Initially released in 2017, Ghost Recon Wildlands transports players to Bolivia in central South America where they are set on a mission as a tactical shooter as part of a legendary Elite Special Operations team. Allowing players to fully immerse themselves into the game as a third-party player via its open-world surroundings, players get the opportunity to explore Bolivia without actually being there. This is the case for a lot of video games, where players are transported halfway across the world. Yet, what exactly is the significance in choosing an exotic location?
Open-World Surroundings in Ghost Recon Wildlands
Skydiving over mountains, walking through forests, and driving through miles of terrain – these are just some of the locational actions that can be performed in Ghost Recon Wildlands. After all, the name says it all – the set covers a landscape of wildland. If it weren’t for this choice of location, Ghost Recon Wildlands just wouldn’t be the same
How Exotic Locations are inspirational for video game developers
By transporting players to Bolivia in Ghost Recon Wildlands, they are brought back to nature, quite the contrary to a game that is set in a major city like New York. These stark locational contrasts prove that location helps set the scene and ultimately, meets the objectives of a game. For example, the location used in Ghost Recon Wildlands creates a certain mystery about the game, prompting intrigue and exploration. Yet, a game that is set in a bustling city is more likely to create an energetic feel, prompting rushed actions and quick getaways.
This is key for video game developers, since creating games that fulfil their purpose and stand out from the crowd are key to their success. Hence, an understanding of exotic locations can help games developers create an augmented reality that transports their player to a location of interest while meeting the objectives of the game.
Examples of just some video games set in exotic locations
While Ghost Recon Wildlands is proof that location is key in creating and transporting players to an alternative reality, it’s not the only video game that succeeds at this. One other video game example is the Legend of Zelda which transports players to an array of mystical lands. Though fictional, each of these lands has similarities to landmarks in our world, including large palaces, forests, mountains, and volcanoes. This allows the player to relate to the game in some shape or form by being surrounded by familiar environments, yet also allows the player to escape from reality by taking them to a mystical land. For that reason, games like Legend of Zelda are more of a fantasy when compared to Ghost Recon Wildlands, which is all thanks to a real location.
While both real and fictional locations have inspired the aforementioned video games, exotic locations also inspire other online games that don’t see the player act as a third-party who is transported to a location. Rather, other online games use exotic locations as inspiration for their title, colour palette, and design. One prime example is casino and slots online which rely on location to create the concept of a slot machine. 9 Pots of Gold reflects key elements associated with Irish culture, and Easter Island 2, which uses fictional elements to create a mystical land. Without the locational inspiration for such games, the plethora of options available would simply cease to exist.
It’s safe to say that, if Ghost Recon Wildlands has taught us anything, it’s that location is key. Developing a game that transports players to new dimensions and leaves them feeling satisfied is an essential aspect of entertainment fulfilment, which is why it is such an instrumental consideration process in the game development process.