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  • Americans Hate Tingle: The game got flak from the Bolivian government for depicting their country as a corrupt failed state (according to them) and various South American outlets denounce the game for perpetuating the negative stereotype of Latin America being a crime-ridden backwaters region run by drug cartels. The Bolivian government even went so far as to file a complaint to their French embassy directed at Ubisoft themselves.
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  • Complete Monster: El Sueño is the leader of the Santa Blanca Cartel and responsible for turning the once-prosperous Bolivia into a narco-state. Within the cartel El Sueño personally oversees and partakes in the production and distribution of cocaine, the trafficking of children, and the torture and murder of thousands; there are numerous corpses hanging from telephone poles and mass graves found throughout Bolivia. When El Sueño learns that one of his men is an undercover DEA agent, he personally tortures the man for 47 hours straight. His acts of cruelty also extend to even the most loyal of his subordinates; should they fail him in any way, he would arrange for them to either be tortured, murdered, their loved ones kidnapped and murdered, or all the above. When the Ghosts manage to dismantle his cartel, El Sueño reveals that he made a deal with their government granting him immunity while he would use them to take down rival cartels and gloats about his victory by throwing at them a recently decapitated head of rebel leader and former ally, Pac Katari. With nearly every atrocity committed by the Santa Blanca Cartel being traced back to El Sueño, underneath his religious and charitable exterior lies a towering and brutal egotist, utterly unfeeling to the violence caused by his actions.
  • Demonic Spiders:
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    • Alarms in some area. If they get set off, they will often summon reinforcements for the enemy, especially bad if it calls...
    • Helicopters, this is probably the sole reason many players always carry an LMG with them at all times. Shooting the pilot is tough when they move around erratically so often time your only option is to just shoot it down normally, which takes time and the deadly weapons they carry requires you to hit and run.
    • Snipers, they are very good shots and very deadly, but the worst thing about them is that they can spot you at long range and put the other enemies on alert, or even sound the alarm.
    • Mortars, they can hit you from long range and if you get spotted too early, you will have a hard time trying to find them.
    • AA missile batteries. They're almost impossible to spot from the air, have a huge detection range, and their missiles are both One-Hit Kills on any aircraft and very hard to evade (only small helicopters even have a chance). They're everywhere, and the more difficult provinces have so many of them that flying anything becomes frustrating. If one of those things wrecks you while you were piloting a captured resource aircraft to the rendezvous point, you can be forgiven for throwing a tantrum. For some baffling reason, none of the aircraft available in game carry countermeasures such as flares or chaff.
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    • Unidad in general. Whereas Santa Blanca only calls in two cars stuffed with mid-tier reinforcements plus the occasional helicopter if you trip an alarm, Unidad summons increasingly powerful top-tier troops the longer you're fighting them, and their patrol levels escalate very quickly. At the highest level, two to three armored cars full of heavily armed and armored soldiers plus at least two One-Hit Kill helicopter gunships spawn again and again every minute or so until you escape the area or manage to hide for a very long time. Even without actively searching for the Ghosts, Unidad is annoying because of their ubiquitous patrols that have an uncanny tendency to show up at the worst possible moment to make your life even more miserable. That even the most basic Unidad grunt is more resilient and better armed than Santa Blanca's most experienced veteran sicarios only puts the icing on the cake.
    • In Fallen Ghosts, the Armored and Covert Ops Los Extranjeros units. The former are a Heavily Armored Mook using machine guns that are Immune to Bullets whose only weakpoint is their head. They also take multiple headshots to bring down, unless you use a .50 caliber sniper rifle. The latter are soldiers using active camouflage and silent crossbows, which can take a player down in two shots. Because they're cloaked, they don't appear on your minimap, nor can your allies target them, with your only real method of detecting them to use thermal vision.
  • Evil Is Cool: There's no denying that El Sueño is an awesome villain despite never appearing in person until the game's climax. He's also this in another way because he never, ever, loses his cool even while his world is crumbling around him.
