Creative director Alex Hutchinson thinks video sharing is the way forward
The writing is on the wall for the corridor FPS, Far Cry 4's creative director Alex Hutchinson has told OXM, as video sharing services make the element of repetition harder and harder to ignore.
Far Cry 4 doesn't, of course, fall into this category: it's an open world blaster in which you clamber up tigers and shoot at mountains, or possibly the other way round. Hutchinson anticipates a variety of amusing fan videos, once the game finally makes its way to Xbox One and... The Other One, consoles that are now equipped with idiot-proof access to Youtube and Twitch.
"I'm really interested in emergent games and where that's going with video sharing and Twitch," he observed, as part of a lengthy chat with interviewer Andy Robinson. "I think linear story games are really going to suffer in the modern marketplace.
"They're already super high-quality, and we're already seeing their audiences migrate to the big open world games. If I open my friends list and see everybody on the same mission, doing the same thing... I think that's nowhere near as strong a sales pitch as opening your friends list and seeing 40 people doing completely different things."
The "non-linearity versus linearity" debate is as old as the hills, but the arrival of new consoles with hefty online support has complicated matters. Broad-based online action games like Destiny are fun to muck around in, but there's the risk of spreading activities too thinly, relying on social interaction (or piecemeal injections of post-release content) to make up for it. Against that backdrop, an old school A-to-B shooter like Wolfenstein: The New Order with densely structured challenges has a certain appeal.
What I've played of Far Cry 4, at least, suggests that Ubisoft Montreal has created a world that's both easy and interesting to explore. For more on the subject, pick up a copy of the new magazine, which goes on sale in the UK this week.