far cry 2

a review of Far Cry 2 : Cry Harder
a videogame developed by ubisoft montreal
and published by ubisoft
for Microsoft Windows, the microsoft xbox 360 and the sony playstation 3 computer entertainment system
text by Brandon Parker

1 star

Bottom line: Far Cry 2 is “a lie, the likes of which haven't been perpetrated on the American public since the lead up to the War in Iraq.”

A living, breathing world, they told me, two sides at war with me in the middle. My only goal to take out an arms dealer named the Jackal supplying both sides, and the freedom to go about doing it any way I could think of. Join one side, play ’em both against each other, just fuck around until you stumble across this Jackal character urinating out in the bush even. Whatever you want. Kill a guy on one side and the guy below him moves up to take his place. Encounter the characters you didn’t choose to play as out there doing their own thing to make friends or enemies of. Start a fire that will spread across the savannah. Your actions have an effect on everything. Bullshit.

 

All lies. Propaganda stirred up by the suits to generate some interest in their otherwise unremarkable big budget first person shooter. Somebody not so much as excitedly fibbed a bit in the prerelease hype as constructed an elaborate web of deception.

Here’s how the real game goes. You take a mission from one of the indistinguishably different factions. Listen to what they say. Take the file full of important mission documents they hand you. Go outside. Throw the file full of important mission documents in a dumpster in the alley. Forget everything they just told you because once the briefing is done your buddy always immediately calls you up to tell you to do some different shit instead. There’s never any reason not to help your buddy out, it doesn’t screw up your other mission and doing so is what upgrades your safe houses to something other than a worthless save point, being that you can save anywhere.

Except on the consoles, then you can only save at the safe houses. Why? Because that’s the kind of mind that was at work on this game here, a broken one. The mind of a man who creates one thing, and explains it as something else. The mind of a no good filthy god damn liar.

These extra special mission deals your buddy has you do, I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be some kind of spy vs. spy, counteracting their shit while making it look like you still got the job done double agent type thing, or if he’s just doing what I just got paid to do, except doing a more thorough job of it and for free. Either way he makes sure you go way the hell out of your way every god damn time to do this crap, and that’s where the real meat and potaters of the game comes in, the walking or driving from one place to the next.

The map is covered with these encampment guard post type places with about 4-5 soldiers in each of them. And despite being supposedly 50 god damn kilometers of terrain (these grifters probably count the empty filler bullshit at the edges as part of that) a lot of it is long roads surrounded by high unclimbable walls. So no matter where you get told to go odds are you going have to go through 2 or 3 of these camps on the way there at the very least. The only way to avoid them is to get out of your vehichle and sneak by, leaving your wheels behind and having to walk very slowly the whole way to your destination. It’s either that or shoot your way through, which you might as well since it’s hardly challenging, even on the “hardcore” difficulty mode I chose to play on, thinking I was in for some serious african civil war hell on earth shit and wanting to make a challenge of it, so it just ends up becoming very boring very quickly.

It never fails, everytime; you could be just walking along minding your own business but soon as they even catch a glimpse of you on the horizon you’ll hear the soon to be familiar sound of machine gun fire then, wait a few seconds, yes there it is, that VROOOOM sound of the jeep starting up to come run your ass over. Every god damn time. Not to mention the best part, which is once you complete the mission, reach your goal, whatever, you gotta turn around and go through them AGAIN on the way back. Yeah they’re back already. Part of that living breathing world shit they talked about.

This isn’t so much a Far Cry sequel as it is a homage to Deus Ex. At least I think so. Wasn’t there one with the subtitle “The Invisible War?” That sounds like what they were going for here. No matter which side you take missions for they feed you with some bullshit line how “this is a ‘secret’ mission, nobody knows about it so even our own army will be taking every chance to blow you away. Feel free to massacre the hell out of them as you see fit. Huh… didn’t think this one out to good did I? Shit, well just come back for another one when you’re done I guess.

