Ubisoft Montreal (2005–)
Ubisoft Toronto (2018)
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, Arcade, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|First release||Far Cry|
March 23, 2004
|Latest release||Far Cry New Dawn|
February 15, 2019
Far Cry is a franchise of first-person shooter games, all of which have been published by Ubisoft. The first game, Far Cry, was developed by Crytek to premiere their CryEngine software, and released in March 2004. Subsequently, Ubisoft obtained the rights to the franchise and the bulk of the development is handled by Ubisoft Montreal with assistance from other Ubisoft satellite studios. The following games in the series have used a Ubisoft-modified version of the CryEngine, the Dunia Engine, allowing for open world gameplay. There have been five main games in the series, along with three standalone expansions; the first game, initially developed for Microsoft Windows, also saw a number of ports to video game consoles.
The Far Cry games, due to the history of their development, do not have any significant shared narrative elements, but instead share a theme of placing the player in a wilderness environment where they must help fight against one or more despots that control the region as well as surviving against wild animals that roam the open spaces. The Far Cry games feature a robust single-player campaign with later titles offering co-operative campaign support. The games also offer competitive multiplayer options and the ability for users to edit the games' maps for these matches.
The Far Cry games have generally been well-received and are considered commercial successes. Ubisoft reports that through 2014, lifetime sales of the Far Cry franchise has exceeded 20 million units.
The main Far Cry games are first-person shooters (FPS) with action-adventure elements. Whereas the first Far Cry and its spinoffs were typical FPS with discrete levels, Far Cry 2 and the subsequent games have adapted an open world-style of gameplay, with main story and side missions and optional quests to complete.
There are minimal narrative elements or chronology between the games. Instead, the Far Cry games have generally shared the theme of taking the player to "a lawless frontier" where "values and laws of today are non-functional", along with elements of having to survive in the wilderness including hunting and crafting. The player often needs to work with freedom fighters attempting to regain control of a region from a ruling party, and may have to pit different sides of a conflict against each other through their actions. Some of the series' games have been more rooted in realistic conflicts, while others have involved elements of the supernatural or science fiction. Ubisoft Montreal, the principal developers of the series, do consider that all games share the same common fictional universe, and have reused some minor characters to maintain that, but otherwise anticipate each game can be enjoyed as a standalone title without knowledge of the other games.
|2005||Far Cry Instincts|
|2006||Far Cry Instincts: Evolution|
|Far Cry Instincts: Predator|
|Far Cry Vengeance|
|2008||Far Cry 2|
|2012||Far Cry 3|
|2013||Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon|
|2014||Far Cry 4|
|2016||Far Cry Primal|
|2018||Far Cry 5|
|2019||Far Cry: New Dawn|
The first Far Cry game was developed by the German studio Crytek, and premiered their CryEngine software. One of Crytek's goals with the CryEngine was to be able to render realistic outdoor spaces with large viewing distances, which was a unique feature compared with other game engines at the time of its release. The CryEngine was originally demonstrated as a tech demo at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 1999 under the name X-Isle: Dinosaur Island specifically aimed at NVIDIA graphics processors. The demo allowed the user to explore a virtual tropical island populated with dinosaurs, showcasing the size of the virtual world that the CryEngine could handle. Following E3 1999, they secured a deal with NVIDIA to distribute X-Isle alongside all NVIDIA cards as benchmarking software, as at the time the CryEngine was the most demanding game engine on the market. Ubisoft made a deal with Crytek to build out X-Isle into a full AAA title, and obtained publishing rights for this title. Far Cry released in March 2004 for Microsoft Windows to critical praise and strong sales, with over 730,000 units sold in the first four months.
Following Far Cry's release, Crytek, wanting to show that CryEngine had other applications, signed a deal in July 2004 to develop a gaming franchise with publisher Electronic Arts (EA), a direct competitor to Ubisoft. This franchise became the Crysis series, and through which Crytek continued to improve their CryEngine. With Crytek unable to work with them, Ubisoft assigned its studio Ubisoft Montreal to help port the title to the various game consoles through the Far Cry Instincts and Far Cry Vengeance titles. These titles required Ubisoft Montreal to rework much of the game as the consoles at this point in time were not as powerful as personal computers, and could not handle the wide open levels without performance problems. These games created more linear levels from the original Far Cry, added campaigns and multiplayer modes, and in some cases, changed the game's narrative to less-realistic outcomes. In March 2006, Ubisoft acquired all rights to the Far Cry series and a perpetual license for the CryEngine version used in the development of Far Cry. Ubisoft Montreal remained the principal studio developing all future Far Cry games.
