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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Looking Back At Far Cry 2 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-extra-ammo-and-regret dept.
Gamasutra has an interview with Ubisoft's Patrick Redding about the development of Far Cry 2. He explains his team's reasoning behind some of the decisions they made while trying to innovate in the very well-established first-person shooter genre. Ubisoft is also trying to crowdsource a guide for the game. "We don't want to be necessarily spoon-feed everything to people, because that gets insulting. It's also tiresome if you're constantly interrupting them to remind them things about that system. I like to learn things through trial and error, and I know a lot of players are like that. But accessibility isn't just about it being easy to pick up the controls. It's also making sure that you're supporting a certain kind of readability, giving the player a certain kind of feedback. Maybe the way to put it is that it might be less a function of the kind of low-level mechanics of the game at the control level, and more about how you're using the output of the game as good feedback for the player, so they at least are clear on the causal link between what they're doing and what's happening."
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Looking Back At Far Cry 2

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wait. Let me understand this. They want a bunch of people to help them write a strategy guide, then they want to give it for free on the web ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H publish a book and make everyone (including those who contribute content) pay for it. Wow -- that's brave. I'll file this in the same place with folks who have a $100 logo contest. (of course, a professional would charge you more than $100 to produce a logo, but who's counting the dollars?)

    • by moteyalpha (1228680) * on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:21AM (#26675695) Homepage Journal
      This made me think of something. In order to support open source, and if people agreed as to the method ( a very large if ___ fi ), It would be interesting to see a book called SmashDot that took all the best of /. and incorporated it into a book. I would really like to have a reference to some of the [bash, net, encryption] savvy that is available here in the comments ( beyond Googling and finding it ). Certainly the collective understanding of the /. has some value. Just think of a Beowulf cluster of frosty postmen.
    • by mgblst (80109)

      Sure a pro would charge more than $100, but someone who isn't a pro, would not get anything normally, and this is a chance for them to get $100 for a simple design.

      You need to look at the big picture, and both sides of the coin.

  • Far Cry 2 sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:13AM (#26675653)

    Basically you drive around a lot and ambushed at every intersection.

    That's the whole game, and you also look for diamonds.

    • Re:Far Cry 2 sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

      by barrkel (806779) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @02:55PM (#26678849) Homepage

      I think you're missing the point here. Getting from one location to the other is a significant part of the game, and greater than 50% of the pleasure of the game from my playing it. And if you're doing that by driving through intersections, you're doing it all wrong. I don't think I shot up more than 10 guard posts in the whole time I played the game.

      Here's what I wrote in a comment on TFA:

      It's odd that people complain about having to "trudge across the map", because that's actually my favourite part of the game. In my mind, it calls me back to the classic Thief series, still my all-time favourites.

      In Far Cry 2, I enjoyed receiving a mission location, then pulling out the map from the box - which I had marked up with known guard locations, safe-houses etc. - and plotting the best way to get from here to there. I'd usually take a bus to the nearest station, then plan to trek to a safe-house and sleep until night. Then, I'd make the final trip to the target, whether by driving around off the roads, or speeding through checkpoints on boat, or sneaking across the rivers and plains unseen.

      This strategic dimension, beyond the tactical side of normal FPS combat, is what really hooked me into Far Cry 2. It's easily the best game I've played in some time. I think it's better than Crysis, for example, and waaay better than any of the Half Life 2 series - a series I find terminally boring, linear, predictable and insulting to intelligence.

      • Re:Far Cry 2 sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:13PM (#26678995) Homepage Journal

        Quite a few people totally lack the ability to strategize and prefer having a game spoon-feed them all their encounters.

        They assume (for some unknown reason) that an encounter that exists is one that must be undertaken when it may be perfectly acceptable to avoid it instead.

      • by Nick Ives (317)

        Whilst I enjoyed treking across the map in FC2 I was still bored overall. The missions are repetitive, the enemy AI is poor and they all have X-Ray vision (at least when it comes to bushes) with almost perfect aim.

        For those reasons it's certainly not better than Crysis; Crytek clearly went to great lengths to make sure that if you can't see through something then the enemy can't either, the enemy AI in Crysis is far superior too.

