There’s a lot more player agency this time around.
Ubisoft seem to be trying to break away from franchise traditions with the upcoming Far Cry 5. We already know the game won’t have radio towers and a mini map, things that have become a staple for Far Cry games at this point. We recently held an interview with the game’s lead writer, Drew Holmes, and we asked him what the development team at Ubisoft is trying to do to set the game apart from its predecessors, and Holmes revealed that a lot of it is revolving around greater player agency. Given the criticism about Far Cry 4 being a little too similar to Far Cry 3, was there a desire to really shake things up mechanically, story-wise and other features?
“I think going back to the 360 approach, making sure that going to this nonlinear story, I don’t have to go down the same [path],” Holmes said. “You and I, if we are playing, don’t have to go down the same set of missions to get to the next beat in the story. We can sort of go around. So from a writing standpoint it’s super challenging to say, ‘here are the beats that we know we have to hit in the story. This is the rise in action that we have to be’.”
“But as a writer you have no idea where the players going to be at any given time,” he continued. “So it’s about making sure you’re building the world and characters that are sort of giving you proper feedback to the beats of the story. It’s about people in the world saying, ‘John is doing this. He’s taking people and this cleansing is making people confess.’ We wanted to make sure that the player understands that, and understands the context of it without saying, ‘sit down and watch our cinematic’.”
It feels like Ubisoft are going for an experience that wants to emphasize emergent gameplay over anything else, and I, for one is completely fine with that. Looking at open world games in the last couple of years that have done this successfully, including the likes of The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the prospect of a similar experience is an exciting one.
Our full interview with Drew Holmes will be going up on the site soon, so stay tuned to GamingBolt. Far Cry 5 will be out in February of 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.