  • Goddamn Bats: Santa Blanca reinforcements. They aren't any different than normal enemies, save you don't have to spot their positions. But if you are too far away from an alerted Santa Blanca thug, that thug will call in reinforcements constantly. Normally, this is just a minor annoyance. But if you happen to alert a Santa Blanca thug you haven't spotted yet standing hundreds of yards away, you could have to fight carload after carload of sicarios while desperately trying to find the one guy who is calling them all in.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Though the Metal Gear Shout-Out is more sad than sweet, it is oddly poignant to hear Sam Fisher, of all people, react morosely to Snake's retirement. It goes to show that the Metal Gear games were widely enjoyed by players all across the globe, even by some of the people writing one of his greatest competitors.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Operation: Archangel has the Ghosts work alongside Caveira, Twitch and Valkyrie from Rainbow Six Siege. The Rainbow operators are impressed with the Ghosts and suggest they should work together more in the future. In the Wind Bastion DLC for Siege, one of the new operators is named Nomad.note 
  • Most Annoying Sound: That awful noise of a sniper rifle bullet striking metal, stone or concrete that tells you you just botched a long-range shot, accompanied by the knowledge that every enemy in the area is about to swarm your position in about fifteen seconds or less. Better start running to another hiding spot.
    • Additionally, the sound that plays when you get a game over. It's pretty much the game's way of saying "You fucked up/got unlucky. We're going to punish you for it, with this sound that you will get sick of by the end of the game".
    • Cartel soldiers essentially only have three or so lines, the most common being "What the fuck are we waiting for? There's gotta be more of us than them! Charge!!". Expect to hear that line over and over in a firefight.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Contrasting the above, the "thunk" sound effect when your bullet hits an enemy a long distance away. It sounds like raw meat hitting a linoleum floor, but it means that you (probably) just scored a kill.
  • Narm: Some missions require the Ghosts to blow something up, than run like hell before the location (usually a mine or some other sort of tunnel) collapses all around them, accompanied by dramatic music. Thing is, the savvy player will just plant a brick of C4 or two, leave the hazard zone without any hurry and detonate the charges from a safe spot. The escape countdown including the dramatic music is triggered regardless, which feels really silly while you're standing around in bright sunlight, waiting for the mission to continue.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: For reasons unknown, the game is sloppily done in many areas, especially compared to The Division, and desperately needs patching for many broken/unfinished mechanics.
    • Ammunition limits for some baffling reason are wildly incorrect across all weapon types. Sniper rifles max out at 84 rounds, which doesn't divide equally if the player is carrying a weapon that has a 20 or 30 round magazine. Assault rifles max out at 335 rounds, which doesn't divide equally among any of the magazine capacities, leading to the player having rounds left over. Most egregious is the pistol ammo limit, which maxes out at 225; this means the player is somehow carrying 30 magazines of pistol ammunition. Despite the obvious errors, this has still not been patched.
    • The helicopter and plane controls used to be unacceptably bad; helicopters do not respond to pitch commands, often pitching in the opposite direction, are slow to move and have plane-like physics. Helicopters with forward mounted weapons are useless due to their reluctance to pitch down and the lack of an aiming reticule makes aiming a frustration. The lack of rotation controls means there is no way to yaw the helicopter left or right for precision landings. Planes also lack yaw controls, which can lead to botched landings. This was thankfully patched.
    • Weapon customization is interesting, but is full of holes/inconsistencies. Weapons that should be able to equip attachments cannot (like the 6P41 having a railed fore-end but strangely being unable to accept foregrips), some weapons having incorrectly modeled attachments (the AUG A3's gigantic 30-round magazine and the M4A1's oversized stock are notable examples).
    • Vehicle physics are very poorly done; most land vehicles are floaty and frustratingly difficult to control, with even heavy vehicles having no weight to them and motorcycles are not even modeled with proper crash mechanics, meaning a crash more than likely ends with the player soaring through the air and going into "downed" state.
