At Ubidays this year there was one game that really had the jaded journos in attendance talking in excited tones as they made their way, hungover from the excesses of the night before, between the booths. That game was Far Cry 2
The Ubisoft Montreal-developed shooter returns to the series’ beginnings, ditching the fancypants supernatural abilities of Far Cry: Vengeance
and the main character, Jack Carver, to return to the franchise’s roots. Namely, some serious gun action against an oh, so sunny backdrop.
I sat down with Alex Amanico, art director on the game, to play through one of the missions and chat as I embarrassed myself. Here’s what he had to say.
So, I’ll give you a quick overview of the game. It’s obviously set in Africa in a fictitious country. Basically, you have this country that was at war with a rebel faction and they hired some foreign mercenaries to come and help them in the fight for diamond mines and so on in the country. And the other faction, the rebel faction, did the same thing. Basically the government fled, collapsed and broke into two. These foreign mercenaries found themselves stuck in this country, broke. They don’t wanna leave because they’ve got too much involved in it – so they want to stick around and get their money back.
So, there’s this guy that’s profiteering from all this. He’s called The Jackal. He’s basically a death merchant, he sells weapons. You’re a mercenary – you don’t have a main character in the game – you’re a mercenary that’s been hired to go kill this guy. To get to him you have to befriend both factions, speak with one and then the other, do some missions so you can gain their trust and get closer and closer to The Jackal.
Then, you can find some characters during your play, we call them buddies. These guys are mercenaries that are stuck there, they’re in trouble. You can save them if you want to, or you can choose not to, (but) these guys you save, you build up a relationship with them – you actually get to meet them in the game and they help you.
(My attention was turned to a menu presenting me with the option to play through the mission in two difficulty levels, the easier of the two dubbed ‘casual’).
I think I’ll stick with ‘casual’ for now. There are only two difficulty levels there. Will there be more?
Are you sticking with calling the easiest one ‘casual’?
I think we are. We didn’t want to go with ‘easy’ or whatever because it’s a different kind of play. It’ not just incrementally… the AI won’t just have more HP (Hit Points) - the way they’re gonna behave also is a little different tactically – the way they attack you. So, it’s really for experienced players or players who just wanna have a more casual experience.
I don’t know how many different (difficulty levels) are gonna be there, but those ones definitely will. Our hardest difficulty - we want to make it hard enough for any hardcore player to play and have fun and find it very challenging.
(Turns to the on-screen action).
As you can see, everything is dynamic in the game. All of this vegetation is not animated. It’s procedurally simulated. You can shoot anything and it’s going to pretty much break where you shoot it.