I can’t even really tell that there’s a war going on here at all, or how many sides there are to this theoretical conflict. I’ve only got their word to go on. The only conflict I ever see breaking out is the entire continent of Africa versus Me. And despite being in Africa there’s no civilians or children or child soldiers. Yeah, I’ve got this foolish dream of a war game depicting something more like an actual war someday. This one can’t even get the two seperate sides killing each other part down, here everyone populating the game is an adult soldier, ready to shoot you, chase you down in a jeep for miles, whatever it takes to kill you but only ever you, the very second they catch your scent on the wind.

I took the jewish guy for my character by the way. He was fairly plain and nondescript looking, while everyone else had tattoos, mohawks, or a long list of military experience, while I think his only listing was “smuggling contraband,” something I think everyone has done at one time or another in their life, so you just know he’s actually the biggest badass of the whole bunch. I’ve seen enough action films to know an empty file means they’re some kind of black ops killing machine.

A little ways into the game though I thought about going back to play as someone browner, thinking maybe everyone was chasing after me in their jeeps for no god damn reason because I was white. That might have been kind of awesome, so obviously this was early in the game, before I fully realized how high the stack of bullshit it had been built on really was. Later I figured a game that can’t even distinguish between the two different sides in it’s own war probably isn’t going to take the time to distinguish between skin color.

Still, for all they know I could be Brad Pitt coming to look at the poor starving African children or even their boss coming to inspect the setup and make sure it’s up to snuff. They’ve got no clue, you could be anybody. And if there are camps that are supposed to represent the two different factions I can’t tell them apart. It’s just you versus the whole of Africa. Though somehow in the introduction the taxi driver can drive you around without trouble every time and show off all sorts of amazing shit that will never happen again and/or in-game. That’s right, zebra’s and gazelle crossing the fucking road would be an exciting god damn development to break up the tedious monotony of these nonstop enemy camp firefights.

This all kind of reminds me of Assassin’s Creed, another Ubisoft game where they a had a good 2-3 hours of game stretched out to, hell did anyone have the patience to figure out how long that game really went on for? For this one, before the game came out they were saying the single player would be a 50 hour game. Hilarious if that turned out to be the one thing out of their god damn mouths that wasn’t a complete lie fabricated out of thin air. Thin air! Meaning not even any base materials from the actual real-life game were used in the creation of it! Though maybe all that talk of procedurally generated free from open ended bullshit was actually true and they just either left it switched off by mistake or it just happens to generate a real lame story for me every time. You got the generic big budget half assed Xbox-to-PC FPS port Game this time, try again!

All I can figure is they gave up trying to get all that awesome shit they talked about in early previews working and just hoped all the encounters with the little camps would just have to make do with being an enjoyable and big part of the game. Like, “what will happen this time? How will the encounter turn out?” But really, every camp has practically the same little layout and how many times is a jeep coming after you supposed to blow you away with amazement? Well gosh darn will the guy run me over or hit the tree this time? Anything can happen! Though I’ll at least say the enemies in the game seem to be equiped with some decent AI brains from what I’ve seen, and I imagine if you’re the sort of person who likes to stare at screenshots of a game in awe of how much like a photograph they look like, well then you can probably find some way of getting around or ignoring how god damn boring this one is.

The game Ubisoft were describing in the early previews, or were letting websites misleadingly describe it as, was a game surely every man has wanted to play. Certainly a game any man who’s ever seen Die Hard or Yojimbo has imagined himself at some point or another. Alone in a hostile environment, only one real ultimate goal and the methods to go about it anyway you could imagine. Play it like an elaborate game of chess, ten moves ahead of the other characters in the game, or maybe shit just doesn’t go as planned and you just have to wing it, go in guns firing and hope for the best. The kind of thing your grandpa or dad imagines must be going on when he sees you playing one of them crazy vidcons.

