Far Cry 2

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JaySevenZero
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Far Cry 2

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:30 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Far Cry 2 for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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Joshihatsumitsu
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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » January 20th, 2018, 1:42 am

I played Far Cry 2 way back in the summer of 2008/09 (southern hemisphere season reversal), and it was on the Xbox 360, on a CRT with composite output. I mention that because usually first-person games give me motion sickness, and I played Far Cry 2 through to completion, so maybe the crossover to HD was when I started playing them less.

Anyhow, that aside, due to that motion sickness I have had trouble getting back into it for a replay. So I’m going on memories and Google searches to construct this critique. :oops:

The initial appeal of Far Cry 2 was that it was a first-person shooter in an open world, which was not as common back in 2008 as it is now.

There is a buddy mission that happens late in the game that sums up my personal experience of Far Cry 2, and why it was a pretty special game for me.

That mission was Hazelnuts (or maybe it was Lost in the Graveyard - it’s been a while!), a buddy mission with Michele Dachss, whom you meet up down in Mike’s Bar. By this later stage in the game I have subconsciously got the rhythm of the game down: side missions net you diamonds (or reputation), diamonds net you better gear, and better gear opens more options up. Therefore there in an inherent value in digging into the side missions, if only so your guns don’t jam at inopportune times.

By the time I had accepted the mission, gone off to create all sorts of mayhem, and triumphantly return to Mike’s Bar for my reward, I was a little surprised by Michele’s reaction. She wasn’t happy to see me, for something in her eyes was dreading the fact that I dispatched these “scumbags” with so much ease and little concern. She seemed genuinely sad, as if she just lost someone that was once close and important to her, and I was the heroic mercenary that killed him.

And that’s the impression Far Cry 2 left on me. It’s a game that you succeed at by engaging with ever morally dubious characters, and trading in blood diamonds to get ever better weapons to kill and maim. At no stage are your actions considered heroic. Even with the best of intentions your character is just another gun for hire, another "scumbag" profiting from the war going on around him. Very little separates the heroes and the villains. It’s a game where you do bad things for bad people, and feel bad about it, or at the very least question your actions.

Sure, the Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness references could be a little on-the-nose and obvious, but in the context of 2008 I was pretty impressed that it was there at all. Not a lot of bigger budget, mainstream games bothered with such things (not until 2012’s Spec Op’s: The Line that is).

Overall, while I won’t be revisiting Far Cry 2 anytime soon, it left a pretty positive impression on me. Sure, the degrading weapons, the bouts of malaria, as well as the enemies who have remarkable eyesight, who can easily spot you among the foliage, ruining your stealthy approach, can make for a frustrating experience. But then, I think the game wanted to make a point, and even with all it’s flaws, I respect that it attempted the story it did, and that for me at least, it mostly succeeded.

To conclude: please world - give Clint Hocking more opportunities to make games like this. Or just more games in general! :D

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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by Alex79uk » January 20th, 2018, 9:57 am

I remember many years ago, going down to Blockbuster armed with enough cash to buy one brand new game. I couldn't decide between Fable 2 and Far Cry 2 (which were both out the same day). On the advice of the store assistant, who had never played the first Far Cry - despite my telling him it was my favourite FPS ever made, by that point - I went for Fable 2. I loved that game and never regretted my decision, but it meant I came to Far Cry 2 a lot later, after much of the Internet complaining had begun. Still, as I said, the first was amazing, and so I had high hopes.

First impressions were good. The world looked incredible, I loved the setting and I'm surprised it's never really been used since in a game, and although I was a little disappointed it wasn't really a sequel to Far Cry, I got on with the open world and mission structure ok. It wasn't long before I was experiencing all those aspects people complained about first hand though. Jamming weapons, respawning enemies at road blocks etc. I tried and I tried to push forward but in the end the annoyances started to outweigh the positives, for me at least. After only a few hours play, I decided to take it back down to Blockbuster and trade it in for something else.

