Freedom of choice is a major theme within Ghost Recon Wildlands‘ vast and reactive open world. It not only permeates your mission to take down the Santa Blanca drug cartel, but also affects how you look doing it.
From the gender of your Ghost to the clothing they wear, you can customise more than 12 different elements of your character’s appearance, including their hat, headset, glasses, hairstyle, fabric colours and patterns, and more. This flexibility results in an exponential amount of custom combinations, and gives you the freedom to create a Ghost that reflects the way you play.
“It’s important for player immersion to be able to create your own Ghost,” says Laurent Fischer, lead and technical director – character specialist at Ubisoft Paris. “If the player can identify with their character, they will feel more immersed in the story and create their own adventures.”
“Above all else, being able to customise your character is cool,” he adds. “When we announced the game, we saw that character customisation was one of biggest requests from our community, so that confirmed we were on the right track.”
With that in mind, the community will be happy to know that the very first thing you do in Ghost Recon Wildlands is customise your Ghost, starting with their physical appearance. You then complete their look by selecting from a large assortment of equipment, although additional items will become available later via mission rewards, killing high-value targets, or completing other in-game events.
As the number of customisable items grows, so do the possible combinations. But even within those combinations, your character can take on a slightly different look depending on the type of gear they have equipped. “You won’t wear a hood on your head if you wear a headset,” Fischer says. “A hat will impact your haircut and might actually flatten it, or your headset might change according to the hat you choose.”
Weather conditions and terrain will also subtly affect your appearance. “If a body part of your Ghost touches something dirty, our technology is able to spot which area was in contact and display the corresponding mud, dust, or rain,” Fischer says. “The environment has an impact on your Ghost at any time.”
No matter the conditions, all of the available gear and equipment in Ghost Recon Wildlands falls within the development team’s vision of “blend,” meaning that since the Ghosts are sent behind enemy lines, what they wear is a mixture of civilian and military clothing – a balancing act between what will help them get the job done and what might keep them relatively inconspicuous.
“In order to choose what they wear, we use a dose of common sense. For example, no shorts, no fragile clothes, and at least a minimal hydration backpack,” Fisher explains. “We also choose elements that are in line with our creative vision and the cinematographic aspect we want to give to the game. We want to be fun while respecting authenticity.”
Be sure to check out the new Gamescom 2016 trailer to see more on Ghost customisation, and get ready to gear up for the release of Ghost Recon Wildlands on 7th March.