The terrible wonderful things I have done in Far Cry 3
The Terrible, Wonderful Things I've Done in Far Cry 3
August 15, 2012 4:51PM PDT
By Shaun McInnis, Editor
Shaun stress-tests the Far Cry 3 sandbox to see if it can accommodate his unique brand of madness.
I swear I'm not a bad person. In fact, I like to think I'm a pretty good guy. But set me free in an open-world action game and I immediately set off in search of ways to entertain myself at the expense of every living thing in the gameworld. I won't usually play an entire game like a crazy lunatic, mind you. I just like to size up the sandbox and get a sense for how strict the boundaries are before I settle into the story. So after spending an hour goofing about in Far Cry 3's sandbox earlier today, you can imagine how delighted I was when the game didn't just let me run wild; it was practically an accomplice.
First, some context: Ubisoft's press demo here at Gamescom has story missions disabled so that folks like me can get a sense of what the game's open-world tropical archipelago has to offer. Altogether, I was given roughly an hour of time with Far Cry 3's sandbox with no real rules to speak of. What I learned in that time is that Far Cry 3 is a game absolutely stuffed with hazards, creatures, collectibles, side quests, and random little events to grab your attention. It is, in many ways, a direct response to Far Cry 2's gorgeous but relatively empty landscape.
The game does its best to nudge you in certain directions so that it's not all just mindless wandering. One example is the collection of a dozen-plus radio towers you can climb to unlock information on your map screen that ranges from enemy outposts to plants used for potion-crafting. (Yes, that's the Far Cry 3 team taking a bit of inspiration from the Assassin's Creed team.) These towers actually get more and more dilapidated as you progress through the game, making each one more of a hazard (and thus a reward) to scale.
But once I broke free from those subtle guide markers, I just kept trying crazy new things in order to see what results the island had in store for me. What would happen if I took off from a mountain with a hang glider and tried to suicide bomb into an enemy at full speed? One slightly injured but very angry pirate, as it turns out. What would happen if I threw a grenade into a pack of peaceful mountain goats? Nearby pirates heard the commotion and came charging my way--also quite angry. What would happen if I ran over a friendly civilian, or drove a jeep off a cliff, or straight-up knifed a tiger? It was like a bizarre form of scientific research, but with more explosions and tiger maulings. Oh, the number of times I was mauled by a tiger.
I even managed to find legitimate ways to goof my way through what would normally be a more serious combat situation. Like in Far Cry 2, there are different enemy camps strewn about the world (not respawing ones this time, fortunately) that you can clear out to bring in friendly forces to that part of the map. Having decided that simply defeating these pirates with a standard gun wasn't enough, I decided to try using a sniper rifle to pick off their radios from afar, preventing them from calling for backup. Then I found a jeep and just started swerving around and spinning donuts in their camp until every poor soul fell victim to my terrible, terrible driving.
In a few cases, it almost felt like the sandbox was messing around right back at me. At one point I found a side quest tacked to the side of a building asking for someone to help take out a couple of dangerous bears killing local villagers. Oh, why not! I happen to enjoy a good bear hunt. Only in this case, my quest took me into a pitch-black bear cave with nothing more than a flashlight and a shotgun designed for close-quarters encounters. Yes, what began as a simple side quest ended with me practically playing a survival horror game in order to survive.
There's all sorts of stuff I could mention, but at this point you probably get the point. Far Cry 3's open world is an impressive one. It's filled with all sorts of quests, collectibles, and emergent gameplay moments that practically demand you goof around and experiment just to see what happens next. Combine this with abundant fast travel options and enemy camps that don't respawn and you have an open world that's much livelier and less tedious than Far Cry 2's. We can't wait to play more--tiger maulings and all.
Jamie Kean: in Far Cry 3 all is in your hands.
No doubt that there are only few positive findings in the sequel (and their magnitude is not really that inspiring) and most of the old pluses were left back in 2004. However developers from Ubisoft Montreal managed to take up the most valuable trends in open-world shooter genre. Lead designer Jamie Kean answers our (and hopefully yours) questions of interest regarding their current project in this interview.Hello. Please, introduce yourself and talk about you role and position in your company.
Hi there, my name’s Jamie Keen and I’m the Lead Game Designer on Far Cry 3.
Why did Far Cry series returned to the tropical jungle? How do you personally estimate the results of setting changes in the sequel?
We wanted to introduce the player to a group of people that had been isolated too long, and had developed a different moral compass. Then we asked where do we think this unique cast would really live?
And in a weird way an island paradise just made sense, and honestly I love that we’re using the jungle, it lets us do so many things – and this beautiful island setting really juxtaposes with the horrendous things you find there. From a gameplay perspective, you get these gorgeous, lush environments which you can use to your advantage – stealth or action, you get some great fights happening.
We can use it to really enhance some of the narrative – nothing makes you feel quite so alone as wandering waist deep through dark mangroves, when you know there are crocs about and a bunch of guys with machine guns hunting you down. Personally, I love most the sense of discovery it brings – we can tuck things away so that when you find them, it really feels like you’re the first person that’s been there in years – that sense of exploration and wonder is really special.
Why your studio decided to refuse sci-fi elements that had place in the original game?
Our intention was to create a credible experience that you or I could potentially live through. In the game, there are enough intense and unusual things that happen to you that we didn’t need to go into any science fiction. There are enough crazy experiences within the boundaries of real possibility that we didn’t feel we needed to move those boundaries beyond that!
They say that a human, especially mad, is the cruelest monster. Vaas is a thorough bandit, obviously with mental deviations but not deprived of intellect. In your opinion, is it more interesting to gamers to oppose realistic charismatic villains rather than a fantastic enemy? Why?
