Ever since E3 this year, I’ve continued to hear people talk about how Ghost Recon Wildlands and Tom Clancy’s The Division are pretty much the same game. This couldn’t be further from the truth, even if the theory was found on the planet, non-planet Pluto.
The closest similarities you can draw between the two games is one, they are both Tom Clancy games and two, they have third-person open-world gameplay with shooting. From there on out though, Ghost Recon Wildlands begins to separate itself in a serious way versus what The Division does.
One of the biggest differences you’ll notice from a gameplay standpoint in Ghost Recon Wildlands is its combat. This game will not ask you to fire 100 bullets to kill a single enemy like The Division did. A simple headshot will do just fine. There aren’t heavies or enemies who roll up on you like a tank, even after you’ve emptied an entire inventory of ammo on them. One precise bullet will net you one kill.
Additionally, Ghost Recon Wildlands is not a cover-based game, or at least that is the case from my E3 2016 impressions. Cover-based shooting is the name of the game in The Division, but it’s flat out not in Wildlands. There is no cover button for gamers to press every time they are in combat. This makes an enormous difference in the pace of play as well as the strategy you’ll want to use.
In Ghost Recon Wildlands, gamers also have a drone at their disposal for scouting certain areas of the world, and potentially even inflicting damage upon them. The Division did not feature a drone for gamers to use, as the Pulse ability was probably the closest thing to a drone.
While The Division is definitely an open-world, Ghost Recon Wildlands embraces that more than The Division ever did. New York is a city gamers explored at their own will, however, if you encountered high-level enemies, you didn’t stand a chance. Wildlands will not have that problem, as the world is far bigger from a geographical perspective, and there’s more freedom in the activities you can do.
These activities become even more entertaining when driving vehicles and flying aircrafts. Those are two things you could never do in The Division. If you are in the middle of the desert in Ghost Recon Wildlands, you can mount up with your buddies, snag an aircraft and then fly wherever you want. This type of movement and freedom isn’t anywhere in The Division.
The number of vehicles and aircrafts make Ghost Recon Wildlands more closely related to other open-worlds, not The Division. If anything, Grand Theft Auto is the better comparison to make for this game, given its mechanics, features and forgetting about the military emphasis.
The Division did have a story to go with the gameplay, but it wasn’t very compelling. We will see how Ghost Recon Wildlands’ plot evolves, but there seems to be more potential for a narrative to exist. Gamers will be able to play Ghost Recon Wildlands’ missions in any order they choose. Again, the fact that one bullet can kill any enemy makes freedom real, versus the technicality of open-world gameplay being free in The Division even though it really wasn’t.
When I think about how Ghost Recon Wildlands is shaping up, it’s looking like a game that can surpass expectations. The combination that makes this game one worth watching is its massive open-world, effective and entertaining tools (vehicles, aircrafts, etc.) and true freedom of choice.
The wait is nearly over, as Ghost Recon Wildlands will launch this coming March 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Check out the newly released customization trailer for Ghost Recon Wildlands. Stay tuned to We Write Things for more on video games and things in general.