It’s been quite a minute since I’ve been able to enjoy a Far Cry game. My checkered past with the franchise has had my feelings all over the place. It’s been the quintessential touch point for explaining my hot and cold relationship with Ubisoft in years past. Far Cry has been the Jenny to my Forest Gump. Claiming to have a love interest in me, sharing beautiful moments, and then leaving me with an un-quenched thirst to go party with drug-laden hooligans who dont appreciate her heart and soul the way I do.
Only for her to come back years later out-of-nowhere, like shit aint changed! Oh it’s changed, Jenny. It’s changed. Look, I’ve been a Far Cry player since it’s Instinct-Predator days on the Xbox 360. But back then, I was able to define what the franchise was. A single player romp in a lush and foreign setting, with impressive tech. Impressive antagonists who’ve had the wind robbed from their sails before they could truly shine, and most importantly- a basic multiplayer suite made excellent by the presence of an impressive Map Editor. Historically- The multiplayer and map editor components shared a relationship that complimented each other quite well, even so-much-so that one would make the other’s flaws tolerable and vice/versa. I remember fondly, the days of creating maps in the Far Cry 2 Editor, and sharing them with the hundreds and hundreds of people who bothered to download and play them. But it wasn’t perfect Far Cry 2 played like I have some muscular disease while recovering from hypothermia. It was SUPER grating to play, with possibly the worst look acceleration in any game I’ve ever played. But it was completely worth tolerating because of the entertaining concept of playing maps made by other creators.
Other publishers insist on pushing paid map DLC down your throat hole, while splitting up multiplayer communities, and then suddenly developing amnesia when the next copy/paste sequel reaches the hype critical mass, while players of the current iteration are still begging for support. Meanwhile, Ubisoft never asked for a DIME of your hard-earned cash, while the community supported the need for new maps THEMSELVES. Far Cry 3 had a tolerable multiplayer component, even if it inexplicably removed vehicles in favor of some arbitrary team shout feature that failed to impress. But what hurt Far Cry 3 the most was that it tried to be something it didn’t need to aspire to. Maps created by players were at the mercy of a COD style lobby system that would randomly pop your map into the rotation.
But with thouuuuuuuusands of maps comprised of both junk and great creations, the likelihood or your creation getting traction is next to none. I spent more than a week recreating the location from Metal Gear Solid 3 called “Groznj Grad”, only to see that it’s been downloaded less than 100 times in the years since it launched. And with no other significant ways to share your maps with the community, any creations are doomed behind the wall of chance that is the playlist system. Regarding Far Cry 4?…. Ugh…. we’re not going to talk about Far Cry 4… You know what, yeah we’re talking about Far Cry 4. This was the biggest set back in the franchise regarding the map making community.
No information before launch about either the editor, multilplayer, or the relationship they shared, or as we came to find out, shared no relationship at all. The map editor was only capable of making single, and two player maps, while the PVP multiplayer was… Whatever this is…. After that, the thriving map making community ran cold and dry, online websites dedicated to mapping died or grinded to a halt, and with Far Cry Primal not featuring an editor or multiplayer component at all, it was feared that this great community was dead for good. Killed off by Ubisoft’s prior neglect to listen to it’s fans. Years have passed since the sharp decline of the mapping community began, and with Far Cry 5 making waves with it’s compelling and politically charged single player campaign, It’s left the long forgotten multiplayer community wondering…… ………Is it finally time for the Far Cry map making and multiplayer community to make it’s return.
If you know me, and follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve had some pretty public tantrums about Ubisoft’s treatment of the Map Making community. Those criticisms centered around their lack of communication about features, and ignorance to feedback from the community regarding those features. This, I’m proud to say, has been remedied almost entirely. I have to really take a moment to congratulate Ubisoft for changing their handling of community relations.
A lot of the criticisms I had in the Far Cry 3 and 4 days, have been whole-heartedly addressed. The Map Editor and Multiplayer were showed well before the launch of the game, Ubisoft have been talking and interacting with the community even before Far Cry 5 was revealed, and the staff have been regularly engaging with it’s own forum community, and even inviting some of my map-making bros to the studio to give them hands on time with the Editor itself. So with all that said- here’s some of the items I’m excited to about, for the new editor. -More Depth I’ve given Halo 5 a lot of praise for it’s Forge Mode, and the capability that it comes with. And while it lacks Terrain modification, Forge comes with a feature set that ranges from basic aesthetic modifications like weather, day/night, lighting, and other engine features providing a ton of functionality. Far Cry 5 has jumped into this depth of functionality to really provide a feature set for creators that is borderline unnecessary.
And NOBODY is complaining. -More Assets Historically, Far Cry games have brought a certain amount of assets to the Editor for map makers to use in a number of ways to create battle spaces for players to fight in. But Ubisoft have WAY outdid themselves this time. The Far Cry 5 Map Editor features over 9,000 assets to use to create maps. —Go ahead make the joke— And even better, the list of assets are no longer limited to pre-made objects, but also consists of a large amount of geometrical shapes that will make it easier to build whatever you want. These items are even able to be customized with a long list of colors and textures, to boost creativity and functionality. Lastly, the Editor features assets from OTHER Ubisoft games. I mean- who even asked for this?! And WHO CARES. Game assets from Watch Dogs, Assassins Creed, etc, have been included for use in the editor. That’s just…. Wow. -Post-launch support In no other Far Cry game before it, Ubisoft are promising a large amount post-launch support, adding even more assets to the Editor, courtesy of the post-launch DLC’s taking place in Vietnam, Mars, and the Zombie apocalypse.
Far Cry games in the past have received little-to-no post-launch support, especially for the Map Editor. So this is really out of the ordinary, but very welcome. -Better Playlists While not the prefered method for sharing maps, between multiplayer matches, 3 players from the list of participants will have a chance to present a map they’ve made to the group in the lobby, for everyone to democratically vote on. This is certainly a better and a fairer approach than Far Cry 3, in terms of getting your maps out there, but some of the map making community have shared concerns about this being the primary method to gain exposure as a content creator.
Well because we’ve seen how a Democratic process can provide a- how do you say- low effort creation. But I can certainly see this being made better with the post-launch support that Ubisoft is promising. In closing, while I’m cautiously optimistic based on Far Cry’s history- I’ve been witness to a lot of effort put forth by Ubisoft for their franchises lately. Rainbow Six Siege continues to be supported Years after it’s launch, and has maintained a healthy community. The company as a whole has been a lot more humble with their approach to their fans and their intellectual property. For all the bitching and complaining that I’ve done about Ubisoft and Far Cry in the past, I certainly owe them credit when and where it’s due. The Far Cry 5 team has been very careful to ensure their message and interaction with it’s long time fans is clear. Far Cry has been made great again. Folks, if you enjoyed the video and learned something new- Like, Subscribe, share, sing songs of praise for me, and mail me money.
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