The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous

Behold Child of Light, an upcoming JRPG from the creative minds behind Far Cry 3. It looks just lovely.

And… wait… did I just type "JRPG" and "Far Cry 3" in the same sentence? Yep, I did. This game is the work of Far Cry 3 creative director Patrick Plourde and lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, who decided after finishing last year's excellent open-world shooter that it was time to do something different. Specifically, a coming-of-age fairy tale starring an Austrian Duke's young daughter, set in 1895. What?

Child of Light snuck into the limelight a little while back when Plourde revealed he was working on a 2D JRPG and let the name slip. Last week at Ubisoft's "Digital Day" expo, they gave the game a proper debut, letting press play through a couple levels while chatting with the guys who are making it.

The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous

The game — which is coming next year to PS4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC — is very much a turn-based JRPG. And no, there's not a red-clad pirate, drug sequence or exploding barrel in sight. It's a side-scrolling game, which makes for an interesting mix — it's one part platforming and puzzle solving, and one part turn-based combat. Oh, and there's minimal voice acting, and all of the dialogue is written in rhyming stanzas. (Nice!) It'll be chunky, for a downloadable game — Plourde said the story will clock in at 10-15 hours, with plenty of extras for new-game plus and other challenges.

There's a small team making Child of Light — Yohalem put it at around 36. The other name I picked up to go with Plourde and Yohalem is their lead programmer, a woman named Brianna Code, which is about the best name for a programmer I've ever heard. Production has apparently been greatly aided by UbiArt Framework, an in-house art system (also used on the newer Rayman games and another lovely-looking new game called Valiant Hearts that I'll have more on here in a few minutes) that allows artists to toss concept art directly into the game. Child of Light looks as gorgeous in action as it does in this trailer.

I had a great chat with Yohalem and Plourde about the process of making the game, and will have more on that, as well as some impressions of my time playing it, on Kotaku soon. For now, enjoy some pretty pretty screenshots:

The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous
The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous
The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous
The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous
The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous
The Far Cry 3 Guys Are Making A JRPG, And It's Gorgeous

Comments

    Character gives me a Ni no Kuni/Princess Bubblegum/Where the wild things are mixed vibe which is awesome - game looks really nice cant wait to check it out

    I immediately added this to my file of games to watch in 2014. Looks gorgeous, and maybe letting a Western dev tackle a JRPG is the shakeup the genre needs.

    I was going to suggest that it was using the awesome Ubi Art engine, but then I read the article. It looks superb!

    For a JRPG, it looks an awful lot like a platformer. Mainly the 2D platform jumping bits....

    It looks stunning, but I really take exception to them calling it a JRPG. Leaving aside that they're all clearly not Japanese and won't bring that design methodology to it, just having a turn-based system doesn't make it a JRPG, and that sounds like it's literally all the game has that makes them label it that way. One character, minimal dialogue, platforming... those are not things that JRPG players play those games for.

      I disagree. http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/western-japanese-rpgs-part-1
      and parts 2 and 3 explain why. I think the labels have moved past the semantics of their etymology to become meaningful indicators of genre traits.

        Regardless of where you stand on that issue, this is clearly not a JRPG. It's a platformer.

        EDIT: Also there's no way I'm watching that shit.

        Last edited 11/09/13 1:09 pm

          On the subject of this falling within those genres? Sure. It looks pretty platformy to me.

          On the broader 'issue' of JRPG/WRPG? There's not really any other place to stand that doesn't crumble into outdated pedantry.

          Shame about not watching - it really is your loss. It's quite reasonable, intelligent, open-minded, covers all the bases and doesn't devolve into parochial ranting, like many other 'discussions' of the subject. (Or is that why you don't want to watch it? ;) I tease.)

            I don't want to watch it because it's a video. :P

            Also because I disagree because it's coming at the subject from the point of view of the mechanics. Japanese game design is different to western game design. The whole methodology is different. A western developer can ape the mechanics and make a game that is passable as a JRPG-style game, but that's cargo cult stuff, the feel is always different.

              It covers that, actually. I think you might enjoy it more than you think, if you find a place where video is OK.

    Stunning art and an intriguing idea. I haven't played a 'JRPG' since Final Fantasy X came out on PS2, but I could get on board with this.

    This is really, really beautiful. But I just wanted to quickly clear something up: much like how Avatar: The Last Airbender isn't Anime because it wasn't produced in Japan; Child of Light isn't a JRPG because it isn't developed in Japan, but by Ubisoft Montreal.

    What an unfortunate waste of talent and resources.

    I don't get it, the art style is hideous. Its a fuggly water colour drawing that looks cheap and lazy.

    Reminds me of pretentious art work, in that this game is trying to label itself as a JRPG and has almost no elements that define it as such.

    Yep sums it up perfectly, pretentious and ugly. It insults my inner rpg lover,

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