At first it's an ego thing but then you notice how much better your score is overall, how much better the game flows and how much more fun it is. So it's a crazy attempt at cracking the riddle of trying to have team play but not having it turn to shit - pardon my French - when you're playing with people who don't know how it works.
Do you think there's enough substance in Far Cry 3 to place it on level ground with its competitors?
Absolutely, in terms of holding interest, in terms of things to do there's building maps and testing maps. But there's also a lot of end-game content where you level up and unlock things, and at max level we have a whole new economy.
When you play co-op or multiplayer you find encrypted data, this is stored in a menu and has to be decoded. The decoding machines run in real time, so it could take minutes or hours to crunch the data and give you a reward. You can check progress on a website and even collect your reward there. Some of these rewards are stuff like extra XP or small speed-up token, but towards the end you'll be given better gun modifications that cater specifically to your play style.
So by the end of the game you'll be looking for specific mods that really top off your play style. The cool thing is that you can swap these mods with friends, so if you looking for a sniper rifle mod, you can get it from a friend who wants a shotgun mod. The speed-up tokens I mentioned earlier can be used to make the decryption process faster, these can also be sent to friends. I think people will want to come back for more.
Are the drops random or does the game reward you with drops that cater to your style?
They are random, we try to be nice and not give you things for stuff you haven't unlocked. Looking at some of our favourite action-RPGs we thought, if we were playing a Warrior should we just drop swords, or everything? When you find an item you don't like you can sell them for XP or give it to a friend. So we decided to have it like that because it was more fun that way.
Do you have an auction house type feature for your trading mechanic?
No, it's all through an in-game friends list or on the internet.
Is there an iPhone equivalent?
I'm not sure I can say (laughs)
Is the co-op constructed from scenarios taken from single-player or its own self-contained campaign?
The co-op is a full, custom-made campaign. You're not replaying snippets of the single-player campaign that just happened to fit. It has its own story and characters. It takes place six months before, it has ties into the main story in that you'll meet various factions and you're on a different part of the same island.
It's a different story but what it does bring is the same insanity. These four characters are working on a seedy private cruise ship, there's drugs and prostitution, these guys are down on their luck, they've hit rock bottom, looking for a chance to get out.
Vaas and the pirates make a deal with the captain, board the ship and the captain takes off, so they're betrayed and sort of snap. They decided to go after the captain and chase him across the island. There's a lot of blood shed.
Our four characters are interesting because you get to think about what it is in their background that can make them snap like this? Why are they working there? We don't reveal the answers through long cutscenes, we've woven it into the in-game dialogue. We're super-proud of that co-op and what we've done with it.