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Ubisoft director explains why ‘Far Cry 4’ will not feature avalanches

Photo courtesy of Ubisoft, used with permission.

What's the first thing you associate with mountains? Snow, heights, avalanches?

When we heard that Far Cry 4 was going to the Himalayas, we couldn't help but wonder what kinds of new interactions that would allow for. Whereas Far Cry 3 allowed you to clear enemy encampments simply by starting a fire and burning them out, perhaps it would be possible for us to trigger avalanches, sending our foes running for their lives.

That thought proved to be a bit overzealous. Speaking with narrative director Mark Thompson, he lets us down easily, saying that doing so would be a waste of resources due to the immense amount of workload it would create.

"Yeah we have some moments where you have ledges you can interact with and fall down them, but we always try and focus on the systemic version," Thompson tells us.

"Rather than a big avalanche set piece, they’re fun, but they happen once and that’s it, and as a developer you spend a million dollars and it’s gone."

The big issue for Thompson? The fact that developers can't control where the player is looking without taking all control away from them.

"Someone could be looking in the wrong direction [and miss it]. We never control the camera, so we focus more on making gameplay ingredients for those environments."

Regardless, if Far Cry 3 proved anything, it's that Ubisoft Montreal is prodigious at creating such awe-inspiring locales for players to explore. And with the migration to the Himalayas, that marvelous backdrop will be even closer to your fingertips.

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