Three years. It's been three whole years since a the little known German developer called Crytek amazed the PC first-person shooter world with its debut game Far Cry. It came out of nowhere, and proceeded to blow everyone away.
But despite its critical and commercial success, the game's publisher Ubisoft then decided to focus its efforts on console development where the franchise was concerned, and it was only last month that it finally announced the long-awaited return of Far Cry to the platform where it all began. Hello, Far Cry 2.
Due to the success and quality of Crytek's game, expectations for the sequel are massive, but Ubisoft is confident it can deliver a sequel that surpasses the original Jack Carver adventure.
We spoke with Louis-Pierre Pharand, Far Cry 2's producer and Clint Hocking, the game's creative director, to discover why that confidence is well-founded...
It's been just over three years since the original Far Cry game launched. Why has it taken this long for Ubisoft to announce a new venture in the series for PC?
Louis-Pierre Pharand: We were given a large mandate, to re-invent and rejuvenate the Far Cry series and re-establish Ubisoft as a top-tier PC developer, and naturally it took some time to achieve this goal.
Far Cry was an impressive FPS and there are those that argued that it was actually better than Half-Life 2. Expectations are going to be extremely high for the sequel - what can you say to reassure us that Far Cry 2 will be even better than its predecessor?
Pharand: We know that the expectations on Far Cry 2 are extremely high. We have been working really hard for the last two years to have a better game than the original. Ubisoft is aiming for a high-quality title.
In order to support our goal, we are developing a completely new dedicated engine for Far Cry 2.
This custom built engine allows us to create a truly open world of 50sq/km, and also features a new animation system called LivePosture. There will be dynamic environments, which means that our vegetation is destructible and reactive to elements, and that we have a dynamic weather system (dynamic time of day, rain, storm, procedural cloud system...).
We also implemented a new fire technology to enable real fire propagation. Every element that looks flammable can burn.
All of these elements are here to provide a realistic and believable gaming experience.