Far Cry 3′s lead writer saddened that players and critics aren’t engaging with the story

Far Cry 3

By on December 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

In my own review of Far Cry 3, I used words like “the story just isn’t very good” and “Jason Brody is a thoroughly unlikeable character”. I stand by those claims still and maintain that the real strength of the game is in the sandbox gameplay, which is superb.

But now the lead writer of Far Cry 3 has spoken out to the Penny Arcade Report about how he feels that many people have missed the point of the story completely. ““The story is itself something that can be solved, like a riddle. What makes me sad is that people don’t engage with playing the riddle, trying to solve the riddle,” claims writer Jeffrey Yohalem. “It’s like a scavenger hunt where people aren’t collecting the first clue.”

“My expectation that people would discover that framework (the story) on their own has been challenged.”

Yohalem explained that common criticisms of the game, including a white colonialist attitude, come from not really paying attention to just how exaggerated the story is. “What I didn’t expect was the people who half-listen. If you half-listen to the story, it seems like it’s reinforcing tropes that I disagree with,” claims Yohalem.

“People will get 2/3 through the game or halfway through the game, and they’ll think that they know and they stop listening. And it’s like no no no no no, we’re gonna take that and totally loop it back on what you think it is, and we’re agreeing with the critique!”

Without spoiling the storyline, it’s probably safe to say that many people stopped paying attention to it halfway through the game because, well… it’s just not very good.

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42 comments (Leave your own)

less talk more pew pew.

 

“Without spoiling the storyline, it’s probably safe to say that many people stopped paying attention to it halfway through the game because, well… it’s just not very good.”

requoted for lulz.

 

I actually didn’t mind it. In fact, I think its what kept me playing the game more than anything else – not so much the storyline, as the moral descent of the character. Heck, I might write up something on it, now that I think about it.

 

It is nice to know someone put some thought into the story even if he sees a lot of gamers missing the point.

 

jason is just such a unlikable character i was hoping he would die the whole time :D, luckily FC3 performs great as a rambo simulator

 

Nemesis_22:
I actually didn’t mind it.In fact, I think its what kept me playing the game more than anything else – not so much the storyline, as the moral descent of the character.Heck, I might write up something on it, now that I think about it.

Holy shit the moral side of things was really well done. I was so worried at the finale of the game.

 

To put it bluntly, the story was complete shite.

The game itself is a nicer looking but ultimately poor man’s Just Cause 2.

 
Black Patriot

The overall story isn’t that bad (though I don’t think it’s as good or as deep as the writer seems to think it is), and I can acknowledge the connections he’d put in there, but what I think he’s failed to grasp is that the characters he’s tied it to (i.e. Jason and his friends) are so unlikable that you spend the whole game hoping for their violent deaths.

I can’t be the only one that hates young rich idiots and wants to see them get some sense knocked into them, can I?

More to the point, when your villains are more easily relatable than your protagonist, it’s time to rethink your writing abilities. Seriously, if they’d spent more of the story getting under the skin of the villains, really getting to know how they’d ended up the way they were and the way they think (and made the protagonist silent, can’t forget that), I think they’d have ended up with a better game. Still, can’t expect perfection, and I’m pretty happy with the man hunting simulator called Far Cry 3.

 
Black Patriot

lordkabab,

I don’t know, a static choice at the end of the game where the fate of characters you don’t care about hangs on how much you like either of the chicks (with the knowledge that the game will continue exactly the same regardless of which choice you make, as it so helpfully informs you before starting the final mission), kind of ruins the point of it.

If there’d been other choices throughout the game, actual choices about who to save and who to let die, then the final decision might have been meaningful. But by that point I was just hoping to have the whole thing finished so I could get back to hunting people. I mean deer, definitely deer…

 

Seriously? You’re a white guy who is the lone saviour of an entire island, full of people of colour who before you just fumbled about and never stood a chance. Every NPC who isn’t white is either a simpleton, a warrior (who is never as useful as you), in Citra’s case, a rapist or in Dennis’ case a magical negro.

The game is very fun and very good, but the story waves from average to offensive.

 

I really don’t get the amount of slamming that the storyline gets. Sure, there were times that messed with how believable Jason was as a lost tourist (like how easily he becomes a killer and knows how to use every weapon he comes across), but I didn’t really have a problem with most of the story. Even though the message of the game may have been clouded along the way, I could still (to a limited extent) relate to it.

 

i found the game boring that didnt really excel in anything
stopped half way

 

write a better story or shut your mouth and be thankful you got paid for the terrible story you developed ?

 

bad game is bad

 
Deserteagle1266

bennyburner:
I could still (to a limited extent) relate to it.

you could relate to his story?? ;)

yeah its okay, tho its kinda dumb..
SPOILERS
land on island. escape, kill two dudes.. the end… really.

