Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Skydived 10 times • 15G • 35.33% of gamers unlocked this

It’s done. My last ‘in the bank’ achievement, or ‘low hanging fruit’ as I’ve liked to use on this blog, is done. The reason is a little bit sad actually, in that tonight was a training night and the Married at First Sight finale is on, and so after a late dinner and an episode of Shameless I needed something quick and easy to get through so I could get in position for the finale. Oh God … I’ve turned into one of those people.

To be honest, this mad rush could have gone a lot quicker if there was a more simple single player process to be followed in Sea of Thieves. I tried, I really, really tried to make some progress as a Pirate, but I think it is absolutely designed for group play. Que Sera Sera.

Anyway, time to get into the MAFS!


Highway Bandit


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Tagged 10 convoys • 15G • 28.96% of gamers unlocked this

I’m absolutely loving the variety of Ghost Recon Wildlands, but when I found out how many skills I could unlock following a good haul of resources, I was convinced that I needed to stop my push through the main campaign and start collecting a few widgets throughout the world to build up my character (and ultimately go after Predator).

This morning’s session really just required a few more convoys be intercepted, thanks to already having a few in the bank from earlier gameplay. If you’re not too concerned about getting involved in gunfights, it’s actually fairly easy to knock a vehicle off the road, tag it, and hightail it out of there without too many issues. I’m the kind of guy who plays on easy, so exchanging gunfire with the cartel or the military didn’t really appeal to me – so smash-and-grab it was.

I think, now that I’ve understood the basic mechanics, I’ll be about to line-up a few of the progress or story achievements. From what I can tell, there looks like achievements for dismantling the individual ‘arms’ of the cartel … and I’ve started (seemingly) making good progress through each of them, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I don’t think it’s a today or tomorrow goal, but a ‘soon’ goal nonetheless.

Who knows? I might enjoy Wildlands so much that I end up 100%’ing it…!

Road Warrior


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Drove a vehicle for 100km • 15G • 47.97% of gamers unlocked this

There are some things I can do in Wildlands to delay achievement gratification. One of these is sky diving, with only one jump needed to tick that achievement off – I’ve been sitting on it for a particularly time-poor day. One of the things I can’t ‘not’ get away with, however is driving. So when I saw the achievement was only a good 5-6km away, I figured I might as well double down and grab this one for good measure.

There’s something enormously satisfying about the narrative that Ubisoft have created in Wildlands. I haven’t really been that interested in it so far, but over the past 48 hours, I’ve been watching some of the in-game movies and discussions that are had, and I have to say, this is a story that would make Tom Clancy proud. It’s also one that I think would struggle in any other kind of medium. The Wildlands story is uniquely captured in the chunks relating to each part of the cartel’s hierarchy, and TV or movie lovers would tend to be sucked into an overarching narrative. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like the ‘monster of the week’ style entertainment – best pioneered by The X-Files – of which I think Wildlands is the closest thing to it I’ve seen in a game.

There’s no real technique applied to earning this achievement. I just drove. My Xbox statistics are putting me in at 17 hours (incidentally, this achievement seems to only be for cars – I have a ‘Travelled Distance’ of 356.57 – and I certainly have not ran the balance!), and that’s playing – as far as I can tell – fairly normally, so it’s a fairly timely achievement I suspect.

Some more Wildlands before bed, and then in pursuit of another achievement tomorrow. I have a good Wildlands feeling about this weekend.

Spice of Life


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Played each type of side mission • 30G • 31.83% of gamers unlocked this

Tonight’s session in Wildlands was all about the fun. Since taking the Quasi-Clancy sandbox as the playground it is supposed to be, I’ve been enjoying it much more than the more serious tactical military sim that I once had in my mind. No, my friends, this is much more Just Cause than Jack Ryan. And the series is that much better for it.

The progress achievements in Wildlands seem to be a bit hit-and-miss. I had ‘closed out’ what I thought were two ‘bosses’ tonight, but I think when they’re viewed in terms of the overall cartel organisational structure, they only form part of a part – that is, they’re too low down to earn themselves an achievement on their own. That’s fine – as I say, I’m having a great time, but in the interests of keeping game momentum up with my daily challenge, I speak purely out of self-interest.

