When we sat down with Far Cry 3 producer and very tall man Dan Hay, we took the chance to ask his favourite weapon. "A few months ago, I would have told you the sniper or bow or flamethrower," he says. "Now I'd say the wildlife. Taking over a camp with a buffalo stampede is incredible". And after our recent lengthy hands-on, we think we can attest to that.
Shoot the lock off a tiger's cage and watch it rampage through a settlement. Lead a hungry croc to a populated area. Throw a rock and lure a komodo dragon. The sheer potential for mammalian, reptilian or amphibian carnage is tremendous.
But they're not all out for blood. Some, like manta rays, stags, crabs, tapirs and turtles can be bled for resources and count towards hunter challenges like a tropical Red Dead Redemption. Shoot a boar, for instance, and you'll be prompted to skin it with X/Square. After a five-second first-person knife-plunging animation (for immersion's sake, everything's in first-person) you'll extract a bloody chunk to put towards ammo and inventory space.
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
They can also be used as location devices like a natural GPS. Pigs and chickens signify civilized areas while flocks of seagulls circle points of interest such as radio towers. Ascending them uncovers portions of map and exposes treasure chests and rare plant ingredients which can be ground into medicine. (Hay suggested a shortcut to climbing involving a hang glider and a parachute.) All this co-exists in an exotic ecosystem where goats graze alongside buffalo, sharks hunt fish and snakes bite anything stumbling blindly through long grass.
"We listened to forums and (Far Cry 2's) malaria was not where people wanted to go," says producer Hay
There's one creature, though, conspicuous by its absence: the mosquito. No longer will players constantly need a syringe in their back pocket to combat the unforgiving symptoms of malaria, which in the last game clogged vision, sapped stamina and generally derailed the pace. It's one of many criticisms Hay and the team addressed. "We listened to forums and malaria was not where people wanted to go. We also removed weapons that break down over time. Perhaps the biggest thing, though, is outposts. This time, once you take it, it's yours."