The most elite soldiers in the United States military are back, and they’re at the forefront of an ever-escalating war on drugs in Bolivia. The South American country has become one of the leading producers of cocaine in the world, and controlling the operation from the shadows is the brutal Santa Blanca drug cartel. Instead of risking an all-out war, the Ghosts are sent in to strategically cripple the cartel’s operations and eventually destroy the support structure provided by the corrupt government and its associated groups.

In some ways, Ghost Recon Wildlands marks a bit of return to the series’ roots. Since it takes place just a few years from now, these Ghosts and their arsenal of weapons and gadgets are more reflective of what most major militaries currently wield, as opposed to the futuristic (albeit plausible) tech of the last few Ghost Recon games. That doesn’t mean players won’t have access to the latest and greatest, though. Drones and the like play an incredibly important role as instruments for surveying enemy strongholds, tagging targets, or serving as a first-strike tool..

But, the key difference between Wildlands and any previous Ghost Recon game is that players now have an enormous, living open-world that not only influences player strategy, but can also be influenced. First, questions of natural conditions come into play: What time of day is it? What’s the weather like? What kind of terrain is involved? Obviously, a clear sunny day makes it easier to be spotted by enemy targets, but it might also increase the likelihood that the targets are engaged in some outdoor activity required to keep their dubious business activities going. Conversely, waiting until nightfall offers more cover, but makes it potentially more difficult to spot certain targets.