Ubidays 2008: Far Cry 2 life-saving friendly AI, more *Update*
May 28, 2008
Remember back when Surfer Girl predicted that Far Cry 2 (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360) would become the best shooter of 2008? Well, judging from what’s streaming – nay, outright overflowing! – from Ubisoft‘s Ubidays event, there will probably be no first person shooter videogame title like it. EVER. Hands on demonstrations, interviews with dev leads, and trailers all outline pretty ambitious new features. Get those that captivated audiences, updated with a new video, at the full story.
Ubisoft‘s Far Cry 2 (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360) is definitely shaping up to be a must-buy first-person shooter this year, if the developments from Ubidays 2008 are any indication. While Jack Carver won’t be returning, at least Ubisoft is willing to make up for the loss with many new features. And we’re not kidding: it’s a very ambitious project.
Leave no man behind
Take for example, the intriguing implementation of friendly AI. Now first impressions of the AI system were, from early developer interviews at length, very much a revamp (if not an imitation) of GSC Game World‘s A-life “needs” idea. But the artificial intelligence incorporates more than just needs and available resources.
Hands on demonstrations and a couple of gameplay screenshots showed that both the enemy and friendly AI will dash through firefights to gather their fallen and carry them out to safety where the casualties may be restored to fighting strength. The gameplay mechanic would include any character as long as they belong to a respective side – even you.
Say a plan of infiltration goes belly up and players find themselves suddenly seeing fleeting moments of their lives pass by. The visual queues don’t necessarily mean that the end is near.
Players will notice that while their mortality is in limbo, a companion they’ve met with earlier may rush to their aid, dash into a battle, fight off the buzzards (okay, kidding), and move players to safer areas.
The best action movies are about people, not shooting people
Why? Well, because Ubisoft added character relationship dynamics to Far Cry 2. It’s not enough that an NPC is given to you as a friend – he even acts the part. Some have reported to have grown attached to their new virtual friends after the fact. There’s much speculation that most players won’t forget them soon enough, either
The same goes for the enemy; they look to their own. Demonstrations have showed that in the midst of firefights, NPCs will get to their fallen comrades and carry them over the shoulders to relative safety.
Creative director Clint Hocking said that Far Cry 2 will be the ultimate rebirth of the first-person shooter – that is, it will be the videogame to lead the FPS genre from the dark ages into enlightenment. He said:
The time for running through dark corridors and blasting demons with plasma rifles is kind of coming to an end. Bad action movies are about shooting people. The best action movies are about people.
Later, he demonstrated flying in a hang glider in Far Cry 2, which he says was an important element to add to the new title. Far Cry fans can note that the conveyance was introduced in the first title; now, Ubisoft confirms its return on the sequel.
UPDATE: Far Cry 2 demo showing the hang glider segment. Enjoy!
Open world equals open strategies?
The open world of Far Cry 2 will allow players to plot out their campaign by way of a nifty feature involving a map, some markers, and your binoculars or scopes.
Unlike most shooters, however, Far Cry 2 serves its map to gamers the way you would in real life. The player will find himself unfurling the virtual paper in front of him, using up one hand to view the map.
Drive while viewing the map, and you’ll notice that you’re now driving one-handed, while the other hand keeps the map propped up for your perusal.
With long range spying, players can identify unmanned and manned vehicles, sentry positions, objective markers, and patrols al a Crysis. These will be marked automatically on the player’s map, so that the strategic and tactical player may plan a course of action.
There is no solid report that the markers will remain on the map regardless of locality and time, but seeing as the strategy element was suggested, it might be.
The Ubidays conference is still ongoing, so we might hear more from Ubisoft and it’s ambitious delight that is Far Cry 2. Stay tuned until that happens.