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A Live-Service Future Seems Inevitable for Far Cry 7

A Live-Service Future Seems Inevitable for Far Cry 7 Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 17:55 PM
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After the release of Far Cry 6 at the end of last year, fans are wondering if Ubisoft will switch to a live service format for the next title.

p>Ubisoft's FPS franchise Far Cry has been going strong for almost two decades now, with six mainline games, a handful of spin-offs, and a standalone expansion. The series isn't afraid to push the boat out, either, as 2013's Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon combined the core mechanics of the base games with its own retro 1980s twist, with a remastered version included in the season pass for Far Cry 6. The Far Cry series makes the most of its wilderness environments, pitting players against a myriad of dangers in the games' open worlds as well as several foes for gamers to battle. While each Far Cry title has been different, they have tended to follow similar setups and feature relatively unchanged gameplay.

However, it seems as if Ubisoft might be ready to shake things up once again, as rumors swirl around how Far Cry 7 will take shape. In recent years, some major studios have decided to move away from the traditional singleplayer campaign modes and embrace more of a multiplayer focus. Instead of giving gamers the complete experience in a one-off purchase (DLC and other updates notwithstanding), some studios are choosing instead to adopt the games as a service model, which sees continuous updates and new content as the game shifts and adapts over many years. In an ever-changing video game landscape, this method appears to be a good option for franchises wanting to remain adaptable and current, and it seems like Far Cry 7 might eventually count itself among them.

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Connecting The Far Cry Games

It used to be an accepted fact that, although the Far Cry games existed in an established series, they weren't necessarily connected to one another. Not only did they tend to have different settings, protagonists, and some very memorable baddies, but they didn't appear to share the same world or timeline. None of the games demonstrated this as well as 2018's Far Cry 5, which sees the player contend with a doomsday cult in the fictional Hope County as they prepare for the impending global catastrophe known as the Collapse. Depending on player choice, there is an ending that sees the United States come under nuclear attack as the country descends into chaos. However, the destructive fallout of this game is not apparent in Far Cry 6, which supposedly takes place after the preceding game.

In the most recent title, though, Ubisoft has taken some surprising steps to connect the previous Far Cry games, something that could have potential ramifications for a live-service follow-up. Despite the general consensus that the Far Cry games were more thematically connected than actually linked by plotlines, characters, or shared worlds, Far Cry 6 seems to have overturned this assumption. Not only did the most recent Far Cry title release a Villains DLC which let players take control of previous bad guys like Joseph Seed and Vaas, but it also had significant story connections between the antagonists and the base game that helped to establish a throughline between them.

Choosing The Live-service Model For Far Cry

By connecting the previous Far Cry games and apparently combining them into one (slightly convoluted) timeline, Ubisoft appears to be taking definitive steps toward a live-service Far Cry entry. Instead of continuing to produce standalone titles that share the same sensibilities but don't exist in a shared Far Cry universe, Ubisoft seems to be pursuing a much more interconnected approach. This new approach to shared storytelling and crossover content has interesting implications for what a live-service Far Cry game might look like, and with plenty of previous content to dive back into and reinvent, Ubisoft could be opening up a treasure trove of new directions for the franchise.

While previous Far Cry games have included multiplayer alongside their story-focused singleplayer campaigns, rumors that the next Far Cry game will focus solely on multiplayer have been flying around for months. Although Far Cry has been a popular and commercially successful franchise, Far Cry 6 did receive some mixed reviews. The most recent installment had Giancarlo Esposito's standout performance as fascist dictator Anton Castillo, and the game's setting and various gameplay improvements were praised, but these weren't enough to save Far Cry 6 from criticism regarding its tired formula. It's clear that something needs to change if Ubisoft is hoping to freshen up the franchise in its next installment, and a live service approach could be the answer.

RELATED: 7 Unresolved Mysteries & Plot Holes Left Hanging In Far Cry 6

Following Other Franchises

This wouldn't be the first of Ubisoft's franchises to pursue a change in recent years. The next installment in the long-running Assassin's Creed series, apparently titled Assassin's Creed Infinity, will be making the switch to games as a service instead of the biannual release of singleplayer-focused titles. The overarching story will still be expanded over the next few years, but this will be through its online multiplayer and will be continued in periodic updates rather than one standalone story. Halo Infinite has also adopted a similar approach following the conclusion of its main story, with narrative progression now being conveyed in seasonal multiplayer updates instead of a new game.

So much of Far Cry 7 remains a mystery, like its setting, characters, or singleplayer/multiplayer focus, but the switch to live service seems increasingly likely. With only a few small tweaks to the familiar Far Cry formula, Far Cry 7 could be a really successful live-service game. Far Cry 6 already replaced the traditional skill tree with weapon and gear mods, which is a mechanic that makes much more sense for a live-service game and would more easily allow for new updates and continual switch-ups of stats. Combing the timelines and creating a shared world similar to what Assassin's Creed Infinity is rumored to be aiming for would offer some interesting avenues for the future of the series as well.

Although Far Cry 6 is still a relatively new release, the focus is already on the inevitable Far Cry 7. The next installment hasn't yet been confirmed, but speculation is still rife around the future of the franchise. For games in franchises that have fairly standardized releases, switching to live service just makes sense. Instead of providing a new installment every few years that doesn't manage to always offer something new, live service games can adapt and evolve more organically through constant updates and expansions.

Far Cry 6 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

MORE: Why Far Cry 6's Joseph Seed DLC May Be The Most Important of Them All

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