There are many open-world games set to release in 2017, however, none have the potential that Ghost Recon Wildlands possesses. Ubisoft Paris is nearing the end of development on Wildlands, and the size and scope of this experience is proving to be spectacular.

I recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with Ghost Recon Wildlands on the PlayStation 4. Both the single-player and co-op were playable, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I found in each. From a single-player standpoint, Ghost Recon Wildlands delivers an immersive, challenging and diverse world to become lost in.

I played through the first handful of missions or so, and found it was a great sample of how massive and alive the world is. It is hard to describe in layman’s terms just how massive Ghost Recon Wildlands is. There are a total of 21 unique regions in this world, and each of them contain living ecosystems.

Within those regions are 26 different bosses for players to target. As I saw in the game’s world map, each boss has varying difficulty. If there are five levels of boss difficulty and they’re indicated by skulls you’ll see on the world map. The land of Wildlands feels vast and detailed. Many buildings are accessible for players and there are plenty of bases and secrets to find.

For the single-player portion of my gameplay, I played through the first handful of missions or so. These had me interrogate a suspect at an enemy camp, rescue a prisoner, mark a convoy and more. I had particular fun with extracting missions as well as convoy quests. The latter result in a massive XP rewards for those who complete them.

AI operates throughout the world and goes about their day like you were never there. When you do announce your presence, the world reacts unpredictably and this will force you to be hyper-aware of your surroundings and actions. Riding a motorcycle and driving a four-door sedan feature fitting variability in their handling. This becomes immediately clear when you begin driving different cars like a motorcycle versus a pick-up truck.

About a half hour through my single-player session, I ran into a rainstorm after bathing in sun-soaked beautifulness of Bolivia. The storm organically rolled in and the process of it arriving felt as natural as one you would see in real-life. The weather and time of day will influence the way you play, as an enemy’s vision will differ under certain weather conditions.

For gamers who delve into the single-player experience, your AI teammates will certainly be useful. A number of commands can be used like telling AI to fire at an enemy, holding their position, moving to a certain location and more. The AI doesn’t seem to slow you down as you play.

If you get into a car or aircraft, you don’t have to wait for your AI mates to hope in too. They automatically appear in the car. Additionally, if you are killed in combat, an AI will come to revive you. Your teammates feel as supportive as you would expect and they can snag kills for you along the way.

I also had the opportunity to jump into the game’s co-op experience, and it’s a blast. As the video below is evidence, Ghost Recon Wildlands really is a massive playground. The world is filled with all kinds of vehicles and opportunities for creativity. Ubisoft Paris wanted to create a big playground for gamers, and it seems like they have.

During the co-op session, my teammates and I completed a number of main and side quests. Communicating is obviously an important element to your success, and so is coordination. When we worked together, the results were awesome with a mission completed and enemies swiftly defeated.

The level of freedom present in the game makes any pairing of gamers one that can work. While working as a team is key, the game creates an organic acceptance of all playstyles. There is no one way to play Ghost Recon Wildlands. There’s no correct way to play Ghost Recon Wildlands. There is only how you play.

Progression in Wildlands is vast. Gamers will surely pour hours and hours into fully leveling up their Ghost. There are a total of six categories of skills you can upgrade. These include weapon, drone, item, physical, squad and support. Within each category, there are a number of skills you can acquire for your ghost. There is clearly a ton of depth in the game’s progression system and it’ll be exciting for players to sink their teeth into it.

It is difficult to convey the type of scope Ghost Recon Wildlands possesses. The experience is massive both in size and playtime. All of this comes together wonderfully in the game’s unpredictable, reactive world. I can tell this game will entertain players much in the same way that GTA entertains people. You can have just as much fun messing around with friends as you can getting into the story.

Gamers who want a taste of Wildlands before its March 7 release date should look to the upcoming beta. Ubisoft revealed the test will take place from Feb. 3-6 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Pre-loading the beta can happen on Feb. 1. You can sign up for the beta here. If you gain access to the beta, Ubisoft will allow you to invite three other “Ubisoft friends” to join in on your same platform.

I suspect the beta will be similar to The Division‘s beta, which featured the first few story missions of the game. I’m expecting the same to happen with Wildlands‘ beta in February. Both co-op and single-player will be playable during the beta. I have high hopes for Wildlands and believe it will be a great experience. Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands will launch this coming March 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on 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 [email protected]

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