Far Cry 6 Interview: Progression, Improved Enemy AI, Tanks And More

Far Cry 6 will be releasing in less than a month now but with all-new details surfacing, the wait will be a bit difficult to manage.

Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, lead game designer David Grivel discussed some of the new features and mechanics being introduced.

Far Cry 6 for example allows players to blend in with locals to escape detection much like in Assassin’s Creed, use random encounters as distractions, help out rebels as part of a new side activity, manage a new notoriety system, steal enemy tanks to wreak havoc, and more.

Far Cry 6 interestingly also improves enemy AI on multiple fronts. They can decide between stealth and combat during encounters to create unique skirmishes. They can also come around to heal or buff other enemies, deploy turrets and use gadgets, or just call for flamethrower troopers as reinforcements.

Far Cry 6 releases for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC on October 7, 2021.

SN: With Far Cry 6 focusing more on exploring than ever before, would you say that the focus translates into heavier role-playing mechanics compared to past Far Cry games?

DG: We like to describe our progression mechanics as deeper and more meaningful. When approaching Far Cry 6 systems, we had two main themes in mind: the modern guerrilla and resolver.

The guerrilla theme allowed us to develop a rank system that supports the narrative. Just as Dani progresses through the ranks of Libertad, the player progresses in strength, which in turn allows them to explore more of Yara, and tackle higher difficulty areas and bigger challenges.

The Resolver – or DIY – theme on the other hand gave us a focus on crafting and customization. For instance, finding resources in the world and crafting custom attachments for your weapons at the workbench totally embraces the philosophy of making do with what you have. We extended this to gear, weapons, gadgets, vehicles and Supremos. It really fits perfectly into Far Cry 6.

Far Cry 6 is very much an FPS at its core and these systems are here to complement that, allowing players to develop and reinforce their playstyles as they explore Yara. Want to play as a sniper? Craft your own scope and add a silencer. How about shoes that reduce your movement noise? The list goes on. Far Cry 6 is all about experimenting with your loadout to find the combination that works best for you.

SN: Yara’s capital city will be heavily populated with patrolling military personnel. Is that true for all cities or can players expect to find at least some towns where they can feel safe among the locals?

DG: Esperanza, the capital city, is under military control. It’s Antón’s seat of power, so getting in and out will be challenging and the army is watching over that territory.

However, in the rest of Yara, there are many towns and villages where players can blend in with the locals. This is facilitated by the fact that for the first time in Far Cry, players can holster their weapon. That means not only will the military not look twice at them, but it also gives players the agency to start a conflict when they decide to, not when the game decides for them. That initiative being in the hands of players fits very well with the guerrilla tactics.

SN: With a revolution taking place, are there random encounters where the resistance just shows up to attack the military?

DG: Yes, absolutely! That’s the beauty of Far Cry: at any moment in the game, guerrilla and military NPCs can end up crossing paths. When that happens, they’ll fight each other organically – which can also serve as a great distraction if you’re trying to sneak into a military location.

Friendly guerrillas in the world will help you out and you can return the favor by providing better weapons for them through a dedicated facility in your guerrilla camp!

Now of course, not everything is random and we also have a new activity type called Ambush, for example, where a group of guerrillas need your help to take over a military location. Lots of fun and great resources to be found in there.

SN: What kind of enemy reinforcements should players expect? Will more tanks or helicopters show up if an alarm is raised in a restricted area?

DG: Depending on the location and/or type of activity, the reinforcements can take many shapes or forms (jeeps, tanks, helicopters, planes, etc.) and contain any type of units (flamethrowers, special forces, officers). The army will use all its forces to fight against the guerrillas.

We also have what we call the Heat, which is a notoriety system. Basically, if you’re not causing any trouble in Yara, if you’re holstered and just minding your own business, no one will pay attention to you (except of course if you waltz into a restricted military area 😉). However, as you start causing trouble, the army will take notice and will detect you faster. Up to the point of sending special forces to hunt you down. This embodies the Far Cry philosophy “if you push the world, the world pushes back”.

SN: How does an underpowered resistance even begin taking on armored tanks? As players progress, does the resistance level up as well so to speak?

DG: Ah yes, tanks! Well, there are quite a few ways to take over a tank: you can sneak into a military tank depot for instance and take one over or, if that tank is occupied by one of Castillo’s men, you can use an EMP gadget to disable the tank, allowing you to execute a takedown on the driver and take the vehicle over. The choice is yours 😊.

Regarding the resistance progression, yes, as the story progresses, the resistance will gain in terms of influence on the world.

SN: Regarding the notoriety system, can you share some of the ways in which players can bring down their notoriety levels? Also, is that applicable to when Castillo finally sends his special forces or is that a point of no return?

DG: You can simply hide from the enemy and wait for a while, or you can lower that heat faster by completing military locations. It’s not a permanent system, so players can reduce the heat when they want. It was important for us to ensure players can return to an incognito state at some point. If they choose to though, they can also keep the heat up, which is a great way (albeit challenging) to steal enemy tanks for instance.

SN: Does having a high notoriety level impact allies in some way?

DG: The heat system is player centric, but yes, indirectly, you can say that it can impact friendly guerrillas that are in the world since Antón is deploying more special forces in Yara. But no long-term effects, no.

SN: How far can a low notoriety level with proper holstering take players? Can they fulfill their wish of becoming an actual assassin in Far Cry 6?

DG: Holstering your weapon helps with navigating Yara quietly, but it isn’t a magic button. If you act suspiciously (like standing too close to an enemy for too long) or trespass on a military location, the AI will react regardless.

That being said, holstering gives you the power of when to trigger combat. So yes, you can be an assassin type player in Yara. For example, last time I was driving my car with my gun holstered. I saw an enemy truck transporting resources that’d be valuable for me and the guerrilla. So, I drove up to the driver of that truck (who was none the wiser) and when ready, I executed a vehicle takedown, killing him and taking over his truck in one fell swoop.

SN: Can you talk a bit about improvements made to the enemy AI? How does the AI strike a balance between urban and guerilla warfare? Also, how do enemy troops and vehicles react to players? Do troops take cover behind tanks for example?

DG: When approaching Far Cry 6, we had two main intentions regarding AI: one was to ensure that stealth and combat are fair, and create interesting challenges for the player. The other was that our enemy this time was an army, not a militia or a rebel group as in previous games. Armies also have specialists.

It was a ton of fun to work on brand new challenges for the player from that perspective. We now have an enemy medic who can heal and revive his teammates, an officer that can buff teammates around him but also call reinforcements or airstrikes, and we even have an engineer type unit who can deploy automated turrets and use EMP gadgets. And of course, the special forces – the most lethal of them all!

These new specialist troops really add a fresh challenge for players.

SN: Can captured outposts be recaptured by enemies? Can a captured outpost be used as a mini base?

DG: FND bases (outposts) once captured by players can indeed be used as a “mini base”, where players can gather intel, resources, use their workbench and access vendors, among other things. Once captured, FND bases are not recaptured by enemies.

SN: You’ve mentioned that Far Cry 6 boasts the largest open world in the franchise. When factoring in the urban environments and such, can you share the difference the new SSDs made to the loading times compared to the previous-generation versions?

DG: Without going too much into technical details – yes, as expected the SSDs on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 help us save precious time during loading. However, it’s important to note that previous generation (Xbox One, S and X and PS4/PS4 Pro) have most certainly not be forgotten and we are ensuring a smooth experience for all our players on these platforms as well.

has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide; all from the confines of his gaming chair.