In anticipation of the shooter's worldwide launch on March 7, we've compiled all the necessary Ghost Recon Wildlands info you could ever need.
It’s a third-person tactical shooter situated within a vast open world, which is considered one the biggest digital playgrounds Ubisoft has ever created.
Wildlands is also the first Ghost Recon title to feature an open world setting. Ubisoft Paris took point for development, with assistance from other studios including Massive and Annecy.
“The Ghosts, an elite US Special Forces team, are sent behind enemy lines to wreak havoc, destabilize, and eventually break the alliance between the cartel and the corrupted government.
“Facing an almighty enemy in a massive and hostile environment, the Ghosts will need to make critical moral choices and engage in tough battles to complete their mission – their grittiest and most dangerous operation to date.”
Set in the lush rolling hills of Bolivia, Ghost Recon Wildlands takes place in the year 2019, at a time when the Santa Blanca cartel have seized control of the country. In fleshing out the narrative of Wildlands, Ubisoft also drafted in some top-tier writing talent.
“In the Bolivia of Ghost Recon Wildlands, the Santa Blanca cartel has all but taken over the country, turning it into a narco-state and exercising immense control across every facet of society. To create this sweeping vision of a cartel writ large, Ubisoft has partnered with bestselling authors Don Winslow (The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, Savages) and Shane Salerno (The Cartel screenplay, Savages screenplay, Armageddon).”
From mountains to forests, deserts to salt flats, the world of Ghost Recon Wildlands touts an impressive amount of variety. And there's a reason Ubisoft settled on Bolivia as its location of choice for Wildlands.
“From the infamous Death Road to the world’s largest salt flat, journey through Ubisoft’s largest open world action-adventure game to date. Discover massive regions inspired by Bolivia and South America, their stunning vistas and incredible diversity. Explore the hundreds of villages, landmarks, and legends populating this country in one of the many available vehicles, both on and off road, in the air, on land, and at sea. Immerse yourself in Bolivian culture as you cross paths with inhabitants reacting to their own agendas and to the game’s day-night cycle and weather system.”
Wildlands is a monster, make no mistake about it. In fact, it boasts the biggest open world Ubisoft has ever created for an action-adventure game.
"This is the biggest open world to ever be used in an Ubisoft action-adventure game, and it fills all that space with a huge variety of objectives, terrain types, and spontaneous events."
Once written off as a minor Mexican drug ring, the Santa Blanca Cartel have spread through Bolivia like a virus, infecting all corners of the South American country from the government to the corrupt police force.
“Interact with different factions in the game: gather intel from the Santa Blanca cartel, bribe the aggressive Unidad military force, benefit from the local rebels’ resources, or protect the native population. Start inter-faction battles to cause distractions and help you reach your objectives. The world will react differently to each of your choices: unexpected opportunities and threats could arise from any situation, turning into long-lasting and dire consequences. Manipulate the system. Manipulate the unexpected.”
In the fallout of the shooter's reveal, Ubisoft pumped out a sit rep designed to shed light on the development process. It's an interesting peek behind the curtain, and you can check it out right here.
As previous gameplay clips have demonstrated, Ghost Recon Wildlands can be enjoyed solo, but Ubisoft is confident its open world shooter will truly shine when played with friends.
“In Ghost Recon Wildlands, you have the freedom to use tactics that suit the way you want complete your missions. To help illustrate that freedom, the latest co-op walkthrough presents a nighttime variation of the El Pozolero mission showcased at E3, giving the Ghosts an opportunity to utilize stealth under the cover of darkness and stormy weather. The walkthrough also highlights how important it is to observe your surroundings and see what might give you a tactical advantage, whether it’s hijacking an enemy truck to sneak your way into an enemy-controlled compound, or taking out a power generator to limit the Santa Blanca cartel’s security capabilities.”
From replayable missions to story progression, you'll find all of your co-op questions answered below.
What about Story Progression?
Even if you are not at the same point in the game as the friend you join, you will still progress as you play with them. Whatever progression you make with your friends will be saved in your own progression. Instead of only helping your friends’ progression when you join their game, you will also be working towards your own progression. Moreover, if you are behind your friends, you will still be able to complete missions that they may have already completed.
What If My Friend Is Ahead of Me in Story Progression?
