STORY and character were never the strong suit of the Far Cry series. But all that’s about to change.
At a recent preview of the game attended by News.com.au, it was clear that Ubisoft Montreal have taken the task of creating Far Cry 3’s story very seriously indeed.
The game thrusts you into the shoes of a kidnapped American tourist named Jason Brody, who finds himself on a tropical island chain in the midst of violent local conflict.
But unlike your usual video game hero, Jason isn’t already a square-jawed survivalist – he’s just an average guy who’s about to have his life torn apart.
Jason isn’t even responsible for his own escape – that’s the work of his ex-military brother who, along with the rest of Jason’s friends, is brutally murdered just minutes into the game.
Lead level designer Mark Thompson says that creating a new and unusual experience with the game’s story was one of their main priorities.
“We wanted to create an atypical shooter story, with a different kind of protagonist,” said Mark Thompson to News.com.au.
“Something non-military, something that was more personal. Our story isn’t about saving the world, it isn’t set on a global scale, it’s about one person’s life being torn apart, and you putting it back together through gameplay.”
“We knew that we wanted to push the technology behind cinematics, we developed some great full-body motion capture which allows us to get the complete performance from our actors.
“We capture full body, motion, voice, and facial recording at the same time from multiple actors. This allows us to really push the performances they can give and we really let the actors become the characters; fully absorb themselves into the roles. You can really see this in the performances in the characters.
The effort put into the motion-capture really showed in the preview we saw. Players are introduced early on to the game’s villain, Vaas, whose performance is genuinely terrifying – and the technology allows it to shine through.
“We are also aware of another story that is just as powerful and captivating as the authored narrative, and that is the story of the player, the personal experience that you can have playing the game that perhaps nobody else will have.
“This is where the open world becomes a tool for storytelling, we have a rich and dynamic world to explore and when the ecosystem of the island comes to life in the game there are countless different events that you will see that will be unique to you, to your adventure, this is the personal story that you will take away from the island.
“We knew we wanted a compelling story and great missions, but alongside that we had the ambitious goal of creating a real, living, breathing open world, building in new elements to add to the franchise.”
“In some ways, the open world element of the game is actively trying to distract players from going to that next story mission.”