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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Looking Back At Far Cry 2 138

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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  • 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?

  • by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:53AM (#26675779) Homepage

    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 played the first time, so it's not that.

    The main problem? Well, they've always fired through tents to try to hit you... but now, they can pinpoint you inside the tent. Run and hide, crouch, move over to a corner... and some asshole starts shooting you in the back, straight through the tent wall behind you. Move, and he follows you. They're not just spraying, they're firing right at you. Doesn't take long before you're dead.

    I definitely don't remember that happening the first time, but now it happens constantly. I guess I'll have to play it unpatched and hope nothing important was broken :(

  • 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...
  • 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.

  • Re:Metacritic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @08:06AM (#26676237)

    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 scores is business as usual, but it's very noticeable in this case, yeah.)

    I thought this game was very disappointing. If you've seen one fight, you've seen them all - the AI has no variation in behaviour at all. In addition, almost all the missions are the same. Super repetitive.

    Far Cry 2 has a nice game engine, and I'm impressed that they could pull such a long viewdistance and vegetation density off on consoles and all, but the actual GAME part seems a bit tacked on. Too bad, I really like the setting and story.

    Eventually someone will get the whole open-world FPS thing right, I guess. Good open-world game engine + interesting/varied AI + non-repeating missions/events + all round solid game mechanics = winner? But if devs skimp on even 1 of these things, you get... well, something like this game.

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @03:02AM (#26682577)

    Just let the user change the fov ffs. With 4:3 I like 115 and on 16:9 (vert-) it should be at least 130. And fucking bob/pitch/roll/yaw stuff... let me turn that off. It's either annoying or makes me sick.

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