The Beach is Back: Far Cry 3

We caught a dose of Far Cry 3 at E3. But what were the side effects?

Beyond being a FPS, Far Cry 2 didn’t really have anything to do with Far Cry at all. Where the first game was lush islands, the second was arid central African scrub. Where the first game was lonely, the second had AI companions, conversations, and expensive Jeeps. Where the first had giant unkillable mutants with rocket launcher arms, the second had… wildebeest. Where the first developer was Crytek, the second was one of Ubisoft’s monolithic internal studios. Plotwise, the first game was Moreau, the second is Heart of Darkness. So what is 3?

The only things in common to the first two were the themes of survival, open area combat, and a love of blue skies. From early reports, Far Cry 3 seemed like a more conscious effort to tie the two titles back together. However, when we got the game demonstrated to us at E3 by level designer Andrea Zannini, he was keen to point out that “For Far Cry 3, we look at 1 & 2 in terms of their foundations and we built upon it terms of the game structure… But… (in terms of narrative)… if 1 was here and 2 was here… we wanted to go way off the map. There’s no real essential tie-in.” So structurally and mechanically we’re told they’re similar, but the stories are not going to link up.

The demo we got followed this video (all demos were done on PC, incidentally), though done slightly differently.

With those without access to moving picture technology; you play Jason Brody (not like giving him a name makes him any less of an unknown), who’s been stranded on a Pacific island with his girlfriend. In your short time there, says Zannini “you’ve peeled back the layers of the onion; you’ve found that it’s very beautiful but also… lawless, savage and human life has no value.” Then, oh, no! Your princess is kidnapped! Cue Brody chasing Bowser to the castle.

As you can see from the trailer, Ubisoft has focused on the characters for this game, in this clip the decidedly bonkers Vaas, a murderous French gang-leader. Vaas is very much ‘12 eggs short of a dozen’ crazy in the unsubtle way that movie villains are bonkers, not simply on pills for his nerves. However, when I bring up how clichéd this is, citing Apocalypse Now, Zannini explains that he’s just one character:

“We wanted to do something different and not just character archetype A, B, C; we really wanted to think how someone would be if they lived in a place like this; if this was their environment and they didn’t want to leave. You and I going to a place like that for vacation would be like ‘omigod, beautiful’ then you see that this is their playground. Everyone’s a little insane, with their own motives, and you get to meet them and at first you’re “I like what they’re saying, I could align myself with them.” It’s not here’s a CRAZY, insane guy, it’s the guy down the street you just walk past and you don’t know it until you start to talk to them. You see a little bit more of the character come through – you think this is not a normal person, there’s something twitchy, off, some wiring not correct.”

So, will the AI companions from the previous title be returning? “There’ll be a slew of characters you encounter on the island, you’ll get to meet them, do missions with them, then they’ll unravel and it’s all part of one giant story that I’m not allowed to talk about.” I’m not sure if I hope it involves rocket-launcher mutants or not.

The only other notable thing about the demo is the world; it’s definitely lush, a return to the beach paradise of the first title, and there’s hints that it’s more explorable than you’d expect; we’re told that you can explore the Zero hanging in the undergrowth, cave mouths on the side of the trail, ruins and so forth… however, it’s highly unlikely these will result in anything more than alternate routes to the next narrative bottleneck, despite the designer’s protestations to the contrary. Zanini explains, “The environment is big for us, y’know, for beauty, but also for gameplay” as demonstrated when Brody, having escaped from a watery grave, uses a waterfall for cover to nobble a gang member, or when he dives into a river to confuse the pursuing natives.

There’s so little that was original in the combat section that I’m just going to skip over it. I mean, it’s just a standard open-world FPS. Nothing about the AI, weapons, movement is new or interesting. There are several different ways that we’re shown you can get to the inevitably-crashing chopper – gung-ho guns blazing, stealthy close combat or sniping from the clifftop (“Far Cry and sniper rifle, they’re in bed together”, says Zannini) followed by a zipline to the shore – but that’s also expected.

Far Cry 2 was hugely divisive – oddly boring, frame-breaking and limited, despite its huge flammable world, twisty plot and AI pals. Zannini emphasises that their key question in Far Cry 3 is “How can we immerse players in our world, give them the agency to play how they want and make it accessible?” There were certainly a lot of underwater sections, but somehow I don’t think that’s the immersion he’s talking about. Ubisoft are definitely returning to something closer to the original Far Cry here – but also closer to a very standard-looking FPS. Far Cry deserves something better than that.


  1. Turin Turambar says:

    “Where the first game was lonely, the second had AI companions, conversations,”

    Well, i wouldn’t say as much…

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      I’ll say it for you then; The first game was a good classic insta-hit, the second, not so much.

