right next to me and allowing a guy to get up behind me and kill me from behind.

    the vehicles! for fuck sake, the vehicles. i did not enjoy the vehicle physics at all. there was maybe one car that i liked and it was the dakar looking thing the enemy faction used. but the handled poorly and when hitting jumps it felt a bit dead.

    i summed it up to a mate.
    its a less fun GTA5 Online with worse vehicle physics and more blandness.

    now i realise you cant directly compare them, but they have enough similarities that i think you can. and i know i had at least 100 hours of fun in GTA5 while playing co-op with mates. im not sure i would be able to do the same with wildlands for fear of repetition kill my brain.

    its not that its not the type of game for me, im all for squad shooters and tactics, i loved Pay Day 2 and they need for teamwork, same with heisting in GTA5, this game just didnt do it for me.

    definitely give it a crack while you still can with the free beta, its worth a try. i was really looking forward to this game, but, it didnt really scratch the itch i was hooping it would.
    i think ill turn my attentions to Conan Exiles for now for something slightly different to what im used to.

    I imagine in co-op it would be great, but as a solo experience I got pretty bored very quickly. Could only manage about 3 hours until I finally had enough of it. Went back to Fallout 4 & haven't returned to Wildlands since.

    I was really unimpressed with the beta. I only played for about an hour before I just gave up on the game. It's mainly due to the controls. First problem is obvious, no ability to swap shoulders, have to rely on interacting or the non-existent cover system to swap shoulders (although someone later tells me it's the R1 button, which is designated for squad commands!). They could have easily fixed this by programming the sprint button as the shoulder swap button while aiming your weapon. If you need to sprint just release the trigger.

    But the biggest problem I had was the sensitivity, or lack thereof. It switches from little to max in a short area. Which feels completely out of place, like it's a PS1 game. With an analogue stick I'm constantly zig zagging my reticle over enemies and it gets very annoying. I kept messing around with the controls, but I couldn't fix it. I first noticed the problem when I started the game and got into a car. The sensitivity was either 0-10 or 100. Normally I adjust my analogue stick based on the road, but it either barely turned or fully turned. So I was zig zagging back and forth just to line up on the road.

    Then I got into a chopper and I had no idea what was up with that. It feels like it's semi-automated but also not. So I tilt forward while spinning my blades, then have to pull up and I'm still going forward.

    I don't even remember having this much problem in previous Ghost Recon games. In the end I just got so frustrated and quit.

      You just have to tap R1 to switch shoulders. You hold R1 to bring up the squad commands.

    Well it appears they've nuked all the stats on GhostReconNetwork.com

    FYI - Longest shot 636yds .... beat that.

    So anyway here goes my review of the GRWildlands Beta ... on Xbox One

    Welcome to "Mercenaries" ... Well this could easily be called "Mercenaries 3" ... you may remember Mercenaries as that open world shooter with a touch of sarcasm from your xbox and 360 days.

    The game starts off well enough, interesting back story, and even a hint towards the previous games during the intro cut scenes. General Character creation (waaaay too many options, I miss the days of just selecting your specific operative and you play as them) but oh well some people like to have pony tails and some people like to spend hours picking out pants ... I'm neither of those.

    I spent approximately 20 odd hours in the game this weekend, completely crushed every mission and task and then started enjoying the environment and seeing what I could accomplish (at one point me and my cohorts created a pile of approximately 30 stolen vehicles and then crashed a chopper into it - the explosion and smoke could be seen for miles) ... This also let us realize that certain things are obviously on a spawn timeline (never managed to get a food truck though ....

    The game play, is definitely not Classic Ghost Recon ... this is a run and gun game with more in common with Grand Theft Auto than Ghost Recon, traditional GR fans (I am one - FYI Ive played every Clancy game since The Hunt for Red October ) may be mildly disappointed.

    Not going to lie, I had a great amount of fun running around figuring out different ways to play missions but the AI is pretty standard, regardless of how I proceeded into a mission, the AI all performed the same tasks and spawned in the same spots. Some randomness in this effect might be nice for replayability. And the AI can be quite dumb (8 AI enemies clustering into a minigun pit doing nothing make for easy fodder)

    Vehicles are an interesting change, not sure if I'm a fan yet .... this is where it started to remind me of Mercenaries ...

    Firearm mechanics were definitely interesting, I like the fact they've added bullet drop ... windage would have been nice, but hey I'll take what they've given us.

    They will definitely need to nerf the miniguns on the vehicles(and why is everything a minigun c'mon ubisoft, put in some variety) .... chopper mechanics are ridiculous .... no cross hairs etc so you just kind of guess where you are firing, at one point where I drew an immense relation to GTA ... we were being pursued by ground forces and 3 choppers ... I managed to procure a chopper and take down all 3 by randomly firing somewhere into space ...

    AI Security forces, never seemed to alert ... I could have been openly carrying firearms or blasting away on the side of the road, and unidad would just drive by, Forces would randomly give up searching for you as you pick them off etc.

    I know there's a month to release so I don't foresee many changes in the game play, but it would be nice to see whomever's working on the GR franchise these days, go back and play the original games, where you were pulled into the story and AI would hunt you down .... Glad to see that they didn't go the way of Lockdown and create a game where you could just level yourself up and become indestructible ... I'm eager to see what they bring in for PVP, as it would be nice for a player operating a taskforce to setup an FOB and challenge other task forces to certain game types (ie capture the flag, smuggling runs etc) earning cartel proceeds or something you could have GR points and Cartel points depending on task rewards etc.

    Overall I give it a high 7 out of 10

    Interested to see where they go with this, and UBI Soft has already got my 120$ in anticipation

      Ah yes, Mercenaries Playground of Destruction. One of my favourites.
      I think if GR:W had massive airstrikes I might rate it a bit higher! :D

    The physics and incredibly poor squad AI killed it for me.

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