Far Cry 2 was announced by Ubisoft in July 2007, and featured two significant changes from the previous Far Cry games. First, it premiered the use of the Dunia Engine, a modified form of the licensed CryEngine by Ubisoft Montreal. The Dunia Engine was developed alongside Far Cry 2 to make a fully open-world game as well as adding realistic physics and destroyable environments. Second, rather than continuing in the narrative of the first Far Cry, it created a more open-ended narrative, featuring nine playable characters and the means for the player to create their own stories with the other non-playable characters in the game with an advanced artificial intelligence system. Part of the reason the narrative from Far Cry was dropped was that its main character Jack Carver was deemed unlikable by audiences, and that the ending of the game, particularly with the changes made for Instincts and Vengeance, took a significant turn into science fiction, something that the developers wanted to avoid with Far Cry 2. Ubisoft also recognized that through the various console versions that players would be tired of the tropic setting as well as fearing that Crytek's project with EA was also set in a tropic location, and thus opted to change the locale to the plains of Africa.
Far Cry 2 was released in October 2008, and was critically praised and commercially successful, with over 2.9 million in sales by 2009. However, the game's director, Clint Hocking, noted that internally, much of the design of Far Cry 2 was haphazard. Far Cry 2 had a polarizing reception from players over some of the gameplay features that were implemented to make the game feel diegetic and immerse the player into the world. Some of these disputed mechanics included the random onset of malaria that would impact the character's vision and movement until they obtained and took medicine for it, a weapon decay system that would cause guns picked up from enemies to wear down and break over use, military checkpoints that a player could clear out but which would become repopulated with enemies minutes later, and the game's buddy system, where the player could call a selected non-player character to help their character in battle, but only for a short while and would not be available until the player reached a safe house to rest.
Pre-production work for Far Cry 3 had reportedly started just after Far Cry 2 was shipped, with plans to keep it as a narrative sequel, but in the few years that followed, many of the development leads for Far Cry 2 left the studio. The project had a significant shift of locale, returning to a tropical island theme similar to Far Cry while retaining the open-world nature of Far Cry 2. They also looked to keep the key elements of Far Cry 2's open world that worked but add in more features to make it feel like a living world but with purpose behind how they designed it. This led to the development of Dunia Engine 2 to implement some open-world features such as weather system, which premiered in Far Cry 3. Several of the questionable gameplay elements of Far Cry 2 were eliminated. Further, to make this world meaningful, they eliminated the multiple player-characters and instead provided one character that they could write a strong narrative around. Far Cry 3 was formally announced in 2011 and released in November 2012. Though Far Cry 3 presented some controversial elements within its narrative, it still received positive reviews and had sold more than 10 million units by 2014.
Both Far Cry 4, announced in May 2014 and released in November 2014, and Far Cry 5, announced in May 2017 for a 2018 release, follow Far Cry 3's approach, adding refinements in gameplay and engine technology.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was released in May 2013, following its announcement by Ubisoft on the previous April Fools' Day. The game, a standalone title, was an experiment release developed by Dean Evans that worked atop the existing Far Cry 3 assets, reskinning some of the game's existing maps and geometry. It took a tongue-in-cheek approach to the culture of the 1980s. It too was a commercial success with more than 1 million units sold. Its success led Ubisoft do make a similar reskinned title built off the map from Far Cry 4 rather than releasing major expansions for the game. Ubisoft allowed fans to vote for a setting they wanted to see a Far Cry set in, and led to the development of Far Cry Primal.
|Far Cry||(PC) 89|
|Far Cry Instincts||(Xbox) 85|
|Far Cry Instincts: Evolution||(Xbox) 78|
|Far Cry Instincts: Predator||(X360) 78|
|Far Cry Vengeance||(Wii) 38|
|Far Cry 2||(PC) 85|
|Far Cry 3||(PC) 88|
|Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon||(PC) 81|
|Far Cry 4||(PC) 80|
|Far Cry Primal||(PC) 74|
|Far Cry 5||(PC) 78|
|Far Cry New Dawn||(PC) 73|
Far Cry sold 730,000 units within four months of release. The game's story follows an ex Special Forces operator named Jack Carver, who is stranded on a mysterious archipelago in Micronesia. He is searching for a female journalist he was escorting after she went missing when their sailboat was destroyed by mercenaries.