I guess that’s kind of the ultimate game, or a kind of one, in a way. You could take it and throw any number of different settings or themes into it. Just imagine this technology falling into the hands of EA. With some kind of computah masheen AI brain thinking up the story for you as you play along, does that mean the days of corny dialogue and nonsense plots thought up by programmers whose life experiences came only by proxy through shitty hollywood movies would be over? It’s a depressing thought. Perhaps it is all for the best that Far Cry 2 was, much like your membership in the in-game factions and the factions themselves, just a pretend Far Cry 2, not the real one they advertised.

 

 

Thinking about it now I’m wondering where the lies really end, if they go all the way into the game itself. It’s obvious there’s no real war going on. For all we know the country has known peace for a hundred years now. That tutorial only show off firefight in the street at the beginning? An elaborately staged deception. The people handing out missions in the cease-fire zone? CIA actors. The guards in the camps and lack of women and children? They’ve been warned about a convicted pedophile and rapist wandering the countryside armed with weapons.

My god, just how deep down the rabbit hole does this go? It’s all some sort of Prisoner/Nowhere Man-esque mind game. The Jackal, is he even real? That guy claiming to be him in the beginning was probably just some part time actor who went home afterwards. This also explains the unenthusiastic line delivery of everyone I’ve met. Because lines in a script are all they are to these people. Will they just keep stringing me along, seeing how long I’ll put up with these never ending enemy camps and empty promises of an environment nothing like the one I’m in?

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sort of thing. Even recently, in that new Band of Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway game. There’s an early mission where you see some Nazi rapscallions in the distance drag a woman off into a barn. Getting the strong feeling that they aren’t throwing her a suprise party, you run towards the barn bringing along a little party of your own. A rescue party. Unfortunately, you only get there just in time to see her lifeless body dangle from the rafters. Or so you think. The truth is the woman swinging around up there is just a double left behind to keep you occupied while the real one was taken elsewhere. I haven’t found her yet, but I’m betting she might not even show up until the next game. Probably either in Hitler’s bunker or on a small Pacific island.

If you’re wondering what the point of all this Band of Brothers In Arms business is, let me just say: published by Ubisoft. I’m on to their sick game.

–Brandon Parker

Comments

32 Responses to far cry 2

  1. I wish this review had been published a month ago so I wouldn’t have gotten suckered in by that half off deal on Steam. It’s not even worth buying on sale. The game really is a mess. First Person Shooters do NOT have to be completely open-world. And I do NOT want to have to hitchhike all the way across Africa every time I get a mission because they never occur on the same half of the map as I receive them on. They could have at least planted a few more bus stations on the map (conspicuously absent of drivers, ticket takers, other passengers, etc, but whatever).

    So much wasted potential. Is there any FPS type game that honestly depicts a war torn country? Like, not as a place that revolves around the player? With rape gangs and mass graves and everything? Maybe first person shooters aren’t really mature enough right now? Maybe a genre can’t have the word “Shooter” in the title if it wants to honestly depict anything? I dunno.

  2. I’ll take that one step farther: FUCKIN’ thank you. Far Cry 2 was the biggest lie since Fable; the difference here is that Fable was good.

  3. I wasn’t taken in by some “marketing hype machine”. I just saw that Far Cry 2 was coming out, I like Far Cry 1 and gave it a shot. Does this review not apply to me?

  4. I know the idea’s been floating around for awhile, the open ended shootemup, I just have no idea why 1) It hasn’t been sincerely attempted yet, and 2) Games that aren’t that have been described as that.

    It doesn’t seem like it’d be that hard of a thing to get right.

  5. really?

    all you’ve got to say is that you were taken in by the hype machine and The Game Isn’t What Was Advertised? get over yourself. next time, examine the game for what it is, not what you were told it would be. if you find you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all.

