When Ghost Recon: Wildlands was announced as an open-world game last year, it was easy to be cynical about yet another free-roaming game from Ubisoft. But the game’s E3 2016 demo has just entirely justified the move. If the final game matches up to the – arguably choreographed - play-through shown at Ubisoft’s conference, we could be looking at an action game of unprecedented versatility and scale.
Watching a four-player team of spec ops agents on a mission to take down a Mexican cartel associate in Bolivia, we start with one player doing long-range recon as another stealth shoots his way into a small encampment around a mile ahead. But that’s just the start. This part of the mission is simply an early move to find the target’s location. Once the intel is snagged, things really start, as the spotter calls in a chopper to carry the two to the main objective, as two more players close in in a buggy from miles in the opposite direction.
Convening around the (town-sized) base, all four co-operate from different sides and distances, some working through the streets and alleys as others synchronise sniper shots to clear a path.
Inevitably, it all goes wrong, and breaks out into a full-blown road chase, covering kilometres of desert, several cars, a bike, a truck, and eventually air support. It’s a staggering, sweeping set-piece, but it also feels entirely dynamic, right down to the final, last-ditch air-lift just as cartel support starts to arrive in the distance. It remains to be seen just how often Wildlands operates on this sort of scale, but taking place in a vast, sumptuously-realised, South American open-world (apparently the biggest Ubisoft has ever built, and Ubisoft has built a lot), there’s every chance that the answer will be ‘very often’. Either way, we’ll find out when the game releases on March 7, 2017.
Check out every announcement and full summary details on our Microsoft E3 press conference page.