GDC 2013: Far Cry 3's Story Was "Broken," Says Microsoft Senior Game Designer
Written Monday, March 25, 2013 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
A Senior Game Designer at Microsoft Game Studios believes that Far Cry 3's narrative is “broken.”
Speaking at the Game Developers Conference in a session titled 'Seven Techniques for Writing a Moral Game', Richard Rouse III said that Far Cry 3's story failed because of the disconnect between its story and its action.
There's spoilers for the end of the game below. If you've not completed Far Cry 3, you probably shouldn't read on.
Calling Far Cry 3 one of his favourite games of last year, Rouse said, “It has a really good mechanic, a really good compulsion loop, a really interesting world to be in and really big characters that you meet along the way.
“But the only interaction you have with these characters is to shoot them,” he continued. “This made for a really fun experience to play, but from a plot level I found it to be broken.
“Because at the end of the game, after doing all this violence your character says, 'Oh what have I done I've killed all these people' and 'I've lost my humanity.' Yeah but you lost your humanity because the game made it such great fun to be bad and it wouldn't let me do anything else!
“So you get this situation where the game punishes the character despite having no other choice. That's why I think it's important for a game's story and gameplay to work together.”
Before moving to Microsoft Game Studios in June 2012, Rouse worked on Ubisoft's Rainbow 6 Patriots, which he has described as “a reboot of the Rainbow brand that incorporates story in a way that the franchise never has before.”
Indeed, Rouse co-designed and wrote the “Bridge” target game footage that accompanied the Rainbow 6 Patriots reveal. You can watch it below.
It's worth noting that Rouse's words should not be considered a scathing attack. They are merely the words of one professional using the work of another to make a point about approaches to storytelling. So let's not get our knickers in a twist too much.