  6. On a mission, I waited until nightfall, and crept through the bushes towards my target. A mob of goons was patrolling the compound: a couple of well-placed molotovs herded them into the light of the moon, where I sprayed them with my silenced MP5. Amid the slaughter and the crackling of the fire, two of them managed to run for it around the side of the outbuilding. I ran after them, and as I crept around the corner I could hear one guy jabbering away to himself, half-mad with fear and adrenaline. I crept up behind him and hacked him with the machete, then stabbed him until he stopped moving. I was suddenly bathed in light as a jeep started up its engines and barreled towards me at top speed. I whipped out the old, rusty RPG I’d scavenged and fired it at the oncoming jeep. The rocket plopped pathetically out of the end of the weapon and started hissing at my feet, so I turned tail and ran like fuck. There was a bang behind me and the charred wreckage of the jeep flew over my right shoulder and landed upside down in a duck pond. It was about then I realized I was probably playing the game of the year.

  7. god bless this review.

    Was anyone else bothered by how the dialogue was delivered in this gameThey sped up all the dialogue so there was literally no spaces or beats in between sentences when people spokeEven though real actors were speaking, they sounded like robotsIt really bugged me right off the bat.

    But yeah the rest of the game is terrible too.

    Reading this review makes me want to play Crysis again.

  8. We need more Brandon Parker reviews around here. His game recommendations are always spot on and the criticisms even moreso. Which action games to you like the best, Parker sir?

    There was a bit in this game where I got a little excited. It’s when one of the factions asks you to assassinate the leader of the other group. I spent a while on this mission, stalking through the brush, stabbing people in the back with my machette, killing my way forward until I could put a sniper round right through the guy’s fucking head. Then my employer turned on me, and I said, holy shit, now everything is going to explode. All this clandestine BS is going out the window and we’re going to see the real civil war breaking out all over the place.

    Then you get transported to another map and the whole thing starts over again!!! Both sides give you missions, new friends start asking for your help, everyone stands around until your white ass comes screaming through a checkpoint, bah.

    /fail. I couldn’t even bother to finish it after that.

  9. “really?

    all you’ve got to say is that you were taken in by the hype machine and The Game Isn’t What Was Advertised? get over yourself. next time, examine the game for what it is, not what you were told it would be. if you find you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all.”

    He does have something to say: the game he expected would have been awesome, the game he got sucked. pretty sure he spends a lot of time “examining the game for what it is.”

  10. I always like the review rebuttals that go “Why don’t you review the actual game/movie/whatever instead of commenting on all the ways it was a complete failure?!”

  11. Thanks for this, you have confirmed it is indeed the pile of steaming shit I assumed it would be, will be keeping well away indeed.

  12. I may have missed it, but I think you forgot another complete failure; weapon degradation. You’re a mercenary, someone who kills people with guns for money, yet you don’t know how to clean or maintain one. Awesome.

  13. I *am* The Jackal, and I have to say I’ve really been getting a kick out of some of these replies.

  14. I really don’t give a shit about Far Cry 2 but this review was hilarious. Very entertaining.

  15. I’m with slop101 – I got it from Gamefly, convinced I wouldn’t like it, but curious after a few essays I’d read.
    Heard all the complaints, decided I just wanted to look around a bit and didn’t feel the need for challenge, so I set it to Easy mode.

    Best god damn game I’ve played in years.
    To the point where I can’t even figure out what the problem is; none of the complaints I hear about it bear any relation to the game I’m actually playing. None of the things that drive people nuts about it ever occur with enough frequency to actually bother me, or can easily be counteracted with a little planning and some quick reflexes.

    It’s led me to wonder – is Normal difficulty that much more fucked? Is this a game where the ideal balance is accidentally hidden on the Easy setting most players would never bother trying?

  16. My biggest problem with the game isn’t its difficulty, but its tediousness.

    It takes forever to get anywhere, not only because of the guard outposts on the roads, but the enormous distances you have to travel. The map is just TOO BIG. I remember getting a mission, opening up the map, seeing the line to my destination, and literally sighing out loud as if the game was asking me to go to the store and pick up some milk.

