Side content is incredibly important in open world games.
Far Cry 2 contained a lot of arduous tasks such as repeatedly clearing outposts, attacking convoys, and more. The sequel fixed many of the issues players had with the system and in some ways encouraged exploring all that Far Cry 3 had to offer. But with Far Cry 4 releasing this fall, Ubisoft Montreal has had even more time to innovate and improve on these systems that it uses to drive gameplay.
"We take the same basics as Far Cry 3," says narrative director Mark Thompson. "We have towers, outposts, we obviously still have the same ecosystem for hunting. Like in Far Cry 3, all of that stuff is inward facing in terms of the progression.
"Everything you do in the open-world feeds into the player-progression, so there’s a natural motivation and reward for everything you do. You need better equipment so you hunt for animals; you need more XP to get better skills to take on the harder outposts."
"We know that formula works and it’s pretty powerful," Thompson admits.
But you can't just keep the same formula over time without falling behind, some innovations are needed.
"We wanted to keep that sacred," he asserts, "but also add new side quests and new opportunities."
An example of this is the refined hunting system that now rewards players based on how clean the kills are.
"We refined the hunting system. In Far Cry 3, you could hunt with an RPG and you could hunt with grenades," says Thompson as he smirks, "which when you think about it logically it’s weird because the hide from a deer would not be intact after a RPG hit it.
"We've refined the hunting system to promote and reward more careful hunting. If you were want to get immersed in hunting, you can go with the bow, craft the right potions or sneak up on the deer and take a headshot, allowing you to get the good hide and craft the materials."
Just as with Far Cry 3, players will need to go hunting if they wish to increase the number of pouches they can carry.
"We you start the game, you can only carry one weapon, you can’t carry much ammunition and you only have a certain sized loot bag. All of that stuff pushes you to go in the open-world and hunt for the right animals and find the right materials so you can craft the upgrades."
Ubisoft Montreal knows how to motivate players to explore every nook and cranny of their immersive environments. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until November 18 to do so.