|Savannah's are forsaken for jungle in Far Cry 3, like ludic themes are discarded for experience points...|
I don't usually write to developers about the games they're working on, because I figured that you guys are far more qualified to make creative decisions than your fanbase. But since I watched the E3 demo of Far Cry 3 I can't help but voice my opinion for the sequel to a game that affected me quite profoundly.
I never played the original Far Cry, but when I read such interesting things about Far Cry 2 I had to give it a try. At first I hated it, the game kicked my arse round the African savannah until it taught me its rules, its themes and ideals, until they were beaten into me. It was a raw, immersive, uncompromising piece of visionary game design that redefined the potential I saw in videogames as a storytelling entertainment medium.
Now that Clint Hocking has moved on from Ubisoft I can only imagine your team is ready to prove itself without his hand at the wheel and from what I've seen it looks like a new direction, perhaps more guided, but exciting none-the-less. The one thing I would ask of you is to remove the dumb scores that pop up on the HUD when the player performs things. How can the game deign to reward the player for killing another human as if it knows what was right, what the context was, or what the player was feeling, Far Cry 2 nailed that moral ambiguity so well that when you enjoyed the killing, you knew its world had claimed you in its sick seduction of brutality.
LA Noire made this mistake by scoring player interrogations so that when the player failed they knew they had done so, and instead of feel the consequences of their mistakes and experience real player agency, they simply felt the urge to restart the case and get a better score, totally missing the point of the interrogations.
Keep up the great work and don't be afraid to make something as exciting and uncompromising as I know your team is capable of. Because, to paraphrase Voss, 'its insanity to do the same things over and over and expect shit to change.'