        You can't really compare it to Half Life either because HL is a corridor shoote

    • That and the PC interface is pretty horrible, with concurrent buttons on opposite sides of the screen (which isnt a problem on a console controller) coupled with slow mouse movement. Also the guns feel quite strange to use - give me CoD4 style weapons, not this peashooter.
  • they should instead be thinking about how to patch it so as to make it not so absolutely aggravating to play. no amount of explanation and hints can change the fact that this game is a dog.
  • This. Game. Sucks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:15AM (#26675663)
    Does the interviewer take the designer's cock out his mouth at any time during the interview?
    I only managed to read the first few pages, then I had enough of the fawning, adulating questions like "How did you manage to make this game so awesome, when other games currently on the market are so much worse? Is it because you are so incredibly innovative, because you had so many great ideas, or is it just because this game cures cancer by being in the same room with it?"
    I played Far Cry 2, and apart from pointing everyone I know at the Zero Punctuation review [escapistmagazine.com] of the game, I have a whole litany of criticisms and bad design choices:
    • Your character is sick. No, that's not "sick" as in "phat", "sick" as in "has a medical condition that will not allow him to jog for more than 20 meters without collapsing". In a game that spans several in-game square kilometers that makes walking on foot from one place to another a torturous exercise; but hey, there are vehicles, aren't there?
    • The vehicles suck. They are usually about as bullet-resistant as wet kleenex and have about as much durability; on the other hand they explode into giant fireballs when their lifebar is depleted. Which is incredibly realistic. Because vehicles always do that in real life.
      But it wouldn't be so bad if at least not EVERY FUCKING PERSON ON THE WHOLE PLANET hated your guts and went into murderous overdrive each time they caught sight of a pixel of you; which brings me to the enemies.
    • The enemies are incredibly annoying. And I know that a FPS needs enemies that harass the player, and I can accept that - but here it is getting ridiculous. Every time you pass through the dense, dimly-lit jungle and any of the faction catches sight of you they will catch your scent AND THEY WILL NOT LET UP UNTIL YOU HAVE GUNNED EVERY LAST FUCKING ONE OF THEM DOWN! I mean, seriously, let's talk realism, since that seems to be the great selling point: imagine you're a member of the Imaginistani Militia, posted in the deep forest, told to keep an eye out for your mortal enemy, the Imaginistani Rangers. You spy a single person creeping through the jungle, trying to bypass your guard post without being noticed. So now you sound a general alarm, alert every patrol in a two-mile-radius, call in reinforcements on the radio, tag that creeping guy with a giant "please shoot me" neon sign, grab your wapon and go with every other person in that outpost on a single-minded suicide mission trying to KILL THAT ONE GUY whatever the cost, leaving the guard post... unguarded? Does that sound realistic?
    • But there is worse stuff. Much, much worse. For one thing, there is the map system. Instead of using an (unrealistic, game-y) map on some techno gizmo or overlaid on the screen in a corner, this game's hero has a... *drumroll* clipboard. Yep, a clipboard. With a magical printed map on it which scrolls as you move and has little symbols for the enemies! (Oh, and those little arrows sometimes wander over the fingers of your guy holding the map. Quality Programming!)
      And because the clipboard is opaque you have a situation not unlike the latest Doom game: you can either see what you're shooting at or where you're going, but not both. Not to mention that, as soon as you use the ineffectual "sprint" mode, the character moves his arms at his sides and takes the map out of the viewfield, making it impossible to see where exactly you are trying to sprint to! Man, I can't tell you how often I had looked at automaps or HUDs in other games and thought how they were much too convenient and useful!

    This game sucks, and the designer should IMHO spend as least five of the six pages of an interview apologizing for that giant piece of crap that is Far Cry 2...

    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:30AM (#26675713)

      Some that people keep missing:

      1. Massive viewsway, no option to remove it.
      2. The oh so special "fire" doesn't light anything up
      3. Ass-odd FOV like hl2's singleplayer that makes many people very motion-sick (hint: there's a reason hl2 multiplayer games have an fov of 90 instead of 75).
      4. Yet another chop-it-off approach to widescreen

    • by Mystery00 (1100379) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:39AM (#26675747)

      Don't forget that after more than 4 years have past since the last game, the AI still has binocular x-ray vision, perfect aim and has trouble navigating.

      I think they should be "innovating" less and studying more. It seems like every new game repeats past problems and ignores solutions.

      Do these game designers actually play games? Because it doesn't seem like it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fallingcow (213461)

        On a related note, do you know if they "improved" the AI in the original FarCry in one of the later patches? I really enjoyed it my first time through, and recently fired it up for another go, installing the newest patches (only one of which, IIRC, had been out when I played it the first time).

        I didn't even get 30 minutes in before quitting in frustration. I remember the AI being pleasantly smart for what they were, but now they're INSANELY hard to fight. I played on normal, which is the same way I playe

      • by drsquare (530038) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @12:57PM (#26677903)

        Don't forget that after more than 4 years have past since the last game, the AI still has binocular x-ray vision, perfect aim and has trouble navigating.

        I think they should be "innovating" less and studying more. It seems like every new game repeats past problems and ignores solutions.

        But look at the realistic grass!

    • by bmgoau (801508) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:47AM (#26675763) Homepage

      For a game that looked as good visually and as a video demo, actual game play was incredibly disappointing. I agree with you on all of your points, though take care not to become to enraged when posting, you're just asking for people to mod you down.

      If theres one thing i could add, the story was not enthralling at all. Even thoroughly reading the "journal" that is provided as the game progresses did not fill in the sense of bewilderment felt by the player. The story lacks any real impetus to push the player along. By the second section of the game it feels more like a job then fun.

      The developers of Far Cry 2 could learn a lot from those of Fallout 3 (a perfect example of how an RPG/FPS can be accessible and have depth).

      • I remember finishing the game and thinking "This? This is my big payoff? Seriously?"

        Most damningly, and unlike every other game I know of, once you finish FC2 you really finish FC2. There is no way to continue playing SP unless you load up an old savegame from before you embark on your final missions. WTF?

        Where is my wide-open map with enemies that run from my awesomeness? Where are my free and all unlocked weapons that don't wear out?

        Where are my fucking rewards for finishing the game?

        The devs were dicks.