I think the scariest characters are the ones you believe you could run into in your everyday life. It’s really unlikely that we’ll be overrun by aliens anytime soon, but it’s pretty common to hear something nasty that someone’s done most days, and what would it be like to meet a person like that? Worse still, what would it be like to run into them where you don’t have any of the trappings of society around to save you – no police or hospitals – you’re on your own, and somewhere really unfamiliar.
And even worse still, they’re not just doing it to you, but to your family and friends too – how would you react to that? But the characters you meet aren’t all cartoon villains, and I think that’s the thing that makes them most scary – Vaas is a monster, no doubt, but there are traits there that you’ll recognize – possibly in Jason’s character, possibly even in yourself – that’s the thing that we want to really make you think about…
By the way, why has the team decided to leave Far Cry 3 as a “sandbox”, not to make it a “linear” game?
Far Cry is and always has been at its heart an open world shooter experience. It’s something that’s really important to me that we keep that sense of freedom, that sense of discovery in the world that we build, that players want to find out what’s around the next corner. Coupled with that, this time out we wanted to really expand on the storyline, to give you both the wide open world and also a directed narrative with the highs and lows that can bring. It’s not the easy choice, but it’s something that the team felt is the next step on for the game – and it’s important that this is experience is something on a very human scale – despite the game’s size, we want you to feel like it’s a personal experience that you’re living in Jason’s shoes.
How important to not only provide a gamer with freedom of movement, but also to let him choose a style to play by himself, not to force him just to slash everyone (like, for example, in Serious Sam) or, vise versa, to operate like Hitman?
Freedom for the player to decide how to approach the game is paramount for us. This idea of the 360 degree approach really permeates everything. The playoff between stealth and action is a tricky nut to crack, but it’s important to have the fidelity in the experience that allows and promotes both. You will have a variety of tools at your disposal that will let you follow your own style: skills and equipment upgrades will enhance and expand your experience, a huge variety of weapons and environmental gameplay, like fire and water, will all give you more options on how to approach each scenario.
Most of all though, the AI needs to react to the player in the right way, and will behave differently depending on how you’re playing – and then react if you change your approach. And this flexibility in approach lets you as the player change the feel of the game on the fly, simply by changing the way you’re playing. Want to try to sneak through an outpost? Go ahead. Feel like letting off steam? Go in guns blazing. It’s really up to you.
Why did you introduce an experience system in Far Cry 3? Nowadays a huge number of developers do that, so how are you planning to exceed your competitors in the experience system aspect?
Again, I think this speaks to wanting to let the player make choices about the experience they want to have. We want to keep you feeling like you’re growing as a character as you grow as a player and learn the systems. If we dropped all the different skills and upgrades on you at one time, it’s overwhelming, but if you learn them step by step, you can decide which areas you’re interested in and put more emphasis on those.
And as you learn more abilities, you can see how you can use them to confront different situations, see how they impact gameplay. Takedowns for example – there are some pretty complex moves – by the time you’ve mastered them, you can jump from a roof taking down two pirates, chain to grab the next guy, then grab his pistol and kill anyone else around – it’s a complex set of interactions, but hugely powerful when you’ve mastered it.
Can we hope for something brand new in firing?
We have a strong suite of weapons, each of them customizable with different attachments. One of our key focuses is to make sure that each weapon has its own advantages and disadvantages so that you play with your full arsenal. Also, we want the player to use different weapons for different situations. There are even some “exotic” weapons that will be a blast for the player as they allow you to do some nasty things to your opponents.
And it’s not just shooting the guns themselves, but how you move around the battlefield. By the time you’ve mastered all your skills, you’ll be sprinting and sliding, vaulting over covers, disappearing into jungle to reappear behind enemies – all of these moves and weapons in combination add a fluidity to the player’s experience that allow you to think about FPS combat in a new way.
What element of Far Cry 3 is the team proud the most of? And what about the publisher?
I can really only answer for myself, but I will say that it’s hard to single out one element alone. Overall, I think it’s the scale of the game that we’re bringing that’s really something we’re proud of. There’s so much here – a massive open world experience, set in this lush tropical paradise, with great directed missions and a story and character performances that bring something really new and human to the brand. Not to mention all the multiplayer and co-op modes, and the map editor. I love that we’re being so ambitious on pretty much every front, and it’s rare to be given the opportunity to have that kind of ambition these days.
And finally, please, name the most significant reason (in your opinion) why we should be looking forward to play Far Cry 3.
I’m slightly biased, but for me it’s all about the open world. I just love jumping in a jeep or quad and just heading off the path into the forest, taking outposts, exploring caves, diving off coastlines. One of the things I love most is when the systems do something unexpected – the first time I saw a tiger charge a Pirate roadblock? That was pretty cool….
Bio.Jamie Keen is the Lead Game Designer on Far Cry 3
. He has worked for the last 10 years or so at EA and DICE, cutting his teeth working on Battlefield titles, and was the Producer on BF Bad Company. Moving from the dark side of production to the light side of design, he is now enjoying a significantly more planning-free version of game development as a result. Excel still manages to plague his daily life however. One of his greatest memories in game development was when he went to a live fire tank exercise in Germany with the British Army.
Destructoid nominates Far Cry 3 for Game of the show, best shooter and best console game
That top review was fantastic, best one ive read yet imo. thx ron!
Some more good news well Certainly that Farcry 3 is doing well but perhaps not so good if your waiting in the line....
Originally Posted by ronster2011
Originally Posted by cevys
Far Cry 3 Elite Member
Flashlight available in caves...creepy
BTW Ronster got the top article from Gampespot in case he forgot to mention that.....just a CYA
Does Anything happen to the photos you take in Far Cry 3 because I've taken some beautys but i fear I wont get to see them again