Far Cry 3 wins everything – lets you *hunt sharks*. Animals “make the world feel alive”

That’s it GOTY right there. Dishon-i-who? – Far Cry 3 lets you hunt sharks. End of conversation. Those big fishes aren’t just there to stop you swimming too far out to sea either, they’re actually prey you can take on for fun and profit.

Far Cry 3′s hunting fun

You don’t have to fight sharks if you don’t want to – and it isn’t exactly high up on ‘the good idea’ list – but they do have skins that are valuable in the game’s economy. Unsurprisingly, taking out a large fish that perfected underwater killing millions of years ago isn’t easy, but lead game designer Jamie Keen says that’s part of the fun. “Some of the shark skin stuff that you have to go and get. You think ‘oh I have to kill a shark’ but you dive into the shark’s world and suddenly think ‘how am I going to do this?’. Go and hunt a shark? It’s a challenge”.

The wildlife fun and games extends to the land obviously, with more of an ecosystem rather than simply animal enemies. “Having wildlife is a real challenge for us, we need to make sure that when we get into the world it behaves in the way that it would normally behave. We have to have animals that react like animals would in the world. If we have a tiger, we need it to do what a tiger would do”.

This animal interaction is something that Keen’s pleased to have pulled off in Far Cry 3. “I think the thing that I’m most proud of is the way the systems combine together just to make the world feel alive. The possibilities of interaction with the different human NPC types and the animals on top of that – with the animals then hunting themselves – sometimes you feel like you are walking through a nature documentary. All that life going on around you I think is something really special for Far Cry 3″. It can make situations unpredictable, however. “You end up with hugely emergent situations where we are never quite sure what’s going to happen”.

An example of how Far Cry 3′s wildlife can create a few surprises happened during a recent playtest. “We were watching the other day and a couple of civilians drove past in a car and nailed one of the rebels on the way through, the rebels got all riled up and starting shooting. They killed off all the civilians but just when all the rebels had finished, a tiger just jumped out the bush and nailed a guy. You end up with gameplay situations that you can never really anticipate, but that add a huge amount of life to the world you are moving through”.