    • by Allicorn (175921) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @05:08AM (#26675813) Homepage
      "Opinions are divided" it would seem. Plenty of folks share some/all of your opinion of FC2. Others disagree. I'm more of the disagreeing crowd myself, though many of your criticisms there are - of course - entirely valid (and humorously posed to boot ;-)

      The reasons I'd disagree on the "sucks" evaluation there include those clearly rather whizzy graphics, the spectacularly well-released sound effects, solid fun FPS combat and the uncommon sense of time and space present in the game by virtue of its large environment, day/night cycles, weather effects and such.

      Sure, it's not "realistic"; fun games aren't. And those badguys must be paid incredibly well, for sure. But it is - IMHO - a wonderfully presented, unusual and noteworthy FPS that shows a modern shooter doesn't have to be "on a rail" (like CoD, HL, many others) in order for there to be exciting and memorable scenes.

      My summary one-line review of Far Cry 2 would be: "I like where you're going with this..."

      Alli
      • by stu9000 (861253)
        I agree. I liked this game a lot because of what they were trying to achieve. It is much more ambitious and interesting than something like Crysis. Although the OPs points are valid this is a different type of game - where getting around and knowing where you are are part of the challenge. As much as these things frustrate they also immersed me more in the world of the game. I'd love to see this game with another year of work done on it to really bring the non-linearity and the politics to the fore. I init
      • by Fumus (1258966)

        Try out the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. They have the same basic "run wherever you want, but go here if you want to finish the game" plot.

        I don't why, but FC2 just doesn't cut it for me. Maybe it's because of the console-like game feel?

      • by Draek (916851)

        Sure, it's not "realistic"; fun games aren't.

        I disagree. Take for instance the old Rainbow Six games or the old Ghost Recon ones, plenty of realism yet they were (are) extremely fun to play, *because* of the realism. Another possible example would be STALKER, which would be nothing more than "Oblivion with guns" were it not for the realism in weapons and enemies, which elevate it above the rest of the genre.

        Badly-done realism, however, as it was the case for Far Cry and Crysis (dunno about FC2, haven't played it yet), can make an otherwise niceish gam

      • I agree. I'll also add that though the missions are repetitive, the terrain isn't. I'm on my second time through and I really enjoy going to a location and trying to pick the best approach for an assault. If you're using the sniper rifle, you want a clear view of as many of your enemies as possible. You don't want to get flanked, so relocate as much as you can and try to flank your enemies instead. If you're using a machine gun, you want lots of cover to hide behind while attacking. Cover is your frie
    • Not to mention

      SP:

      - Those bloody cars that patrol the roads that will come burning around a corner guns blazing at you every 5 fucking minutes. Making what would normally be a 2 minute mission, 20 minutes. The overwhelming majority of which is killing the patrol cars, and emptying guard posts

      - It can sometimes take emptying AN ENTIRE CLIP into a guy for him to die. I realize it is meant to be challenging. But an entire clip for 1 guy? While if you're using the sniper rifle it's 1 hit kills 90% of the t
    • by scalarscience (961494) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @05:12AM (#26675831)
      I preordered it on Steam and am forcing myself to complete it so it's not a total waste of money (it is pretty after all with a modern gpu), but find myself cursing "Grand Theft Africa" as I watch the hours slide by and little progress being made (or apparently going from 18% to 50% completion yields....the same thing that I faced at 10% completion, just with more weapons available?)

      Things that bug me:
      1. In firefights having to wait for one of the (how many are there again?) *ultra-realistic* 'healing animations' that are so incredibly immersive, and yet horribly repetitive seems to me one of two sources of difficulty in this game! I know that I can sprint for cover to dig the bullet out real quick, but while taking on an airfield of badguys I can either go 'stealth' and quickload if my cover is blown too early, or face the facts: the inability to actually 'heal' when being sprayed with random AI fire in a firefight is one of 2 things the difficulty setting actually affects. Even on the 'Notorious' setting (or whatever the highest is) the enemy AI isn't very difficult to take on aside from these 2 points. But having to 'heal' yourself, what a challenge!
      2. The other is apparently a 'kamikaze' sensitivity setting, which makes AI drive like tron cycles beelining it straight for me anytime I'm in view and there's a vehicle on hand for them. Turn difficulty down, they take longer to get to the cars but seem to take the same amount of damage and use the same poor tactics against me. Turn difficulty up, yay for suicidal driving! Of course if I can sidestep the car/truck in time taking them down as they exit the vehicle is pretty simple (they are suicidal after all) but that's assuming there isn't a mounted gun. They seem oblivious to the fact that when *I* use the same top-mounted guns they overheat and catch on fire before I can take down 2-3 bad guys. For them it seems to have infinite amounts of wear & tear as well as ammo...
      3. (ok there's more) Its not just them mowing me down or hitting my car with small arms fire, the need to constantly repair your vehicle due to suicidal AI driving is annoying as well. I can shoot their vehicles with a top mounted machine gun, and my gun catches fire before their vehicle is even smoking. Yet small arms fire from them apparently renders my vehicle inoperable within seconds, assuming they didn't sideswipe me at 75kph while I was trying to exit my vehicle.
      4. Lastly, the save system. PC users get the 'concession' of being able to save without going to a 'safe house', but quicksave will litter your save dir with HUNDREDS of save-games, rendering any attempt to view your save/load game screens an exercise in how to make a nice healthy pot of coffee...
      • by LilGuy (150110)

        Well I haven't played the game, nor did I play the first one, but after reading this and a few other reviews, I surely won't be touching this title with a 10 foot pole.

