Far Cry 4's map will be the same size as Far Cry 3's, creative director Alex Hutchinson has said, with Ubisoft Montreal choosing to focus on density rather than size.
"There's always a desire to go bigger in open world games because it just feels cooler," Hutchinson said on the latest Game Informer podcast. "You know what I mean? That sense of if it's bigger then there's more to do, there's more to explore. So we talked about it a bit, but with Far Cry 4 we felt that the map size for [Far Cry] 3 was really good. Maybe you could even go slightly smaller, and instead of going bigger areas we would focus on density.
"For me it was trying to pack in more events where you come across NPCs, more events where you come across enemies doing unusual stuff. We have these new things we're calling Karma Events which are there to entice you to interact with the bad guys depending on what they're doing or help out the local populace as you're navigating the open world. They really add a sense of life and improve the feeling of density."
Hutchinson adds that "scale-wise it's pretty much the same square footage as Far Cry 3, but we have a bunch of new traversal methods, new animals, [and] new incidents that we're packing in."
While the news may disappoint fans hoping for a bigger map with the series arrival on next-gen, Far Cry 4 isn't the first open-world game from Ubisoft Montreal to focus on density rather than size. Last year, Watch Dogs' creative director Jonathan Morin suggested that creating a denser, living world was more important than "just adding size to it".
Far Cry 4 releases on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 18.