While the clock ticks away for the launch for some installments to this year’s biggest returning franchises, Ubisoft and Nvidia have spent much of the time chalking up their collaborations when it comes to big AAA games that Ubisoft are launching this year. These include Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4. Though the former has spent most of its life coming to consoles first, Far Cry has its roots in the PC market and looks to finally return the mantle for fidelity to its rightful owner.
While the similarities are there between this promotional video and that of Unity, it’s a far cry (heh!) from the first one we saw focusing on Watch Dogs. There’s a stark contrast between the two design philosophies of Unity and FC4 as well – with the latter focusing more on the visuals and less on creating life-like approximations of that French Revolution-era Paris was probably like.
This will be the first game to also incorporate something new – Nvidia’s Hairworks physics. Hairworks has been a thing since the launch of the GTX580 a few years back, but it was only a concept at the time and not ready for game developers to utilise. It did worm its way into a few movies as Nvidia shared methods of doing realistic hair physics with studios like Pixar, but it only recently saw a return to the gaming industry with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt showing it off on a wolf running in the snow. The first test in a retail release was on Riley, your companion in Call of Duty: Ghosts, who had about 500, 000 individual strands of hair.
Unlike some Nvidia technologies, Hairworks isn’t limited to just their graphics cards and will run on any AMD graphics card. It runs on the DirectCompute API, which means its also possible to see this on the PS4 and Xbox One in the future, although dynamic, flowing fur is a computationally intensive task. Thus, its full inclusion into Far Cry 4 is notable and it will be interesting to see how gamers react to it and what kind of hardware is needed to run it effectively.