Tag Archives: far cry 2

My Reactions To Different Weapon Durability Systems

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Undoubtedly the most divisive feature in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been its weapon degradation system. The discussion over it has gotten me looking back at how I’ve reacted to weapon degradation in previous games only to find it hasn’t been a uniform reaction at all.

In short, weapon degradation is one of those things that in the context of game design is just a tool to be used in different ways. Different developers may use it to different effects for different kinds of games. Like open-worlds in general or quick-time events or whatever else, I don’t believe weapon degradation is universally good or bad. Continue reading

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In Lea Monde Interview, Ubisoft Hints At Changing Direction

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Apparently last week Le Monde published an interview where Ubisoft outlined how it might be changing how it designs its open-world games in the future. The article is in French but NeoGAF moderator Stumpokapow translated it and offered some main bullet points.

The overall jist seems to be that Ubisoft wants to make its future open-world games even less linear and offer players more freedom, with less focus on the scripted story segments that have run through games like Assassin’s Creed II or Far Cry 3. Personally, I think this is what Ubisoft should have always been doing. If you look back at some previous posts of mine you might see that I’ve had issues with how Ubisoft does open-world games. Many may disagree with me. Continue reading

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Far Cry 4 vs Metal Gear Solid V

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Until I could rent it on PS4 a game I’d been curious about was Far Cry 4. I’ve made more than one post about it or mentioning it along with my hopes an fears about the game, but never went and bought it. I found a lot to like in Far Cry 3 but generally wasn’t enthusiastic about how safe and conventional its design felt compared to the flawed gem that was Far Cry 2. A bigger reason though is because in a lot of ways, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the Far Cry game I’ve always wanted. Continue reading

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Far Cry 2 vs Far Cry 3: A Retrospective

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A while ago I decided to give Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 another run before Far Cry 4 came out. I probably won’t be playing FC4 for a while, but I still think the comparison is interesting, if only for all the arguments that persist over which is the superior Far Cry game.

FC2 and 3 are opposites in some ways when you examine the philosophy of each game’s design. FC2 is popularly cited as a flawed gem that didn’t get the recognition it deserved, while FC3 is popular and better executed but also much more conventional in its design. A lot of people who love one hate the other. Everything I’ve heard about FC4 suggests it’s very much the sequel to FC3, but I still like to look back and hope Ubisoft remembers what was actually good about FC2. Continue reading

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Far Cry 4 And The Old Consoles

Third and possibly the pettiest of my concerns with Far Cry 4 is Ubisoft’s decision to still develop it on the PS3 and Xbox 360. The business reasons are obvious but from a technological standpoint it’s somewhat troublesome given the history of the franchise.

Firstly there’s the disappointment that this game won’t be developed from the ground-up for modern hardware. To many that may be an ethereal-at-best concern, but it should be apparent that there are benefits, both visual and gameplay-related, from not designing a game to be able to run on eight-year-old consoles. Several games coming out over the next 12 months are likely to demonstrate this. The Witcher 3, Evolve, Batman: Arkham Knight, and Ubisoft’s own Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Division are all games the developers decided weren’t possible on PS3 and Xbox 360 despite their install bases. Maybe Ubisoft didn’t have the manpower at the time to make two new Far Cry games — one on the old consoles and one for the new, like they’re doing for AC.

It’s easy to imagine open-world games like Far Cry would be more likely than linear games to benefit from being developed on faster processors with more RAM. What if that allowed the game to have a larger world with more AI and other things going on in it? My most-anticipated game for the new consoles right now is the open-world Witcher 3, and one developer I’m especially interested in seeing work on new hardware is Bethesda with Fallout and mainline Elder Scrolls.

Then you’ve got the history between the FC games and consoles in general. So far, all three FC games have had console versions significantly inferior to their PC versions, more so than most games that get released on consoles and PC. The original version of the first Far Cry didn’t even get a console version until this February — the original Xbox and Wii versions were very different games designed around the constraints of the consoles that existed in 2004. Far Cry 2 was reportedly a pretty different game on PC with huge visual differences and unique gameplay features. In my opinion after trying out the Xbox 360 version of FC3, I think Ubisoft should have held the game back and released it as a launch game for PS4 and Xbox One. On Xbox 360 its image quality and textures are worse than most AAA 360 games I’ve seen, and its framerate is in the 20’s most of the time. And the PC version has been known to humble some powerful gaming rigs.

