Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands Game Poster Image
Violent, mature shooter focuses on drug cartel conflict.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

Although Ghost team is working toward ultimate goal of dismantling a powerful drug cartel, their missions sometimes include actions such as theft, interrogation, assassination. Relies heavily on tactics, teamwork, communication, with players either assigning orders to AI teammates, working together as a real group in online play.

Positive role models & representations

Ghosts are a special-ops military squad working toward a positive goal. They rely strongly on teamwork, coordination. Team believes strongly in their goal, working not only to stop drug cartel but to help those affected most by cartel's actions.

Ease of play

Fair bit of inventory management, including customizing weapon parts, load-outs, assigning skill points to special abilities. Variety of unique vehicles available, some of which are more difficult to control than others (airplanes, helicopters).

Violence

Players constantly fight against cartel soldiers, paramilitary forces; characters use realistic military weapons against each other, with violence emphasized by spurts of blood, lingering bodies. Players regularly encounter bodies left hanging by cartel as messages to rebels; some encounters show other examples of brutality, including torture, mutilated bodies, beheadings.

Sex

Some sexual themes, including photos of a woman's breasts shown briefly. Also occasional sexual comments heard in in-game dialogue, particularly by radio station DJ.

Language

Frequent use of "ass," "f--k," "s--t" in English, Spanish.

Consumerism

Part of Ubisoft's popular Tom Clancy line of games, specifically Ghost Recon franchise, which has seen numerous games released on multiple platforms, as well as books, films, other merchandise. Game supports unlockable content available as rewards by Ubisoft Club; downloadable content available to purchase online.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Smoking, drinking regularly referenced, including an unlockable cigar that can be added to a player's in-game appearance. Drug use is prevalent throughout, with regular references to cocaine use, including portrayals of characters snorting the drug.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is an open-world tactical shooter. Players are part of a special-ops military squad tasked with dismantling a major drug cartel in Bolivia. Tactics and communication are important in the game, whether in solo or online co-op play. Violence is persistent, with constant gun battles against cartel members and military forces. The game features graphic scenes of blood and gore, as well as constant references to and instances of drug use and profanity and some sexual content, including sexual dialogue and images of breasts. Finally, gameplay features optional in-game purchases with custom equipment, boosts, and unlocks, as well as story-based downloadable content.

User Reviews

Parent Written byChad B. March 14, 2017

PLEASE READ!! Ghost recon is not as bad as the reviews say

I am a father of two boys, and the asked me if they could spend their money on this game. Now at first i was a little hesitant because it was rated m. But after...
Adult Written bySpicy D. March 26, 2017

Honest owner review everything in this is 100% true

I pre ordered this game for XB1 but I am an owner of a PS4 , butplays good on both consoles. But anyway this is a game that isn't bad if you're kid pl...
Teen, 13 years old Written by13YearOldTeen2 March 16, 2017

Not Bad at all

This game is not bad at all. There is no nudity in the game other than in a skippable scene. Swearing is rare only in skippable cut scenes. There is almost no...
Teen, 13 years old Written byGR gaming March 16, 2017

Brilliant game and fine for anyone over 12

Very good and I think it is fine as there is a tiny amount of blood when shooting someone but otherwise it's fine.

What's it about?

In TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON WILDLANDS, you are a member of the Ghosts, an elite special-ops team that officially doesn't exist. It's the year 2019, and the Santa Blanca drug cartel has gained the power and influence to take over the country of Bolivia, turning it into a fully functional narco-state. After the bombing of a U.S. embassy and the execution of an undercover DEA agent by the Santa Blanca, the Ghosts are called in to dismantle the cartel and end its influence once and for all. To accomplish this, the Ghosts will need to take down the organization bit by bit, from the cocaine-distribution network to the human-trafficking operations to the propaganda used to help sway the people of Bolivia to Santa Blanca's cause. Piece by piece, mission by mission, the Ghosts chip away at Santa Blanca until only one person is left: El Sueño, the charismatic, methodical, and brutally sadistic leader of the cartel. You may be only four soldiers against the forces of illegal drug organization backed by an entire nation. But then again, those forces have never had to face a Ghost.

Is it any good?

This tactical open-world shooter might be violent, but the flexibility in gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Most shooters have you charge into battle guns blazing like a one-man killing machine, dodging lead like raindrops and soaking up damage like you're one part sponge and two parts Terminator. But the Ghost Recon series has never been like most shooters, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is the best the series has ever offered. Take the calculated, tactical planning that's been a cornerstone of the franchise and drop it into a massive, open-world environment filled with all kinds of terrain, vehicles, weapons, and skills, and you end up with an amazing gaming experience that you can play almost any way you see fit. Whether you sneak through the shadows, eliminating threats and accomplishing objectives with no one the wiser, or go in big and bold, crashing right through the front gates in an armored jeep, remotely blowing up a nearby fuel tanker to take the enemy by surprise, the game is nothing if not filled with options. But no matter which path you choose, you're going to need to be sure to work as a team. Trying to go lone wolf in Wildlands is a surefire way to end up a dead wolf. 

Ghost Recon Wildlands is all about teamwork and strategy. No matter if you're going solo with an AI squad, going online with a handful of buddies, or even diving into an open match and hoping for the best, working together is key to overcoming the numbers game against the Santa Blanca cartel. Admittedly, if you're going to go online, you're usually better off setting up a match with people you know vs. people you don't. In open matches, you never know who you're going to get. You could wind up with an elite group that takes on missions with surgical precision, or you could wind up with a group that will run you over with a truck just as soon as they'd cover your back. The latter type of match can take a chunk of the fun out of the game, but sometimes even those chaotic moments are good for a laugh. The most impressive feat in Wildlands is that it gives players a huge sandbox to play in, but it always gives something to do to keep things from getting stale. The game's version of Bolivia includes thick woodlands, snowy mountains, salt flats, and more. One minute it's bright and sunny, the next you're trudging through mud in a thunderstorm. The world around you feels truly alive, ever-changing, and with a mood all its own. What Ubisoft has managed to do is create a place you're not just there to save but a place you genuinely feel is worth saving.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. In what ways does a realistic portrayal of violence affect younger minds? What are ways to explain the real-life violence of some military operations?

  • Talk about illegal drugs. What makes certain drugs so dangerous that they have to be classified as illegal? What are some of the effects that the illegal drug trade has on our everyday life?

  • How does the alternative reality of Ghost Recon Wildlands compare with the reality of Bolivia? What about with other Latin American countries? What did you know about Bolivia before playing this game?

  • How do you think the story and characters of the game affect the perception of Latinos? Does it reinforce the idea that all Latinos are corrupt and/or involved with illegal drug trade? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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