Ghost Recon Wildlands’ unlock times, Nvidia bits, government complaints, and more

With Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site] unlocking tonight, here’s a newsblast rounding up a few odds and ends:

1) We shan’t tell you Wot We Think at launch, as we only received code today
2) We will aim (aim, like aiming a gun) to have something up as soon as possible and a review by the end of the week
3) Pre-loading is now live for pre-orderers (never pre-order etc.) but when it actually unlocks and launches is determined by where you buy it
4) Nvidia are blabbing about their fancy Nvidia-exclusive graphics effects
5) Yup, patches have fixed some problems since the beta
6) The government of Bolivia have officially protested Wildlands’ portrayal of their country as lawless and ruled by druglords

Onwards to details!

1) Given that Wildlands is a huge open-world game with co-op t’boot, and we’ve only just got access to it, we can’t reasonably deliver a full Wot I Think by the time it launches.

2) But we will try to toss some thoughts out as they start to coalesce, then follow-up with a proper Wot I Think later in the week. For now, hey, Brendan and Graham’s co-op beta thoughts are probably not too far off.

3) If you buy Wildlands directly from Ubisoft, it’ll unlock timezone-by-timezone at midnight local time. The Steam release, on the other hand, will come globally at 5am UTC on Tuesday, March 7th. That’s 5am in the UK, 6am Central European Time, midnight EST, 9pm on the 6th in PST, already out in Australia, and so on. Sounds weird, but that’s what Ubisoft say.

4) Ubisoft have again teamed up with Nvidia to add some fancy graphical bells and whistles that’ll only be available to players with Nvidia video cards. Nvidia GameWorks gubbins better shadows through HBAO+, volumetric lighting, fancier simulated grass with physics interactions, and support for Nvidia’s screenshot tool Ansel.

Update: Nvidia have got in touch to tell us: “Turf Effects, HBAO+ and Volumetric Lighting work an all DirectX compatible GPUs. Not just Nvidia GPUs.”

Have a look in this trailer:

If you’ve got an AMD card, bad luck! It’s still wild to me that, over twenty years since consumer-grade 3D cards launched, we still have manufacturer-exclusive features. I understand that Nvidia put staff and resources into adding all these but sheesh, it’s still a bummer.

5) That VG247 rabble have word on patches which have brought changes like improved stability and networking. Given that we’re downloading it on PC anyway it’s perhaps not a huge deal but hey, those are things that have changed since the beta. Some early impressions claim that driving and shooting have improved too,

6) The Bolivian government have formally filed a complaint with the French embassy over Wildlands’ portrayal of Bolivia, Reuters reports. Ubisoft themselves say the near-future Bolivia of Wildlands “has been turned by the vicious Santa Blanca drug cartel into a narco-state”, a place so bad that US Army operatives invade to shoot all the naughty drugmen. The Bolivian government seem not so keen on that. They’ve asked the French government to intervene, Reuters say, and think they have a case for legal action.

Ubisoft responded to Reuters by pointing out that it’s “a work of fiction” and claiming that Bolivia was chosen as a setting because of its “magnificent landscapes and rich culture.” Mate, come on, stop at the ‘fiction’ point and don’t try to shamelessly pretend it’s a compliment- oh no, there’s more.

“While the game’s premise imagines a different reality than the one that exists in Bolivia today, we do hope that the in-game world comes close to representing the country’s beautiful topography,” Ubi added in their statement. I don’t think that flattery will fly.

I can certainly see why the Bolivian government are unhappy with this. The premise of Wildlands is jingoist nonsense in the classic Clancy way. Look at the garbage live-action commercial on television and in cinemas. Ubisoft also funded a documentary about Bolivia’s actual real drug problems to promote the game. But Wildlands is a work of fiction, and raising the idea of legal action seems a bit silly. Sorry that one of the few portrayals of your country most people will see is such trash but so it goes.

That’s your lot. Newsblasted blasted. Titibts tattled. Games on.


  1. TheDreamlord says:

    Well, it IS a work of fiction, so……

  2. Troubletcat says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. If there’s a country that can’t be improved by sneaky Americans murdering everyone and committing gross violations of international law, I’ve never heard of it.

