If you're sitting here as a Far Cry fan, scratching your head and wondering what the heck a Trigen is, that's OK. Trigens only appeared in the first Far Cry, which has almost nothing in common with the rest of the series, and they're widely regarded as the worst part of that game. Trigens are genetically altered creatures that come in a variety of flavours, but the important thing is that they're faster, stronger, and more aggressive than Far Cry's other enemy type – mercenaries.
Those qualities make Trigens much more interesting enemies than mercs, but it's also why Far Cry becomes obnoxiously difficult about halfway through the story. The Trigens' aggressive AI gives you no respite, and knowing you're only ever a couple of melee strikes away from death ensures there's tension around every corner.
They add variety, too. Small Trigens can leap massive distances and shred your armour just as quickly; fast variants carry assault rifles and flank you; stealth Trigens cloak themselves and wait for you to blunder past before uncloaking and attacking; and the largest Trigen type is basically just a dude with a rocket launcher for an arm.
Are they an elegant or realistic means of diversifying combat? Heck no. But there could be a need for them in Far Cry 6.
As the Far Cry series has evolved, its human enemies have remained largely unchanged. Whether you’re up against cultists, pirates, or royal guards, most human enemies are defined by their primary weapon. A shotgunner doesn’t behave much differently to a hunter or a flamer.
Fortunately, Far Cry’s beasts and animals are on hand to charge into stale firefights and maul tedious soldier archetypes. Animals have been carrying the series’ combat since Far Cry 3, but Far Cry 6’s Caribbean setting could struggle to provide enough threat. The region’s biggest carnivore is the crocodile, followed by the ocelot, and then by various subspecies of badgers and mongeese. That might be enough to sustain Far Cry 6’s mayhem generator in the open world, but in linear missions you’ll still most likely be going up against a standard roster of goons.
Pre-order: You can buy Far Cry 6 here
So, in order to solve this problem, let’s imagine developers at Ubisoft Toronto look to the series’ past and stumble upon the Trigens.
And it makes sense. The main reason Trigens suck in the first Far Cry is that protagonist Jack Carver moves like he’s trudging through pomade. There’s some reprieve when you sprint, but Jack’s stamina meter depletes almost instantaneously. Imagine if Doom didn’t have strafe running. That’s how slow Far Cry feels.
Modern Far Cry games have reasonably fast and fluid movement mechanics, so perhaps Trigens would feel less punishing in Far Cry 6. Likewise, stealth AI has improved significantly since the first Far Cry, so Trigens wouldn’t necessarily have to be a one-track enemy type.
Thankfully for Ubisoft Toronto, Far Cry isn’t a series that’s ever been reliant on lucid, believable storytelling, so it can pretty much use any device it chooses to introduce these genetically altered creatures. There’s a lot of imagery related to crop dusting in Far Cry 6’s cinematic trailer – would it really be reaching too far to suggest some kind of scientific experiment is being conducted by Yara’s dictator? Far Cry New Dawn is surprisingly light on hallucinatory missions, so that could be another route back for Trigens.
Setting this third faction free across the island of Yara could add even more chaos to Far Cry’s open world. You have to twiddle your thumbs for nearly a minute in Far Cry 5 before a jeep careens in front of you, spilling cultists out into the waiting jaws of a mountain lion – adding superpowered primates to the mix might reduce that waiting time to mere seconds. Imagine that: rolling, ceaseless, procedurally generated mayhem from the opening title sequence to the end credits.
The very sensible answer to this what if quandary is that it would probably be naff. But I miss the gurning little monsters. They made Far Cry a bit more like Doom, and what game isn’t instantly improved by that?
Don’t forget that you can pre-order Far Cry 6 here. Oh, and if you’re after more on Ubisoft’s upcoming FPS then here’s everything we know about the Far Cry 6 release date, plus why Far Cry 6 needs to rediscover its survival roots.
‘What if?’ is PCGamesN’s new regular feature series – you can read our last entry here. Check back every Saturday for more hypotheticals, from thoughtful speculation about actually-plausible industry developments, to dream crossovers, to nonsense like Half-Life 3 happening.