Boo! Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta has started

You tell me: why am I your outboard memory? Why do you need me, today, to remind you that the four-day open beta test for sandbox stealth-o-shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site] is now live? We told you when it was coming, then we told you it was preloading, and now here I am telling you that it’s started. Why? Why is this on me? You could’ve written on your hand in marker: “THURS 11am: START KILLING.” Gone around muttering “Gonna kill ’em all on Thursday.” Set a voice alarm. Wrapped an elastic band around your wrist so your grotesque swollen purple hand would remind you. But no, here I am. The free Wildlands open beta is now live. You’re welcome.

Wildlands, to remind you, is Ghost Recon meets Far Cry. It’s a third-person, squad-based shooter about four US army men invading the sovereign state of Bolivia to kill naughty drugmen, with all the antics and icon-clearing you’d expecting from a modern Ubisoft sandbox.

The open beta lets players pootle and shootle through two of the full game’s twenty-one zones, on your tod with AI squadmates, with chums in co-op, or even with strangers from the wildlands of the Internet.

Here’s a snippet of Brendan chatting with Graham after they played a bit in closed beta:

“Well, you know the way we crept through the bushes and synchronised our shots to murder people in perfect tandem? And rescued a man from a cage without alerting anyone? And hijacked a helicopter together to get him out of there? And sped around on motorcycles? That was all fine and dandy. At the time, that felt like some action-movie bad-assery.

“But over the weekend I played some more, both alone with AI fellas and with random internet friendos. And let me tell you: there are a lot of people out there who do not know how to be a crack squad of hired killers – and they’re not all human beings. Worse than that, there isn’t really much to it once you dive in.”

You can see for yourself, as the open beta is now live through Steam and the Uplay client. The open beta will run until 11am on Monday the 27th. The full game’s launch will follow on March 7th.


  1. Pogs says:

    What are you trying to tell us Alice? Is something happening?

    • Shiloh says:

      I’ve no idea what she’s on about. Tell you what I was wondering though, when does the four-day open beta test for sandbox stealth-o-shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands go live? Does anyone know?

      • Pogs says:

        I don’t know but I expect Alice will remind us when. And for some reason I have a rubber band around my wrist. Alice, why do i have a rubber band around my wrist?

  2. Kollega says:

    Nowadays, every time RPS posts about this game, I feel the irresistible urge to complain about not having a decent successor to Mercenaries. It was definitely a lot less “edgy” (which made playing it easier), and its abundance of military hardware felt like one of the more interesting novelties in the history of the sandbox shooter genre. Imagine how great a “GTA Online plus Battlefield” game would be – an open-world shooter where you could bring heavier firepower to bear, and could set up some basic tactical organization with your friends. Like a sleekier, more mainstream ArmA. Wouldn’t that be cool?

    And you know what’s funny? The never-released Mercs Inc. was supposed to be something like that – but then Pandemic got scuttled for some dumb reason. Thanks, EA!

  3. DaftPunk says:

    Been playing open beta for 2 hours and its hit and miss. It can be fun with right people i guess..I have only tried playing with strangers who sound like 12 year old boys,who run around and shoot at everything..

    Other than that its quite glitchy game,vehicle handling is worst i played in any game,same with vehicle pyhics.. At least they fixed optimization. Can run this on ultra settings with great fps on i7 2600k and r9 390x.

  4. Troubletcat says:

    So I played this a bit and have a couple of thoughts.

    Thought 1: Why is it nearly impossible not to make my badass elite special forces person look like a massive hipster?

    Thought 2: There’s some weird shit going on with the temporal AA that makes the trees blur in a really distracting manner when you’re moving.

    Thought 3: How do I turn off the thing that keeps appearing on the side of the screen telling my what button to hold to join a public match, something I will absolutely never want to do for any reason? Also the giant text with the stupid font that appears in the middle of the screen when I get shot telling my to Fall Back and in a few other cases. I did not yet look for the options but I pray they exist.

