We all punched the air in celebration when we found out recently that Far Cry 5 won’t feature the trademark Ubisoft radio towers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that mechanics- it’s just been done a few times too many at this point. And not just that, it also turns out that the game won’t even have a mini map. We recently spoke with the game’s lead writer Drew Holmes, and when we asked him just why Ubisoft had made this decision, he said some very encouraging things.
“I think it’s because it helps increase exploration,” Holmes said. “I think in Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 you got into a rhythm of, ‘the only way that I can find out what to do in this area is to go climb a tower, hit a button and all of these things pop up.’ We really wanted to focus on exploration with a sense of, ‘I’m not sure what to do or where to go’.”
“I think when you set a game in a more familiar setting like Montana, we wanted to compare it to, ‘what would I do in this situation?'” Holmes continued. “I’d have to go and try and meet some locals, see if they’d do anything. Or go to a town and see if there’s anything to do around there. So the goal really was to get rid of the towers as a way of forcing me to interact with the people, pay attention to my surroundings. And sort of intuitively figure out, ‘well, if there’s a town here, there’s a gas station down the road,’ so everything sort of feels like a believable world.”
Holmes then went on to tackle the removal of the mini-map from the game, a first for the series. “The removal of the mini map was so you’re not staring at a little corner of your screen saying, ‘what’s new in the world?'” he said. “You’ve got to actually pay attention to the world and making sure that the art side is doing a good job of making sure there are good landmarks to orient yourself. That it becomes more of less the game guiding you on where to go, and more of you saying, ‘where do I want to go, what do I want to do today?'”
As I said, it all sounds very encouraging. The idea of leaving players to themselves in a living breathing world is a salivating one, and as we’ve seen already this year in a game like Breath of the Wild, this absolute freedom of exploration and complete lack of hand-holding can lead to some wonderful, player-made moments. It’s great to see that Far Cry 5 seems to be taking that even one step further by removing the mini-map as well.
We’ll be posting our full interview with Drew Holmes on the site soon, so stay tuned to GamingBolt to check it out. We talked about a lot of great stuff. Far Cry 5 launched in February next year for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.