Far Cry 3 was scarcely narratively focused, despite featuring one of the best villains of gaming’s past decade. With Far Cry 4, though, the story framed the game itself, although gameplay still carries the affair, Ubisoft scriptwriter C.J. Kershner told Polygon.
“We don’t create our games in a vacuum,” he said. “We were aware of the discussions happening about Far Cry 4. People identified some problems.” Main character Jason Brody was a key problem with the previous Far Cry, Kershner added, which the fourth game will address by not having the protagonist be “the white savior, not the dudebro.”
“Your basic objective is to fulfill your mother’s last wishes, to scatter her ashes in her home country. The thing that drew me most to the project was that the most basic objective was human, very relatable,” he said. “That feeling was sort of driven home during the game’s production when my father died. So I had a very similar experience of scattering his ashes. It sort of deepened that connection for me.”
Far Cry 4 protagonist Ajay Ghale, who was officially revealed just a few weeks ago, is a native of the game’s fictional Nepal setting Kyrat, but the game picks up with his return home. Ghale fled Nepal during the country’s civil war and grew up in America, but to honor his mother's dying wish, returns to the mountains.
Those mountains—their climate, flora and fauna—weren’t drawn out of a lottery, mind you. Kersher pressed that the gameplay decided the setting, and that the idea of featuring elephants and vertical environments eventually led the team to the Himalayas.
“It’s all about the player’s story,” he concluded. “We call it the anecdote factory. Does it bum me out that the player’s story might outweigh the character’s? No. There’s so much life and texture and color and richness in the open world that regardless of which of the two journeys you want to focus on, the character’s or your own, you’re going to enjoy the experience.”