Few major video game publishers have managed to establish a multi-studio production structure like Ubisoft, using teamwork to churn out Assassin’s Creed games with startling efficiency. With shared resources comes shared leadership, which means that creative director of Assassin’s Creed 3 Alex Hutchinson now finds himself leading the charge on the open world, first-person shooter Far Cry 4. In a new interview, Hutchinson offers some reflection on what became one of the series’ most divisive titles, and the process of taking over work on the Far Cry series.
It’s no secret that Assassin’s Creed 3 offered players a highly diverse sample of mission design, story threads, and progressive ideas, regardless of how successful they happened to be in the end. Hutchinson is right to point out that having a Native American protagonist – and his tribe speaking in only their native language – likely didn’t earn as much as credit as it might today.
There’s no question that part of the reasoning behind that is the lukewarm reception received by AC3 and its hero (read our review for an example), but for his part, Hutchinson is willing to admit that some improvements and cuts to the game would have likely improved the overall experience.
Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and Hutchinson is looking forward these days, now leading the charge in bringing the emergent gameplay of Far Cry into the Himalayan Mountains, with a story and setting tailor-made in Nepal’s own image. As the creative director explained to Game Informer, his expertise is clearly being sought out for more than just an ability to deliver a finished product on a deadline. The Far Cry series was always better known for its gameplay than scripted story, but Far Cry 4 looks to at least be aiming for more than a passable cast and plot.
Beginning with antagonist Pagan Min (voiced by Troy Baker), it’s clear Hutchinson’s interest in exploring other cultures and regions hasn’t waned. Telling a tale of revenge, romance, globalism, and racial and political tension in Southeast Asia, it’s no wonder the creative director was surprised and disappointed when people took one look at the game’s cover art and immediately suspected racial insensitivity.
Those hoping to keep the Far Cry series and Assassin’s Creed separate don’t need to worry just yet, as the bulk of the team developing the game are returning from Far Cry 3. For their part, it seems that a fair number of lessons were learned themselves; match that with Hutchinson’s emphasis on cohesive worlds and colorful characters, and Far Cry 4 might appeal to more than fans of open world shooters.
How would you feel about Far Cry being built up to the level of AC in Ubisoft’s stable of franchises? Would you like to see them connected by a larger story, or do you prefer each game to stand on its own? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Far Cry 4 will be available for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 on November 18, 2014.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Game Informer