As I’ve mentioned in the past I have a couple of friends (Trainsmash being one of them) who I have been gaming with for years. Our game of choice is Borderlands 2, but we get burnt out on that easily. We’d all been fans of the Tom Clancy series’ previously Splinter Cell, Rainbow 6, Ghost Recon. So we’d been watching the latest batches of releases from Ubi with interest, and then as we played each beta we found ourselves more & more despondent.
Siege was not what we were after, as competitive multiplayer is not our scene, we were interested in a co-op, mission based game.
The Division - seemed a promising blend of RPG & modern shooter, but became too bullet spongy & the failure to live up to promises killed that for us.
GR:Wildlands looked to provide as with more of a squad shooter atmosphere & an open world for us to be ourselves & create havoc. So we decided to dip our toes & give it a go.
We assigned each other callsigns - derogatory, but on the surface Macho-Military (-ish).
I became Vegas. In NZ we have a city called Rotorua, it’s a thermal wonderland full of geysers & mud pools. It was pointed out that my personality is somewhat full of hot air, liable to erupt & overall pungent. Rotorua is lovingly referred to as Roto-Vegas and so I achieved the callsign “Vegas”.
Trainsmash became “Glitter” - primary reason his first name is Gary… and he seems to have an obsession with sparkly pink unicorns.
Our final squad member was “Ice Man” - he is a huge fan of Batman & it was only fair to pick on his least favourite movie - with Val Kilmer in the lead, added to the fact he despises Tom Cruise & especially hated the Top Gun movie, Ice Man was a shoe-in.
So armed with callsigns we headed off into Bolivia - or at least what Ubisoft determines to be an accurate representation of it. Straight off the bat I can say that the map is huge & the countryside looks gorgeous. Overall the character models are good but what I’m seeing is a couple of instances where in cut-scenes the facial animations don’t gel or my character appears to be to busy staring at the tele-prompter for her next line, with her eyes flicking to a different focal point or generally staring at a random corner. Dialogue is at the level of an action movie, the squad banter is done well during non-scripted times, but you run into repetition very quickly. Scripted dialogue is pretty bad, with some truly facepalming moments, such as when one of your “covert” operatives rebukes a bribery offer with “Do you know who I work for? The United States of America, think you can match that money?”, before knocking the suspect out & moving on.
So, I can’t tell if the squad is supposed to be dismantling the cartel from the shadows, without giving away that it’s the USA interfering with another country’s internal issues, or overtly creating a war of terror on the cartel. I believe that regardless of your method of play the results will be the same.
But back to the 3-man wolfpack… we’re as close to dangerously inept as you can hope to find. We don’t work well as a team & communication revolves more around laying blame in the after action as opposed to working together to formulate & pull off the perfect assault. And let’s be honest, that’s the way we like to play it. The game is blast when you’re worried less about completing a mission and instead focus on racing 3 vehicles to the next staging point, when one is in a 2 cylinder tractor, another is in a helicopter attempting to fly under the bridges & the third has just seen a Lamborghini drive past & must have it. It allows the group of us to play as an anarchic, hot mess and it allows the game to transcend the stale, sterile, paint-by-numbers modern shooter that proliferates gaming these days. It is a combination of Far Cry, Just Cause & Battlefield, that gives you the freedom to make the game interesting.
I’d like to use this thread for myself & Trainsmash to post plays of the day style commentary & screenshots to share our journey through Bolivia & our battles with the Santa Blanca cartel.
At this stage the game is buggy as all heck, which helps with our amusement, but the NVidia Ansel screenshot tool currently causes the game to crash for Trainsmash & on my PC it creates a lag for about 3minutes where I can hear all the action but my screen is frozen until it catches up. This means until we work out a decent screencap tool pics will be a bit thin on the ground.