    My only question is when the USA will finally save, say, Saturn, instead of merely this one world.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Well, NASA is putting out plans for a lander on Europa at least. So that’s… something?

    • Bull0 says:

      New Cod does pretty much that, America saving space

  3. Rizlar says:

    Ubisoft also funded a documentary about Bolivia’s actual real drug problems to promote the game.

    Hmm, doesn’t that rather blur the line they draw in saying ‘don’t worry about it, it’s a work of fiction!’. Seems like they should have just invented a place but still used all the Bolivian landscape/culture, a la Liberty City. But I guess a lot of the Clancy appeal comes from a real world setting, real guns, real bad hombres.

    But yeah, what a load of horrible bollocks is in this game. My favourite bit from the beta was when your squad bros are talking about torture, comparing whatever bad shit the bad guys are supposed to be doing with the CIA’s preferred method of waterboarding, falsely implying that waterboarding leaves ‘no lasting physical and psychological damage’.

  4. Herring says:

    “It’s still wild to me that, over twenty years since consumer-grade 3D cards launched, we still have manufacturer-exclusive features.”

    I’m waiting for the Glide-compatible version.

  5. Jokerme says:

    Nvidia lightshafts, Nvidia grass, Nvidia unlocked frames, Nvidia screenshots, Nvidia multi monitor support, Nvidia UI…

    Nvidia is such an innovative company. They came up with amazing features that helps Wildlands become an awesome PC game. I wish it were possible to have such features on AMD cards, but oh well. AMD technology is not there yet.

    I hope they all die in a ditch. Well, not really. I just hope people stop supporting such terrible practices.

    • Neutrino says:

      Agreed. If half the features only work on Nvidia systems then to my mind it isn’t a bona fide PC title as the term PC implies a broad compatible platform (which Nvidia has been shamelessly seeking to fragment for it’s own nefarious purposes).

      In all honesty it’s not my kind of thing so I doubt I would have bought it anyway, but if it was my kind of game these kind of shenanigans would put me right off.

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      AMD GPUs are capable of running them, but they’re designed with CUDA threads in mind so it’s not nearly as efficient on AMD. If Nvidia generalised their instructions or allowed AMD to develop their own then we could have these technologies without the artificial gating.
      Honestly I don’t know why Nvidia is keeping them on a tight leash at this point. Their market share isn’t going to be affected by trinkets like these (their massive lead in GPGPU gave them their colossal edge over AMD in the last several years) and they practically have to bribe developers into using them.

      • fish99 says:

        You could argue it’s those trinkets that helped get them that massive lead. I remember back when I had a Radeon 4890, ATI were solid competition for nVidia and putting out great cards, then nVidia bought PhysX and it’s all been downhill for ATI/AMD since.

        The devs that go along with these promotions deserve their share of the blame btw.

  6. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    Ubisoft turned NY into sick frozen shithole in Division.
    Didnt see any complains about it

    • thatdosbox says:

      To be fair, that’s not the first time NY has been portrayed less than flatteringly in media.

      Plus, New Yorkers know what it’s like to live there :p

      • Biggus_Dikkus says:

        Yea, no other country suffered so much for sake of intertaiment, invasions by Aliens legal and otherwise, Russians, Cubans giant lizards and vampires

      • Makaze says:

        They actually kind of cleaned it up a bit. My first reaction when playing was that all the snow was way too white, it should have been nasty dark grey slush. Then I realized that, no that’s pretty accurate since, everyone was too dead to dirty it up.

        In many ways NYC with everyone dead is better than NYC in the real world. Which is a nice summation of many of our attitudes…

    • LTK says:

      That’s because New York has a positive PR image a thousand times larger than all its negative influences combined. No one’s going to have The Division as their first and last impression of New York. Bolivia doesn’t have that fortune.

  7. Phinor says:

    Hopefully they have a day 1 patch filled with magic because the beta was just about unplayable with overclocked combo of 6700K + GTX 1080 at higher than 1080p. Rarely has a game been so unplayable and unwilling to work any better even if you drop settings to low. BF4 had that and it was some timing issue with Nvidia drivers (iirc.) which they fixed and it was day/night difference, so it’s possible though perhaps improbable that the release version of Wildlands is vastly different than the beta.

