Ghost Recon Wildlands just got bigger with the addition of Narco Road, a new expansion that sends the Ghosts undercover as mercenaries working for the Santa Blanca. You will also discover a new side of the cartel as the Santa Blanca begin working with various smuggling gangs – Los Kamikazes, the Death Riders, and Los Jinetes Locos – who fight for fame and territory against a rival cartel, Los Sin Almas. With a larger-than-life vibe and an extreme motorsports aesthetic, this is a new way to experience Ghost Recon Wildlands – and with that in mind, here are a few things you should know going in.
DON’T SWEAT YOUR PROGRESS
Narco Road’s campaign is separate from the “main” game. You’ll create a new Ghost who starts out at level 20, with most of his or her skills already levelled up. Be sure to take a look to find out what you can and can’t do, though, because some familiar skills and perks – the under barrel grenade launcher, for instance – aren’t available by default. Instead, you’ll unlock them in a slightly different way, by earning and finding medals tied to specific skill types.
In the meantime, you will still be able to play the main campaign missions and complete the weekly live season challenges with your main character without having your progress affected by your advancement in Narco Road.
GO ANYWHERE, RIGHT FROM THE START
Narco Road’s open world is divided into four huge territories, each containing several Bolivian provinces lorded over by a different gang. When you start Narco Road, all of the fast-travel points are available immediately – so if you want to take a break from running jobs for the first gang you encounter, the adrenaline-obsessed Kamikazes, you can hop over to a different territory and ingratiate yourself with, say, the old-school Death Riders biker gang and their flaming-motorbike-riding leader.
INFILTRATE BY IMPRESSING THE GANG
No longer will you sneak into enemy compounds and unfriendly villages to collect Intel. Instead, new story missions open up as you attract gang followers by taking on side activities, tackling brief Electro Challenge stunts scattered throughout the world, and – of course – completing missions. Executing a quick drift or monster-truck jump at marked locations can earn you a small handful of followers while destroying a Sin Almas coca field with a crop-dusting stunt plane (for example) will net you more – especially if you fly it through an aerial stunt marker afterwards.
In addition to impressing the local gang lord enough to give you missions, gaining followers will also get you attention from informants, who’ll give you a hand by revealing the locations of hidden weapon cases and skill medals. Don’t hesitate to hit them up when they show up on the map.
Veteran Ghosts will notice something immediately different in the Bolivian landscape: a whole lot of colourful new rides, just waiting for you to slide behind the wheel. And once you do, you’ll notice something else: most of them now have nitro boosts, enabling you to hit warp speed on dirt roads and take an airborne route down mountains. When you’re driving monster trucks, this also magnifies your destructive power, letting you obliterate smaller cars (or at least effortlessly slam them out of your way). This new turbo boost is also essential to Narco Road’s new stunt challenges, which you’ll invariably perform better at if you hit them at full speed.
GO SOLO AT YOUR OWN RISK
More so than Ghost Recon Wildlands itself, Narco Road offers a unique challenge for solo players. If you go it alone, you’ll be just that: alone, with no AI-controlled squadmates to watch your back and kiss your boo-boos in battle. You’ll get some help from the Santa Blanca gangs, although they operate more or less like the Rebels in the main campaign: they’ll fight your enemies if they’re nearby, and you can call in special assists through an unlockable menu. If you want someone to follow you around and ride shotgun in your nitro-boosted rides, though, you’ll need to get some actual friends on board to help you.
Narco Road is available now to Ghost Recon Wildlands Season Pass holders on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will be available for individual purchase on April 25 for £11.99. For more on Ghost Recon Wildlands, check out our previous coverage.