Story Q&A – General Plot Overview
Compiled by Richard Dansky and Jay Posey
Last time, it was 2014 in Mexico, where do we pick up in GRFS? What year?
That is classified information, so if I told you, I’d have to kill you ;) Actually, we don’t talk about a
specific year. Instead, we always say that Ghost Recon happens tomorrow –not the day after tomorrow
– but tomorrow, with gear and tech and conflicts that are plausible to imagine. We can say that the
story and missions of GRFS take place after GRAW2 and the events in Mexico, but if you’re looking to set
your calendar, we can’t help you..
Will we see Scott Mitchell in GRFS?
Yes, Scott Mitchell plays a key role in the game, but he is not part of the active/playable squad. As we’ve
progressed into the future, Scott’s role with the Ghosts has evolved. He’s been promoted to Major,
and serves as your key source of mission briefing and intel from HQ. He’s the leader of the entire Ghost
unit, but no longer in the field. With the physical demands of the Ghosts, you have a short window of
active duty. You can’t be too young, or too old. However, Mitchell’s knowledge and experience are so
valuable that he will always be a part of the Ghosts. He’s a legend, and you don’t just let legends walk
Any connection to other Clancy titles (ex: GRAW/HAWX/End War)?
We’ve never wanted people to feel like they had to play every moment of every Clancy game to
understand any of them (though it would be great if they did ) And no, there’s no big, formal link
between the games, but if you look closely, you might see a few connections. As to whether we’re
building something bigger, well, time will tell...
Can we expect any other cameos from the past?
Not beyond the presence of Scott Mitchell. We’re starting fresh with a new group of Ghosts, who are
going to make their own legends.
How are the Ghosts different from other soldiers you’d find in other games?
These are not your average soldiers. In other games you may see a lot of “America Saves the Day”
or “heroes” going in guns blazing into battle. The Ghosts are modeled after real-world SpecOps, but we
gave them the technology and weapons of the near future. As with DEVGRU or Delta Force, selection
is based on rigorous testing which puts more focus on mental abilities and toughness than physical
(although the physical bar is quite high). Very few soldiers are selected, so it’s a great opportunity for
players to see how the most elite soldiers operate rather than just getting the Hollywood version of the
story. We think the “Ghost” name is perfect for this type of soldier’s approach, as they would prefer
that their mission is completed with nobody noticing. Generally, this elite group of soldiers likes to
blend in, quietly take in their surroundings and learn about the people and situations they have come
into contact with. To do this they use well-honed language skills and regional cultural training, so they
can act like something other than a normal heavy-handed American. They are soldiers with a well-
developed sense of proportionality, knowing just how much energy to apply to a given situation, and
exactly when to do so.
What will we learn about this group of Ghosts?
We want to tell the story behind the monocle, to show how these guys are different. It’s actually
a chance for us to tell a story of the guys we’ve worked with and admired in the Special Forces. If
you’ve ever met someone or have a family member in the Special Forces or the SEALs, you know they
are different from most people, both physically and mentally. That said, they’re not all clones, and
they’re maybe not what you’d expect. SpecOps warriors can include a wide range of personalities and
background, which is something we’ve tried to show with the Ghosts. First off, these guys are smart and
not afraid to speak their mind. They want to get the job done and get it done efficiently. At the same
time, they know how to have fun, pull pranks, and joke around with each other. I can guarantee you
that a night out with real operators is an entertaining one, and that’s what we’ve tried to capture with
the Ghosts. That said, these guys want to be Ghosts, and this is what they were born to do. It’s almost
hard for them to function in normal society because of what they know and what they’ve seen. This is
where they belong, and they’re in it together.
Do you think these guys are born a certain way or is it all in the training?
While the training is elite and very important, I really do think that some of it is how you are wired.
The testing that you go through is intense and exhaustive; some soldiers just can’t pass whether it be
the physical or mental part. One Delta Force operator once commented “We can train anyone to fight
the way we fight. But we can’t teach you to think the way we think.” He was talking about how they
found recruits from all different disciplines, not just from infantry, and that mindset, adaptability, and
innovative thinking are more important than how well you can pull a trigger. If you think about that, it
really sums up what we’re going for with the Ghosts, that these guys can come from anywhere and what
really matters is how they’re wired. So, no, not everyone could be a Ghost!
What is the conflict that the Ghosts must resolve?
An energy crisis within Russia kicks an aggressively nationalist faction called the Raven’s Rock Druzhina
into action. These guys are proud Russian nationalists, and their main goal is not international
domination, but rather to restore Russia to what they see as its rightful prosperity and strength. They
don’t want WW3; they want what they see as their rightful due, and they’re willing to do whatever
it takes – from sponsoring brushfire wars to acts that are almost literally unthinkable – to get it.
Raven’s Rock is made up of high-powered individuals from across all aspects of Russian society –
petrobillionaires, military officers, mafia kingpins and more. They use their power and influence to
support a clandestine “Shadow War”, projecting Russian power into oil-rich areas in order to destabilize
them and allow Russian interests to take them over. While their efforts are focused on Russia, their
connections extend well beyond its borders, and it’s this that inevitably brings them into conflict with
What is RR’s motivation?