    • Magnetude says:

      I went back and played FC2 after a recent post (and ensuing comment battle) and I’ve come to see Far Cry 2 less as a game, more as a Kafkaesque experience. It’s quite hilarious and enjoyable when viewed that way.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Kraftkaesque? I always viewed it as less of a game, much inferior to most other titles I have played (Although Tom Clancy’s Advanced warfighter comes close)

      Personal taste I guess but I struggle to see what people find enjoyable in it, it’s a mindless grind (at the start anyways, I couldn’t be fucked getting very far in it)

    • Thants says:

      I never understood why people though it was a grind. It’s an FPS, you shoot people. That’s not a grind, that’s the game.

    • Magnetude says:

      Tiki: If you just throw yourself into the idea of a world that makes no sense, where everyone hates you, and the two warring factions have their headquarters across the road from each other, it’s a laugh. It’s just a constant stream of terrible things happening. It’s a game designed to engender madness in those who play it. Good deeds are punished severely, people lie to you in incredibly fast monotone, constantly, and the choices you make are written down somewhere and forgotten about.

      The fundamental problem with FC2 is that it requires you to think in a certain way for it to make sense, which means you have to voluntarily submit to insanity. It’s a brilliant, though probably unintentional, bit of design.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      @ Thants, I almost agree with you, but for it to be a game, the shooting mechanics (which is all it has to do being an FPS and all) have to be good, I found the FC2 gunfighting nasty, borderline Sadomasochist-in terms of terribleness.

      @Magnetude, yeah I think that is the sort of mindset you have to have to enjoy it =/ I certainly didn’t :< Guess I like some good things happening to me in my games. :3

    • Magnetude says:

      Tiki: I do agree that the shooting is pretty awful. The guns feel quite nice, the issue is enemies don’t get suppressed and are all wearing kevlar wifebeaters, so unless you can get a headshot you can pump a whole clip at a guy from 20ft away and not kill him.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I disagree and agree with several posts, so I’ll sum it up:

      I preferred Far Cry 2 to Far Cry 1 in almost every possible way. Yes, it was a slow game, but that slowness could be really nice at times. By the end of my 50-60 hour playthrough of FC2, it was almost zen-like.

      Setting the game in Africa was a bold move too, that I felt really paid of. The FC2 setting had personality, the FC1 ditto had nothing.

      As the hivemind mentioned before, the big thing FC2 really lacked was real mod-tools. A STALKER-level mod community for FC2 would indeed be incredibly cool.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Regardless of what it was like as a game (personally I like it, which is not the same as enjoying it), the fact that no one else picked up the Dunia engine for a different (better/less contentious) game mistfies me. It was so pretty, and the fire was so amazing.
      Oh, and the first time you tried to fire a second hand rocket launcher and it lands just in front of you, spinning round and round before blowing your eyebrows off, is hilarious.
      Or at least, you have to find it hilarious in order to enjoy the rest of the game.

    • noom says:

      I honestly think I’d have enjoyed FC2 by many more magnitudes without the overly aggressive AI. If they behaved throughout the map as in the safe zones, and only shot on sight within the areas that were defined as dangerous areas/bases, I could really have enjoyed the atmosphere more. As it was, the AI was totally fourth wall breaking for me. One other alteration I’d make is for the jeeps-with-turrets to be much rarer. Those two minor tweaks alone I think would have made it a classic.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      I think Tiki nailed it better than I did; Far Cry 2’s combat was simply abysmally annoying, to me.

    • Marcin says:

      I don’t know how I can disagree more than just proclaim that you guys are outright high. The combat in FC2 is one of the best out there (with Bad Company 2 close behind). The excellent sound accounts for most of it, the terrain destructability is another part, and that whole intangible “feel” of the weapons firing, reloading and yes, even jamming completes it.

    • Yosharian says:

      The fundamental problem with FC2 is that its fucking boring and tedious.

      Oh and that demo was terrible at the end, scripted shit like that is what ruins these so-called sandbox FPS games.

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    the decidedly bonkers Vaas, a murderous French gang-leader

    Eh? He doesn’t sound at all French. He’s some manner of Spanish-speaking South (or Central) American.

    Bit of a shame they’re returning to a more traditional “you’re a good guy and they’re bad guys” narrative, though. What made FC2 memorable was how genuinely evil you were forced to become to catch up to the Jackal.

    • woodsey says:

      *Posted in wrong place*

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      During the noise of E3, I musta misheard him. Or perhaps it was just bad voice-acting. Or perhaps I was so put off by the pseudo-philosophical tosh and obvious book-ending of dialogue.

  3. syntax says:

    The line at the end of the E3 gameplay would have had much more impact if Vaas hadn’t said it already. They should cut it out of the script before he pushes the player into the water.

    • HeavyHarris says:

      If you honestly think that you’re completely missing the point.

