Far Cry 4's exotic mountain setting of Kyrat may not be a real place, but Ubisoft is doing what it can to make it feel as authentic as possible. At a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Ubisoft Montreal's Alex Hutchinson delved into how they designed the next memorable setting for open-world craziness. In talking about Kyrat, Hutchinson also gave some intriguing hints as to how Far Cry 4's plot and character developments might play out.
Kyrat's biggest inspirations are places like Nepal, the Himalayas, and particularly Kathmandu, a city that mashes together ancient cultural traditions and rapid urban modernization. The religious practices there are just as diverse, with Hinduism and Buddhism bumping up against each other. Ubisoft's Mark Thompson made the trip to Nepal for a three-part documentary shot by VICE to bring "an extra level of authenticity to [the game]." On Thompson’s itinerary were things like attending the sacrifice of a live animal (a goat, in this case) and talking to Gurkhas (Nepal's most elite soldiers) about their experiences. In fact, the Gurkhas' signature curved Khukiri blade will be protagonist A.J. Gale's primarily melee weapon, and the Warriors faction he encounters in Kyrat are directly inspired by Gurkha troops.
Hutchinson also revealed some info about FC4's story arc when discussing all the real-world influences. "A big story beat [comes from] the idea that a culture is picking young girls and deciding that one of them is going to be a representation of a living goddess," says Hutchinson. This is based on the actual Hindu tradition of Kumari, where pre-pubescent girls are worshipped as the embodiment of divine power. Gale will encounter one such youth in FC4's campaign, and his decisions will greatly impact this young girl's life, bringing up fascinating questions about freedom and gender politics in developing countries. Nepal is still recovering from a grueling civil war that ended in 2006; this civil conflict will be reflected in Far Cry 4 as you choose which of two sides you want to help, a choice that will affect your mission objectives as the game progresses.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info!