Far Cry 6 Narrative Director on Tropical Setting and Creating a New Villain
Far Cry 6 is coming to spark the fires of revolution on February 18, 2021 as players fight to liberate their homeland, the tropical island of Yara. To learn more about the newest Far Cry villain and the role you’ll play in taking him down, we spoke with Narrative Director Navid Khavari .
Let’s start by talking about Yara. How did you decide on this setting for Far Cry 6?
Also, when you start on a Far Cry – this is my fourth Far Cry now – you always want to look at somewhere players have never been before in the series. And finally, we wanted to tell a story about revolution, and when you tell a story about revolution, you’re talking about guerrilla warfare. When you’re talking about guerrilla warfare, you go to Cuba. We got to meet so many amazing people and experience the music and the culture, and we also met actual former guerrillas. And that really was the jumping-off point, because for our island of Yara, not only did we want to tell a story of a modern guerrilla revolution, but also we want to tell a story about an island that is almost frozen in time, like a living postcard from the ‘60s that players can experience and walk through.
Speaking of that capital city, this is the first time the Far Cry franchise has really included a large urban environment. What does that space bring to the game, and what opportunities does it create?
Our team has done such an amazing job; it's kind of an honor to be the first Far Cry that has a capital city! You can't have an island – this country – without having a capital city, and I think there’s a lot of love and care that they put into not only just building the city, but the demographics around that. And on the gameplay side, the verticality is a complete game-changer. Being able to run across rooftops, use back alleys, fight against some of the toughest opponents in the game in this setting, I think is really unique and fresh. And it completely changes the way the game feels.
NK: To tell a modern, complex story, our players aren’t looking for such a simple black-and-white world, right? When you're looking at something as complex as an island that's been essentially cut off from the rest of the world for 50 years, been in an economic downturn, electing this leader on the back of this idea of building a new paradise, the idea with Antón is he definitely lulled people into believing this was the only answer for them. The intersection of those demographics and worldviews and opinions is something that plays out in the story as well, and it felt that, as a means to tell a mature story, a complex story, we sort of had to go there.
In terms of Antón, this is someone who, as a teenager, watched his own father – who was in power – be executed over 50 years ago, and that really shaped his worldview and his belief that this island was stolen from him, stolen from his family. The idea with Antón that was powerful and interesting to me was, how do you take someone who is charismatic, intelligent, who would otherwise be doing amazing good things, and put them in a situation where their worldview gets distorted? Fast-forward 50 years later, and they're able to justify doing horrific things with a weird, pervasive, twisted logic. He believes that not only do the Castillos deserve to be in power, but they're the only ones that are going to be able to see Yara through to becoming a paradise once again, to use his words.
NK: You know, when you start on a Far Cry, you're talking about a pedigree and a history that has been built on amazing villains, dynamic villains. But you take someone like that, and then you couple that with having a teenage son – Diego is 13 years old – and I think, for us, that's something that Far Cry has never really had. It allows for a complex dynamic.
What we did with the trailer that was super-fun was that it's kind of a prequel of what's going to come in the game. It's separate from the game. It sort of tees up the story in the game, so there's going to be a lot more moments where he's passing down lessons to Diego of how he thinks Diego will have to someday rule.
The trailer is more than a little harrowing because it shows Diego, this young teenager, in such an intense situation. How did you find the right line to walk there?
And then you try to think of, well, if you are a dictator who believes his country is falling apart at the seams, what is the fastest way I can communicate to my son the lengths to which he's going to have to go? So what was present right from the beginning was that there was something uncomfortable and nervous and anxiety-ridden about seeing this 13-year-old teen growing up before your eyes, right?
Because that's what Antón is telling him: “Okay, you've been listening to your bands, your music, your iPod” – oh my god, iPod, how old am I? – “your iPhone or whatever. Here's how I'm going to snap you out of it.” I think the crucial line in that trailer is when Antón tells Diego, “Prove it,” at the very end. “Not only am I just telling you this stuff, but you're going to have to prove that you're worthy to really run this country how I would.” There’s going to be a lot more to come on that front.
Jul 14, 2020 at 09:37