Far Cry 3 Preview: Blending Story and Open World Design
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal / Publisher: Ubisoft / Release Date: December 4, 2012 / Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC / ESRB: Mature [Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language]
The worlds of Far Cry have varied: you’ve been a survivor on an island, a predator of the jungle and a mercenary for hire. These different roles have offered different experiences but they’ve never actually done much for story or character. So when I was introduced to the main protagonist, Brody, an island hopping, party loving douche-bag pansy, I actually became interested in a side of Far Cry that I’ve never been interested in before.
I know I’m supposed to hate everything about this new character, but I think that’s the point. The team at Ubisoft Montreal has something up their sleeve, I just know it. They’ve had time to learn from the series’ past, taking the parts that worked while adding something Far Cry has never had before: nuance.
“So we took that kind of [Far Cry 2] recipe, maybe try and fix some of the areas where it didn’t quite get where we wanted it to. Things like respawning checkpoints, malaria, weapon-jamming, all those kinds of things – the usual suspects, making sure that those things are out and that it’s an engaging experience.
We keep on to that, that whole idea of freedom and exploration. If you just want to hightail it off into the wilds, it’s there. And when you get out there, if you find stuff, it’s going to be rewarding for you to do that.” – Jamie Keen, Designer on Far Cry 3
Earlier this year we discovered that Far Cry 3 was much more than what was initially revealed at E3 2011. Since the first gameplay demo we saw a really interesting character, co-op elements and some multiplayer; standard fare for any modern shooter. For whatever reason Ubisoft kept quiet on what I consider the best and most exciting part of Far Cry 3: the island. This is easily the most open Far Cry has ever been with optional quests, skill trees, upgrades and the most dynamic wildlife I’ve ever experienced in a video game to date.
“The simplest version is basically that you take a guy, a regular guy like you and me, you give him an opportunity to maybe travel around the world with his buddies, his family. He hears about the island, it’s an enticing story, there’s maybe some lore there. He says ‘I’m going to go there and visit it.
He goes and very, very quickly realizes that maybe his sense of right and wrong isn’t the same as the folks who live on the island, and he becomes basically a victim. It’s a question of can he survive, can he figure out a way to harvest the jungle and use it almost like a supermarket to find his friends and get the hell out.” – Dan Hay, Producer on Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 represents something that I’ve wanted in a game for a very long time. It has a sense of progression, compelling characters and an ecosystem that will go on with or without me; It’s an open, living world that I’m itching to get back to and hopefully get a good story while I’m there.