I am enjoying the game, I am also enjoying the various characters greatly!
I think your squad mates are actually a very interesting set of viewpoints, even if I can never remember which one Holt is. The different viewpoints they express in situations, the contributions to ethical or moral dilemmas, the life experiences to shade missions in different lights, are fun to listen to on those rare occasions you trigger a new area!
I think the different under bosses all bring a little something to the table to shape the world and their place in it! I think the stories Ubi tries to tell with each enemy shows so many different sides to this story. Family just protecting their own. Generals trying to protect their country in their own way. Misguided ignorance. Greed, Malace, Perversion. All of these enemies have their own stories to tell.
And you never get to see why any of them matter.
Take out the entire security wing of the Cartel, and nothing changes. Tear down the social and religious leaders and noone falters. Destroy the means and makers of production, and nothing is lost. Cut off the way out, and the product isn't hindered.
You rarely get to see how your actions scare or anger or threaten, or resolve the hearts and minds of the very bosses you came here to kill. Is the death of La Yuri and El Polito a shock to La Plaga? Do the losses of various Influence underbosses shake El Cardinal?
What does El Sueno think when
I've someone or something has taken out a dozen of his most powerful men?
Do outposts get more on edge? Do Bases increase deference? Do people think its a coup, or an outside attack?
There was such opportunity to tell an amazing story, with an amazing cast, however because the game is an open world, chose your own targets, its harder to do so, and I think the game suffers greatly because of it.
There were other options the developers could have had to tell a solid story. They could have included more dialog or reactions between characters as people, places, or things are taken, destroyed, or removed. How the loss of a producer angers a smuggler. How the death of the Trainer scares a talker. How a boss, loosing all of their charges one by one, cause them to falter, fear, or seek retribution. Loved ones lost, rivals removed, allies damned. But That would have taken a novel of dialog, of animations, of scripting, and to be honest, too much work for Ubi.
The other option could be to put on us rails. Tell us who we kill, when we kill them, direct us down the path of a good story. A bit more on rails, but that's not a bad thing, if we feel like the game warrants it. Start small, work our way up, let the players see the turmoil and reactions of your actions more clearly. Ubi probably couldn't have touted the openness of the game as much, however it could have been countered by a compelling story and birth of great characters.
In the end, for all the fun I have, for all the time I waste in the game…Every time I take out a key player, and feel nothing after it…what I end up feeling is that something could have been.