Last week news hit that Ubisoft’s trademark radio towers and open-world staple mini-map weren’t going to feature in the upcoming Far Cry game. This was met with huge praise considering how tedious and downright boring the mechanic of climbing radio towers to reveal unexplored areas of the map was for most fans.
Chatting to lead writer Drew Holmes, Gamingbolt asked what the creative decision was behind removing these iconic mechanics.
“I think it’s because it helps increase exploration,” Holmes said. “I think in Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 you got into a rhythm of, ‘the only way that I can find out what to do in this area is to go climb a tower, hit a button and all of these things pop up.’ We really wanted to focus on exploration with a sense of, ‘I’m not sure what to do or where to go’.”
“I think when you set a game in a more familiar setting like Montana, we wanted to compare it to, ‘what would I do in this situation?’” Holmes continued. “I’d have to go and try and meet some locals, see if they’d do anything. Or go to a town and see if there’s anything to do around there. So the goal really was to get rid of the towers as a way of forcing me to interact with the people, pay attention to my surroundings. And sort of intuitively figure out, ‘well, if there’s a town here, there’s a gas station down the road,’ so everything sort of feels like a believable world.”
Regarding the mini-map removal, Holmes said that the team’s reasoning for axing the mini-map was that it detracts from the beauty of exploration.
“The removal of the mini map was so you’re not staring at a little corner of your screen saying, ‘what’s new in the world?’” he said. “You’ve got to actually pay attention to the world and making sure that the art side is doing a good job of making sure there are good landmarks to orient yourself. That it becomes more of less the game guiding you on where to go, and more of you saying, ‘where do I want to go, what do I want to do today?’”