This achievement unlocked at the same time as another – one for unlocking all the rebel skills, which you get for completing side missions, so it seems like this is a bit of a waste – or an easy earn – depending on how you look at it. I put it down as an interesting observation. Either way, I earned that one as well!

No Linux gaming tonight – I’ll save that for the weekend – so I hope that I can mix up my entries for the next couple of days!

With a Pistol!


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Campaign: Took out a sniper with a pistol • 15G • 38.09% of gamers unlocked this

Predator has defeated me … for now. After an hour and a half trying to take him out last night, I decided it was time to move on and resume saving Bolivia from a drug cartel, rather than endlessly run around the same patch of jungle trying to shoot the walking mass of pain.

And so, the journey continues.

I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t give Wildlands a much greater run when it first launched. Now that I’ve kind of worked out it’s formula, I’m having a lot of fun. For instance, a mission that seemed like it would be overly complicated involved entering a base, stealing a prototype boat and extracting it to a CIA safehouse down-river. Instead of stealthily casing the base, and either run-and-gunning it in or creeping my way through the buildings to get to the boat, I found a helicopter, parachuted to the building the boat was in, jumped straight in and high-tailed it out of there while my squad rained fire down on my helicopter and boat pursuers …

… and I loved every minute of it.

This sort of sandbox play is everything that Wildlands promised, but my stubborn streak and lack of patience to experiment with how to play the game has robbed me of what could have been a great few months. Still … better late than never, and it also leaves me with a fairly expansive world to explore with fresh eyes.

Today’s achievement was fairly easy … most outposts have a sniper or two placed around the outskirts of the base, so switching to my pistol – some pirate-esque ornate single-shot beauty – and putting a bullet in the sniper in the tower was easy enough for a quick gameplay session this morning. With achievements out of the way for the day, I’m looking forward to some general tomfoolery in Bolivia when I get a chance later tonight.

Eye in the Sky


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands • Campaign: Marked 100 enemies with a drone • 15G • 48.93% of gamers unlocked this

The idea of drones when I was growing up was pretty much the realm of science fiction – and I’m still in my thirties! So it goes to show you how quickly a bit of technology has come, not only in terms of fiction, but even as a practical tool of war.

Of course, these little drones are more like what you’d expect to buy at EB Games, rather than Lockheed Martin – and it’s a simple matter of throwing one in the air and moving the camera around a notch as it returns red reticules around bad guys on the battlefield. A lot of the earlier levels give good opportunities to use the drone, so getting 100 targets is actually a reasonably easy affair. It turns out just making sure you use it during each engagement is more than enough to see that number hit 100 after only a few hours playing.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve played Wildlands, but the recent spate of Tom Clancy love from Ubisoft prompted me to give it a whirl this afternoon. Much to my delight, I also had a brief session with the Predator! I thought that this was a time-limited event that I had well-and-truly missed, so I was stoked to see him running the Bolivian jungle with gay abandon. He killed me about three times before I put the controller down and vowed to fight another day, but it’s an excellent addition to the game – and, let’s be honest, a damn good bit of fun.

I think now I’ve worked out how to play Wildlands I might get back into it a bit more. I’m was lost without the guidance to move onto the next mission, but I think it’s a byproduct of just being ‘too’ open world. I discovered as soon as I landed in another area, a dialogue would trigger and open up a few missions and other options for me – so I’ll chip away at it for a little longer and see where I end up. I have to say though, the level design on this game is stunning. Ubisoft have absolutely outdone themselves on this – to the point at which I wonder how well it sold. I’m absolutely glad I decided to go back to it.

Death in the Dark


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands • Made a close-combat kill at night • 15G • 71.63% of gamers unlocked this

This isn’t even close to the achievement I was going for this morning, but it will do. In all honesty, I was expecting that I would grab a story achievement for finding one of the cartel network members, but it seems like those rewards might be saved for the ‘higher ups’. When I realised that was still a bit away, I started making my way to some heavily populated areas to chase the ‘tag enemies with your drone’ achievement, and in the process of clearing one of the buildings, I grabbed a guy and used him as a human shield. As soon as I knocked him out this achievement popped, and I still have the drone achievement up my sleeve another day!

I quite like Wildlands, it’s what we all hoped The Division would be, except, obviously, not in New York, where enemies go down in just a few shots like they’re supposed to, the mission variety is solid, and graphically the game looks great. Travelling between missions can become a touch tiresome as you’re looking at 2-3km over hilly terrain to navigate, but there’s no shortage of helicopters in-game either, so when you can grab one of them, the pain isn’t quite as bad.

It’s a good game, but I’m glad I only paid AU$39 for it. It feels decisively like an Ubisoft game, and that’s not a bad thing, but history has taught me anything it’s that RRP on an Ubisoft title is a short-lived concept. Wildlands is no exception.

Beat the Boss


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands • Defeated your first boss • 10G • 69.27% of gamers unlocked this

I’ve had a fairly full plate of commitments today, so I ended up trying a few things just to make sure I got an achievement. The first thing was pushing through some levels of Halo: Spartan Strike on iOS but there’s only so many minutes in a lunch break. Then I moved onto Age of Empires: Castle Siege but unless I wanted to burn through (or buy) some gold, I was a fair way off earning an achievement. It was an option to keep up my sleeve if I ended up in bed with nothing. But as chance would have it, I ended up having a fairly good session on Wildlands and successfully killed the first bosses: Yuri and Polito.

I’m not sure if I’ve missed something along the way but once I finished that mission there was no more ‘story’ to seek out. There are still many names on the cartel organisation chart to work through, but they all have the targets ‘locked’, which means that their respective missions have also been hidden away from me. I don’t know if I need to do more side missions, or do something else to trigger progress, so I just played around for a bit longer – going for a ride in a jet boat, stealing much nicer helicopters than the little bird I’ve been flying around and just generally causing mischief.

The more I play Wildlands the more I have fun with it. It’s like a real-world Just Cause, except without the grapple hook and ability to defy gravity, economics and human physical/mental capacity. It is graphically quite nice, and I’m even starting to get used to the helicopters. For the AU$39 I was able to get it for – the price was well worth it.

At this stage, I think I’ll jump back into Wildlands over the weekend. There’s some other great options for games this week on account of Games with Gold and Game Pass, so there’s enough ‘entry’ achievements to keep me going in the meantime!

Rebel Sympathizer


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands • Unlocked a Rebel Skill • 15G • 76.80% of gamers unlocked this

I am not ashamed to admit that I have an incredible soft spot for the Tom Clancy series of games, ever since the original Rainbow Six appeared on PC. It was at a time before terrorism became mainstream, and every game under the sun wanted to have their slice of narrative-driven action. Not having much in the way of internet probably didn’t hurt either, as a decent single player campaign was the only thing standing in the way of gamers playing your game or doing, literally, anything else. 

I knew I would eventually grab Wildlands after spending some time in the Beta, so I spent some time last night getting my character established and, essentially, doing everything I had already done in the Beta. 

It feels like I’ve done most story missions in the region for now, so I suspect that there’ll be an achievement or two coming up for killing the low-level initial ‘boss’. I’m only truly bugged by Helicopfer handling to be honest, which isn’t quite GTAV friendly, but not quite as obnoxious as a flight sim either. It’s not game-breaking, it’s just a gripe. 

No doubt I’ll be heading back to the story very soon.

I ain’t afraid of no Ghosts …


I spent some time this weekend dabbling in the Open Beta for Ghost Recon Wildlands. It’s a good game – it is visually pleasing, there’s the hint of a good story and once you work out the technology that this unit-come-army pack with, you start to enjoy it even more.

I took the opportunity to capture some gameplay from the first few missions on the PS4, along with some general free-play in-between.

As I say, it’s a good game, but just not great. Perhaps wait until you can borrow it off a friend or grab it in a Steam Sale … if you can wait that long.