I was originally supposed to do this post a while ago, back when the Far Cry 3 dubstep trailer was fresh but other subjects got in the way. Hopefully Ubisoft’s own unveiling of Assassin’s Creed III won’t completely overshadow what I think has been one of the more under-the-radar shooters in the AAA space.
Far Cry 2 was a pretty divisive game, but I liked it a lot and am inclined to put it in the “flawed gem” category. It did things that you simply do not see in console first person shooters and haven’t been repeated since. It was also the kind of shooter I wanted to see for a long time and haven’t seen since.
I loved it for giving me the ability to plan and execute entire missions free from any kind of scripting. The game knew that the most exciting story is often the one you make yourself. I also ate up the scenery while driving across its vast terrain. It’s the only time I’ve spent 40 hours on a straight-up singleplayer first person shooter.
The main criticism against FC2 was respawning, unusually durable enemies, but I think the heart of the problem was that the game was just shallow. Its world was way too big for it to just be a first person shooter, but that’s what it was. You had to kill everyone you saw, and that made the big, beautiful world feel lifeless. The recent previews for Far Cry 3 make it seem like Ubisoft knows exactly what FC2 did right and wrong.
I know people didn’t like driving everywhere in FC2, and Ubisoft noted that in their video preview with IGN. But – they still realize some people did enjoy this, and said that you’ll still be able to drive to locations if you want to. Most importantly though it seems like the game will have more NPCs and what seem like quests.
That cracked-out doctor in the IGN preview looked to me like the mechanical equivalent of a faction leader from a GTA game. Maybe FC3 will pan out into a sort of first person GTA with different guys who give you missions.
Honestly, what I’ve sort of wanted to see is the equivalent of towns. FC2 had a lot of beautiful villages and such – that were completely lifeless. It would be nice to see places like that populated with people to talk to, buy things from, and do jobs for. The weird thing is that combined with the game’s already-shown experience system, something like this might turn FC3 into basically an RPG – a Fallout 3 without the heavy emphasis on stats.
It’ll be interesting seeing Ubisoft trying to balance out the open-ended nature of the combat with a somewhat more structured world. My sincerest hope is that they pull this off and get recognized for making one of the most unique shooters of 2012. We need something to get us away from these scripted rollercoaster war shooters.
- The Assassin’s Creed III art and screenshots are actually getting me interested in the franchise after I skipped Revelations. I look forward to ambushing Redcoats in the forest Mel Gibson-style. I also wonder why no other Creed game has had bows up until now.
- Didn’t realize how expensive and rare Skies of Arcadia had become. Better hold onto my Gamecube copy and hope that this is the next Dreamcast game Sega decides to put on XBLA/PSN/Steam in HD.