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Far Cry 3: “Ignoring motivation for violence is a mistake” – Ubisoft talks maturity

Thursday, 2nd August 2012 10:23 GMT By Dave Cook

Far Cry 3 developer Ubisoft Montreal caused debate for its super-violent showing at E3 in June, but lead game designer Mark Thompson tells VG247 that the violence is justifiable, a long as there’s a viable reason for it.

Thompson explained the point where violence becomes justifiable, “Violence and artistic value aren’t mutually exclusive: it’s more about how honest you are with people regarding the games’ core mechanics and the story’s characters.”

“One mistake that games can make is to simply not acknowledge the violence and pretend like it isn’t important,” Thompson continued, “that their protagonist is nonchalantly killing a ton of people. If you ignore what your core mechanics are asking players to do, if you pretend like players aren’t being rewarded for killing, then it will undermine the narrative.”

Where does violence fit comfortably within a story? Thompson explains that the two are inseparable, “If the characters in the game don’t react to the violence performed by the player; then you create a plot hole, one specific to the interactive nature of games. We addressed this head on and wrote a story that was about the core mechanic, about killing.”

“It doesn’t judge whether this is right or wrong,” Thompson continued, “It isn’t about creating a morality play. We simply take someone who hasn’t killed before and force them to kill, in order to save their own life and then the lives of their closest friends.”

“Along the way, this killing, the core mechanic,” Thompson concludes, “becomes a key theme in the narrative. If it wasn’t, then any literary or artistic value would be undermined by the moment to moment gameplay, the story told through the player’s actions.”

Far Cry 3 is out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 November 30 in the UK. Stay tuned for our full Far Cry 3 interview soon.

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5 Comments

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  1. DSB

    Maybe people just want to have fun, instead of being weighed down by the deeper, depressing psychological implications of blowing away a million bad guys?

    Nah, that would be crazy. Nobody plays videogames for gratification. Personally I don’t touch anything unless there’s a fucktonne of moral penance involved.

    So, next Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six out of Ubisoft, I expect to have lots of women and children killed in the crossfire, ending with my little special forces guy curled up in bed weeping, thinking about their mutilated corpses. Let’s really make everybody slash their wrists in anguish.

    Great idea, guys.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 nice :)

    Yeah I do enjoy a deal of nonsensical, wanton destruction and violence for no reason from time to time. It’s a great way of just switching off and dulling the mind after a hard day’s work.

    But then again, if moral turmoil is handled well, it can be very powerful.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    @2 Yeah, I certainly don’t mind games going that way, but from the PR it just seems so overplayed.

    It’s a bit like a David Cronenberg movie, where the deaths are made far more horrible than they need to be.

    Personally I think it would be a shame to call that artistic, just for going to extremes. Sometimes it’s just cheap.

    I’m hoping they have a bit more to offer than that.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    That is why I like Zombies, how do you go wrong shooting Zombies!? Just point and shoot.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Maximum Payne

    @4 If you watched/reed Walking Dead you wouldn’t said that :D

    #5 2 years ago