Developed and published by Ubisoft for the Xbox on September 27, 2005, it resembles the earlier PC game Far Cry. However, the gameplay is not as open-ended as the first installment in the series. It makes up for this by including extra multiplayer modes through the Xbox Live service, alongside new abilities (feral powers) and a map creator mode which allows the users to create their own maps for multiplayer. Ports were also planned for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, these ports were not released.
A sequel to Far Cry Instincts, released for the Xbox on March 27, 2006. Evolution includes a new single-player campaign, although it is considerably shorter than the campaign found in Far Cry Instincts. The game includes new weapons and vehicles, as well as an expanded map-maker and an extra multiplayer mode. Maps that are created on the Xbox version of Instincts can not be transferred to the Xbox 360 version.
Far Cry Instincts: Predator, an Xbox 360 title, was released on the same day as Evolution. It includes graphically enhanced versions of both Instincts and Evolution. It featured a map editor in which the player can create maps.
A video game developed and published by Ubisoft for the Wii console, released on December 12, 2006 in North America. Far Cry Vengeance has a similar story to Evolution, and features three levels, weapons and vehicles, and changed controls.
Paradise Lost is a rail shooter arcade game port of Far Cry Instincts developed by Global VR and published by Ubisoft in 2007. Players use stationary turrets armed with rockets and grenades as power-ups.
Far Cry 2's plot revolves around "The Jackal", an arms smuggler who has turned two fictional factions in Africa against each other. The game's sandbox gameplay has been highly touted, allowing the player access to 50 km2 of African terrain, complete with open savannah, forests, animals, and towns. The game was released on October 21, 2008 in North America and October 24, 2008 in Europe.
Far Cry 3 revolves around Jason Brody and his friends, American tourists who arrive on an unmarked set of islands in the Pacific and are abducted by pirates who lay claim to the land, led by the insane Vaas. Jason escapes, and must learn the ways of the jungle to survive and rescue his friends. The game was released on November 29, 2012 in Australia, November 30 in Europe, and December 4 in North America.
Blood Dragon is a stand-alone "expansion pack" based on the world of Far Cry 3. Although Blood Dragon does not continue the story of Far Cry 3, it shares the same game engine and gameplay mechanics. News of its development was leaked by the Brazilian ratings board, which awarded an 18+ certification based on the title's references to violence, sex, and drugs. The game's retrospective story, characters and visual style are inspired by 1980's action movies, especially the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, such as Commando, The Terminator, and Predator, and Sylvester Stallone in Cobra, First Blood, and Rocky IV. Other film/television references include RoboCop, Escape from New York, Scarface and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. Pre-orders of the PC version received a digital copy of the soundtrack, produced by Melbourne, Australia-based Power Glove. Due to the success of the title, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has stated that the game may also get a retail release.
The game is set in the fictional country of Kyrat in the Himalayas region, ruled by a despotic self-appointed king named Pagan Min. The protagonist, Ajay Ghale, is caught in a war and has to overthrow Min, when he is instructed by his late mother to travel again, from the U.S., to his homeland to spread her ashes there. The game was released on November 18, 2014 in Australia and North America, and November 20, 2014 in Europe.
Announced in October 2015, Far Cry Primal was released on February 23, 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and in March 2016 for Microsoft Windows. The game is set in the Stone Age, and revolves around the story of Takkar, who starts off as an unarmed hunter and rises to become the leader of a tribe. Far Cry Primal was developed by Ubisoft Montreal.
Far Cry 5 is set in modern-day Montana in the fictional Hope County. The player takes on the role of a sheriff's deputy who becomes entangled in a violent conflict between a doomsday cult called Eden's Gate led by "The Father" Joseph Seed and his siblings, and the resisting residents of Hope County who have seen their friends and family taken or killed by the cult. Announced in May 2017, the game was released on March 27, 2018 worldwide.
Far Cry New Dawn is a narrative sequel to Far Cry 5 that was released on February 15, 2019. The game is set seventeen years after the events of Far Cry 5 and follows the survivors of a nuclear war as they attempt to rebuild their community.
Breakdown of sales are as follows:
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