    And because it’s in Africa, the game designers thought it would be smart to have a total of 15 cars in the entire game despite there being 50 km of terrain. So God forbid your car gets shot up or breaks down in a ditch, otherwise you have to walk the rest of the way hoping you don’t killed and forced to travel the whole distance again.

    Just this one aspect of FC2 points to the root of it’s problems, which Brandon really nails with this review: Ubisoft tried to make the biggest and best open world game and ended up spreading all the elements WAY too thin.

  17. That reminds me of San Andreas. I loved that going from city to city was just long enough to feel like a fun road trip, and only sometimes long enough to feel tedious… unless you slip down a hill and roll your car over out in the countryside, in which case you are fucked. Your options are to either find a tractor and drive home at 5 mph, or use a cheat code to spawn a jetpack and fly away.

  18. Of course, I know most people didn’t get the “Fun road trip” feeling I’m talking about. It really was a pain in the ass when the game said “Drive all the way from San Fierro to your crib without damaging this car at all”, but getting a couple of your homies into your tricked out hooptie and just cruising up and down the coastline, stopping at a gas station to play an arcade game and have a soda, that was kind of my favorite part of the game.

  19. The travel time hasn’t bothered me at all. I can see how it might start bothering me later in the game, once I’ve scouted/unlocked everything and found most of the diamonds, but I tend to avoid driving in favor of foraging off through the jungle, map open in front of me.
    Helps that the game is stupid pretty, there.
    This may also why I don’t complain about the patrols much.

  20. @bigj420cooldude
    somes had it right—Parker had plenty to say, spending the vast majority of the review “examining the game for what it is,” spelling out all the things that led him to believe it was terrible. Being sold a bill of goods was a very small part, namely the first two paragraphs. Which leads me to ask, did you read the review through to the end? Not accusing you of anything, just asking.

    Perhaps you meant to say in your last line “if you find you don’t have anything NICE to say, don’t say anything at all.” Which is a kind of mom idealism that runs counter to 90% of the internet. Including your telling the author to get over himself, incidentally.

  21. I wish my experience with this game had been anything like Slop101’s. That sounds like a pretty cool game that I wish I could play.

    Instead I spent a lot of time murdering dudes who didn’t give a shit that they were being murdered. I would consider buying this on PC if someone builds a mod that makes the AI not ****ed.

  22. what about Mercenaries? it wasn’t perfect but it seemed alot closer to what this game was trying

  23. Maybe this will be long. Tl;dr version is it’s an action game with really nice explosions and some fairly satisfying shooting & ducking, exploding & igniting.

    I think about this game in the same way I think about Fallout 3. A lot of promise in the sense that they both provide an enormous and fully-realized open world, with the implied promise that you will be able to wander around it and encounter interesting people and affect real change, which is also where both fail. The big worlds are terrible because the rewards they contain are tedious and never worth the effort. Buildings in Fallout 3 never have good rewards and unlocking checkpoints in FC2 is pointless, safe houses can wait until you actually need to save or want supplies and the diamond suitcases usually contain one diamond, which is basically worthless in the game’s insane diamond economy.

    The dialogue, both as a script that has meaning and as words that are delivered, is terrible, boring and static in both games, and only serves to send you out on what is always, fundamentally, a mission to kill, steal or blow something up. In F3, you can add “talk to someone” to that list. While the mission briefings in FC2 kind of make sense and are kind of interesting, they are also boring. It’s never really clear what either side actually wants and how it interacts with the populace at large, what its stated goals as organizations are. Maybe because all of the civilians have left the country? Parker mentioned this, but I want to reiterate: you will never see them. The entirety of Fictional African Country is now stocked with a militia and mercenaries, all of whom are hellbent on killing you. A funny aside: at the beginning of the game’s second Act is a completely awesome and insane firefight in the middle of the cease-fire zone between the two sides, with you caught in the middle in a building that is far away from any possible escapes. You sneak outside and there are dudes blasting AKs at each other, people on rooftops shooting RPGs everywhere; vendor’s stalls are exploding all around you, debris is flying, dudes are dying left and right, the screen’s shaking and doing all that motion-blur shit and it is fucking Awesome and you need to get the fuck outta there. So you start sneaking across the road and suddenly everyone does that slow NPC turn, looks at you and opens fire. It’s as if UFLL and APR suddenly had a psychic love-connection and decided to put the years of animosity aside just to annihilate little you.)

