Following an action-packed Ghost Recon Wildlands trailer, Dominic Butler, lead game designer at Ubisoft Paris, took to the stage and explained the how the important the coca leaf is to Bolivia and its people. “In Bolivia, the coca leaf is core to the culture. It’s found in every gas station, every hospital, and every town square.” It’s used for a variety of things, from treating nausea to making an energy drink, but it can also be used to make cocaine. That’s where the creativity takes over from the real world.
For Wildlands, the development team imagined what would happen in a Mexican drug cartel moved in to take over the country, seize all its coca resources to become the number one producer of cocaine on the planet, effectively turning Bolivia into a narco state. Players take on the role of Ghosts, an elite spec-ops group, sent in to disrupt production and break the alliance between a corrupt local government and the Santa Blanca Cartel.
Butler states that Wildlands is the first military shooter set in a massive and dangerous open world, which can be played solo or with 4-player co-op. Players will face challenges every step of the way, and this was demonstrated with a gameplay video where four players work together to capture a target named El Pozolero (called the Stew Maker, because of the way he disposes of bodies), but the trick is that they have to take him alive. The gameplay video gave audiences a look at the huge landscape, which Butler claims is the largest open world that Ubisoft has ever created. The players need to use a helicopter to properly scout out the area.
Everything goes relatively well as the team moves into the heavily defended compound and quietly take out the guards. However, things go wrong as they close in, and El Pozolero tries to escape in a car. The team pursues and manages to capture him and put him in the chopper shortly before enemy reinforcements arrive, barely making it out alive.
Ghost Recon Wildlands launches on March 7, 2017, but E3 attendees can play the game this week at the Ubisoft booth, where 4-player cooperative demos are set up.