Wild Lands. Lands that are wild. But how wild? And how lands? These are the important questions that were pooling in my brain as I eagerly awaited the download for the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta. Well, Ubisoft’s approximation of Bolivia is pretty wild as it happens, but not wild in the ways you’d expect a to see in a game where an entire country is evidently populated by assault rifle-toting cocaine dealers and - judging from the amount of ink on display - tattoo artists are akin to royalty.
For more open-world antics, check out the best PC sandbox games.
While I couldn’t find the Tom Clancy book where any of that happened, the game does still bear all of Clancy games’ most recent trademarks: stealth, special ops geezers and neckbeards. This much I witnessed by the bucketload in the single hour I’ve had with the beta so far. However, as first hours of massively complex, multi-system sandbox games go, it was quite an eventful hour. Here’s my personal highlight reel.
Went on a safari
Sure, an hour probably isn’t enough time to see all the flora and fauna of Bolivia, but in literally the first two minutes of free play you can recreate your very own safari. All I had to do was bundle my whole squad into one of the world’s infinite supply of off-roaders, drive straight down the first cliff in sight and luckily enough, I found myself in a charming little farm. Like everywhere I went in Ghost Recon Wildlands, that farm had some bad guys in tank tops staring me out, which prompted my crew to poke their torsos out of the car and wave their guns around. Before this tense situation erupted into gunfire I was able to take in some of the breathtaking scenery while getting closer to the local wildlife than any neckbearded special operative has gotten before.
Dressed like NSYNC
Ghost Recon Wildlands lets you go wild - there’s that keyword again - with your character’s wardrobe, letting you dress up as one of the boys from NSYNC like Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, JC Chazes or that other one who sort of just faded away from the limelight. I love NSYNC, so I made sure to equip my Ghost Recon Wildlands operative in an totally white ensemble. Hair options were limited and featured nothing in the way of gelled-up spikes - I opted for cornrows, which I regret not making blonde.
Reversed off a mountain on a motorbike
It took about 20 minutes for me to reach this monumental feat of wildness. Motorbikes are nearly as numerous as men with face tattoos in Bolivia, or so my short time with the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta has led me to believe. After crashing my third bike - no, really - I adopted this little beauty and set off in the vague direction of the mission objective. Somewhere along the way I ended up reversing off a mountain. I didn’t crash or get hurt though, so really this isn’t that wild at all.
Sent a crow straight to Jesus
A wise games journalist once thought to himself whilst playing the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta: “It would be pretty wild if I could shoot that crow”. Well, as the above image proves, you can shoot the crows in Ghost Recon Wildlands.
Built important emotional bridges with the cartel
The very first thing you're sent to do in the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta is kill. While that sounds petty gosh darn wild, it’s not peak wild. Peak wild is refusing to cause more bloodshed, dropping your guns and embracing your fellow man, whether he’s a good mate, or a ruthless cartel member whose shoes are still dirty from his morning round of curb-stompings. NB: I was actually holding him hostage, but I like to think we shared a moment somewhere along the way.
Spotted Brazilian footballing legend Ronaldo
I’ll never know how The Phenomenon ended up dealing cocaine and pissing about with a football in the mountains of Bolivia, but there he was in all of his majestic glory. At least I think it was him - he’s certainly lost some weight since I last saw him on TV, but it’s good to see he’s gone back to his roots and shaved all of his hair off. It must have taken a lot of time, money and effort to get his likeness in the game, but it’s worth it as this is by far the wildest thing in the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta.
What utter madness have you been up to in the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta? Let us know in the comments below.