    Which is disappointing. Being stuck in a bonafide balls-to-the-wall firefight between two insane factions in a really nice looking and well-rendered city is cool and immersive. Seeing the AI break itself and the game’s own goals, and then bend over backwards to ram its own snapped carcass down your throat, is frustrating and basically what the game does.

    The fundamental draw in each game, the ostensible draw and promise of fun, lies in their ability to create an alternate reality and allow the player to inhabit them. FC2 is incredibly lush with vegetation (trees!) that moves with the wind, dynamic and stark shadows that are rendered from every branch and leaf, vistas, abandoned villages, canyons, plains, lots of sky, weather, sheer open space; shit is nice and the fact that you can set a lot of it on fire implies a lot.

    It’s the same implication at the mortar in Vigilante 8 had, where a missed shot would actually deform the terrain. Where Vigilante 8 fails is where Far Cry 2 fails, which is taking this to its logical extent and allowing the player to fuck up anything. Oh, you can fuck up and die, but god forbid you try to blow up a corner of Mike’s Bar or create a crater in the pristine landscape. I’m not sure why Ubisoft didn’t think it through, although it’s safe to say that they never think through the implications of their great ideas (witness the failure of fun and and triumph of atmospheric, dynamic shadows that is Assassin’s Creed.)

    So I suppose that, obviously, it would follow that they would also fail to introduce any kind of ability for the player to deform the game’s psychic space. It’s arguable that there isn’t ANY psychic space, since the whole game is Africa versus You, regardless of which player character you choose. In fact, the only difference your character selection makes is which skin the game puts on the arms that hold the gun and shoot morphine.

    Okay so after miles of broken promises, teasing innuendo that went nowhere, what’s left?

    Well, on insane, a game that becomes a weird combination of a FPS and a dungeon crawl. Insane is just that: fucking hard, sometimes bullshit, and, when you are on your shit, totally fucking awesome. Your max bullets are cut drastically, your damage resistance is cut, the AI suddenly gains the ability to snipe you with its shitty assault rifles, every 10th patrol jeep is equipped with an RPG and every 4th outpost has a dude positioned on a hill with an RPG. Jeeps will swarm you whenever you try to do anything, bullets will pound against your cover, a vehicle that is quickly degrading and will soon explode, and your only hope is to shoot and blow up everything in sight, and then only maybe will you be able to look at your map long enough to figure out where the next mission is before some other asshole comes along.

    What I mean is that, broken promises about being on next-level shit aside, there is still a deeply violent and fun game where you drive around Africa in a constant state of paranoid fear. This is where the game is dynamic, because while all you ever have to do is shoot things until they die or blow up, the trick is that the game will present these things to you fugues that happen while you travel en route to whatever your mission is.

    What is mean is that, the only fun part in Crysis was the first few levels, on whatever the hardest difficulty is. Two hits will kill you, but you also have crazy superpowers. On the opening map I once watched my brother supersprint across the beach, superjump onto a boat that was coasting along the shore, superpunch the two dudes who were on it, drive the boat at max speed towards the other one that was patrolling the bay, superjump onto the other one and punch the two guys on that one.

    Instead of superpowers, Far Cry 2 gives you grenades and molotovs, and which lets you set most things on fire, or blow most of it up.

