Update from Ubi

We’ve kept busy here in Montreal over the last two days. Yesterday we got the grand tour of the Far Cry 2 team’s office space and began peppering the team with questions. Among the team members we met was Alexandre Amancio, the game’s art director. He told us about the team’s trip to Kenya last summer and even showed us some pictures he took. The photos were used as reference material, ensuring each of the game’s environments has an authentic appearance. And it really paid off. Some of the screens he showed us from the game were nearly indistinguishable from the reference photos, instantly illustrating the creativity of the artists and the power of the game’s robust Dunia engine. We also met with Kevin Shortt, the game’s story writer. I was shocked at the amount of back story written for the game. Each major (and minor) character is completely fleshed out with highly detailed biographies. They’ve even created a blog “written” by one of the game’s characters providing numerous enticing insights.

Today Gaetan Richard (one of the producers) showed us the game’s multiplayer component, and I was quite impressed…something that doesn’t happen too often given the glut of multiplayer shooters. The multiplayer maps benefit from the game’s dynamic weather and time system. So if you want to play a specific map at noon with a slight wind, no problem. Or perhaps you want to tackle the same map at night during a rain storm? If a match runs long, you’ll even notice the sun moving across the sky, casting dynamic shadows. So it’s possible to begin a match at dusk and end at night. Customizing the weather and time of day gives each map variant a completely different look and feel. But more importantly, it can impact tactics. For example, when playing at night, it’s best to use weapons that emit no muzzle flash to remain stealthy. Or if the sun is setting you can use it to your advantage by keeping it to your back; your enemies will have a tough time seeing you through the sun’s glare! Oh, and the multiplayer mode features a persistence system with plenty of achievable ranks and worthwhile rewards, ensuring that addictive “one more round” sensation we’ve become accustomed to.

Writing the guide for this enormously complex game is going to be a huge task. But we’re putting together some very exciting assets that are absolutely essential to get the most out of the game.


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August 2008
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