So it's finally confirmed: after smashing up the Himalayas, Africa, Micronesia, and somewhere in the Pacific, Ubisoft's next open world is going to focus on tearing up Montana, a state on the Canadian/US border.
Sounds interesting. But if you were given the choice of recreating a location for Ubi's next open-world game, where would you go?
I actually liked the idea of what Far Cry 2 was doing in Africa. That said, I feel like Primal and Horizon: Zero Dawn have captured that flavour of gameplay (scavenging around animals, foraging for resources, a focus on stealth combat) pretty well.
Going to Montana makes me think of a modern Redneck Rampage, weirdly. I wouldn't actually mind seeing an open-world game set in Antarctica, or maybe Greenland or Iceland. The problem you have with those locations, however, is introducing an antagonist that isn't the weather. Who lives on the South Pole besides pissed off polar bears and lonely scientists?
What would really be interesting - but probably far, far too tricky for Ubi to manage - would be something set around the Civil War. Tacking slavery in the context of a big-budget game would be a super brave move, especially given Ubi's track record when it comes to tone-deaf stories (hi, Watch Dogs). But it'd be a bold move, it'd be an interesting environment to explore and there are plenty of micro-stories from history that could be recreated very powerfully.
Those aren't the only options, though. There's Transylvania. Or maybe a Far Cry set around the time of the first World War. A Shogun-themed Far Cry could be extremely cool, especially given Primal's penchant for exploring more melee combat, and the setting would definitely set it apart from the rest of the series.
I asked around the office, and Rae from Gizmodo came up with a cracker of an idea: an open-world game set around the Australian gold rush era. It'd be perfect for a Ubisoft game too: you have plenty of iconic characters to recreate, the time period and setting naturally fits into the theme of collecting resources and crafting (mining for gold, buying supplies, that sort of thing) and there are plenty of events that could be leveraged for natural conflict.
So tell us. You're sitting in the boardroom thinking of ideas on where to take the next AAA open-world franchise. What time period and location do you go for?