        Though you all did a great job in detailing just why the game blows harder than grandpa at his 92nd birthday candles.

      • I didn't like the game either, even after playing through 52% of the game. I couldn't even get the game to run with any stability - I would be playing a mission and it would instantly crash to desktop with no error window, no explanation of any kind of what went wrong. At the time I had at least 3 other "recently" released mainstream games on my machine (Fallout 3, Crysis, HL2:EP2) and none of them crash instantly to the desktop. I emailed Steam support asking them for a refund. They said it was against th
        • by Nerull (586485)

          Even the console version crashes all the time. I rented it rather than buying it, and I'm glad I did.

      • by bierik (575138)
        I played and completed the game last November. I can clearly remember the savegame problem. After a couple of hours you had so many savegames that it took minutes to get to the save/load screen. When I realized what the problem was I started to delete the oldest savegames after every 2-3 hours of gameplay.
    • by GF678 (1453005)

      the designer should IMHO spend as least five of the six pages of an interview apologizing for that giant piece of crap that is Far Cry 2...

      Given the game is still being sold on retail shelves (ie. it's not old enough to be bargain-binned yet), there's no way the designer is going to hurt sales any further by being honest. Assuming of course he doesn't actually believe the horseshit he talks about, because if he does, then no wonder there's so much cynicism when it comes to high-profile games these days.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        A couple weeks ago, Best Buy was selling it at 50% off.
        • I got it free with my video card. I'm glad I didn't pay more.

          I'd classify it as "interesting failure". I mean, at least they tried something different. They failed, sure. But well, points for effort I guess.
    • I'm not sure which was funnier, the review you linked to, or your take presented above. Either way, the combined effect of reading yours & watching the other review is having the (likely unintended) consequence of making me wish I had wasted the hours of my life to play this game so that I too could feel the satisfaction of a just and righteous indignation towards the designers of this game for said wasted hours.
    • So - just to make sure I understand you correctly - your complaint about the map is that it's not realistic enough (because it scrolls) and at the same time, it's too realistic (because it's opaque)?
      • Not quite (Score:3, Insightful)

        My beef with the map implementation is that the designers pretend to make something more realistic (it's not a glowy floaty map but a real, wood-and-paper object!) but then remember that they need the unrealistic component (hey, the character (as opposed to the computer AI) can't see through the dense jungle - we need to give him location markers for the bad guys!) and just slap that on, resulting in something like that magical map from Harry Potter. Why couldn't they have done it completely realistically,
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @08:16AM (#26676259) Journal
      I thought the gameplay itself was ok. Not brilliant, but enjoyable.
      What I miss though is a story. Many (MMO)RPGs these days have an overarching quest series to guide you through the main story in a linear fashion, with a bunch of little subplots or miniquests to earn you weapons or abilities. Far Cry 2 felt like it was just the miniquests, with the main storyline missing. The game is fun but there's not a lot to keep you going, not even the urge to discover what's over the next hill or in the next hamlet. Because you already know what you'll find there: corrugated steel buildings with a lot of pissed-off locals in them.

      I had hoped to get some good multiplayer action out of this game as well... but online play eats. Especially the server selection screen, due to its absence. Most good multiplayer games give us a list of servers that we can filter on game type or nr of players, and sort on ping time and whatnot. Usually it lets you track favourite servers and opponents, so that you can find a good game quickly. Far Cry 2 has none of that... you pick the type of game you prefer, then you are connected to the first outgoing server with that game type starting.
      Which in itself would not be so bad. After a few games you'll find a good server with nice people on it, and you have a great round of shooting each other. And then... the game ends. That's right, after the match the server does not start a new round, but kicks everyone out. Fun. This is the sort of crap I expect from console multiplayer games (and in fact the PC version looks like it was a straight console port), not from PC games where decent server selection screens have been the norm for years. Very disappointing.
    • "Innovation" doesn't mean squat if, at the end of the day, you produce an annoying, tedious grindfest.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Ubisoft has a looong tradition of messing up good games the second time around.

      Beyond Good & Evil was, by all accounts, one of THE best games out there when it came out. It's like Zelda but with a camera and you control a hot chick with a jo staff. (Aside: you can pick it up on Steam, and using XPadder to map it to a joypad works lovely.)

      The Splinter Cell games were also pretty damn good, but they've had a noticeable decline in quality over the years.

      I swear, is someone at Ubisoft saying "Well, this gam

    • by barrkel (806779)

      The character being sick, I don't have a problem with. It makes for a good excuse not to be able to run everywhere, which most other games do by some kind of stamina meter. Apart from that, it's a source of extra missions, and adds an unpredictable element. I didn't find it unduly worrying.

      The vehicles sucking? I didn't find that to be true. It's certainly useful to be able to stop another vehicle in its tracks by shooting it up, so it makes sense that a similar damage model applies to yours. About vehicles

      • However, if you're shooting up guard posts, you're doing it wrong.

