The new Far Cry isn’t just 3.5

3 min read

FC4 honey badger

It’s very easy for games, especially cool and successful games, to fall into the franchise trap. Every game is just a reskin or a reiteration of previous elements. Ubisoft didn’t want that for Far Cry 4, and has taken specific measures to make it something different. But first, here’s a pretty trailer showing survival.

Geez, looks like you can cause avalanches and attacks from all kinds of wildlife. Intense! Plus, there’s a weird cover of “I will survive” that I can’t decide if I like or not. That’s just one of the many things added to the game, though – according to a new Ubisoft blog, developers decided that they wanted it all.

Originally, the team brainstormed the idea of making the new Far Cry game set in the same world with the same characters. However, that conversation didn’t last long as developers realized that they wanted to add more things – each time an idea seemed too outlandish, it was seen as a sign that they should use it:

It’s the “we want it all” approach that first introduced elephants to Far Cry. But it also introduced verticality. And the ability to fly. And the ability to do it all in co-op. And new enemy A.I. like the hunter, which can charm an animal and send it charging back at you, creating yet another layer of enemy A.I. in the form of these living tanks.

However, the team also acknowledges that there was a disconnect between the open-world experience of Far Cry 3 and its narrative. This time around, they want to ensure that the experience ties together more, and is more nuanced – Pagan Min will keep you guessing throughout the game and you’ll discover the world right along side the protagonist. The feel of the game will still be similar to Far Cry 3, but as you delve deeper you will see and feel the differences.

The most intriguing difference is when the team describes the Shangri-La gameplay. It’s meant to go above and beyond the idea of the mushroom missions in Far Cry 3; it’s an actual game within the game.

That’s when the Toronto studio came in, and put together a fully interactive and ethereal experience that was separate but still meaningful to the main game. With a pet. Who happens to be a tiger. Which the player can control almost like a permanent co-op partner who is really good at stealth. “We want to have an organic drone that can effectively be used as a weapon,” Hay recalls. “And everybody’s like, seriously? And you want the other thing with the outposts, and you want the other stuff with the—” Hay pauses for a half second before adding: “Yes. We want it all.”

It’s great to hear that they want it all, but can they deliver it all without the game becoming a garbled mess? I’m glad that they know that they need to make it a cohesive package; I just hope their ambition doesn’t get the better of them.

Last Updated: October 15, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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