Raven’s Rock sees themselves as patriotic. Even their name comes from the Russian heroic tradition;
Raven’s Rock was where the legendary general Alexander Nevsky anchored his troops against invaders
in one of the most famous battles in the country’s history. And these people are united in their belief
that Russia should move aggressively to protect its own interests. They’re used to taking what they
want, and they want their country to be the same way. And as the storyline progresses, they’re willing
to go further and further to achieve their goals – even if that means tipping Russia into war.
What is the connection between the film and this story?
The film is a prequel to the game. It allows us to tell a deeper story about the background of the events
in GRFS, and it. It also gives us more insight into the life of the Ghosts. The story follows a group of
Ghosts (some who will appear in GRFS) that are on a different mission tracking down a dangerous arms
dealer who presents a nuclear threat. During this mission they discover that this man has connections
to a larger smuggling ring with mysterious intentions and demands. It sets up the conflict you will be
facing in GRFS in a much more engaging and dramatic way than your average cutscene.
In what ways does Raven’s Rock present a challenge to the Ghosts?
They’re smart, they’re connected, and they’re willing to go as far as they have to in order to achieve
their objectives. They’re not predictable and they’re not old-school. They take calculated risks, and
they’re willing to make big statements so the world will take notice of their efforts to bring Russia back
to prominence. Because of their diverse backgrounds, they have access to immense resources. They’re
behind major smuggling rings and can take advantage of the latest weapons, vehicles and gear. They
even have access to members of an elite Russian military unit that rivals the skills and technology of the
Ghosts, called the Bodark. The Bodark’s members are drawn from the top special forces operatives in
the Russian military, and they’re equipped with the most advanced military technology and weaponry
that the Russians have.
Why Russia at the focus in Ghost Recon Future Soldier?
When we’re creating storylines for Ghost Recon, we’re always looking to tell the story that you’d believe
if you saw it on the news tomorrow. We do extensive research, and we always strive to walk the line
between what actually happens out there in the world and what feels believable. (Some of the stuff
we run across when we’re looking for story inspiration may be real, but there’s no way anyone would
believe it. Truth really is stranger than fiction.)
So for the storyline for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, we found a lot of great inspiration in recent current
events, and those kept leading us back to the idea of a resurgent Russia. Its size, its power, its renewed
commitment to the military – all of these, mixed with more historical events that we could mine like
the August Putsch and Cold War proxy warfare – gave us the elements of a great story. It’s easy to
think, “oh, just make Russians the bad guys”, but that’s a cop-out. What we were looking to do instead
was create a believable, dangerous opponent for the Ghosts – not a generic “bad guy” – and everything
we looked at led us here.
So, we’re going to shoot a bunch of Russians again?
I think one thing we’re all aware of these days is that war is never a simple equation of us versus them,
and the story in GRFS reflects that reality. Nobody thinks of themselves as the “bad guys”, and one of
the key aspects of the GRFS storyline is its treatment of “the enemy”. A faction within Russia is using
its power and influence in a dangerous way, but it doesn’t mean that All Russians are the Bad Guys, or
that the enemies the Ghosts are up against are just evil cartoons. The guys on the opposite side have
objectives, they have motivations, and they’re aggressively pursuing those goals, as opposed to just
waking up one morning and deciding to go out there with guns for no good reason. That doesn’t mean
we – or the player – might agree with what they’re doing, but it does mean that there are very specific
reasons that you’re up against these specific guys, in this specific time and place, and for this specific
I know it’s easy for people to just say, “oh, we’re shooting Russians again, and it’s the same old, same
old”. But if you take the time to move through the campaign, I think you’ll be surprised – over why
you’re fighting, who you’re up against and where, and who your allies in this struggle might be. The one
thing we really tried hard to stay away from was another “America Saves The World Again” story. That’s
not what the Ghosts are about.
What other locations will we visit?
It’s very much a global storyline. You’ll be moving from South America to sub-Saharan Africa, to the
Arctic and the heart of Russia. . However, as game designers, we’re excited not only about the variety
of global locations, but also the variety of maps you will play. In any given location you could play
inside/outside, in the countryside, in a crowded city, in a small village, or in a variety of enemy bases and
camps. Our goal is to make sure that the play environment will change frequently, whether we’re giving
you new terrain, new places to explore, or even new weather.
Tell me about interactions with civilians/NPCs?
War doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It touches civilian populations, whether directly or indirectly, and
glossing over that really does a disservice to our subject matter. And that especially holds true for
operators like the Ghosts, who aren’t on the big battlefields, but who are behind the lines and often
going into what are civilian environments to get the job done. As a result the campaign, both from a
story standpoint and a mission design one, frequently touches on the human elements of conflict. In
several missions, the Ghosts have to carry out their missions in the midst of civilians, finding ways to
accomplish their objectives without putting innocent lives in harm’s way. The Ghosts are frequently
tasked with recovering people, whether they are friend, foe, or a mix of both. Sometimes the team has
to rely on civilians who are willing to help them even at great risk to themselves.
Are the missions based on real life?
We’ve always tried to show respect for the real-world operations done by the guys who have inspired
the Ghosts. The truer to that experience that we can make the game, the better. So while we may not
have pulled missions directly from real life, we hope that what we’re presenting is true to the spirit and
the letter of the way the real world operations play out.