    • When you discover a supply crate containing a new weapon or accessory, it is not automatically added to the arsenals of your teammates when looted. As a result, you'll often see all 4 players on a team standing in line at the crate when one is discovered.
    • Supplies in co-op mode have to be individually tagged by each team member, resulting in the scenes above being repeated with the various supply containers found throughout the game world.
      • This at least has since been patched to one tag per resource for the whole team.
    • The fact that generic enemies can randomly surrender to the Ghosts adds a nice touch of realism and atmosphere to the game - in theory. What usually happens in practice is that you shoot someone dead and get a "surrendered enemy killed" message plastered across your screen, followed by a What the Hell, Hero? line by a team member and a mission failure in case you already did it one or two times in the same mission. Enemies tend to surrender when all veterans in the area are dead and they witness several of their buddies being killed in short order, but combat in this game is simply too fast-paced for the average player to even notice in time that one or more of the bad guys in their crosshairs had a change of heart, so all this mechanic does is add another method to very suddenly fail a mission.
    • The supply convoy raids. Sure, they're fun the first two or three times you attack one, but they become boring very quickly once you've figured out a good tactic (and there are quite a few of them). They're not mandatory, thankfully, but if you want to unlock all skills, you're practically forced to grind dozens of convoys to acquire the necessary resources. If you're playing Tier One mode and want to upgrade your weapons, even more so.
    • Unidad helicopters and patrols tend to wear out their welcome fast. Doubly so helicopters. Unidad is a roaming hostile faction that's hostile to both the player and the cartels, but they'll mostly focus their efforts on the player. Because they can spot you while roaming it can ruin stealth if you happen to be by a road when a patrol passes by, and there are also Unidad helicopter patrols that can, for no given reason, circle the area where you are, clearly looking for you even if it has 0 reason in universe to suspect you're anywhere in the area and ruin a stealth run by spotting you from the air. They can do this randomly and it can easily ruin any event that has mandatory stealth, such as stealing a helicopter full of supplies.
  • Sequelitis: The reception to the Narco Road DLC has been mostly negative due to the fact the missions focus heavily on vehicles (and vehicle control is one of the most criticized parts of the game). Also, the overall "tone" of the expansion feels more like a Grand Theft Auto game than a Ghost Recon game.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
  • That One Level:
    • Pretty much any mission where you instantly fail if you are detected.
    • Flor de Oro, the region that hosts UNIDAD's headquarters. Naturally, just about everything involving the province involves running into them, often in high concentrations, with AA coverage and road patrols almost everywhere. Trying to do a mission or get a collectible guns blazing here will see you get swarmed by UNIDAD soldiers and buzzed by attack helicopters very quickly. Thankfully, there are only four missions to do in the region, as opposed to the usual six or eight, though the last mission is an extremely difficult abduction mission where you quickly get a high UNIDAD patrol level.
    • The final mission in the Barvechos province has the Ghosts escort El Pulpo from his hideout to the airport while Santa Blanca is trying to off him. The guy automatically chooses an unarmed, unarmored car for his escape and Drives Like Crazy while SB sends whole squadrons of armed, armored and fully manned Humvees after him in a high-speed chase that makes it impossible to stop and use your own weapons. One of the only halfway reliable chances (not guarantees. Chances!) of beating this mission at all consists of stealing the Humvee in front of El Pulpo's hideout for your team, then tricking him into boarding an armored SUV you brought along for this specific purpose by damaging all other vehicles in his vicinity beyond usability, and then hoping that he doesn't get stuck on the way to the airport, doesn't do anything else stupid, doesn't get cut down by hostile helicopters once he leaves his car for his personal helo, and that your own vehicle survives the bullet storm long enough for you to fend off the last pursuers. Even setting the difficulty to Easy does little to make this mission less sadistic.