Ultimately, however, I regret that decision, and it does seem in more recent years that Far Cry 2 is remembered more fondly that it was regarded at the time. Perhaps it's pure rose tinted specs, or perhaps it is because it was really trying to do something new with the genre and it set lots of things in place that have become more common in later years, but I wish I'd stuck with it a little longer than I did. If it ever saw a current gen remaster - which seems fairly unlikely - I'd definitely be up for giving it another shot.

THREE WORD REVIEW: Buggy, rough diamond.

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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by James » January 21st, 2018, 11:33 am

Thanks for the early feedback on Far Cry 2. I think we could be in for an interesting discussion, and the feedback above will be a big part of representing this game's divisive nature. Keep it coming, folks! :-)

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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by delb2k » January 30th, 2018, 11:08 pm

Far Cry 2 is a horrible, frustrating, badly designed game that has some of the most ridiculous mechanics at the time. Which is why, amazingly, it worked so well. The nuts and bolts of the title followed the same basic idea as every far cry but with the added joy of randomly getting ill due to a very badly inserted malaria subplot and weapons that randomly jammed, normally at the worst points.

And in many ways this should have been the point that it all fell apart, the frustration of elements that are not the players fault would normally be the big red flag that would make me simply put the controller down. But those factors are what made the game work, what brought it alive. Lining up that headshot through a scope only to have the gun jam meant you're whole approach had to change on a dime. The assualt weapon that was your trusty steed in battle could never be counted on, and this always meant your battle tactics were always changing. Because nothing was relaible, not even you're own body, so everything was a gamble. Every moment was tense purely because you could never predict what would happen and how it would affect you.

And yes, the respawning checkpoints were a complete pain in the behind, making traversal rarely anything more than a complete annoyance. The story, which was probably good, completely confused me at the same time. I do remember it finishing abruptly, and with not a bang but a bit of a whimper, but its the adventures throughout my playtime are what brings the best memories of this title. It is the only real far cry I have played where everything feels kinetic and fluid, where planning and methodologies can be as good as possible but fall away in seconds. Where chance plays an actual part, and your survival is a real test, not just a game providing you with the same sense of power it normally does.

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Mechner
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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by Mechner » January 31st, 2018, 1:27 pm

3 WORD REVIEW:

"MOST" "REALISTIC" "FIRE"

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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by Stalkedbycats » March 13th, 2018, 3:59 pm

3 Word Review

Gnarly Healing Animations.

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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by skatecats » March 27th, 2018, 7:11 pm

I bought Far Cry 2 on day one as I was a big fan of the original. The much hyped innovations such as dynamic weather, day-night cycle, fire behaviour, wildlife, and a vast open world to explore in 1st person had me incredibly excited.

In the end my excitement led to disappointment and frustration. I picked up the game for xbox 360 and it was obvious in the first few hours that the 360's hardware wasn't equipped to run the game as it was meant to run. Frame rate issues and glitches plagued the experience and made it frustrating to play, especially during firefights. The shooting felt too weighty and the frequent gun jams were incredibly annoying. The introduction of these elements made the game feel like more of a sim rather than a fast paced, play how you will experience like the first entry. It felt like a completely different franchise.

Navigation was also frustrating. Having to physically hold up a map to know where you're going slowed down the pacing to almost annoying levels. I found myself having to look at the map frequently as the open world wasn't varried enough, in terms of terrain and natural features, to always know where you were going. Driving felt clunky and going about things on foot took way too long.

While the inclusion of dynamic weather, day-night cylce, fire effects, and wildlife were impressive for the time, the moment to moment gameplay with frustrating "sim" mechanics made it an overall chore to play and an overall disappointing experience. Thankfully, Far Cry 3 put the franchise back on track.

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Simonsloth
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Re: 339: Far Cry 2

Post by Simonsloth » May 18th, 2018, 3:55 pm

Far Cry 2 is not timeless. Far from it. Yet I can see it’s ideas and influences upon subsequent games which are held in high regard. It strikes me as a game with too much ambition creating an unnecessarily complex game to play. The strengths with many open world games are that there are usually different layers of depth but the game can still be played and enjoyed by scratching the surface. This game is the opposite in that in it forces you to take everything into account and it’s to its detriment.