    • gwathdring says:

      I don’t know. I just watched the gameplay demo (way late, I know :P) and I felt “the point” was so unsubtle as to not be worth it. Way overplayed. I don’t quite understand what makes that character so worthy of praise. The acting seemed up a notch compared to a lot of games, but I was not really impressed by the character or dialog.

      To be fair, it’s a bad idea to judge a character from such a short clip.

  4. DSR says:

    I was like “meh” because FC2 was awful, boring and dull.
    But then I saw first screenshot on this page…
    Real Far Cry 2… Is that finally… you?
    No… Those are not tears but manly sweat.
    I’ve missed you so much.

    • Commisar says:

      not so fast buddy, I hear that there will be NO MUTANTS in this game, I mean come on, no mutants = no Far Cry

  5. Monchberter says:

    *Mandatory “I enjoyed Far Cry 2” comment.*
    *cue debate*

  6. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I would honestly prefer it drops me into the jungle, by myself, to run around and shoot bad guys in the face, I don’t want to fucking talk to anyone, I want to talk with my gun.

    But you know, if it did that, it would have to have good mechanics, something I think that is just too far for ubisoft to reach up to nowdays.

    • Monkey says:

      One day we’ll look back at what you’ve written and say ‘the warning signs were there…”

    • Daiv says:

      The problem with talking with your gun is that conversations tend to be short.

  7. Baboonanza says:

    What a pun!

  8. HermitUK says:

    Certainly from other previews I’ve read it sounds like the game opens out significantly. They use early battles like this chopper one, with its scripted starting point (On the cliff) and ending set piece (The chopper crash) to lure players in. Then introduce more freedom as it goes on.

    “The right way to do it is kind of layers of an onion, where you start in a guided experience and then you gradually open it up in chunks… You’re going to have a staged experience where you get used to the mechanics, so that by the time we open the whole thing up and it stays open to the end of the game, you’re ready and you know where to go.”

    Colour me interested in this one, anyway. If it’s the best parts of Far Cry 1 meets the best bits of Far Cry 2, that sounds like a pretty exciting prospect. Increasingly tempted to go back and play Far Cry 2 again. Enjoyed what I played but never really got very far.

  9. Magnetude says:

    Did you see any fire happening at any point? FC2’s fire was brilliant.

    • Christian says:

      That’s very true. I spent quite a while just fooling around with this: set something on fire, lean back and watch it spread. Makes me think of Kieron’s (or someone else’s from RPS) comment on FC2 that you could nearly feel the dry heat of the surrounding dessert while playing.

      After thinking about this, I’m surprised to have only fond memories of FC2, which doesn’t happen with a lot of games that don’t leave any impression that lasts.

      So this might just show: fun in a game is what you make of it.

    • Daiv says:

      I played this game in the depths of winter with the heating system in my house completely dead. I was kept from freezing by the simple expedient of multiple hot air blowers trained on my body. So I really did feel the blasting heat of the open landscape on my face as I played the game. It became an integral part of the Far Cry 2 experience for me.

  10. dux says:

    I hope this Brody chap remembered to pack his malaria pills this time.

  11. Pop says:

    I’m liking the look of this one. It’s a shame if they’ve entirely dropped the heart of darkness aspect from Far Cry 2 though. I thought that was a really cool aspect. I’d like to see more games where the player must become an evil monster to complete it.

  12. mbp says:

    I am excited I loved me some Far Cry 1 and I hated Far Cry 2.

    Reasons for hating FC2: Sucky re spawning roadblocks. Awful weapon upgrade and maintenance system with rusty weapons that broke down just when you needed them most. The whole apathetic pointlessness of the scenario.

    Reasons for loving FC1: Brilliant open levels fitting into overarching fantasy storyline, clearly delineated good guys bad guys. Nice Shiny weapons in a drop dead gorgeous Tropical island world.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Not to mention the Extraordinarily bad gunplay, honestly I get more enjoyement out of gunfights in Halo, it just felt WAY too laboured in FC2, in fact, everything felt that way, it all felt forced, like it didn’t really belong there, I actually recently reinstalled it, yep, quit after killing the same checkpoint thugs for the 3rd time. I think that’s what happened last time actually.

    • skinlo says:

      I enjoy it when I had a blow dart and stealthed around everywhere!

    • Thants says:

      I swear people do nothing but drive back and forth through the checkpoints in an effort to annoy themselves, because I never saw the problem with it.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      A few locations are only accessable by driving through checkpoints, also, it’s and FPS, see – shoot people, this is basically anything/everything in the game.

    • Ross Angus says:

      For me, while the weapon degradation was annoying from a game play perspective, it really brought home the wastefulness of war – automatic weapons discarded on the floor of a dusty hut, after a single fire-fight. This is one of the reasons I found the game depressing, and thoughtful at the same time.

    • Cable says:

      i think the whole pointlessness of the situation was kind of the whole point though wasn’t it?
      It was designed to illustrate the stupidity and overall badness of war

    • Alexnader says:

      After seeing an RPS article where the author praised FC2 I bought it and FC1 for $7 during a steam deal and am currently doing an infamous run on FC2.

      Frankly it’s pretty damn good. There are bugs and the gunplay has some hit detection issues and Bad Company 2 has spoiled me in terms of destructable environments but really the general experience of playing the game makes up for it. I like having to scrounge around to afford a decent weapon, I like having a routine for replacing my weapons as they age and I like having to learn how many soldiers are stationed at each guard post.

      Also the movement is surprisingly good for an FPS. Sprinting feels real, you can slide to cover, if you sprint and jump at terrain that varies in height slightly you’ll SMART your way through it (No visible parkour, you just kind of run over it automatically).

      Also I’ll miss the heart of darkness elements of FC2. Maybe FC1 was better but I’ll find that out once I’m done with 2.

    • jaheira says:

      Yeah. The whole game was a metaphor for the West fucking up Africa. That’s why it made no attempt to differentiate between the two warring factions: it literally didn’t matter who was who to the westerners – they just wanted to prolong the conflict as long as they could. Some of the missions you carry out are stupefyingly evil – the one where you have to destroy the last remaining reserves of anaesthetic in the country for example, but it’s all the same to you as long as they keep on handing over those sweet diamonds.

    • mbp says:

      I don’t deny that FC2 was a terrific simulation of the hopelessness and apathy of a failed African state. I actually got depressed every time I tried to play it. I got about half way through the game when I realised that I want fantasy escapism and not gritty realism in my shooters please.

      The thing about the re-spawning checkpoints is that they were completely in keeping with the setting and completely depressing. There is no point even trying to kill the bad guys because another bunch will just pop up again the moment you are gone.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Are there any checkpoints in the entire game that actually need to be gone through more than once? I don’t remember any. On the first map you could get from the neutral zone/bus stop/gunshop/bar by car without encountering any, on the second map you could do it via boat without encountering any..

  13. Det says:

    >Far Cry deserves something better than that.
    This is where you lost me.

    • ynamite says:

      Same here. I think it looks very interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing the more unscripted parts of the game, more of the AI and of course the story.

      What made Far Cry 1 so interesting to me were the huge environments, the quite clever AI with it’s search patterns and what not and the possibility to actually skip most of the enemy encounters if you played that way. The weapons felt spot on, I loved the handgun to bits and also the snipery parts were excellent. Basically Crysis 1 without the Nano-Suit and all the other high-tech jazz.

      When I first played Far Cry 2 I was severely disappointed, though I did like the setting and the premise a lot, but in the end I don’t think it lived up to it. I didn’t enjoy the gunplay (I just kept dying), I hated the respawning checkpoints, I didn’t like the lack of animal life or the lack of friendly NPCs and, especially, having to get your dose of Antibiotics. Another huge letdown was the AI, while it wasn’t exceptionally stupid nor bright, it was darn stupid that enemies could see you from a Kilometer away while you were hiding in the foliage in the middle of the night. Stealthy approaches did work to some extent, but never in a satisfying way. Mind you, I played it for a couple of hours and deleted it afterwards.

      I have to say that, while I didn’t notice it so much at the time, the PC I first ran Far Cry 2 on could, in retrospect, not handle it properly. Many of the issues I had with its combat actually stem from that, at least I believe so. About a year or two later I reinstalled it on a brand spanking new PC, mainly because a few friends of mine said that they loved the game and that I should have another go at it. And I must admit that I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than the first time around. So much more in fact that I played it almost to the end, I still hated the respawning checkpoints and the ludicrous AI, but the gunplay felt much better and many things that bugged me the first time playing it, didn’t bug me as much the second time. So I reckon the performance was a big issue for me, even though it seemed to run smooth enough on my first run.

      Anyway, I missed the tropical island(s). I wanted them back. When Crysis came out I was overjoyed, it seemed to offer exactly what I expected from a sequel to Far Cry, even if it was an indirect one. I enjoyed it a lot in the beginning, but it didn’t take long for the glamour to wear off. The enemy AI wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be (though it was pretty good at times) and the whole futuristic take on everything didn’t really fit in well with the tropical island setting imo. Nomad (the player character) felt way too powerful, especially with the camouflage ability. In Far Cry 1 you always felt suspense because you actually had to hide, think about the next move, plan your approach etc. In Crysis you could do that too, but there was no suspense, for me at least.

      In my opinion Far Cry 1 is still the best of the bunch and I’m very much looking forward to 3. I hope it’s good.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, I don’t agree with the “Far Cry deserves something better than that” comment either. If the game just has standard FPS mechanics in a huge, explorable setting where I can have fun deciding how to set up my assault on different groups of bad guys…. well, that’s enough for me. I love that game mechanic of carefully scouting a situation and deciding to handle it, instead of being pulled by the nose through some scripted sequence.

      Games like this need a few scripted sequences to provide context and drive a storyline, but the more they let me roam around as a free agent, the more I like it. And damn few games in the “FPS” genre do that.

  14. skinlo says:

    Well I enjoyed Farcry 1 and Farcry 2, so imagine I’ll enjoy this.
    They tried innovating with Farcry 2, most people hated it, so now they go back to a more normal style of game.

    What I find interesting is the degree people hated it, most people seem to despise it just because of slightly tedious car journeys and respawning enemies.

    • Monkey says:

      I think it was because of the the huge potential that was thrown away due to some flawed design choices.

      It was so close, but missed the ledge and fell into the pit of shit. That’s just annoying

  15. Ashen says:

    FC2 was a flawed gem in the sea of mediocricity of modern first person shooters. I’m bummed they’re dumping the setting which made it so unique, but that video makes it look interesting.

    • TheApologist says:

      This. Yes, it could be infuriating, and no I didn’t spend too much time with it. But I go back to Far Cry 2 in a way I don’t with most corridor FPS games, or the STALKERs that are great but require much more investment.

      Far Cry 2, I can jump in, muck around in this beautiful, lunatic world, and have great fun. Then leave it alone for another six months.

  16. Stijn says:

    yeeeahhh I just took some Far Cry 3

    Ain’t no telling what the side effects could be

  17. Burning Man says:

    I get the feeling you weren’t really interested in liking this game when you previewed it.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      I was, but I ended up not liking it by the end of the presentation. I’ve had the same feedback since from other people who’ve seen it – the combat is bog-standard and they’re trying to wow us with a) the return to a tropical setting and b) the cutscenes. A) worked for me, but b) really failed.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Joshua says:

    but also closer to a very standard-looking FPS. Far Cry deserves something better than that.

    Hmm. Far Cry strikes me as a fairly standard looking FPS with bigger maps.

  19. Baboonanza says:

    The reality is… those 15s popping up after kills looks terrible. The whole thing also looks far too cartoon-ish for my taste, both visually and mechanically. The guy just seems to sprays bullets in the general area of the bad guys and they die.

    Far Cry 1 required you to find a good approach to wiping out each base – if you went in wrong you’d get slaughtered. This just looks like another run-and-gun shooter.

  20. Teronfel says:

    Best gane ever

  21. skyturnedred says:

    “There’s so little that was original in the combat section that I’m just going to skip over it. I mean, it’s just a standard open-world FPS.”

    I thought the cover system seemed pretty cool if nothing else. To be honest, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood -style cover should have been in all FPS games after it was released, and this seems like a step in that direction.

    Also, takedowns in first person, take that Deus Ex!

  22. Uglycat says:

    They should skip the modern day aspect and do Far Cry 3 with pirates.

  23. Freud says:

    Just started playing Far Cry 2. And it is exactly like I suspected after reading what people have written about it. For every two things I love there is one thing I hate.

    But well worth continuing to play because of the cynical tone. I don’t know if refreshing is the right word considering the setting but it is unique.

  24. henben says:

    Yeah, also, there are threat indicators showing where fire is coming from, rather than just where you’re being shot from. That “takedown” where he uses one guy’s knife against the other guy is something I’ve not seen before.

    Also, this is presumably a relatively constrained opening quasi-tutorial/demo level. If the world is as open as Far Cry 2, or even the roomier bits of Far Cry 1, that’s hardly “standard” for an FPS.

  25. Angel Dust says:

    “However, when I bring up how clichéd this is, citing Apocalypse Now”
    While I can agree that this kind of character isn’t exactly original in games, I also cannot recall another example of such a character as compelling and well executed as what we saw in that footage. It’s a damn sight better than Far Cry 2’s attempt in The Jackal as well.

    I liked Far Cry 2 a lot but it was certainly flawed and I’m quite happy for this game to hold back on the innovation a bit in favour of consolidating on the strengths of Far Cry 2 while also fixing the rather glaring issues. Most of what I’ve seen and heard here leads me to believe that this is the case, even if I do have reservations about certain decisions e.g. XP popups (hopefully this can be turned off).

  26. woodsey says:

    “we’re told that you can explore the Zero hanging in the undergrowth, cave mouths on the side of the trail, ruins and so forth… however, it’s highly unlikely these will result in anything more than alternate routes to the next narrative bottleneck, despite the designer’s protestations to the contrary. ”

    You’ve decided this based on what? There’s a slight difference between questioning how true something will turn out to be, and essentially shitting on what you’ve been told. Bit of an odd preview.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to it, although I’m not overtly excited about the setting. I thought Vaas seemed genuinely creepy though.

