Ahead of the Far Cry 6 gameplay reveal, we had the chance to talk to the World Director at Ubisoft Toronto, Benjamin Hall. We spoke about everything Far Cry 6 from the sprawling open-world to weapons to Amigos. Far Cry 6 launches on October 7th.
The last few Far Cry games have taken place in similar locations. What sets Yara apart both visually and from a gameplay point of view?
Benjamin Hall: With Yara, when we set off the objective that we had was to build this sensation of it feeling like an entire country. So that was really one of the big things that we wanted to do, was take those elements of Far Cry that people love so much and we’ve continued to push forward on that. We’ve got a multitude of different environments, you can play it, and you’ve seen some of them in the trailer from, from dense jungles with, we’ve concentrated on the moisture in the air, you can feel the humidity. Some of the drier areas and features of landscape that the player is going to love, but then fusing that together with this, these urban elements, which is something that’s new for Far Cry 6 in terms of the density with which we’ve pushed it for this, you can explore villages, towns, and right the way up to the capital city of Esperanza, which is this locked down city that Anton’s really got his own iron grip around and controlling and it changes the way that the game play plays out.
It definitely looked there were more urban areas in the game. Does that change the gameplay when you’re shooting in more narrow areas, than the vast, open land?
BH: It sure does. Yeah, the streets themselves, we have this notion that the urban jungle was something that we threw around quite a lot. And it was this idea of the tightness, the confines of these spaces creating the sense of claustrophobia was something we wanted to try and achieve and really make players start to think about the verticality of those spaces, still thinking of everything from a 360 perspective, but making it thatt it was a different experience to when you’re out in the countryside and you’ve got these big spaces, it’s easier for you to move around, so you need to think a little bit more about how you’re going to approach the situations differently.
We got to see the checkpoints that you have to go through to reach new areas. How does these work in the game?
BH: So the checkpoints in Yara are Anton’s way of controlling the road network. So we really wanted to create the sense of oppression with the checkpoints and the Flak Canons that control the airspace. So the checkpoints are these locations that are bottle-necking the traffic network at various points throughout the main arteries on the main highways of Yarra, and to be able to make the highways more navigable, if you want to take your Guerrilla ride for a spin and take it out with the fully loaded kit that’s on it, you’re going to need to take these checkpoints and control them for the Guerrilla. So they’re controlled by ministry personnel, and there’s a few ingredients that are thrown in there too. So checkpoints have different flavours. Sometimes you’ll come across one, that’s been protected by a tank. So you need to figure out how you’re going to dispose of that tank in the best way possible and utilise gear that you’ve collected and built up throughout the game. So tapping into the Resolver kit that you’re going to craft and work with as you, as you’re working through the game.
The Guerrilla paths sound really cool too. Do you have free range of these early on in the game or are you unlocking more as you go??
BH: With the Guerrilla paths, we wanted to create this sensation of the Guerrillas that they’re getting out of sight, they’re getting away from these oppressed and controlled areas. So we tapped into this idea that the Guerrilla paths was something that have existed for a while in Yara, from the previous revolution and the Guerrillas are wanting to utilise the same networks and it allows you to get out of the main roads and out into the countryside and there’s vantage point in vistas, and that there’s people for you to speak to on these paths. And it’s really where you can find out more about Yara. You learn more about different key locations around the map that you’re going to want to take out. So really, as you explore around the different regions of Yara you’re going to find different paths and how they connect to each other.
Modded weapons aren’t new to the franchise, but it’s very clear that they’ve gone to a new level in this game. What takes these to the next level in Far Cry 6?
BH: So really it’s the philosophy of Resolver that we fused into pretty much everything in the game. It’s something that we saw when we started to do research into revolutions and also when we were looking at the island of Cuba, which has been a big inspiration for us, Yara is a unique place. It’s its own country and the storylines within it are all unique to Yara, but you can see from the footage we were shown that were very heavily influenced by what we’ve researched in Cuba. And we saw some really ingenious usage of things in the way that things were fused together in imaginative ways that we wanted to tap into and utilise with this Resolver concept. So when it comes to the Resolver gear, the pinnacle of that is really the Resolver weapons and it’s also the Supremo backpacks that you’ve seen a little bit of.
Perks are now tied to gear which is something that surprised me. Why was this decision made and how much can you really change your character by changing gear?
