In the wide-open world of Bolivia in Ghost Recon Wildlands, you have the freedom to take on missions however you want. From stealthy midnight infiltrations to daring daytime raids, airborne assaults to amphibious approaches, there are myriad ways to approach any challenge. This flexibility encourages players to try different strategies and experiment with vehicles and weapons, which inevitably leads to some particularly memorable moments. Over a few hours playing Ghost Recon Wildlands, each of us at the UbiBlog found ourselves whooping with joy, cackling with glee, or just staring in stunned appreciation at what we had just done. Here are those stories:
I like to fly low in helicopters. Not only does it help me avoid attention from hostile SAM sites, but it also punches up the excitement of the mission to come when I’m speeding low along a high-country road or cresting a tree-topped ridge. There’s one situation that calls for flying high, however, and that’s an aerial insertion. (Jump out too low and your parachute won’t have a chance to deploy; the results are unpleasant.)
It was during one such insertion that I pulled off one of my coolest Ghost maneuvers yet. We were assaulting the entrance to a mine where a Santa Blanca boss was holed up, and my teammates had all jumped clear of the chopper to begin the operation. As I leapt out and left our helicopter behind, I saw that the bullets were already flying below me. One enemy’s weapon was leaving lingering tracer lines across the battlefield, a sure sign of a sniper, so I zeroed in on him as I plunged from the sky. Popping my parachute, I wheeled around my target as I swiftly descended, aiming for his rooftop position.
It was not a large roof, but I timed my approach just right; I nailed the landing and did a swift combat roll, then hopped to my feet and closed on my quarry for a quick melee takedown. He barely had time to register my presence before I had taken him out, taken his gun, and taken up a sniper support position to back up my teammates. Looking through the scope, I saw one of my teammates was causing chaos by driving a massive front-end loader into the enemy’s fortified position. It was time to join the fun.
I was the one plowing the front-end loader Chris mentioned into the enemy ranks, which worked great and was hugely fun until I ran up against some concrete barriers at the tunnel’s entrance. En route to another run of the same mine mission, however, I was also the idiot who saw an unattended helicopter show up on the map, and – thinking it would make for a cool Flight of the Valkyries entrance if we all rolled up in our own birds – bailed out of my teammate’s chopper to grab it.
I say “idiot” because the chopper I was after turned out to be in the middle of a fortified compound, and I managed to land on the side opposite its only entrance. Luckily, it was dark out, and guard presence was light, so I somehow crept my way up to the helipad without getting spotted or starting a firefight. By the time I slid in and started the chopper up, my squadmates were already starting the mine mission. As I flew over picturesque countryside, occasionally dodging surface-to-air missiles and enemy chopper patrols, the rest of the team was deep underground, gunning down sicarios and setting off tunnel-clearing explosions. I listened to them chattering excitedly to each other over my headset, and watched with mounting horror as the distance counter slowly ticked down the kilometers between me and their position. I was going to be that guy. The guy who holds everything up and doesn’t pull his weight. Worse, it sounded like I was seriously missing out.
Then, something amazing happened: Just as I crested the last hill near the mine, a cheer crackled across the comms. My teammates had won, and were looking for an exit. I could see their markers snaking a path out of the mountain, working their way up toward the surface. I hadn’t held things up. In fact, my timing was perfect.
“Approaching the LZ!” I shouted over the headset. “Get ready to evac!”
Red smoke went up near the mine’s hidden exit as my team dropped signal flares, giving me a clear landing zone. I set down just as the last squadmate stepped into the sunlight, and they all piled in. We were a unit again, and after I pulled us clear of any would-be pursuers, we picked our next mission. This time, I wouldn’t bail until everyone else did.
Ghost Recon Wildlands makes it easy for lone wolves to go out and do some damage before the rest of the squad arrives at a location, but it’s not always the best idea. We selected a mission that took us to a Santa Blanca base that contained three key targets. I got in my own jeep and broke ahead of the squad in an effort to do some reconnaissance, and to see if I couldn’t take down one of these targets via close-range stealth or just sniping from a safe distance.
I arrived and saw a heavily fortified location with very few entry points that could offer suitable cover in our nighttime raid. I pulled out my binoculars and start tagging targets – unfortunately, all three were pretty much near the center of the compound. As I began figuring out how to get in undetected, my squad showed up. I clearly remember at least one teammate taking up a sniping position to provide support for those infiltrating, but then someone on the inside raised the alarm and all hell broke loose.
A compound full of high-alert enemies is a dangerous place, and I was gunned down a few minutes into battle. After a clutch revival by nearby teammate, I jumped back into action and realized that we weren’t only fighting the Santa Blanca, but also Unidad – the corrupt Bolivian special forces – which had opened fire on us as well. I then heard a squadmate say an enemy helicopter was inbound, so I just decided then and there to find it and shoot it down. It seemed like the responsible thing to do. It wasn’t hard to spot the inbound bird, so I took aim, unloaded just about everything I had, and took it down.
With the fiery wreckage giving me a renewed sense of confidence, I proceeded through the base and sought out our mission targets while my squad continued engaging enemy forces. I took them down one by one and then, seeing that things weren’t exactly cooling off, decided it was time to make an exit. We commandeered some armored vehicles from the enemy garage and sped off, leaving the Santa Blanca and Unidad forces to skirmish amongst themselves. It wasn’t the smoothest mission I’ve ever completed, but with a little improvisation and adaptability, anything is possible.
Ghost Recon Wildlands will arrive on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 7. For more on the game, check out our previous coverage: