Unlike The Division, with its focus on communal online play, Ghost Recon: Wildlands is more of a flexible experience. While of course you can play online with a group of friends as you take on a deadly cartel in the heartlands of Bolivia (after all, co-op play is pretty much the point of the game), Ubisoft's tactical shooter can also be enjoyed by a lone wolf. With that in mind, here's our top tips on how to get the most out of the new Ghost Recon while playing by yourself.
Collect & Explore: Ubisoft games are always packed full of collectibles of various types, with cool gear to be found across these vast open worlds, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands is no different. If you're the type of player who likes to explore every nook and cranny, then you'll be rewarded with skill points, weapons, attachments, and dynamic side missions that unlock better support from the rebels. You won't have your friends nagging at you to rush from mission to mission either, and there's a good chance you'll stumble across more Easter eggs like this Dark Souls one. As you take care of the low level henchmen you'll find in the many provinces of the game, the difficulty ramps up, and here it's essential to have gathered a wide array of weapon attachments, weapons, and skill points in order to stand a chance against the tougher bosses. There's a small counter on the world map that keeps track of the various power-ups in each province too, so look at it closely before you decide to move on.
Avoid Fast Travelling: The fictional Bolivia that Ubisoft has created is absolutely stunning, from the open lakes to the forested plains and snow-topped mountains, and it's worth spending the time taking it all in. Whether you take a 4x4 and go off-road, or pile your squad into a helicopter and take to the skies, there's plenty of ways and routes to see all the sights, especially if you plan your journey via all the collectibles and upgrades that are littered about the place. Additionally, much of the content of Ghost Recon: Wildlands reveals itself dynamically as you travel, and this particularly pertains to the convoys. These carry important resources for the rebels, and they're also key when upgrading your character and squad, so being on the road or in the air instead of fast travelling is a more elegant way of discovering all of this content in the most seamless fashion.
Listen to your Squad: When you're traversing the land, pay attention to the conversations your team has with one another. They talk about all sorts of things, from their individual histories and previous missions, to back and forth banter with jokes that come at the expense of their military brothers, the marines. The dialogue and writing is actually surprisingly good, despite at first glance looking like yet another bog standard military shooter. The point of playing the game yourself is to cut out some of the noise that can easily come from being part of a four player cooperative team, and it's much easier to appreciate the finer points of Midas, Weaver, and Holt as characters, when you listen to their conversations.
Trust your Troopers: One of the mechanics, sync shot, allows you to call out the positions of enemy soldiers to your squad and mark them to take out at your call. After upgrading the skill a few times, you unlock a shot for each of your squad, plus yourself, meaning you can take out up to four enemies at a time with perfect stealth (if you equip a sniper with a suppressor). Give your team a few moments to line up their shots, but once they have a target in their sights they'll never miss, unlike if you're playing with a friend who hasn't quite got the hang of bullet drop. Furthermore, some of the upgrades you can purchase with rebel resources and skill points relate directly to the effectiveness of your AI squad mates in combat, and if you choose to focus on this specific part of the skill tree early on, you can make Holt, Weaver, and Midas very effective killers, and they very quickly evolve from simply hanging onto you to being problem solvers in tough situations.
Watch the Videos: As has been said before, playing by yourself allows you to appreciate the finer narrative points of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and if you simply listen to the various video briefings and dialogue, you'll learn a lot about the structure of the Santa Blanca cartel, its leader El Sueño, and the various underbosses of the organisation that you're tasked with disposing of. There's a lot of internal conflict going on, and learning about the interconnecting relationships of El Yayo, El Muro, and Nidia Flores can be blast, also adding plenty of value to the overall experience. It does require you to actually watch the optional video briefings when you enter each province, and defeat a Buchon. Immerse yourself in this world, and doing so will add much needed context to your campaign.
Did we miss any key points? Let us know if you have any other tips to help take out the cartel in single-player.