        To each their own. I actually quite enjoyed Grand Theft Africa (played through it 3 times, so it must have been doing something right as far as my tastes in such things go,) but found that the 'stealth' play style was considerably undercooked compared to the 'rambo' play style. Even on 'insane', by the time you've managed to acquire an automatic sidearm and some form of LMG, shooting the crap out of guardposts is a reasonably trivial end
    • by scribblej (195445)

      I bought Far Cry 2, hoping it would be an improvement from my memory of Far Cry 1. In Far Cry 1, the enemies would see me through dense jungle at hundreds of meters before I even had a chance. I got real sick of it, hardly played into the game at all.

      Far Cry 2 was a whole different experience for me. I read complaints like yours over and over and they all have some basis in reality; all the mechanics you suggest do exist to some extent. However, I found that they all make for some Hollywood-style game

    • It sounds to me like you'd rather be playing Metal Gear Solid. Then again, you'd probably gripe about the long cutscenes and the bizarre bosses.
    • "has a medical condition that will not allow him to jog for more than 20 meters without collapsing".

      Okay. What's wrong with that? You have a problem believing someone could contract malaria in Africa? Do you think most of the people here could sprint twenty meters without collapsing? It really was not that huge a show-stopper if you knew how to manage the game mechanic.

      The vehicles suck. They are usually about as bullet-resistant as wet kleenex and have about as much durability; on the other hand t
  • Metacritic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by johannesg (664142) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:18AM (#26675683)

    I'm really curious what the opinions on this game are. If you look on metacritic there is an incredible divide between so-called "professional reviews" and the reader comments - with professional reviews having a far more positive opinion than the readers. That does not often happen, so I'm curious what happened.

    So what is the reason? Were the professionals all handsomely paid off? Did some readers just not "get it"? What do other /.'ers think about it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spedfest (1465361)

      For what it's worth, Far Cry 2 has enough flaws and enough gems that the player's enjoyment is influenced more by personal experience than linear games.

      Far Cry 2 has problems. The blur effects that simulate heavy breathing after a sprint practically require you to keep a vehicle on hand at all times, especially when your malaria condition worsens. This made me feel like an unhealthy, obese assassin that used a scooter as a primary means of locomotion. The AI can sometimes shoot you through brush that, on si

      • by Trracer (210292)

        For what it's worth, Far Cry 2 has enough flaws and enough gems that the player's enjoyment is influenced more by personal experience than linear games.

        Far Cry 2 has problems. The blur effects that simulate heavy breathing after a sprint practically require you to keep a vehicle on hand at all times, especially when your malaria condition worsens. This made me feel like an unhealthy, obese assassin that used a scooter as a primary means of locomotion. The AI can sometimes shoot you through brush that, on similar engines such as Crysis, you might expect to conceal you. There are three (four including promotional content) side mission categories, and the dozen or more missions in each category are identical. The AI appear incapable of using stairs or ladders. The PC version of the game has a far better save/load system and allows you to use it at any time. Console players and critics will likely become frustrated from retracing their steps after a bullshit death. This makes the game feel like a good engine that has yet to become a good game.

        On the other hand, I liked the open-endedness of Far Cry 2. To put things in perspective, before I tried Far Cry 2 I played games the Half-Life 2 series, Prey, FEAR, and Gears of War. These games were good in their own respects, but to me it felt like it was one step up from watching a movie. Some locations might be larger than others, but in general the gameplay was the same. You initiate some sequence or find some lever to open a door, follow the path to kill something and repeat. Decisions about combat style and routes to a target were often made for you. For me, Far Cry 2 was the complete opposite. Later in the game, you can amass enough weapons to decide how you wanted to engage targets. For example, you could buy a camo suit, silenced weapons and sleep until darkness. You could purchase a high-powered sniper rifle and a flamethrower to snipe, set the landscape on fire around you to conceal your position, move, and snipe again. You could purchase explosives and assault weapons. You could scout the surrounding areas of posts to find good locations to snipe, or locations that could not be easily flanked. The open world and the open gun market let me actually play a game and have fun the way I wanted, rather than replay a campaign only to take a path, to open a door, to kill something in a manner that was designed for the situation.

        So, you either play the game and find out that the missions are repetitive, the AI can be frustrating, and the storyline is unengaging until the ending. Or, you might look past those problems and enjoy the graphics engine while you have fun doing whatever the hell you want to do.

        If you like the "open-endedness" of FC2, then you should take a look at Fallout 3. Should be right up your alley.

    • by vegardh (831486)
      I loved it, all the gripes are probably valid, it's monotonous but _montonously fun_ in a way. It helps if you love wilderness shooters (as opposed to stuff like Doom 3). The landscape graphics are breathtaking, the ending is cool, and that also manages to recreate some of the vibe from Far Cry.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Large Publisher = gushing reviews because review sites rely on advertising from Large Publisher. Bad review means advertising is pulled off the site, or the review site gets no exclusive content to show visitors (and thus keep up visitor count) from that publisher in the future. They don't want that to happen, so big publisher + "AAA" title = 8/10 minimum by default. (Which btw is considered bad for "AAA" games. 9+ is what the publisher is really looking for. Discrepancy between user scores and magazine sco

    • Re:Metacritic (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jupix (916634) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:37AM (#26676503)

      If you look on metacritic there is an incredible divide between so-called "professional reviews" and the reader comments - with professional reviews having a far more positive opinion than the readers. That does not often happen, so I'm curious what happened.

      What happened is, professional reviewers played the game for a few hours and then reviewed it. Hence, they don't know it sucks.

