Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a massive game, filled to the brim with high-tech military weapons and gadgetry. One thing the game did not have, however, was a set of properly functioning night-vision goggles. Until now.
Last May, I published an extremely important and not at all silly post in which I pointed out that if you equipped Wildlands’ special Splinter Cell-themed bonus outfit—complete with Splinter Cell star Sam Fisher’s neat tri-lens goggles—your character wouldn’t actually put the goggles over their eyes if you turned them on. This broke with years of Splinter Cell tradition, since Sam Fisher always had a nifty animation for sliding the goggles on and off of his eyes.
It raised some questions: how could your character see without actually wearing the goggles? Also, given that Sam Fisher’s goggles are the closest thing any of these Ubi-military games has to an iconic accessory (sorry, Aiden Pearce’s hat), how could Ubisoft get something so basic so wrong? Most of the time, it was easy enough to ignore the fact that your character wasn’t wearing any goggles but could still turn on night vision. But when they were sitting there on your forehead, it seemed strange. (Confusing the issue somewhat is that there is a set of goggles called the Echelon Goggles that, if you equip them, you always have over your eyes, even when they’re not powered on.)
Fast-forward to a year later, and Sam Fisher himself has turned up in Wildlands as part of a free bonus mission. Yesterday I wrote about my journey to find the guy in La Cruz, and to get my sorely underleveled character across the map and into the same room as Sam. I wasn’t able to finish the mission, unfortunately. After a tough-as-heck pure-stealth opening segment, you have to defend Sam against an onslaught of enemy troops, and the fight is stupidly difficult if you’re playing solo with AI teammates. Worse, there are no checkpoints, so if you screw up you have to start over from the beginning of the mission and redo the stealth part.
After I published my story about finding Sam, a friendly person on Twitter informed me that the special Sonar Goggles you get for finishing the mission actually work like they’re supposed to, and even make the little metallic whine that Fisher’s goggles make when you activate them. I ran screaming over to my PC, turned the game down to the easiest difficulty, and set about finishing the Fisherquest. Turns out it’s still a massive pain in the ass even on “Arcade” difficulty, but got it done. I equipped my new goggles and… behold:
They work like they’re supposed to! Not only does my guy drop them onto his eyes when they’re turned on, they also change the view from the familiar green-hued night vision to the clearer black-and-white featured in more recent Splinter Cell games. I can confirm they make that little activation whine, too. If I don’t have them equipped I lose the sonar vision, but I actually get to keep the nifty whine.
The strap on the headset also realistically smushes my dude’s hair, which is a neat little detail.
I’m still enjoying Wildlands enough to keep on playing it, at least for a little while. And now, I’ll be wearing properly cool goggles every time it gets dark.