I remember finding it incredibly difficult to get into but enjoying it once I’d worked out all the mechanics and what the game wanted from me. Playing it more recently it was still difficult to get into but wasn’t enjoyable even after mastering it. Open world games of this type just do (nearly) everything better in the present day so it’s more difficult to forgive this game it’s foibles.

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AndrewElmore
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Re: Our next podcast recording (4.10.18) - 339: Far Cry 2

Post by AndrewElmore » October 3rd, 2018, 8:14 am

Where to begin with Far Cry 2... Plenty of wonderful insightful pieces have already been written by people much smarter than myself, so I'll attempt to communicate my feelings toward this game via my own personal experience with it.

I recall upon its release a great deal of disdain towards Far Cry 2 from the major games coverage outlets that I followed, citing things like malaria, weapon degradation and respawning outposts as sources of major frustration, which I totally understand, even if I later learned to love them. At the time I casually wrote it off as a weird experiment I wouldn't be interested in. I didn't actually give the game a chance until the borderline-memetic cult status of the game reached a zenith amongst Idle Thumbs members and their respective studios (Fullbright and Campo Santo in particular). However, there's been something of a renaissance of affection for Far Cry 2 as of late, in the wake of the release of Far Cry 5—a bog standard Ubisoft open-world templated shooter by comparison. I feel that in a post-Dark Souls, post-Breath Of The Wild world, broader audiences are more adequately primed to enjoy heavily systemic games driven by the infinite tug of war between player expression, and player disempowerment.

Far Cry 2 is a game that is profoundly nihilistic in its own mechanics. Suffice it to say that nothing is safe. It never stacks the odds in the player's favor or gives them a moment's respite, instead forcing the player to think on their feet, but always rewarding them with the tools to do so. As a result, every encounter you have with another human being in that world is one of unmitigated chaos to varying scale. Every NPC in the wilderness will shoot you on sight, no questions asked. You can't trust your guns because they will degrade, jam, or blow up in your hand in the middle of combat. You can't trust your grenades because they behave in a manner beholden to the game's physics; they'll roll down hills and detonate where you didn't expect, making them less a tool for crowd control and more a tool for confusing the enemy AI and sowing chaos and disruption, just long enough to buy you a few precious seconds to stick a Leatherman in your thigh to yank out a bullet, or cauterize a wound, or snap your finger back into its socket. You can't trust your surroundings because the game's notorious fire simulation is unnecessarily realistic, in the best way. The moment to moment on the battlefield changes dramatically when the ample foliage is engulfed in flames. You can't even trust the part where it's a video game, because it doesn't mark enemies for you and the only map you have is a physical piece of paper that your character holds in first person in lieu of nav markers or an on-screen compass. You can't even trust your own two feet because every so often you'll break out in a malaria attack, hoping and praying you remembered to stock up on medicine before heading out to assault that convoy.

I could go on all day about the little details I love so much about Far Cry 2. The first person idle animations for each weapon, the way the game dissuades players from harming the wildlife, the way that swimming in the water will degrade your guns faster, the entire buddy system, the impeccable sound design, the direct ways the enemy AI react to the player's specific actions, the use of broadly multinational enemies that contribute to the game's more broad (if a touch non-committal) critique of military imperialism, the way that all the characters speak entirely too fast to put you on edge at all times, the constant gorgeous sunset that breathes life into a dull, brown, melancholy landscape that is otherwise wholly indifferent to the player's survival, etc.

Far Cry 2 is a wonderful, enigmatic game that has never ceased to fascinate me. I am so glad that it gets to live on by passing portions of its DNA to games like Metal Gear Solid V, Breath of the Wild, Tacoma, Firewatch, etc. It even looks like Red Dead Redemption 2 may be taking some pages from Far Cry 2's playbook. Far Cry 2 is awkward, clever, strange, disorderly, and oppressive. But above all, for me, Far Cry 2 is special. It's among my personal very favorite games of all time, and an easy pick for a "desert island" scenario. Far Cry 2 is a magical little game that shouldn't have gotten made, and I'll be forever glad that it was.

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