Review: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within the Cartel

by on March 1, 2017

In anticipation of the March 7th release of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, we decided to check out the Ghost Recon short that is available on Amazon Prime Video.  We typically don’t cover movies or short films, but we felt it was important to check out any material that gamers are interested in.  In this case, we know there are a ton of Ghost Recon fans (including ourselves), so we wanted to see what this short film had to offer!

War Within the Cartel is a short, 30 minute film from director Avi Youabian (The Walking Dead, Tainted Love) from a script by Evan Greene. The project is produced by Steve Ecclesine, Avi Youabian, and Ryan Landels. Executive producers are Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Orlando Jones (Madiba, American Gods), Noam Dromi (Dolphin Tale) and Jay Williams.  For a short 30 minute film, I was impressed by the experience that came with the director and producers of this film.  I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be a quick fan flick.  You can obviously see that money was spent to make this a quality production.

The story gives you a quick look at the main players from the Santa Blanca drug cartel.  This cartel is controlled by El Sueño (Esteban Cueto).  In the aftermath of an attack on their compound, the organization’s senior leadership seeks out a traitor within their midst in order to exact deadly retribution. The rest of the crew consists of Head of Security El Muro (Jose Rosete), Head of Production El Yayo (Gregory Zaragoza), Head of Trafficking Nidia Flores (Kesia Elwin), and Head of Influence El Cardenal (Tony Plana).  The traitor (D.J Cotrona) is working for the CIA and must do what he can to protect himself and his pregnant wife from the retribution of the Cartel.

The characters were pretty fascinating.  You can see some obvious stereotypes, especially in El Sueño and El Muro.  El Sueño speaks in a deep, yet soft tone and speaks slowely to instill fear into those he oppresses.  And don’t get me wrong, these are definitely bad guys.  However, I really enjoyed some of the subtle themes in the film.  You have a theme about the importance of family and see this theme from different points of view.  The agent that is being hunted is obviously worried about his pregnant wife and will do anything to protect her.  But you also see a hint of how important family is from the bad guys.  One of the characters, El Cardenal, is a priest and must juggle his church patrons and the demands of the Cartel.

One of my biggest complaints about the short it the run time.  I completely understand why it is a short film.  I am trusting that we will get some more story when we get the full release of the game.  But I honestly would have loved to see some more minutes on the run time so I can get to know a little more about the Cartel and the key players.  We know they are bad and we see them do terrible things.  But what exactly influenced them to rise up and create this dominate Cartel?  I hope they revisit some of these themes and background stories when the game is released, but there is no way to know for sure until we play it.  I also wish we had a little more time with the Ghosts.  We see them very briefly at the end and I wish they could have ton just a tiny bit more.  Maybe have the movie transition into a brief live action trailer for Wildlands?

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For Ghost Recon fans, War Within the Cartel is a really fun short film that will get you even more hyped for the release of Ghost Recon Wildlands.  It doesn’t have time to tell a ton of story, but the production value is really good.  I can’t wait to get my hands on Ghost Recon Wildlands so I can get more story and put an end to the Santa Blanca Cartel!

Ghost Recon: War Within the Cartel is Not Rated and is available on Amazon Prime Video here –

Ghost Recon Wildlands is available March 7th, 2017 for PC and current gen consoles.  You can preorder now from all major retailers.

Keep it locked on GameOctane as we bring you more news from Ghost Recon Wildlands!

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