You tell me: why am I your outboard memory? Why do you need me, today, to remind you that the four-day open beta test for sandbox stealth-o-shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site] is now live? We told you when it was coming, then we told you it was preloading, and now here I am telling you that it's started. Why? Why is this on me? You could've written on your hand in marker: "THURS 11am: START KILLING." Gone around muttering "Gonna kill 'em all on Thursday." Set a voice alarm. Wrapped an elastic band around your wrist so your grotesque swollen purple hand would remind you. But no, here I am. The free Wildlands open beta is now live. You're welcome.
Wildlands, to remind you, is Ghost Recon meets Far Cry. It's a third-person, squad-based shooter about four US army men invading the sovereign state of Bolivia to kill naughty drugmen, with all the antics and icon-clearing you'd expecting from a modern Ubisoft sandbox.
The open beta lets players pootle and shootle through two of the full game's twenty-one zones, on your tod with AI squadmates, with chums in co-op, or even with strangers from the wildlands of the Internet.
Here's a snippet of Brendan chatting with Graham after they played a bit in closed beta:
"Well, you know the way we crept through the bushes and synchronised our shots to murder people in perfect tandem? And rescued a man from a cage without alerting anyone? And hijacked a helicopter together to get him out of there? And sped around on motorcycles? That was all fine and dandy. At the time, that felt like some action-movie bad-assery.
"But over the weekend I played some more, both alone with AI fellas and with random internet friendos. And let me tell you: there are a lot of people out there who do not know how to be a crack squad of hired killers – and they’re not all human beings. Worse than that, there isn't really much to it once you dive in."
You can see for yourself, as the open beta is now live through Steam and the Uplay client. The open beta will run until 11am on Monday the 27th. The full game's launch will follow on March 7th.