    Here’s hoping they introduce neutral guard posts and make a more natural feeling map; always found it jarring in the second how an area would be marked out by a big square and essentially counted as your “go here to get a decent fight” area. It should be more dynamic,

  27. Flint says:

    I’ve so far disliked both Far Cries but considering how they’ve got nothing to do with eachother and this one seems to head down the same path, I’m going to keep an eye on this. I’d love something like FC2 but with all the massive problems fixed, hopefully this could be something like that.

  28. jstar says:

    I dont understand the complaints about this. I must have been watching a different video. The way your character moves around the world and interacts with the environment in a first person perspective seems completely fresh and original to me. I can’t think of another shooter where you meld with the world like this. Jumping over stuff, taking cover etc etc. It looks much more than a standard FPS to me.

  29. Christian says:

    Yeah, that irritated me a lot. And I’m not quite sure if in a good way.
    While I understand the average gamer nowadays seems to have to be motivated by numbers popping up and getting achievements and/or points for everything or he will lose interest..this just feels kind of wrong.
    Having such an emphasis on realism and then just presenting the enemies as pop-up-targets form a carneval scoring you 10 points a pop doesn’t feel very consistent.
    But I’ll guess we’ll have to see how this turns out. Still mildly looking forward to this.

  30. kuran says:

    Far Cry 2 was a misunderstood classic in its own right, behind the flaws it brought a lot of great elements to the table, such as the weapon jamming system, the dramatic AI rescue system, innovative vehicle repair and wound treatment animations, beautiful (to this day) game world with exciting car explosions and fairly dynamic encounters, GORGEOUS day\night cycle, realistic (in game terms) map system and fire effects. Oh and the locals spoke authentic languages such as Afrikaans.

    It seems that instead of going the way of improving on these unique elements and fixing the rest, they chose to shave off most unique elements and bring it closer to a generic FPS. How could they honestly implement a stupid HUD map after Far Cry 2? They don’t get it.

    Clint Hocking should have gotten a second chance and more dev time with this one.

    • godgoo says:

      agreed, though this still seems worth a look in to me, or it did until he killed a guy and a big ‘+10’ popped up, yes and the hud map…

      The reason why FC2 will go down as one of my favourite games ever is because, despite all the well documented flaws the immersion level was amazing, I think it depends on what type of gamer you are, if like me getting lost in the game is your thing then FC2 did that better than any other game for me.

    • fiddlesticks says:

      Well, I certainly got lost a lot in Far Cry 2.

    • MrWoks says:

      I’m sorry but “the weapon jamming system, the dramatic AI rescue system, innovative vehicle repair and wound treatment animations, beautiful (to this day) game world with exciting car explosions and fairly dynamic encounters, GORGEOUS day\night cycle, realistic (in game terms) map system and fire effects. Oh and the locals spoke authentic languages such as Afrikaans.” Is a hilariously misguided statement. All of those various mechanics have been implemented in countless games before FC2 was even thought about and used in much more effective and “realistic” ways. For instance, the weapon jamming in the game is a joke. If weapons degraded on such a scale in real life wars would last only days after all the resources in the local continent ran out. Running through your list some of the more obvious points, such as the opening the bonnet turning a bolt with a wrench (the equivalent of hitting an object with a hammer until it magically repairs). Also the “dynamic encounters” that happen every 50 meters down any path, road or stretch of water withe the AI equivalent of “CHARGE AT THAT GUY!”. So no, to sum up FC2 was about as innovative as the Ipad 2.

  31. HermitUK says:

    Not sure about the bloke’s name. I hear the name Brody and this pops into my head every time. Definition of insanity indeed.

    • Donjonson says:

      Such a terrible character name.
      Jason Brody: A man, a mission, madness and more. He shaves. He shoots.
      He is a a tough man with a Name.
      Come at me bro.
      Do NOT come at Jason Brody or antagonise him for he is prepared for all situations and violence.

  32. Jetsetlemming says:

    The developer talking really managed to sell me on Far Cry 3. Confirmed that it’s open world, and hinted at a bunch of features that personally I find compelling. Also I noticed this time that the gun he picks up has a scope rack on the top, so weapon modification, or at least basic stuff like scopes and silencers, is almost certainly in.
    I hope the XP popping out of dudes is moved to the HUD instead of visually appearing in the world, or at least allows them to be turned off. I found Borderlands to be massively disappointing and would rather games NOT take cues from it.

  33. Cirdain says:

    I would like to be able to hide the experience points pop-up when you kill someone.

  34. Vinraith says:

    I loved FC2, disliked FC1, and am deeply skeptical of FC3 based on what I’ve read so far. “Damsel in distress” story lines do nothing to ease my concerns, especially after the (fairly brilliant) end of FC2.

    • woodsey says:

      If done well they give you a reason to care, which I though Far Cry 2 sorely missed. The game had no story outside of 3 5 minute scenes at the beginning, middle and end, all of which culminated in someone simply talking at you.

