I really wasn't sure what to expect when the video started of a group of highly specialized military operators began traversing through some rocky terrain toward a stronghold governed by a drug kingpin, but after a short while I realized I was watching the future of the Ghost Recon franchise.
The new game from Ubisoft came completely out of left field and it's called Ghost Recon Wildlands. You can see the whole five minute trailer below from the official Ubisoft blog.
Now there's a whole lot to cover in this trailer. Within just five minutes this Ghost Recon trailer does more than what some games attempt and fail to do within eight whole hours.
First off, if this is truly indicative of in-game play, the procedural animation system is spot-on. I loved the way they adjusted and moved across the rugged terrain as they moved up, over and through the various types of landscapes in order to reach some of those remote destinations. It's a feature sorely missing from many other AAA games out there and was previously a staple in Crysis but unfortunately gamers didn't really get to appreciate the quality of animations in Crysis since it was first person.
Here, we get engulfed in truly highly quality animation and character art direction from the team at Ubisoft. So, huge, huge props to them for that.
Next up are the vehicles. For the first time we're seeing multiple vehicle types that players can commandeer throughout their travels in the South American country.
As mentioned over on the Ubisoft blog, the objective of the Ghosts are to stamp out the Santa Blanca drug cartel, so players will have a bevy of weapons and vehicles at their disposal to do what they need to do to complete the mission.
And speaking of missions being completed, this Ghost Recon game brings back the open-world gameplay from previous games, but it takes it a step further. In this game players can utilize time of day , locations, scouting and vehicles to their advantage. I love how the trailer shows the Ghost team attacking the mission in three distinct ways. The night infiltration was probably my favorite given how stealthily the team managed to carry out the mission and get in and out without being seen.
It's rare in open-world action titles that we get to utilize time of day and location-based mechanics to really disrupt the way a mission can be completed. It would be cool if this feature was present in games like Saints Row or Sleeping Dogs, or even Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed. However, it looks like the open-world action genre will get a serious next-gen upgrade with Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
The game is being worked on by various Ubisoft studious from around the world, and is due for release on the Xbox One, the PS4 and PC.