      Players either played through it, enduring the mindless repetition and crappy gameplay, or quit because of it. So they do know it sucks.

    • by esocid (946821)
      I'd say more to the fact that the pros probably simply put it a days worth of playing. The public are going to invest more time into playing a single game than the pros who must move on to their next game to review. Such a tedious lifestyle...
      I played it for maybe two weeks and just got bored with it. Wash, rinse, repeat.
      The engine is an advancement, but that's about it. A tad buggy too, but the gameplay is same old same old.
  • whhhyyyy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigmaddog (184845) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:25AM (#26675705)

    Do we really need to look back at Far Cry 2? I didn't even look forward to it, but aside from that, what are we looking back at? They innovated in the department of system requirements, but is it really innovation if they've done it once before already? I guess the thing is pretty and got good reviews, but so what? Where's the insight, the brilliance, the revolution? It's not Doom or Quake or Half Life or Counter-Strike or Natural Selection or System Shock or anything remotely like any of those - there's nothing to see here, move along.

    Also, I think it's been three months since release - is it really the time to compile a detailed introspective and take a time out to survey the ravaged field of their accomplishments, or are post-Christmas sales merely slumping? Surely the legacy of their awesomeness will need a bit more time to accrue.

    • Re:whhhyyyy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonFog (586818) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @05:49AM (#26675899)
      I was one of those that fell for the pre-game hype and really looked forward to it. I have the t-shirt to prove it (literally, since I bought the special edition box).

      The few hours of the game I had so much fun, the game looked awesome, and I could feel the immersion. However, after driving through the umpteenth guard post and have everyone and their mother shooting at me as soon as they saw a car coming down the road (a post earlier in this thread sums this up perfectly) I stopped and thought "wow, this is pretty boring". The missions are all of the same kind, and I cannot believe this game goes for the innovation title.

      Yes, it uses DirectX 10 and it looks amazing, but they didn't even bother to code in a faction system! Even Boiling Point: Road to Hell managed to do that, and they pretty much messed up everything else!

      In short, I think if I had written a review after my first 5 - 6 hours, I would have given the game a very good score. If, on the other hand, I would write one now, it would look a lot less impressive.
  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psychotria (953670) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:30AM (#26675717)

    From the interview:

    The reality is that we certainly have struggled with accessibility issues with the game because the openness of it made us take a much more systemic approach, for one thing. But also, it has a rhythm -- the rhythm associated with the game is really different, because of the amount of objective-to-objective movement, and the way the player is invited to use the training, use the landscape as kind of a game ingredient.

    The game is not open at all. It's frustrating because it pretends to be open, but isn't... it's actually linear (albeit with more lines from one point to another than some FPSs). I hated Crysis the first time I played it. The second time I played it, I had a lot of fun. I could go just about anywhere I wanted, climbing difficult mountains for awesome sniper positions etc. In Far Cry 2 you can go hardly anywhere you want; even places that look like you should be able to go.

    And then there is the repetitiveness of FC2. All the missions are the same. You eliminate a guard post and 5 minutes later all the guards are back. The AI is crazy. You can be standing there with an (AI) opponent facing away from you and you can still be taking damage from him. Not to mention the AI are DUMB. "Huh, where did he go?" when one second before they've been shooting you and you have not changed position at all. Not to mention that sometimes the AI has super vision, spotting you 1km away even though you're wearing cammo and are fully prone and not shooting. And yet the same dudes will be unable to spot you 5 metres away.

    I tried to like the game, I really did. But it's just not fun.

    • you're wearing cammo and are fully prone and not shooting

      What? You can go prone?? Sure you're not just crouching. I think if they had added a decent stealth system the game would have been more interesting.

      What is in the game is laughable. "OK, you bought the sneaky suit, that makes you sneaky if you're crouching, not moving and not shooting. Going prone? Nope. Moving slowly to be stealthy? Nope. Low-crawling to be stealthy? Nope. Effective knife attacks when catching enemies off guard? Nope. Effective
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How convenient; just today I whipped up a professional artistic rendering of the much hailed "50 sq km" (which seems to be frequently confused with 50^2 sq km). http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/2576/artistrenderingue2.gif [imageshack.us] Africa is really just one big canyon -- with savannas and jungles side-by-side in its interior -- otherwise surrounded on all sides by desert.. didn't you know that?
  • Fatal parse error in article: Innovate and 1st person shooter in same sentence.

  • by PaganRitual (551879) <splaga&internode,on,net> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @05:31AM (#26675865)

    From Page 1 :

    What you're describing, that sense of being in the environment and letting the environment kind of drive the experience, is a function of us building that foundation. We needed to build an infrastructure, a framework for supporting the player moving around the world kind of at his own will and using whatever resources he wants -- whether it's vehicles, boats, on foot, or what have you.

    What the hell game is he talking about? The travel system they've implemented somehow creates all these magical stories out of nowhere?. The environment is basically empty outside of about three different types of checkpoints and maybe two types of safe houses. And nothing ever happens in the game without your influence. And even then, you don't actually have influence, basically you turn up somewhere, and people shoot at you. You run into people in cars who shoot before even getting a chance to identify you, or, you approach a checkpoint, and you will get shot at by before they even get a chance to identify you. All the main missions involve shooting guys that are in between you and the other thing you have to shoot, and every single assassination mission and gun running mission, which are the only two types of side mission, are the same. You shoot a truck or a person, either of which are running tight circles. It would have been interesting to see this endless repetition and respawning addressed.

