rAge 2012: Ubisoft’s Robert Purdy Explains Far Cry 3’s Insanity To Us
We may not get as many interviews locally as we’d like, but rAge is always a great place to sit down with a developer or two and have a chat. This year we had the absolute pleasure to sit down with Robert Purdy, Cinematic Director on Far Cry 3. Robert overlooks a lot of the narrative and story elements of Far Cry 3, as well as insures that the game as a whole provides an extraordinary cinematic experience. We had the chance to ask him about Insanity, Lord of the Flies and Survivor.
Far Cry 3 has this extremely interesting theme of insanity. The initial speech from the game’s antagonist, Vaas, is chilling and frightening at the same time, hinting at a rather interesting experience on the Rook Islands. To what extent is Ubisoft driving the insanity theme in the main narrative? Robert Purdy explained exactly why insanity is such an important theme in Far Cry 3, and how it can vary from character to character.
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“When we began with the narrative we wanted to explore what kind of toll all of this killing would take on a person’s mind. Jason, our protagonist, is not a killer, so we wanted to explore what type of toll something like this would take on him and what he’d have to do in order to survive.”
“We didn’t want Jason to be like a Gordon Freeman, where he’s kind of mute. We wanted Jason to be a character, and you got to sit inside his mind as almost a weird voyeur. This is just one of the ways we’ve done insanity because we don’t want you to think that Jason is not insane.”
“With the people that Jason meets on the island, we looked into what kind of person would thrive in an environment like this. So Vaas is one personality, the sociopath maybe with feelings of anger and frustrations and stuff like that. All of the characters you meet have a certain brand of insanity, and I hesitate to use that exact word. Put it this way; if we both went through the same experience, we would both be affected differently.”
So we have normal people thrust into situations that could potentially alter their morality and force them to do things out of pure survival. Sound like something you’ve heard before?
“Well yeah, I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Flies and the book left a big impression on me as a kid but yeah I find the idea of the social experiment very interesting. It’s because of this that I think Survivor, as a show, was such a success. It was basically taking people who had a fixed lifestyle and putting them in an environment unfamiliar to them.”
I think that’s a really interesting social experiment and I think it applies to what we’re doing with Far Cry 3.”
The Far Cry franchise has always shifted protagonists and not connected any of its titles in anyway. Is Far Cry 3 aiming to break that trend and establish a continuous story with Jason?
“To me Far Cry is not necessarily one protagonist through multiple journeys. It’s at it’s core your character being a ‘Far Cry’, for the lack of a better word, from civilization and a focus on a person’s journey and transformation when they are put into situations such as these.”
Robert Purdy also described improvements to the game’s dynamic wildlife system, which is said to simulate wildlife more realistically. For example, players will often stumble into various different wild animals that could attack and kill you, as well as witness predators hunting other wildlife. The fire propagation feature has also been drastically improved upon.
Ubisoft really seem to be taking this theme of insanity seriously when appling it to the chracters in Far Cry 3. Personally it’s sounding like far Cry 3 could be a massive step in the right direction for the franchise, espcially considering the narrative downfall the second entry had. If everything comes out the way it is sound, Far Cry 3 might just be the perfect dose of insanity you need come this December.