Tag Archives: far cry 3

Hopes And Fears For Far Cry 5

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So Ubisoft this week unveiled Far Cry 5 and the shocking centerpiece of the game is its setting — the franchise known for bringing players to dangerous exotic locales is trying to create one within the United States. There’s a lot of potential for and nuance there you can already read about in articles like this one or this one. USGamer already has a couple pieces up about the pitfalls Ubisoft might fall into based on what we’ve seen from it in the past. Those two kind of bring up the subject I keep thinking about when I read about FC5 — how different is it actually going to play compared to the last few entries?

To me this feels pretty similar to what Battlefield and Call of Duty did with their drastic shifts in setting, but I don’t think that’s enough to make the game feel different. 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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On Modern Open-World UI And World Design

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The games I’ve been playing recently have mostly been open-world games or games where you have to find objectives on large maps, and in all of them that has necessitated things like mini maps and waypoints. I’ve posted at least once before about how much I hate waypoints because they can break immersion. Gamasutra however published this past April an excellent article laying out the drawbacks of waypoints and how we got here. I implore you to at least read the first few lines. 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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A Thought On Crafting Resource Distribution

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My replays of the first two Witcher games have me spending hours in front of a game mechanic that’s becoming painfully common in basically everything today, and which I already hear talked about in Witcher 3 — crafting. Specifically, it’s got me thinking about how unbalanced crafting resource distribution is, which is usually why it annoys me so much. 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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Late to the Party: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

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Most 80’s retroist games feel like the games I played as a kid. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is kind of what I imagined action games would be like in the future as a kid. Playing it has made me realize how much difference a change in setting can make for a video game and what a difference graphics and technology can make for particular themes.

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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Far Cry 4: The Potentials And Pitfalls Of Race

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Far Cry 4 is probably one of my most anticipated games right now. I’m probably going to do multiple blog posts on my hopes and expectations for the game, but for right now I’m gonna focus on the controversy already surrounding the box art and what it might mean for the game’s subject matter. People are afraid Ubisoft will do something really stupid and offensive, but I think within lies a nice opportunity I’m afraid the writers will miss.

If you haven’t seen it (and can’t see the image here), the box art basically shows what looks like a white guy in a purple suit sitting on a throne next to a kneeling Asian man who’s holding a pinless grenade. It’s presumably a representation of slavery over some non-whites, and no matter how you look at it it’s pretty messed-up. Ubisoft may have even changed by now judging by the limited edition cover I just saw, or may change it later on.

Judging by the press release, which reveals only a little about the story, the throne guy on the cover is likely FC4’s antagonist — a self-imposed king who’s oppressing the local people. Where it goes from there depends on the game’s other characters, but first I have to ask why they’d use that as a box art.

If the white guy on the cover is indeed FC4’s antagonist then we’re not really supposed to like him. In that context the image is supposed to evoke revulsion, but then why would it be the box art? That kind of feeling isn’t gonna attract someone browsing a GameStop or Wal-Mart. The other possibility is that we’re supposed to see the antagonist as a badass, similar to Far Cry 3 antagonistVaas who was probably the most popular character in that game. Giving the same kind of treatment to what we’ve seen of FC4 so far though would backfire for aforementioned reasons.

One main reason a lot of people are afraid is because of Far Cry 3, which was pretty much as classic “Mighty Whitey” tale. It’s very nearly Dances With Wolves whether or not the writers say it’s supposed to be satirical. To make things worse its protagonist is an annoying rich kid. Ubisoft has shown the capability to create likeable protagonists when it tries (Assassin’s Creed II, the older Splinter Cell games) and even respectable protagonists that fall outside the standard white male archetype (Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed Liberation, Beyond Good And Evil, Prince of Persia). Unfortunately they also fall into boring cookie-cutter patterns too (Far Cry 3, recent Tom Clancy games, potentially Watch_Dogs). I can only hope they do something interesting with FC4’s protagonist.

And this brings me to that interesting opportunity I hoping beyond hope Ubisoft grabs: I really hope the main character of Far Cry 4 is a Gurkha.

If you don’t know what a Gurkha is, they’re basically a Nepalese warrior tribe that was brought into the British Empire’s classification of “Martial Races” and has since been fighting wars from World War II to Afghanistan. Here are some real life examples of Gurkha exploits: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?search=1&tag=Gurkha

We know FC4 will take place around Nepal, and kneeling guy on the cover sports what I am told is a Gurkha insignia on his chest. I’d be shocked if Ubisoft didn’t involve Gurkhas in some way in this game. I’m just wondering how. In any case, in my opinion it’s an opportunity for Ubisoft to put cool characters in a game that aren’t quite like what most people have seen. It’s an opportunity to do something a bit fresh but still badass.

Of course we probably won’t know much about FC4’s story or even the rest of the game until E3. It’s definitely one the games I’ll be most looking out for.

BULLETS:

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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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