Ubisoft is a company that’s known for creating some of the most immersive and captivating open-worlds. Earlier this year, they brought to life Tom Clancy’s The Division and this fall they will bring forth Watch Dogs 2.

Next year, there are already a slew of exciting open-world games set to release and those include Horizon: Zero DawnCrackdown 3, The Legend of Zelda and others. Among the upcoming open-worlds in the video games industry though, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is setting up to be the open-world game to beat in 2017.

Ubisoft first introduced Ghost Recon Wildlands during their E3 2015 presentation. Taking the series in a new direction is something developer Ubisoft Paris has done, but it’s not going to be just like any other open-world game.

Typically in open-world games, you ultimately have to beat main missions in a specific order. Sure, there are side missions, collectibles, unlockables and other tasks to perform at the same time, but main missions remain in a set, linear order.

Ghost Recon Wildlands is bucking that trend and instead is giving players more freedom. Giving players more freedom is a bit of a cliche developers use these days, however, within the context of Wildlands, it’s absolutely not.

The player will have dozens and dozens of main missions to beat, and the fact that they can go after them in any order they choose is key. This means that if players want to focus their gameplay in the mountains of Bolivia, they can. If you discover aircrafts in a certain part of the world and you wish to stick around there, you can.

There are no skill barriers, blockaded roads or raised enemy levels in Ghost Recon Wildlands. There are no enemies that take 100 rounds to kill. A single headshot will be able to kill any enemy in Ghost Recon Wildlands. The latter is a stark contrast between Wildlands and The Division, which released earlier this year.

Having the freedom to go after missions in your preferred order is key, but so is the wide-array of features the game offers. Gamers can go into quests with friends or alone. They can also scout out an area for a more stealthly approach, or they can fly above and parachute down like a hellfire onto an enemy base.

Something Grand Theft Auto is known for is how it enables players to fly aircrafts around its open-worlds. Ghost Recon Wildlands is doing the same thing, and this will help you cover as much ground as you want. Aircrafts will give this game another element of verticality that say, Horizon: Zero Dawn simply won’t be able to provide.

One important element that remains to be proven is the game’s narrative. Yes, gamers are trying to stop the drug cartel of Bolivia, but how the narrative plays out will be interesting. Given the open mission structure, it surely puts a ton of importance on other elements of the game being strong, especially since mission order isn’t as big of an emphasis.

When I had the chance to play Ghost Recon Wildlands at E3 2015, I was surprised at the light-hearted tone this game had. Despite the serious circumstances, being able to mess around with your friends with little cost was evident.

My three teammates and I were driving out of a hostile enemy base, and one pair hopped in a jeep and the other hopped in a separate one. With our two cars driving away, we started shooting at the wheels of each other’s car just to see what would happen and my teammates actually ended up flipping the car I was in.

It was a funny moment and no damage was done to my or my buddy’s health. This was a small but surprising indicator to the type of fun you can have with your friends in Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Ghost Recon Wildlands has been one of the most intriguing games to learn about since its announcement at E3 2015. Ubisoft is set to bring the new open-world shooter to gamers this coming March 7, and I believe it’ll be the open-world to beat in 2017. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Ghost Recon Wildlands.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that. Contact me at weplaythingssteve@gmail.com

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