Far Cry 2’s Clint Hocking Rejoins Ubisoft

Cursed for some unknown slight, Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory designer Clint Hocking has been doomed to wander the game Earth until the second coming of Ouya. Since leaving Ubisoft Montreal after FC2, he’s joined then left LucasArts, Valve, and Amazon Game Studios. As curses often compel people to, he’s come full circle.

Hocking today announced that he has joined Ubisoft, this time their Toronto studio. What he’s working on is a mystery, but he seems keen to set down roots.

He says in a post on the Ubisoft blog:

“I can’t say specifically what I’m working on yet, but I’m working with a great team on some things that I think are interesting, challenging and innovative. They are going in the direction that I think games need to go in, for both players and for Ubisoft in the future.”

It’s not Splinter Cell, though:

“When I stopped working on Splinter Cell after Chaos Theory… the honest truth is I didn’t think I could make a better one. I feel like I had made the very best Splinter Cell I could ever make and the best thing for me to do for Ubisoft and for Splinter Cell fans was to hand it off and let someone else try to figure out how to make that game differently or better and bring a new vision and a new flavor to it. Maybe one day, 5 or even 10 years from now, it will be the right time and the right place for me to make another Splinter Cell game, but that time is not now.”

Over on his personal blog, Hocking says after five years of “interesting and challenge work” and wandering, “I realized I had not shipped a game in seven years, I started to become anxious and depressed. I am not a patient person, by nature.” Struggling with US immigration, he looked back to Mother Canada – and Ubisoft. Walking in there “was like a reunion”, he says.

“But it was more than just familiar faces. It almost felt genetic. Interviewing with people I had never even met and getting drawn into discussions about process and design… it made me realize how much my own design and development thinking had been shaped by the culture here, and perhaps – just maybe – how even some tiny fragment of my own thinking had managed to work its way into Ubisoft’s approach as well.”

I do wonder what he’ll be up to. And for how long.

24 Comments

  1. SlimShanks says:

    Yet another epic Canadian. Hopefully getting back to work in a proper igloo based work-space and reverting to the national diet of pancakes and back bacon will help spur his creative abilities.

  2. Stellar Duck says:

    If this means that we can finally get a good Far Cry game again I’m stoked.

    FC3 was a dire disappointment and 4 looked like more of the same gamey nonsense.

    Here’s hoping for grenades and hills and more zebras.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Yes, obviously this won’t mean a new, proper FC game but a guy can hope against hope.

    • ninnyjams says:

      I love everything about Far Cry 3 and 4, myself!

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Pistols at dawn?

        No, I don’t begrudge you that. I had high hopes for FC3. I hoped they’d tweak the few bits and bobs that needed tweaking from FC2 and it’d be golden. Instead the crammed in all the worst shite from every other game like collection stuff, maps that was not part of the game world, crafting, hud icons outside of the bare minimum, towers that needed unlocking and on and on.

        Instead of whatever FC2 was FC3 was a game. A very gamey game at that. And it was so tedious and by gods, the story drove me spare. If I ever see that bald bad guy again I might go nuts.

        Far Cry 3 took everything that was brilliant about Far Cry 2 and tossed in in the bin.

        Also, Far Cry 2 just plain looks better.

        • kevinspell says:

          Agree. I played through 3 only after mods for the UI came out. The wall hack was just too much for me. But even with the mods the tower climbing and the awful story and main characthers ruined the experiance. Didn’t even bother with 4 after that.

          So while I know it probably wont happen, Far Cry 2.2 would be nice to play.

        • KenTWOu says:

          Far Cry 3 took everything that was brilliant about Far Cry 2 and tossed in in the bin.

          Far Cry 3 could generate tons of cool emergent stories like FC2 did. FC4 did it even better. So no, these FC games didn’t toss away everything that was brilliant about FC2.

          • ToomuchFluffy says:

            Hmm, I don’t know. To me it rather felt like FC3 was trying to force “emergent” gameplay. Of course, there have to be some kinds of AI-systems in place to even have that, but in 33 hours of play-time it almost never seemed like there was much depth to the system. Or to anyhing in FC3 for that matter. FC2 may have had its problems, but most of the features in the game had actual depth to them. Some examples are the stealth-system, the AI-chatter and -behaviour, the weather system, the physics and in general the environemnt and many more. Just take a look at the following. It’s unfortunately exemplary for what kind of game FC3 is.

    • Iskariot says:

      Far Cry 2 was an epic experience for me. Such a great game.
      But I have not much bad to say about Far Cry 3 either. It was good fun.
      Far Cry 4 was more of the same, but it was worth spending my time with.

      Far Cry 2 was more down to earth and realistic, less over the top, and you could almost taste the African savanna.
      I would love another one like that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      Loved FC2. Also loved FC3. Liked FC4, but it felt a bit too much like “just more of FC3”. Wouldn’t mind if Ubi let Hocking shake up the franchise again, before it gets too stale.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Another vote for “Both Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 are good”. Hopefully we can get an even greater hybrid out of these news.

  3. Paul says:

    HA!

    Called it. It’s about time, too. I don’t love Ubisoft (although I do own over 40 of their games spanning two decades and enjoyed most of them), but this is probably for the best. It was a very sad that nothing came out of his stint at LucasArts..and Valve…and Amazon..since I really love both Chaos Theory and FC2. And Far Cry especially went to shit after his departure. So yay.

  4. Emeraude says:

    My condolences.

    Our thoughts go to his family in these most difficult of times.

  5. Banks says:

    This is weird as hell. But Hocking is a brilliant guy and I’m sure he’ll make something cool.

    BTW, Chaos Theory is still one of the best games ever and I’m dying to see what Hocking can do with the series now. Maybe we’ll see It in 5 years, who knows.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    They are going in the direction that I think games need to go in, for both players and for Ubisoft in the future.

    I’ll take “Phrases that give me The Fear” for $200 please, Alex.

  7. Skeletor68 says:

    Far Cry 2: 2! PLEASE

  8. Ross Angus says:

    I was kind of hoping he’d go indie, and produce smaller games faster.

  9. Hedgeclipper says:

    SO does anyone actually (re)join a studio and say “actually the work’s really dull and I don’t like the guys in accounting but my portfolio is pretty bare for the last seven years and they’re the only people I haven’t worked for lately”?

  10. bit.bat says:

    Stay away from the radio towers Clint!

  11. Philomelle says:

    I hope he makes an action/adventure game about a game designer called Hint Clocking who lost his past job as a super-promising and well-funded developer after a mutated strain of malaria made him turn into the Incredible Crunch whenever he’s stressed. Trying to hide his secret and desperate for a cure, Hint drifts from studio to studio, and in each one he to navigate a new office space with a map the player has to draw by themselves, perform a variety of mundane but stressful tasks, and of course trying to manage his stress levels in order to hide his terrible secret.

    Unbeknownst to the player, the game is designed to gradually stack up the odds against them and eventually force a fail state regardless of what they do, at which point Hint saves the day for his current studio with the powers of the Incredible Crunch. However, his secret is now out and so he’s back on the road, looking for his place of inner peace, while somber piano plays in the background in the end of every chapter.

    …I’m sorry. That show is always the first thing I think of when I hear about his career in game design. Or traveling from studio to studio, as it is.

  12. Geebs says:

    I guess he was just clearing those other publishers off his mini-map.

    • Mr. Robot says:

      Valve and Amazon appeared on his map after he climbed to the top of the Space Needle. He was just too much of a completionist to ignore them.