  24. addenda and perhaps counterpoint to my own overly long comment:

    Tlon, you’re right in some respects. Mercenaries is essentially the funner game when it comes to running around and blowing shit up, although its success is due to its action taking place on a grander scale. Far Cry 2’s fundamental flaw was its game world was scaled far greater than its action can provide for, unless you are a particular kind of person who is willing to sit down for some teeth-grinding landscape crawling.

    and from Timbo’s Braid review, a mystery: “that atmosphere is more than more than enough to impress an experiencer with an imagined world.”

  25. @preet: Ooh, ‘psychic space’. I’m gonna steal that paradigm from you so hard.

    Also Far Cry 2 is dull for the same reason that any open-world game is dull: “a movie is real life with all the boring parts cut out”. An open-world game is real life with all the boring parts left in. You fixed it (and Crysis) by making the boring parts hard, and thus more interesting to you. That’s one way of doing it.

  26. @Killah: I dunno, I don’t think I fixed the games so much as found the point where they presented a challenge and subsequently found the game’s real meat. Why Ubisoft decided to hide it in the Insane difficulty is beyond me, although I guess they were still trying to market the game as some Next Shit and not a bizarre fps/dungeon crawl hybrid.

    I suspect that at some point in development they ran into huge problems and ran out of time, truncated all of the things that didn’t work, and shipped it hoping they would get a critical pass. What makes me think this is not only the failure to actually have any of the implied interesting shit in there, but also this quote from wikipedia: “Some African wildlife are featured in the game world, but herbivores only; according to the developers, predators without careful control would have eaten all the herbivores and starved to death.”

    Dumb fucking problem with a dumb fucking solution, right? Make the predator AI less hungry, respawn more of those ****ed zebra/deer. Shit, I’ve run-over enough of them to know that their existing supply is already as infinite as the forever-rebirthing guys manning the guard posts. Either everyone on the team is an idiot (which I have a hard time believing, there is too much skill in the actual visual & programming craft of the game for be to buy that), or they decided to do it for more and other reasons. Deadline-related ones, where someone simply said, “look: fuck the fucking lions, we haven’t even figured out how to make these stupid missions affect the factions right.”

    Although I could be wrong. I can’t think of any Ubisoft Montreal game that showed any imagination when it came to capitalizing on their initial fun-designs, or separating them from the graphics. Maybe PoP: Sands of Time? I haven’t played it.

  27. @preet: Well, if they got any of them right, they did it with Sands of Time (possibly because Jordan Mechner was actually there to help). Try playing it and see what you think.

    Also, another thing, fairly unrelated: why hasn’t ABDN yet reviewed Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl (especially with the Oblivion Lost patch)? It would present an interesting counterpoint to Far Cry 2.

  28. Forget Oblivion Lost. Check out the Stalker: Complete 2009 mod. That’s a good time right there.

  29. I just got around to playing this game, having received it two Christmases ago. Everything in this excellent review is spot-on; I just wanted to add an observation to the list of absurdities contained within Far Cry 2:

    There are missions offered by the weapons merchant which, when completed, unlock new guns for purchase. An OK idea on paper: the merchant asks you to destroy convoys containing a competitor’s weaponry, and offers to import special weapons for you as a reward. Neat.

    Except that it turns out that the convoys (once you accept a mission and then traverse half of Africa to get to one) actually just move around in small, eternal circles on a map square. If you attack and fail to destroy one, the convoy will simply continue on its path and eventually circle right back to where you attacked it.

    It never stops or deviates or even reacts to you, apart from the escorting jeeps, which veer off to kill you like every other vehicle in the game will. It doesn’t even have that “go completely apeshit” AI function that, say, GTA3 had, where as soon as you take a shot at a car the driver starts swerving and speeding in a mad (but reasonable) dash to evade you. It just lumbers along its predestined, pointless route, waiting to be destroyed.

    I’ve noticed a lot of ridiculous shit since starting this game a couple weeks ago, but this was definitely near the top of the list.

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