The lush islands, and tropical location of Far Cry 3 were a blast to explore. Combined with some of the most unique sequences in gaming and Ubisoft quickly found itself with the most successful franchise installment to date. Following that up isn't going to be easy, but with a new location, the Himalayas, the development team at Ubisoft Montreal once again has the chance to knock it out of the park.
We had the chance to speak with narrative director Mark Thompson about the upcoming Far Cry 4 and some things the new locale allows for.
"We wanted to have an accompanying refresh in visuals for the environment, so we decided on the Himalayas," Thompson says.
"The world is a lot more vertical, [which] gives us a lot more new gameplay opportunities," he continues. "It allows us to add new features like the gyrocopter, the grappling or climbing system."
"Then every time you move to a new location in Far Cry, you have a new ecosystem. We have a new set of animals that bring their own unique opportunities. We have eagles now, so [players] will be vulnerable to attacks from above. [The verticality] adds another dynamic to the way the open-world is seen."
Thompson admits that this makes for some hilarious situations that simply weren't possible before.
"Sometimes you’ll [look into] the forest and you’ll see Molotov’s being thrown up in the air. It’s because an enemy is being attacked by an eagle, and he is trying to fight back with a Molotov." Thompson laughs, "You’ll then see the forest on fire."
These mountains are something that the team hasn't tackled before, and due to their commitment to a level of reality, players are going to have to make some preparations before scaling such heights.
"Later on when you start to get to the tops of those mountains, we start to play with the environment a little bit, we have lizards. Some places you even need to use oxygen to get to that altitude."
Ubisoft Montreal has proven that it can create a lifelike, realistic, breathing environment and for many, it's one of the best parts of the Far Cry experience.