There comes a point in the course of every long-established gaming franchise where one finds themselves asking the inevitable question: what next?
After all, within any genre, there is only so much that can be done before repetition becomes the name of the game. Ubisoft and their Far Cry series are no strangers to this.
Far Cry has had one of the most fascinating developmental histories out of many of the global franchises making their rounds.
Kicking things off as a first-person shooter set upon a tropical archipelago featuring a bad dude that’s ex-military, players found themselves swept up in an elaborate plot bearing anything from genetic engineering and private military companies to the ethics of the wholesale slaughter of an indigenous population.
What was initially CryTek’s demo of an engine growing in capabilities quickly became Ubisoft’s playground. Far Cry 2 saw the franchise head to the plains of Africa and saw the framework of the concept strengthened and fleshed out.
Players were introduced to looting, shooting, and surviving in a massive open-world that wanted to see them erased from its surface.
And let’s not forget all the narrative-building elements that were tossed that saw us building our relationships with the in-world characters beyond sticking a gun in their face and pulling the trigger.
Since the second iteration, Far Cry has become synonymous with setting up a charismatic and deranged villain as your main focal point – then unleashing you upon an open world as you weave and wind a path toward them.
The teams that have worked their hands on the series over the years have gone to great lengths to increase the player’s agency in regard to everything from crafting and gathering to watching fire propagate across burned grass.
And yet, we refuse to believe that this is as good as it gets for the franchise.
With Far Cry 5 being undoubtedly one of the greatest entries in the series, it’s clear to us that Ubi has a lot of room to flex its open-world shooter muscles. For us, however, the truly untouched frontier must be the franchise’s multiplayer capabilities.
While they were somewhat lacklustre in previous iterations, the co-op gameplay in Far Cry 5 was truly our first insight into what a polished form of co-operative gameplay could look like for the franchise.
And we might be the odd men out here, but we truly believe that if Ubi wants to elevate Far Cry to the next level, the best way they’ll manage that is to transform the next instalment into an MMO-like experience.
Ubisoft now already has more than enough experience with persistently growing games. Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor, The Division 1, and now The Division 2.
Adding Far Cry to that list would not only be doable but could see the franchise deepen even further with modern MMO looter-shooter conventions such as gear score, talents, specializations, and more group-oriented play.
Not only could a transition to a more online-centric gaming experience benefit Ubi’s bottom line, it can force an entirely new dynamic onto the franchise and force the developers to come up with new and engaging ways for players to take back control over a wild and lawless land.
And frankly, we’re crossing every body part we can in hopes that Ubi realizes the potential they’re sitting on.