    Thought 4: The controller aim has waaaay too much non-linearity for me to deal with and the driving feels terrible with mousekeys.

    Thought 5: The beta starts with an unskipable video welcoming you to the beta that I guarantee nobody will ever care about watching for even a single second. I was hammering on all possible skipping buttons the entire time in protest. It was followed up by the typical unskipable logo crawls. Also does it really need that “Open Beta” watermark to always be on the bottom of the screen? I’m not going to forget I’m playing a beta and lets be honest the game’s not going to look any different in screenshots in a week and a half when it launches.

    …I don’t yet have played enough to say whether I like it as a whole or not but there sure a lot of small annoyances.

  5. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    Maam yes maam!

  6. stringerdell says:

    Its some of the best and most exciting co op gameplay ever. using drones to mark up enemies and cooking up a plan with your friends while you prowl around outside a base in your ghillie suits, then executing a perfect stealthy takedown of a whole outpost is just amazing.

    I wouldnt buy this if you dont have friends willing to join you though,its dull as dishwater single player and relying on random internet folk to act as anything other than moving targets is probably a bad idea.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      I agree in principle – when my friends and I pulled off a stealth takedown of an entire cartel compound, it felt great.

      But it also felt great to simultaneously kamikaze four tractors covered in C4 into a cartel base.

  7. WladTapas says:

    It is a really nice-looking game at least. I was happy to see my newish PC runs it at high settings at 55-65 fps. Hopefully I get to test it with a friend before the open beta ends.

    But the driving is rather clumsy with mouse and keyboard. And the unskippable intro video is an idea I never see to see again.

  8. Banks says:

    The scenery is gorgeous, but other than that it is basically Ubisoft: the videogame.


  9. Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

    I feel this game has potential, especially when played with friends.

    But the vehicle handling and helicopter controls are just terrible. It makes driving an unpleasant chore that’s unfortunately required to move between missions. Why couldn’t they just use the same vehicle physics as in Watchdogs 2?

    How could Ubisoft fail so utterly at such a fundamental aspect of the gameplay when they have already implemented it adequately in many of their previous games?

  10. Hyena Grin says:

    I have had immense fun with friends playing the beta. I don’t have any problems with a good icon-hunt, as long as the hunting of the icons isn’t terribly rote. And it’s not, happily. I can (and have) tackled various icons in a variety of different ways. We may all hunt the same icons, but I bet you my story for hunting icon #149 is different than your story. And ultimately, that’s what it’s about. The game world may be a little rote, but it’s beautiful, and open, and provides a lot of space to fill in the gaps with dynamic gameplay.

    The shooting and actiony bits are pretty great. They feel great, they are intuitive. I occasionally feel like a badass without having to muscle-memory a lexicon of buttons, and that’s sort of what I want from a game like this.

    Thank goodness they have used a non-sticky cover system, I hate high-action shooting where you have to like, press a button to not be stuck to a wall. I also hate third person shooty-bang-bang games without cover systems of any sort.

    Also, can I point out how great the character creation is? I have made a variety of delightful outfits for my badass soldier chica. I hope they add more clothing and hair and the like. Because I am pretty sure the inclusion of a good amount of clothing/accessory options is like 75% of the reason I ended up preordering this game.

    I will echo what others have said though; the driving is shit. Someone at Ubi-Paris needs to talk to someone at Ubi-Montreal about how to do driving that isn’t a total mess. WD2 had decent driving (if not the best in the genre), and it strikes me as strange that the vehicle handling is so bonkers in Ghost Recon. It’s twitchy and over-sensitive, and the vehicles often feel floaty. I am putting this largely down to poor PC porting of controls, but the helicopter controls in particular are inexcusable. It’s like they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how helicopters operate.

    • Hyena Grin says:

      Oh, just wanted to add upon further playing that they need to change the command wheel to respond to directional mouse movements. I should be able to flick the mouse in the direction of the command I want. Rotating the mouse wheel takes longer and is incredibly annoying. I should be able to issue commands rapidly. Button press, flick, click, done.