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Far Cry 3 explores the cost of becoming a hero

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My grandad used to own a fruit stall, All the local kids called him The Bananaman. It was nothing to do with the fruit, He had jaundice.

Most games make it pretty easy to become a hero. Get doused in chemicals or find your loved ones murdered, enroll in the montage academy of kicking ass and proceed to layeth the smackdown on numerous henchmen, sub-bosses and the end-game nemesis. But in reality, the toll of becoming Mr Paragon, is extraordinarily high and personal. Which is the approach that Far Cry 3 is taking with their protagonist.

Level design director on the game, Mark Thompson, described to Polygon that while Far Cry 3 was a game about “killing people to win,” it’s main goal is to portray the cost it takes for “someone who becomes a hero”.

Describing the hero of Far Cry 3, Thompson said that before the catastrophic events in the game had unfolded, Jason had never eeven used a gun before, let alone killed a person, something that he’ll have to do in order to rescue his girlfriend.

“He’s not being a bad guy. He’s just doing the things he needs to do to survive and rescue his friends,” Thompson said. “It’s not about right and wrong or good and bad. That’s why the Far Cry games don’t have morality systems, there isn’t this rigid dichotomy of good and bad in the world, so why reflect that in the game?

We don’t say whether something is good or bad. We don’t judge players. Ultimately the game is about killing, and we know that, so we don’t want to condescend. The game asks you to shoot.

The game is about killing people to win. So we wanted to make sure we wrote a story that understood that. The story is about killing, the story is about Jason … Jason comes to the island and he’s never fired a gun before, he’s never killed before. So the story really explores what it means to become, the things he has to do to become a hero.

The game is about what is the cost of becoming a hero. What is the personal toll that is exacted upon someone who becomes a hero.

For those people who kill, kill and kill some more, and bother to asky why, Thompson said that he has respect for them, as that was a sign that “the audience is maturing,” and “as developers, we have to respect the people who consume the content.”

We have to respect that the palates of people are becoming a little bit more sophisticated. For sure we’ll still have the summer blockbusters, but there is a space for a more nuanced narrative, something that isn’t afraid to tackle issues that video games haven’t been tackling because they’ve been focusing on power fantasies and fantasies about being the ultimate soldier.

We never see the scenes six months after the event when John McClane [in Die Hard] wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat seeing Hans Gruber falling from Nakatomi. [PTSD] is an important part of what Jason goes through on the island.

We want to address all of the issues that would happen to a normal person who is put through this kind of situation.

Far Cry 3 arrives in November this year, and includes a fantastic special edition of the villainous Vaas as a bobble-head, which will surely take your mind off of the carnage you inflict.

Last Updated: July 30, 2012

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