    • Vinraith says:

      A “reason to care” was never a problem for me in Far Cry 2, as I found the game enormously fun, which is certainly reason enough. As to story,I can’t say as I missed it. More often than not developer-determined narrative just gets in the way of player choice. More linear narrative is NOT what Far Cry 2 needed.

    • Thirith says:

      There was a lot more story than that, but it wasn’t told in conventional ways and it was tied in with the world-building. It definitely wasn’t 100% successful, but it was considerably more ambitious and interesting in the world it created and the story it told in this world than the majority of other games.

      Which doesn’t excuse or justify the repetitive gameplay, mind you.

      P.S.: I hated the original FarCry for its cheap, tacky feel. The island was great, but the rest was as tasteless as the protagonist’s Hawaii shirt IMO.

    • Jimbo says:

      I also enjoyed Far Cry 2 a great deal, though I thought the end was still pretty bad. That’s still better than Far Cry or Crysis though, where the entire back half of the game is pretty bad.

      I’m a little disappointed they’re taking it back to the jungle. Africa felt like a much fresher setting to me.

  35. quantum36 says:

    well what I want to know is does farcry 3 have hangliders. Hangliders were ace in Farcry 1

  36. Soon says:

    No long-winded, boring opening sequence that will end up frustrating me before I even start playing, please. That goes for you other games too.

  37. godkingemperor says:

    Far Cry 2 committed the great sin of contemporary gaming in asking the player to put some work in themselves, to atually use their imagination and be creative with how they viewed the world, rather than simply dole out instant gratification at every corner. Todays shooters are much to wrapped up in the metagame, Far Cry 2 required you to understand the mechanics of its world.

    • James T says:

      Far Cry 2 committed the great sin of contemporary gaming in asking the player to put some work in themselves, to atually use their imagination and be creative with how they viewed the world,

      “use their imagination and be creative with how they viewed the world”? What are you actually talking about? Setting fire to the grass? (it generally wasn’t that effective, except against vehicles, as I recall; the on-foot AI knew well enough to run away from grass fires.) How best should we kindle our imagination to make FC2 flourish? Pretend that the militia we’re working for isn’t shooting at us in the field? Pretend that the hardy guns don’t break with tedious ease (Kalashnikov would turn in his grave, if he weren’t still alive), and that the higher-tech kit won’t shatter in a few mags’ time?

      rather than simply dole out instant gratification at every corner.

      You mean like… re-manning outposts at superhuman speed to sustain the man-shootathon? Some of FC2’s proponents try to tell me that that’s the height of gratification.

      Todays shooters are much to wrapped up in the metagame, Far Cry 2 required you to understand the mechanics of its world.

      Far Cry 2 is a very simple game to understand; hell, I’ve read many an anecdote about the game being simpler than people expect (considering that it’s set in a whole nation, it often takes people by surprise when they pass by their first car in the game and discover that everyone out of doors wants you dead — including members of whatever militia you’ve chosen to work for).

    • Ultra Superior says:

      godkingemperor is absolutely right – if you don’t understand what he means you probably sucked horribly.

    • LordEvilAlien says:

      godkingemperor is absolutely right – “use their imagination and be creative with how they viewed the world”.The guns broke easily to my mind they were cheap chinese imports or faulty soviet surplus.
      everybody attacked you – of course they did you were not in uniform you did not drive a company jeep – nobody knew who the fuck you were.
      the game is very simple to understand – you invest imagination and it yields lasting gaming pleasure. despite its flaws.
      i think it should have had a tighter main story and the repeated checkpoint clearing, arms convoy destroying, assassinations should have been separate challenges outside of the main game.

  38. wootles says:

    Why can’t the far cry series go back in time? I would love to have a far cry experience in the Americas during the time of the massive population rush west. It would need to be set in northern regions though. Perhaps a battle with the Hudson’s Bay company and their trade of beaver pelts. What could be more fun than battling it out with grizzlies, moose, beavers, native americans and burly haired french and englishmen. Since Red Dead Redemption never made it to the PC I can only dream of such fantasies.

  39. Jim Rossignol says:

    Others have said this, but FC2 could have been the greatest game ever, if it had been open to modding.

    • Vinraith says:

      A-freaking-men. I suspect several completely different, utterly brilliant games could have been built on the bones of FC2, to say nothing of how marvelous the base game would have been with just a bit of mod tweaking. It’s maddening to think about, really.

    • jimmysanto says:

      @LulzSec: Far Cry 2 source code, please. Thank you.

    • Arglebargle says:

      I might agree. Sorta. Far Cry 2 suffered from some abysmal design flaws, that could probably have been fixed, if the fan base had been let loose on it. The engine’s great, the look great, but the implementation was awful. And they even knew about the spawn problem in Beta, but it was apparantly too difficult to fix (?). Whatever good they did, they more than balanced it out with terrible design decisions.

      Amongst them being no set up for modding.