    They hear there are factions in the game -- that immediately implies a different kind of dynamic, right? They're like, "Oh, why is everyone shooting at me?" [laughs] Well, it's still a first-person shooter.

    As if somehow the two are mutually exclusive? The reason that people question this is because yes, the inclusion of factions does imply a different kind of dynamic. But it's completely ignored; in every. fucking. mission. you are told that you are working on the sly and that even the guys who you are working "with" will shoot you because they don't know you. But it's all a moot point, because for the vast majority of the game YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON THAT ANYONE EVER SHOOTS AT. There are factions? You could have fooled me, I've never seen two people from opposing factions run into each other and start a fire fight. I've never seen someone from faction A approach a checkpoint of faction B and get shot at. I find it hard to believe there is even faction related code in the game so far. Either that or no faction member has ever encountered It's given lip service in the intro, and mentioned by the mission descriptions, which are little more than first person, in engine cut-scenes.

    I like to question some design elements. Why can't I run while reloading? Or at least interrupt the reload by running so I can reload again when safer. Why can't you interrupt the animation to yank out a bullet? The most frustrating way to die is to stand stock still and start pulling out a bullet only to realize you aren't quite as covered as you thought and then hammering everything trying to move away to cover.

    In early discussions the game was touted as being in specific development for PC. Yet while you can save anywhere in the PC version, the little save boxes that are console-specific are still there. The field of view was the console style nose-against-the-screen crap that makes it hard to play for PC snobs. There was no out of the box widescreen support, why is this still happenning? Why does the game have a seemingly endless supply of mercenaries that are restocked magically every 5 minutes, yet approximately 14 zebras for the entire world? Did they ever consider implementing dangerous animals? Anything at all interesting outside of empty savannah?

    He is right though, the game is a first person shooter. Of the most generic kind. It's just that they spread the limited variation of the design incredibly lightly over a large, primarily empty game, gave the impression that it was going to be an interesting adventure, and then made every one simply shoot at you.
     
      It's a Far Cry from a classic (boom tish), and given the brilliance of the first game (ending area of that game aside), it honestly didn't deserve the Far Cry name.

    • Oops.

      Either that or no faction member has ever encountered any other faction member for the entire game so far as I've played it.

    • by mambodog (1399313)
      I actually thought the original Far Cry was pretty average when I played it. After playing this one, however, somehow my opinion of the original has really gotten a lot better...
    • They do run into each other, though it's extremely rare and I've only see it happen a couple times. Usually a Jeep will drive in and the other faction will open fire. Still, if GTA3 can do it, why can't FC2?
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:20AM (#26676649)
      In all fairness, there are factions--two of them. The first one consists of you. The second one consists of EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FUCKING GAME!
  • by Fross (83754)

    This and Fallout 3 came out around the same time. Initial reviews for both were very positive.

    This was £25 and Fallout 3 £30, so I went for this. Boy do I ever regret it.

    Makes me think all the reviewers ever did was play the intro drive and be wowed by the graphics (which are incredibly detailed and well done). After that, it becomes a big ball of suck.

  • A few positives (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Durzel (137902) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @06:42AM (#26676023) Homepage

    Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with the comments already made about the retarded auto-respawning checkpoints, murderous AI who home in on your exact position if they catch sight of one pixel of you, etc there are some positives in the game.

    Firstly, it looks great. As a showpiece for the DUNA engine it excels admirably. Whilst there will be some who debate about whether Crysis looks better, personally speaking I found Far Cry 2 to look just as good in "high" settings, at twice the FPS and at much higher resolutions. I can comfortably run the game in 2560x1600 on an almost bleeding-edge system and see things like this [superficial.net] whereas in Crysis I could only run it in a much smaller resolution. In that respect, as an engine, it is a great technological accomplishment.

    Secondly whilst the core AI had its faults there were aspects of it which made me ponder its deeper aspects. I came across one guy who was stuck inside a rock (not a great advert for AI granted) who I heard say "This is crazy I can't see anything from here". Another time, later in the game, I encountered two guys who whilst chattering made reference to a mercenary (me) who was "killing people from miles away". One of them remarked "you'll never see him coming, you'll just end up dead". Throughout the game I had been focusing on killing from afar with sniper rifles, very rarely bothering with CQC. Now, you could argue that this was just a coincidence but the accuracy of what they were saying was uncanny.

    All in all whilst the core AI (checkpoints, zeroing in on fleeting targets, etc) seemed dumb, there were nuances to it which made me think there are layers under the surface and intrigued me enough to warrant completing the game.