If you join a friend who has unlocked a mini boss’s entire narrative arc, but you haven’t, it will be possible for your friend to share the related missions with you in order to complete it together. If you join while your friend is in the middle of the mission, you will “assist” him/her to complete the mission. The following mission will be unlocked for you as well, thanks to the “unlock sharing” feature.
Can I Replay Missions?
Yes! You will be able to replay a mission by going into the quest log and equipping the mission you want to replay. A notification will explain that you are about to replay a mission, and that it will respawn the mission in your game world. You can only replay one mission at a time, and you can replay missions in co-op as well as single player.
How Does Matchmaking Work?
You can choose public matchmaking or private matchmaking. If you choose public and find players that you really enjoy playing with, you can set them as a favorite in order to find them easier to play with them again, add them as a friend, or look at them on the Ghost Recon Network. You can go ahead and jump right into your game, and players will be able to jump into your world seamlessly.
What About When My Friends Leave My World?
As soon as co-op ends, and your friends leave, the 3 AI Ghosts will return. The AI teammates will reappear when all your friends are gone, meaning that you can play from 2 to 4 friends without AI. The host migration is seamless so you don’t have to worry about your game experience being interrupted just because your friends need to leave.
Do My Friends And I Have to Stay Together?
No. There is no invisible tether between the Ghosts. You and your friends can travel as far away from each other as needed in order to find the best and most tactical way to take out the Santa Blanca Cartel. However, it can be difficult to take on the dangers of the Wildlands alone…If the worst happens, and you fall to an enemy’s fire, then you’ll want to be near your teammates so they can revive you instead of needing to redeploy.
For mission completion, as long as you and your friends all have the same mission equipped, you will all get credit if the mission is completed. This is even in the case that you are all on opposite sides of the map. If the mission is not equipped but you participate to make the mission progress or if you’re close enough to another player who did, the mission completion will be completed for you as well.
Freedom of Choice
Even in co-op, there is no specific way to approach a mission. Freedom of choice is important in Ghost Recon Wildlands. A player can choose to change how they decide to take on an obstacle.
Ubisoft has locked down plans to launch a free PvP mode as part of its extensive post-launch plans for Ghost Recon Wildlands. Not only that, early adopters can look forward to a steady supply of free updates, seasonal events, community challenges, and more.
By purchasing the $40 Season Pass for Wildlands, you’ll gain one-week early access to the shooter’s two major expansion packs — namely Narco Road and Fallen Ghosts — a permanent 5% XP boost, equipment packs, and more.
“The game’s first major expansion will give you the full spectrum of narco life, as you tear through Bolivia using new vehicles in a series of fast-paced missions. Expect to face the most insane adversaries as you infiltrate three smuggling gangs and take out their leaders one by one until you reach the mastermind: El Invisible.
“Along with its more eccentric tone, this new adventure will include more than a dozen new missions across four provinces, new vehicles, new weapons skins, and side activities, with everything being entirely playable in solo and in four-player co-op.
"With Fallen Ghosts, get ready for your Spec Ops skills to be put to the test! After your chopper is shot down during an evacuation mission, your squad will be forced to adapt as you are tracked down by Los Extranjeros, an elite group of ruthless mercenaries. Fortunately, new weapons and skills will help you and your friends find the strength to escape!"
Ubisoft has gone the extra mile to recreate Bolivia in such a way that players will feel totally immersed in the South American setting.
From the wildlife to the score, here's an extract from Ubi's blog:
“The score for a video game is generally written before it is recorded. However, Ghislain, Manu and Alain had their own vision for Ghost Recon Wildlands. They wanted the recording experience to be as unpredictable and wild as the world itself—and it paid off in spades. Ghislain brought a recording team to composer Alain Johannes’ home in L.A., along with some video footage of the game. For an entire week, Alain and his fellow recording musicians (Joey Castillo, Nick Oliveri and Norm Block) watched the footage and improvised the soundtrack, according to how the footage made them feel.
“The emotional experience of that week may have been intense and challenging, but they put their trust in each other. As they went about recording, it was obvious that Alain was indeed the right person for the job. Each of the artists expressed how lucky they felt to be involved in such a truly pioneering experience.”
At the time of writing, Bolivia has formally filed a complaint to the French government, claiming Wildlands represents the country as a war-torn, drug-ridden outland.
One Bolivia representative claimed: "We have the standing to do it (take legal action), but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation."