    • Love Albatross says:

      Look out it’s one of those wildly unhelpful anecdotes which contradicts your perfectly valid complaint: I was getting 70+ FPS at 1440p with a mix of high/medium settings on an i5 2500k & 1070.

      • Phinor says:

        Not that anyone reads a day old comments about a game like this but I can confirm that the release version runs very smooth on my PC. It’s really a day/night difference between this and the beta. Go figure.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gnarl says:

          I am the carrion bird that picks over the comments sections long after the excitement is over. If you ever notice an ‘I’ missing from a comment, it is because I have eaten it.

          So some people read old comments. In this case I must admit I don’t really care about this issue, but your clarification is appreciated on principle.

  8. aergistal says:

    I haven’t played a Ghost Recon game since Desert Siege and if my memory serves me well the series were somewhat striving for realism back in the day. This one looks like Just Cause without the grappling hook. What the hell happened!?

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      You should’ve seen what they wanted to do with the incredibly sober and cinematic Brothers In Arms. I’ll give you a hint, when they ultimately cancelled it, a lot of the mechanics ended up being folded into another game: Battleborn.

      • interc3p70r says:

        6. That truth, no1 like to see your country portrayed that way. even on fiction. Just change Bolivia to your own country, its fun? i dont think. its like someone takng your photo(non-authorized) and make 1 bad comment.(reason for this is for entertainment, fun, joke or watever)

        • GenialityOfEvil says:

          Yeah, cos no-one’s ever done that with the UK.

          • GenialityOfEvil says:

            Not sure what that has to do with what we were talking about though.

  9. Hyena Grin says:

    Couple of notes:

    1) I love that I can always tell when it’s Alice writing the article within a paragraph or two.

    2) I wonder if the steam release schedule has something to do with the endemic practice of people just changing their Steam local server to get around staggered release times. It’ seems like a problem they can’t do a lot about and are reluctant to police. Easier to just set a single release time for everyone.

    3) Bolivia needs to chill out. Most games loosely based on real places make the world look worse than it is. Because the world is pretty dull. Except where it’s not dull at all, and those are places it would be kind of awful to make a game about. Nobody wants to play a game about genocide in Rwanda because holy crap dude. That’s grim.

    Yeah the game’s portrayal of Bolivia is over the top and kinda dumb if you know much about the place, but man, whatever. It’s just a dumb game.

    4) I think I can already tell the Wot I Think is not going to be super positive, but man I enjoyed GRW in the open beta. Just a ton of fun with friends. Is it doing anything particularly special? No. Does it have some weird and avoidable problems? Yes. But does it capture that elusive co-op gaming formula that makes a flawed game fun to play anyway? Heck yeah, in my opinion. We had a blast.

    • Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

      I concur, as a single-player game it’s tedious; but in co-op with friends the game really comes alive.

      If this game was set in a fictionalised United Kingdom I think it would be even more fun! Bolivia is just insecure about it’s international image.

      • LTK says:

        In their position, wouldn’t you be? Bolivia is not a prominent country in global politics and culture like the US, Europe, Russia and China. Many people do not know anything about it, if they know it exists at all. Hell, the first thing I learned about Bolivia was from Tomb Raider.

        If a multi-million dollar games company makes a game that portrays my country as a drug-fueled criminal shithole to an audience that probably knew nothing about it beforehand, you can bet your ass I’m going to complain about that.

        • Rizlar says:

          You’ve also got to consider the popular image of South America in the US, the real drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico (but not Bolivia) that this is clearly inspired by. And the history of US meddling in the continent, how they see it as their sphere of influence in real life and regularly train hit squads, carry out assassinations, lend material and financial support to undermine governments etc etc.

          To say that Bolivians should not be annoyed at this portrayal of their country seems to ignore everything about the real world South America – US context.

  10. aircool says:

    That video does look jolly good, until the fighting breaks out and it gets a bit ‘bin there, dun that’.

    Which reminds me, I’ve still got a code to download some Assassin’s Creed game that came with my GTX970 in Dec 2015… For some reason, I could never be arsed to use it.

  11. engion3 says:

    fuck nvidia and their proprietary bologna

  12. BenMS says:

    Pretty sure no one here in Australia complained when Mad Max portrayed us as a waterless, sand-blasted hell hole. Bolivia needs to harden up.