 

Nemesis_22:
I actually didn’t mind it.In fact, I think its what kept me playing the game more than anything else – not so much the storyline, as the moral descent of the character.Heck, I might write up something on it, now that I think about it.

Why?

The story has everything wrong with it to the point of being plain offensive. It only takes a few story missions into the game and suddenly FC3 show its apples have not fallen far from the racism tree. “Magical Negro” and “Noble Salvage” tropes come immediately to mind. This is even reinforced by the locals being so incapable of solving any kind of problem in a manner that does not involve savagery, unless of course a white person is involved to help them. But what is this? A white person has learnt our customs that we reiterated a whole bunch of times are completely closed off to anyone that is not directly, 100% us? He has mastered our ways in a manner that we could not possibly have done in a fit! You are so WISE! Oh please get rid of the bad people — BY YOURSELF — oh ‘Snow White,’ so we can go back to our peaceful ways (that involves a lot of savagery, and guns).

I have already mentioned the rape content in a comment in the Soapbox I quote a week or so back but it is worth bring up again for the sheer embarrassment of writing that it turned out to be. Rape is NOT a light subject! You do not just throw it in there as a bit of side story to fill the gaps and offer some diversity. And it have the entire thing dealt with and explodes with ONE throw away line! The writer of FC3 should be ashamed, and the lead-writer (like I am going to go out of my way to learn his name after this crap) especially. Not to mention the (it is too late to warn you of spoilers this far in the paragraph, but here we are) BS drug sequence where you kill the rapist to the backdrop of something out of a Beatles film clip is the icy on the top of one pretty distasteful cake.

While not as abhorrent as the last point made, one thing that Ubisoft writers need to take heed of is the joke that is their ambient dialogue. I do not know the industry term for what people say when they are chilling out and adding atmosphere, but if I say ambient dialogue you are sure to know what I mean. In all open and semi-open Ubisoft games I have played there is always five to ten pieces of dialogue that you will hear the NPCs say. The thing that makes this so embarrassing for the studios who do this, is they will then have five or ten different voice actors say these SAME five to ten lines, thinking that some old guy saying the line instead of a young female will definitely sound unique and believable. Is the writing team THAT incompetent they cannot think of a few unique lines for each voice actor? Is it going to cost any more money? NO! You could have say over twitter: “what would you like people on an island to say when they are chilling out?” and you will instantly have more dialogue than you know what to do with. Then the voice actors each get a unique script and I am not listen to the same five to ten lines OVER AND OVER AND OVER!

Do not give me that trollop Mr Lead Writer of Far Cry 3; the writing decisions are bad and you should feel bad! It seems (for once) that I am not the only one who thinks this as there are many people on the Interwebs who have complained about the same thing.

And yet it falls on deaf ears…

 
James Pinnell

Every story mission in the game is lazy, and on rails. It’s aggravating since the free world play is fantastic.

 

PinothyJ,

Oh also, and correct me if I am wrong (and also SPOILERS ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL), does Citra (is that her name?) rape you while you are passed out and having that massive trip that she tells you that the weak may not necessarily wake up from? When I awoke I was all about “Bitch, what the hell are you doing?” — is the fact that there is naked breasts on screen supposed to make me just accept that you are getting your hoohar on with me with me (to a motherflipping audience, no less).

How shallow do these writer think we are…

 

I became annoyed when the first thing the main protagonist decides to collect after escaping the pirate cage is to locate his fucking ipad.

No I don’t need a weapon to avenge my butchered friends, I just want my ipad and all will be fine.

 

PinothyJ,

I’m looking at the story from a completely different angle. You’re looking at the racial implications (which are woeful, if deliberate, for reasons that aren’t really excusable) and the plot of the storyline, as well as the placement of rape as a throwaway when it really shouldn’t be, as well as the shortcoming of the mechanics which are only peripheral to the plot. No, I’m talking about the story of the moral descent of Jason himself – the part the writer of the story wanted people to follow was the falling into madness, the fevered dream that Jason lives, and grows to embrace. I don’t give two hoots about the greater picture of the island. The only thing I care about in the game is Jason and the exploration of what he becomes when he enters a place without physical consequence, only an internal moral one. I didn’t play this game because of the greater picture, I wanted to see what he’d become. In the end he didn’t really become what I hoped he would, but he got close.
That being said, the racism is horrible in the game. The protagonist is made a white kid to appeal to the majority of the audience of white kids who it is aimed at. The rest of the cast is designed on what a white kid in the suburbs thinks that they are, instead of what they actually would be. Its one of the reasons I tuned out of that part, and instead concentrated on the psychological unravelling of the lead character.

 
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