In response, Ubisoft stated: "Like all Tom Clancy's games from Ubisoft, the game takes place in a modern universe inspired by reality, but the characters, locations, and stories are all fantasies created solely for entertainment purposes. Bolivia was chosen as the background of this game based on its magnificent landscapes and rich culture."
Eager to get a lay of the land ahead of Ghost Recon’s launch? Worry not, for this 12-minute live-action trailer is designed as the perfect primer for Ubisoft’s open-world shooter.
“War Within the Cartel takes viewers inside the inner workings of the Santa Blanca drug cartel, controlled by the revered yet ruthless leader, El Sueño. In the aftermath of an attack on their compound, the organization’s senior leadership (Head of Security – El Muro, Head of Production – El Yayo, Head of Operations – Nidia Flores and Head of Influence – El Cardenal) seeks out a traitor within their midst to exact deadly retribution. The action packed story culminates in the events leading up to the beginning of the game as an elite Special Forces unit, the Ghosts, is called in to dismantle the cartel.”
Beating out the record previously held by The Division (6.4 million players), Ubisoft confirmed that a total of 6.83 million unique players participated in the Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta phases.
If you were one of those who partake in the tech test, you’ll gain access to the Unidad Conspiracy reward. Per Ubisoft, “this reward includes three exclusive missions set in the Media Luna region, one of the Unidad strongholds, and will be available for download post-launch.”
Comprised of 44 accolades in total, you can find the official Trophy list for Ghost Recon Wildlands through here.
Entitled Wildlands, Ubisoft plans to roll out a tie-in documentary soon after launch. More details are expected to be shared in the coming days, but for now, here's the inside scoop:
“We spoke to the people who know the drug trade better than anyone else; iconic characters, from either side of the law, who have defined this continent’s notorious image. The war on drugs is a complex one and we give viewers unprecedented insight to the people who have shaped this landscape, enabling a better understanding of a global issue which affects us all.
“Wildlands is a thought-provoking depiction of this complex issue. This subject matter has accumulated huge global interest and we believe that, as a companion to Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, we take gamers and viewers of Wildlands on a journey of discovery of an issue that continues to grip and fascinate global audiences.”
In classic Ubisoft fashion, there are an array of SKUs available for Ghost Recon Wildlands.
Standard Edition ($59.99 USD)
Take down the cartel, become a ghost and explore Bolivia. A few years from now, Bolivia has become the largest cocaine producer in the world. As a Ghost, you must stop the cartel by any means necessary. Create and fully customize your Ghost, weapons, and gear. Lead your team and take down the cartel, either solo or with up to three friends.
Deluxe Edition ($69.99 USD)
Includes the Standard Edition and the digital Deluxe Pack which includes: the Huntsman rifle and motorbike, three emblems, three weapon camo, three character customization items and a XP booster.
Gold Edition ($99.99 USD)
Includes the Deluxe pack and Seasons Pass content, giving players access to two major expansions as well as exclusive digital content featuring equipment packs, an exclusive vehicle and epic weapons.
Collector’s Editions (All Prices in USD)
Standard available for $119.99, Deluxe available for $129.99 and Gold available for $159.99 – Includes the edition of your choice with a Santa Muerte figurine and collectible posters designed by Ken Taylor.
At E3 2016, our own Keri Honea enjoyed a brief dalliance with the cartel, and left with somewhat mixed views.
“As a member of the elite Ghosts Special Ops team, your job is to infiltrate Bolivia and take down the Santa Blanca drug cartel that has taken over the country. Before the Ghosts can reach the king of the cartel, El Sueño, they will have to disrupt his operations and chisel away at his influence across the country, province by province and town by town within each province. This is Ubisoft’s version of an open world at its finest, and if you aren’t a fan of their formula, which includes clearing out areas piece by piece, then chances are you’ll hate this just as much.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Louis Edwards got his hands on a more refined build of Wildlands. Here’s an extract from his in-depth preview:
“Based on what we’ve played, Ghost Recon Wildlands should be on your radar if you’re a shooter fan. And given how fantastic Ubisoft has supported Rainbow Six Siege post-launch, more content after launch shouldn’t even be an issue.”
Blake Grundman will be handling the review for PSLS, and Ubisoft has set the embargo to lift at 3am PST on Monday, March 6th.