    • The voice acting isn't coincidence. FC2 has not been praised for the voices enough. It rivals Left 4 Dead in pure contextual voice acting glory: if you are hiding in a bus while under fire, the enemies will tell you you're "on the bus to nowhere, pal". If your reputation is high, they will believe you're two, three, or even more people. Characters will fight with each other about pursuing you, and freak out if their friends are dead and you have a high reputation ("why did I ever come to this god-forsaken p
      • Yeah, one thing I like quite a lot about Far Cry 2 are the voices. Another thing I thought was neat was how if there is one guy wounded, the others will try and go over, pick him up and carry him to safety. It didn't take me long to figure out that if I was using a sniper rifle, I could reenact the scene from Full Metal Jacket- I shoot one guy in the leg intentionally, then wait for his friends to come over and shoot them one by one. I can tell you, I felt a certain grim satisfaction at the pile of four
        • I found the accents in Far Cry to be the best part of the game. Not only, did some of the characters speak in different languages (I could only understand the Afrikaans, but there might be other languages too), but the accents are accurate as well. For instance, I could tell Voorhees was a South African, because he had a South African accent, and used South African slang. Very often, North American companies totally butcher South African accents and it was a refreshing change.
  • yeah, this game is hard for vista that i used, bad in graphics and story. ubisoft must learn from Electronic Arts (EA) about good combining between sound and real graphics. i must setting back my videocard (geforce 7200GS) on control panel to have good performance for this game. and memory used make me sick. maybe ubisoft must restructurized the people behind the game.
    • Your card was intended to be a basic step up from integrated one and a half years ago. Despite the software industry's absolutely nonsensical stand on supporting completely obsolescent hardware (Valve won't drop DX8 support for TF2 even though doing so would mean a better looking game w/ the improvements made from L4D), blowing $100 every few years to get a decent video card is not very difficult even for someone without a job.
  • Hype (Score:3, Informative)

    by YourExperiment (1081089) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @08:04AM (#26676233)

    The really frustrating thing about Far Cry 2 was the hype beforehand. I read a very interesting article before the game was released, where the developers talked about the amount of effort they'd put in on the narrative flow of the game, to make the storyline truly dynamic, allowing the player to influence the plot. Thanks to this, I was expecting a lot from the game.

    What I actually saw the first time I played was a sub-standard FPS, with some very bad design decisions, and literally zero noticeable innovation. I gave up after a few hours play. I was extremely glad that I played it at a friend's house, I would have been most annoyed to pay good money for it.

    Maybe it's a reasonably fun game once you get into it, but I was expecting so much from it that I was bound to be disappointed. This kind of hype does no-one any good in the long run.

  • Hi, I bought a PS3 and together FacCry2 and Resistance 2 (without know anything about Resi2). Here in the UK FarCry 2 was OVER-advertized, so I thought, "must be at least a good game". Guess what, luckyly I had Resi2 to play during xmas holidays, that was a great game. I'll try to resell FarCry 2 asap. Even if I get 10 quids out of it I'll consider myself lucky. The graphics SUCKS (at least compared to Resi 2 and/or Haze and/or Force Unleashed), the gameplay is worse and the story is pathetic! Really wor
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Really worst game ever...

      Your post fails to account for Dangerous Vaults.

      • by Ant P. (974313)

        From the wording of his post, I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one who made it.

    • by abigor (540274)

      I have a PS3 as well, and Far Cry 2 was one of my choices for next game. I guess it's now out of the running after reading what you wrote.

      I'm thinking either Dead Space or Metal Gear Solid 4 - anyone have any advice? I like a super solid story/plot and great atmosphere. Bioshock is my favourite game ever, for what it's worth.

      • Dead space had high enough production values, a 'plot' (and even a cliffhanger of sorts) but I wouldn't say the story actually has any depth. It wasn't excessively long thankfully, and it's not repetitive in the sense that Far Cry 2 is. I did think the ending boss fight was quite nice, although not terribly difficult (Yahtzee's take on that boss was spot on). Overall it was interesting enough, but much like Mirror's Edge, it's not quite as innovative as it was made out to be. I think people were just sh
  • was the best part IMO. Being able to mould the ground any way you want, change from day to night instantly, draw on foliage etc....it's great fun for a geek like me. I made a kind of tropical Endor-like island with hills, forests, buildings, vehicals and suspended wooden walkways and huts, all in a few hours. After spending a while using it I was struck at just how dull the actual game was and how easy it would have been to make it more interesting.
  • FC2 gameplay formula (Score:2, Informative)

    by ternarybit (1363339)
    1. Accept a mission from one of a few places that offer them, always to kill Mr. X.
    2. Travel to the location of Mr. X via hoverboat or jeep, stopping at every guard post along the way to kill the guards, even at posts you've already cleared. Optionally you can blaze through the posts and take nominal spray damage. Also kill the kamikaze jeeps that stop right next to you so you can more efficiently waste them with the .50cal gun on your jeep.
    3. Kill Mr. X.
    4. See step 1.

    Yawn.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      agreed. One of the most annoying thing about the game is that there's an endless source of Mbukus and Van Der Clones.

      And, they are all wearing invisible level III body armor.

  • One of the things they were pimping about the game was the buddy system. All I got out from it was that it was just an extra life system. Make a buddy and get killed? They'll miraculously find you and take you to cover.

    My personal opinion of the game is that for something that took four years to develop, the game world is pretty empty.

    DJCC

  • Anybody else think the weapon statistics were complete bullshit?

    Choose between an AK47 or a Makarov 9mm handgun - choose the handgun because it actually jams less, more accurate, and you can find so much ammo you can snipe people by unloading 3 clips.

    Shotguns do next to zero damage unless you're point-blank and even then half the time when its the Striker semi-auto.

    An M79 grenade launcher classifies as a pistol? So you mean I can take a grenade launcher, M249 LMG, and whatever else? Those annoying

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