Lead writer talks about what’s being called “the 360 approach”.
We’ve heard a lot about Far Cry 5 from Ubisoft in the last few months. Ever since it was announced, we’ve been hearing about how it differs from the previous games in the series. Staples such as the radio towers and the mini map are no longer part of the game, and it looks like Far Cry 5 is going for a much more emergent, reactive sort of gameplay that we’ve ever seen from the series up until this point.
We recently conducted an interview with Drew Holmes, the lead writer of Far Cry 5, and when we asked him how the game differs from what’s come before in the series, his answer was more or less along those lines. He talked about how rather than being focused around missions and gated progression, the game’s story progression and overall forward movemenet feels more radical to what the players themselves are doing in the game world.
“We call [the change] the 360 degree approach,” Holmes told us. “I can go, I can scout around posts, and I can see where guys are going in and out, and I can plan whatever sort of tactic there’s going to be. I can go in stealthily or I can go in guns blazing. That systemic approach, I think this is what makes Far Cry stand out amongst a lot of other games. The goal this time around was to say, ‘is there a way that we can take that style of play and put it in the entire game?’ 3 and 4 in particular, were set along a little gated paths. You got missions that were very linear and you go and do them in order; then you’ve got the open world; you’ve got the outpost, you’ve got hunting and you got all the exploration stuff you can do. And it felt sort of separate.”
Holmes then went on to talk about something known as the “resistance meter” which will help tie in both the story elements and the exploration elements of the game together. “So the idea was: how do we allow you to drop into the game at the beginning of the world and go anywhere you want, explore any stories that you want,” Holmes continued, “and have that be the driving force of the narrative of the game, rather than say, ‘here’s our story time and here’s your exploration time.’ We came up with this idea of the resistance meter. As you’re going through the world – in each region you’re trying to build up a resistance. I may do a quest and that will fill up my resistance meter. What that’s doing is that the game is becoming reactive to the things that I’m doing. So the people that are on the side of the resistance, rallying to me, helping me take an outpost, I’m getting new followers, and at the same time the cult’s paying attention to this, “We’ve got to squash this rebellion. We’ve got to change about tactics, send in fresh enemies.”
“And it’s also how the bad guys, the stars of the show are asserting themselves into the story,” he went on. “I’m not going along and saying, ‘I’m going to do a story mission now. I’m exploring and clearing all of the stuff out,’ and then boom the story’s happening to me. I think it feels much more reactive. I am choosing to set up whatever experience I want rather than us dictating the narrative to the player.”
That sounds interesting, to say the least. Games such as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild over the last couple of years have been great adverts for such a brand of gameplay, and if Far Cry 5 can accomplish it as well as those two games, players are going to be in for an excellent experience. Our full interview with Drew Holmes will be going up on the website soon, so stay tuned to GamingBolt.