I’m not down on PS3 and Xbox 360. I think it makes perfect sense for developers to keep making games on consoles with such large install bases, especially as making games for newer hardware is expensive. I’m probably going to keep playing PS3 games at least into the beginning of 2015. But I also think FC’s gameplay has more to gain than most from moving up to better hardware.

I imagine there’s a good chance however that FC4 is being developed like Watch_Dogs — primarily for the new systems while somebody figures out how to make it work on the old systems.

BULLETS:

  • Ironically I’ll soon be trying out Wolfenstein: The New Order based on a PS3 rental copy.
  • I’ll also say I question the decision to make PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of THIEF. I tried the PS3 version and while the game functions, it basically has almost no textures.
  • Article on BitSummit. http://t.co/qaD3Bg3IbO
  • So Wolfenstein might be another idTech 5 game having problems with AMD graphics cards. http://t.co/qTYg5g09wT
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Does Far Cry 3 Really Need a Story?

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A lot of critics have said that Far Cry 3 has one of the better storylines (or at least cast of characters) in a game this year. That may be true, but playing it has actually made me almost wish it didn’t have much of a storyline.

As of this writing I’ve actually only played maybe three of the main story missions in roughly 10 hours of gameplay, but that’s kind of the point. This being a good open-world game, I don’t really need the directed narrative to get my money’s worth out of Far Cry 3.

Whether or not video games can tell stories or even need stories is an ongoing debate, but I think Far Cry 3 has finally convinced me that, at the very least, open-world games don’t really need that much of a story. Not a linear, conventional one anyway. It goes counter to the biggest advantage of the genre.

Just look at how people play the Grand Theft Auto games. Rockstar may do a great job with characters, voice acting, and cut scenes, but most of the people who buy GTA really just spend most of their time causing mayhem in the city instead of doing missions. I even remember hearing a lot of disappointment at how directed GTAIV’s missions felt in comparison to the last generation games.

I think the first Assassin’s Creed game realized this to some extent and tried to build itself around the idea of giving players little more than a place, a goal, and some tools for each mission. That game’s problem was that Ubisoft couldn’t deign enough variety within that setup. Assassin’s Creed II on the other hand has a much more defined story, but as a result most of its main missions are quite linear, and most of the time you’re truly free in the game is when performing side missions.

When talking about Far Cry 2, design lead Clint Hocking said something about how games don’t really need storylines to be good at all, and I can at least agree with him when it comes to games like Far Cry. FC2 had a storyline but I honestly didn’t pay attention to it at all in my 30-plus hours with the game. I loved FC2 because its main missions gave me nothing more than a place and a goal, allowing me to plan almost every detail of each mission myself.

One game that I think has about the right amount of storyline for an open-world game is Dark Souls. That game actually has a some deep lore behind it, but the game feeds virtually none of it to the player directly, instead letting you choose whether or not to gleam the world’s history from item descriptions, dialogue, and the environment itself.

I understand that FC2’s main flaw was that it didn’t have enough substance and FC3 has done a lot to alleviate that. However, the best moments of FC3 for me have all been periphery to the main story. Things like how I planned the takeover of each enemy base or the hunting of an elusive animal are what make FC3 worth its full price for me. On my way to a story event for instance I ended up hang-gliding over a battle between tribesmen and pirates, landing behind the pirate lines, and freeing a tribesman from captivity. That emergent event sticks out in my mind more than the main mission that followed.

BULLETS:

  • Paint the Line: Robot Edition http://youtu.be/x7nE0QsnbJw
  • Apparently Epic games saw fit to give the Dead End Thrills guy a debug build of Gears of War 3. Here are the results: http://t.co/XB6zRZzX
  • Did a quick custom box art for Hitman: Absolutionhttp://t.co/cHSsKorb
  • Persona 4 Arena is $22 at Amazon as of this writing: http://t.co/8M7fdT9G
  • Square Enix is having a pretty good holiday sale at their online store. A lot of decent older titles are at really good prices. Bet you didn’t know you can still get brand new physical copies of games like Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross, or Front Mission 4. All of those are at great prices until January.
  • GoodOldGames.com has also started a holiday sale in Steam fashion. Duke Nukem 3D is free (and even Mac-compatible). Legend of Grimrock is $4 today.
  • Last I checked, the top paid app in the “games” section of the Windows 8 store was a $1.45 app that pins Steam and your Steam games to the Windows 8 front menu.
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Hopes For Far Cry 3

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.

BULLETS:

  • 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.
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