This fall's Far Cry 4 represents a "significant step forward" from 2012's Far Cry 3, creative director Alex Hutchinson says. In a new interview, Hutchinson spoke about the origins of the project and what Ubisoft needs to do to pull off a sequel with meaningful improvements.
"Work started almost immediately after Far Cry 3, and I joined a while after that," Hutchinson said in an interview with energy drink company RedBull. "The idea is always to build on the best and most successful elements from the previous game and integrate new features and ideas to make sure it’s fresh and that the game takes a significant step forward. For me, the most important things are enabling more player agency, building better tools and adding co-op so people can create more interesting player stories, and trying to make a seamless experience."
Development on Far Cry 4 is being led by Ubisoft Montreal, which is creating the game's main missions and most of the open-world, while outside studios are handling other components. For example, Red Storm Entertainment is making the competitive multiplayer, while Ubisoft Toronto and Ubisoft Shanghai are developing "a series of missions set in an all-new environment outside of the [Far Cry 4] game world." Hutchinson wouldn't say anything more, but teased that Ubisoft will show off these missions "shortly."
Also in the interview, Hutchinson explains why Ubisoft chose to set Far Cry 4 in Kyrat in the Himalayas. He said Ubisoft wanted to find a place that "challenged gameplay in a new way," and the Himalayas fit this description due to the verticality of the environment. Setting the game in the Himalayas also introduces new gameplay features like the grapple tool and the gyrocopter, which "radically change" the way people can experience the world, Hutchinson said.
Regarding Far Cry 4's main villain, Pagan Min, Hutchinson rejected the idea that he is a crazy person. "I think he's so rich and powerful in Kyrat that he doesn't operate in the same world as the rest of us." Since he's been able to do whatever he wants for decades, he sees the world in a different light, and doesn't listen when people tell him no. Min and Far Cry 4's hero, Ajay Ghale, have a untraditional dynamic, as well, Hutchinson said. In short, Min does not want to kill Ghale.
"He wants to be his buddy, and you'll find out why in the course of the game," Hutchinson said. "But we really didn't want another villain who would threaten the player and who you knew, in the end, that you would have to defeat--there's no emotion in that."
Far Cry 4 launches November 18 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you buy the game on PS3 or PS4 and have a PlayStation Plus subscription, you will be given ten invitations that can be sent out to PlayStation Network friends to play a free, trial version of the game's co-op mode. Asked about why this system isn't available on Xbox, Hutchinson dodged the question, saying, "We've had a close relationship with Sony on this game and it's something we built together."
For more on Far Cry 4, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.