    • For the Narco Road DLC you have the second-to-last El Invisible mission: Your Ghost is knocked out and placed in a Unidad prison, and while Invisible gives you a head-start by unlocking your cell, you now have to fight your way out of the prison...which is swarming with soldiers, snipers, heavy guards, and all sorts of nasty business. Oh, and did we mention you've been completely disarmed? Good luck finding an armory before you're reduced to swiss cheese. Also,Narco Road is intended as a solo campaign so unless you have friends online, have fun taking on the entire prison by yourself.
    • The final mission in Fallen Ghosts, where the leader of the Los Extranjeros is situated in the middle of a heavily fortified bridge. Ideally, the best way to do this is to sneak in, but the sheer amount of enemy coverage there makes it difficult. Jammers to block your drones and your vision modes, Covert Ops covering the perimeter, Armored soldiers on the bridge itself, two mortars covering the area and on top of that, UNIDAD soldiers are mixed in with the Extranjeros, who will call for reinforcements if engaged. A very tough nut to crack, especially if you haven't done the side missions to get Rebel Support.
    • The Jungle Moved: At first, it seems pretty straight forward, you and your team are investigating some strange goings on in a village, and find every Cartel Member dead, except one woman who is claiming that the jungle itself came alive and killed everyone. As you investigate further, you realize you're not after a man, you're after the Predator, and he's just as much of a pain in the ass to kill as you might expect. You have zero support, you have one ammo crate that's out in the open, and you're facing a boss that can One-Hit Kill you, and your team with ease. Don't even attempt this mission without maximum ammunition, a Light Machine Gun, and maximum revival stats, because you will take those plasma caster shots to the face, and you will go down with one hit. Now, one way to cheat the system, is to hop into Multiplayer, have four people with the above skills and build, and then, assuming you've run a few rebel ops, get some "Hired Guns" into the area before you enter the zonenote , and when the fight's on, they will serve exactly one purpose, but don't worry about that. They'll take the blasts meant for you, and you'll still get to kill the Predator.
  • That One Sidequest: The rebel radio mission (the ones that improve the Ghosts' mortar support) in the northernmost part of Caimanes is insanely difficult, especially for a region that's rated a mere three out of five skulls. You have to Hold the Line for very long 2:30 minutes, the radio trailer you need to protect is made of tissue paper and parked squarely in the open with no cover whatsoever, the surrounding area is a nightmare to defend because it offers attackers countless avenues of approach, you can't lay nearly enough mines to block off even half of them, Santa Blanca always attacks from six or more directions at once, and they make copious use of armored vehicles and helicopters. Even with perfect preparation, tank support of your own, a large squad of rebels backing you up, and three capable fellow gamers by your side, making it through this hell is a lot harder than virtually any other mission-related shootout. It's probably the only instance in the whole game where you'll cheer when a patrolling UNIDAD helicopter spots you and sends soldiers your way, because they're very helpful for distracting Santa Blanca but won't shoot the generator.
  • Values Dissonance: The unironic depiction of America Saves the Day and Torture Always Works against Always Chaotic Evil foriegners, all without any introspection or self-awareness, was generally a trend most shooters grew out of in the early 2010s after Spec Ops: The Line deconstructed the genre. Of course, it is a Tom Clancy game...
  • What an Idiot!: La Plaga is this in spades. Santa Blanca spends billions of dollars of their drug money maintaining a Villain with Good Publicity position in the country and does all of its murders of innocents discreetly with a man who dissolves their bodies. So, what does La Plaga do? Murders innocents at random and puts the video on the internet. No wonder El Sueno wanted to kill him.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • After the disappointing Narco Road expansion, Ubisoft released the Fallen Ghosts expansion which fans unanimously agree is far superior.
    • Update 6 includes a patch to improve both car and helicopter handling, one of the most heavily criticized features of the game (and a major point of contention with Narco Road).
    • In an unusual move, Ubisoft decided to address Splinter Cell fan complaints by bringing back Michael Ironside as the voice of Sam Fisher for a special crossover DLC.

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