Sitting down with Tom Isaksen, Senior Character Artist for Ghost Recon: Wildlands, we got the opportunity to ask him all the questions we had about the upcoming Ghost Recon title. We went from knowing very little about Ubisoft’s latest shooter to knowing so much, that we are counting down the days to play it.
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We really grilled him for the best answers to all our questions, and we walked away with some rather sneaky thing we found out, that will change your impression on Ghost Recon completely.
How will Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ co-op work differently to that of The Division?
Wildlands is all about its 4-player co-op. You will be able to play the game single player, and make use of the AI team mates. It is all about customization, being sociable, and you don’t need to stick together when playing the game, you can go wherever you want in complete freedom. We do not push players into a specific game style, you can play however you want to play. If you want to be tactical, or blow things up it is up to you. You can play publicly, for strangers to join in on you, and whatever you progress on, will carry over to your single player adventure, and vice versa.
What would an average gameplay session in Ghost Recon: Wildlands consist of?
It is all about exploring the world, it is all open to you and there are no towers to climb. You go out and explore, find missions, find objectives, choose to do them, or find something else to do. When you feel that it is time to do something, you can then get your team together, and head into missions.
How will matchmaking work if I want to bring in a friend who might be new to Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and I have been playing for weeks?
Matchmaking will work with progression in your game, it is not level based. This means that your friends will be able to join you, without the worry of being underpowered. It is all about knowing your skills, and what equipment you have and how to utilize it.
How important is squad-based tactics in Ghost Recon: Wildlands?
Again, it is all up to you and how you want to make use of what you have. It all depends on your strategy, and the mission you are on. You would probably want to have a sniper watching over your entry from a distance, but if you feel it is not necessary, then you can go with another route. It is not a class-based character, sure there is a progressions system for the characters, but it is your game, and you and your team will make do with what you have.
How big is Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and how long will it take to complete it?
Well there are over 100 missions for story missions in the game. It is also in a big world, so it all depends on how you choose to play the game. We cannot put a timer on the game to be honest, as no one really knows how long it will take for you to play through it all.
How does the checkpoint system in Ghost Recon: Wildlands work during an average playthrough?
You will have safe points in the game, these will be places you can go to check out your gear and equipment, and they will also act as respawn zones. If you all go down, you will revive here, otherwise you can revive your team mates in the game. So it is important to always keep one player alive.
How will the enemies and difficulty, change our approach to different missions?
There will be certain areas which will be more difficult, and if you want to play on hard, and your friends are playing on easy, you will just receive more damage than they would from a shot. So you can actually play on different difficulty levels with your friends, regardless of their skill level. As for enemies, it all depends on what you are doing in the mission, and the game is role-free, so it all changes every time you play it. A sniper for example, will want to lookout for other snipers.
How challenging has it been to create Ghost Recon: Wildlands?
Well we have been working on it for 4 years now, it is almost there, close to release. We are very proud of it, especially Bolivia. It is interesting because it is a place not well-known. It is an authentic reconstruction of the country, and sure it is still a fantasy, but we really tried to create an authentic Bolivia. Hopefully once you have played it, you will want to go there because it is a very diverse country with 11 different ecosystems. That along with the game’s full day/night cycle, will change your gameplay completely. Playing missions at night will change your approach to the mission as AI will have different patterns, and enemies will be in different locations.
So what we gather from our interview with Tom Isaksen, is that Ghost Recon: Wildlands is looking pretty impressive. The open world, deep customization, and drop-in co-op will keep us pretty busy for a few months. Ghost Recon: Wildlands releases on 7 March 2017 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.