E3 is first and foremost a marketing event where game publishers and developers show off the best they have to offer to get fans pumped. In recent years, Ubisoft has arguably taken this practice too far, creating presentations vastly discrepant from the released game. With this in mind, many fans have come into this year’s E3 with a healthy degree of skepticism, particularly regarding the publisher’s upcoming open-world shooter, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
Initially, the on-stage presentation and on-floor demo for Ghost Recon might have come off as shocking. Clipping, graphical deficiencies and janky animation are flaws not commonly seen at E3, but Wildlands‘ demo being riddled with these hiccups counter-intuitively gave me more, rather than less, confidence in the experience. Following years of seemingly deceptive E3 presentations, Ubisoft recently acknowledged the trend, specifically in regards to the 2012 reveal for the original Watch Dogs. This might explain the more realistic-looking Wildlands gameplay we saw on Ubisoft’s stage. Furthermore, the demo available on the conference floor turned out to be promisingly enjoyable.
An accurate comparison of the experience would be the tactical shooting of Tom Clancy’s The Division set in the northern half of Grand Theft Auto V‘s open world. With a heavy emphasis on the dichotomy between stealth and open combat, the rugged setting and characters contrast nicely with higher-tier equipment such as drones for scouting and weaponized helicopters for air support.
Even persistent issues never impeded the core gameplay, and the game’s March 7th release date means developers have plenty of time to iron out these wrinkles. To put it simply, the reveal of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands looks like a real game.