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.