Whilst playing Ubisoft Paris’ Ghost Recon Wildlands, I found it impossible not to consider its context. I’m not referring to the recent controversy between the Bolivian and French governments regarding its setting, but rather the spate of open-world games we’ve seen released over the last few years — and even the last couple of weeks.
The 45 gigabyte download for Wildlands granted me the time to watch Sicario, Denis Villeneuve’s film with subject matter very similar to the game; a taskforce of special American operatives tasked with dismantling South American drug cartels. Whereas Sicario deftly deals with the human trauma associated with the horrors conducted by the cartel, the same horrors in Wildlands serve as unconvincing motivations, tucked away in dialogue or used as the occasional set dressing. The bad guys in Wildlands are ultimately boiled down to a checklist.