BH: The perks that are attached to the gear was part of what we wanted to do to ground the elements of the pieces of gear. We want to make sure that things made sense so then when you found a piece of gear and you looked at it, there was a relationship between its visual to its name and what it did and how it affects you as a player. So we really wanted to tap into that and then push that to the next level, by creating all of these different pieces of gear that tap into that resolver philosophy. And then as you start mixing and matching these pieces, or putting these pieces together as full like pieces of kit, you can push down into a specific type of play style, so there’s going to be pieces that help you go quiet, there’s going to be pieces that help more of a defensive role. You can mix them much between them, or you can go all in, so if you decide that you want to approach her an FMD based, for example, right, I’m going in all stealth, you can push yourself and push Dani into that kind of a playstyle, with the pieces of equipment that you put on and the weapons you take with you and the resolver gear that you equip as well. It all has an impact on that, so that we can allow the players to have full agency with how they want to approach different scenarios inside the game.
We got to see a crocodile as well as Chorizo. What other crazy wildlife is there in Yara? Is there just animals coming at you from all angles?
BH: We’ve got a very diverse number of different wildlife elements that we’ve built for Yara. So it all came from the reference that we’ve looked at from the Caribbean islands and also Central South America had an influence on that as well. So you’ll be able to find a multitude of different animals, some predators, some prey, some will come after you, some will run away, some will get you in the ocean, some will get you on the mountains. So there’s a massive variety for you to experience as you’re traveling around and some of them you can make friends with and bring along as Amigos, too.
I’m guessing animals are the only companions in this game. There’s no human A.I companions or did I get that wrong?
BH: So we concentrated on the Amigos for Far cry 6, so we’ve got a larger roster of Amigos in terms of the animal Amigos, you can bring along with you to the fights, cause we really want to concentrate on making the play styles with the Amigos, really fit with the concept of the resolver gear and the way you, you want to play something. So Chorizo the little sausage dog that you saw, if you wanting to play, stealth he’s is probably one of the Amigos you’re going to take with you because he’s going to go into a location and he’s going to use his little puppy dog ears and it’s going to distract the NPCs, which is going to give you a window of opportunity to either sneak past or to move in for the stealth kill.
Whereas the crocodile Guapo, you’re going to send him into the fight is going to start chewing the military’s legs off before you’ve even got into the compound yourself. So there’s a different play style with the different animals as well and how they go about their own fight. And when it comes to actual, you know, human companions with you along the way, you’re not going to be fighting by yourself for long, so there’s not the same system as we’ve seen before, but what we’ve instead is this much more diverse number of people that will join you in the fight at different occasions throughout the game.
Your vehicle you can customise as well, which I don’t believe has been a thing in Far Cry before. How does that change things in terms of customising your own vehicle or just going and grabbing another one?
BH: So Guerrilla rides is something that we’ve built for Far Cry 6 and we wanted to continue again on that path of the player, being able to do things their own way, be able to make things their own. So you can customise the paint job, the wheel rims, the dashboard, you can hang things from the mirror that are different in different vehicles. But then you can also put different defensive elements on, different offensive elements onto the vehicle, and you can call that vehicle on demand, so that’s the big thing that’s different with the Guerrilla rides is that you can kit that car out, knowing that in certain situations it’s going to help you out So you can actually kit your Guerrilla ride out to the point where you can take it up against tanks. Then, so you know that if you get yourself into one of those situations, you’ve always got that there as backup, but that doesn’t stop you from taking any one of the number of different vehicles that you can find in the open world as well.
I can’t remember the exact quote but it was said that Far Cry 6 is the most ambitious open-world that the team has ever created?
BH: So I’m not going to go into numbers. We’re not talking like KM square metres. We’ve definitely pushed to have the most ambitious world that we’ve ever created with this notion of it being an entire nation, so there’s plenty to do out there and there’s plenty of Yara to fight for.
Lastly, activities outside of main missions. What do they look like?
BH: So Outposts are back as FND bases. They’re a fan favourite, we definitely wanted to, to bring them back. There’s a few new ingredients that we’ve put in there to really bring that notion of those gear pieces and resolver weapons and challenge the player to think differently about how they might approach these outposts using that equipment and having a different play experience. Then we’ve got the Flak Cannons that control the airspace in Yara, so that a new thing that you’re going to do, free the airspace of Yara. There’s a few extra elements as you explore around the world that we’ve added that will feel different and feel fresh and there’ll be certain elements that feel familiar, but all of it ties back into this Guerrilla fantasy. So everything that you do in the world of Yara is going to be related in some way to the revolution.
Far Cry 6 launches on October 7th for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.