      I hated the gameplay and quickly deleted it; wouldn’t play it as it is on a bet.

    • Donjonson says:

      Lack of SDK or proper mod tools for FC2 is as maddening and kafkaesque as people have said of it’s plot…

    • Fameros says:

      People hate FC2 because your enemies are overly aggressive, respawn too fast, stealth is close to impossible and story is poor. Wait, I get it, FC2 is in fact an MMO shooter.

    • jaheira says:

      @ Jim
      Maybe, but I suppose we don’t know the cost of making the game moddable. Presumably they were working to a budget. What would you be prepared to sacrifice from the game as it is? For me the answer would be nothing, but then I think FC2 is inches away from being the best FPS ever made so I would say that.

  40. matrices says:

    Far Cry 2 is one of those rare games where a handful of terrible aspects are fused together with a handful of beautiful ones, producing something maddeningly uneven and jarringly disappointing.

    I don’t understand the jaded tone of this preview, though. You’re knocking on a shooter because it’s a shooter? “Bog standard” mechanics like, what, shooting people with a gun? And if the cover system is like Bound in Blood that’s certainly not standard, though it damn well ought to be.

  41. kuran says:

    Yes, even a few tweaks via mods (ala stalker’s complete mods) could have turned FC2 around.

  42. Fumarole says:

    For those interested in Far Cry 2, the complete Permanent Death saga is available for download. I haven’t read it all but am motivated enough by it to try my own hand at this most hardcore of self-imposed game rules.

  43. horsemedic says:

    My best memory of FC2 is the hours I spent out on a barren plain, learning to use the mortar by trying to hit an abandoned hut on the horizon. I never really got good at it and mortar wasn’t an effective weapon anyway, but it was 4 or 5 hours of amusing gameplay never even intended to be in the game. I’ve never played another game like that, that gave me the freedom to just drive off the map and watch the sun go down while learning to use a piece of junk weapon just because I felt like it.

    I never understood why people hated the stealth. As far as I’m concerned, FC2 is the only game to get stealth right. Yes, enemy snipers could spot you a mile off. They were snipers. Yes, if you silent killed a dude in the middle of camp all his buddies would go alert. You just killed a dude in the middle of camp. And yes, sometimes stealth was just plain impossible. But I’m sure many a soldier would tell you the same.

    The game had its problems. Driving was irritating, the AI was overly agressive, the voice acting was bizarre, the story dull, the side quests repetitive. I was delighted to hear the developer in this vid bring many of those issues up directly and talk about how his team is trying to address them. Unless the author has seen more of the game than he’s told us, his extreme cynicism seems groundless.

  44. Ultra Superior says:

    Hmm I don’t like the tone of this article mr. grilled octopus. I don’t share your view on previous FC titles (I found the second very amusing), but I’ve got the feeling this game will be much better than your presentation of it.

    In other words this feels unnecessarily biased and you mr. grill, look stupid.

  45. Felixader says:

    Far Cry 2 could have been a great immersive game, if not more then half of tjis immerisivity or whatever ended up beeing to your disadvantage and the fucking Checkpoints with their senseless “we shoot you no matter what” made it a absolutely horrible chore to get anywhere.

  46. lwf says:

    After what they said about FC2 versus what it became I would not trust anything I hear from the developers of FC3.

  47. jimmysanto says:

    roBurky –

    My only criticism of the game is this whole theme business that’s being discussed here. We’re given this great open-world game full of choice, but the only choices available all involve being a fucking horrible person for no real reason.
    I’ll accept that I do get pleasure from the pretend shooting of things. But I’d rather not be made to feel quite this guilty for it.

    Clint Hocking –

    If we’ve managed to make a shooter that makes the average person *feel something* because of all the violence he is causing (whether it’s guilt or other), then I think we’ve succeeded.
    If you continue through to the mid-game and then finally to the end, I think there is some illumination there into what that violence means… depending on how it shakes out in your particular game and with your particular approach, guilt and some form of redemption are possible outcomes… sacrifice, pride in personal responsibility are potentially a few others.
    Anyway – that’s all theory… it’s clearly and unquestionably my fault that the ‘reason’ you would participate in these actions is not developed and made clearer. That said, you don’t actually have to be that horrible at all (though it is a lot fucking harder and less fun to try to kill as few people as possible) in reality the number of people you have to kill in the game is quite small, and the truly horrible things you’re asked to do are typically asked by your buddies, not by the factions.
    We always said from day one that the game was asking the question ‘how far are you willing to go to do the right thing’, and that’s not an easy question… we could have made the question easier and clearer by putting it – and the answer to it – in some cinematics, but we decided to put them into the actual mechanics of play.
    I just hope the people who are willing and able to level fair critism (instead of the ones who grief the forums with (EH gAME SuXXsRs) will give it a shot… we’ll see.

    link to

  48. captain nemo says:

    “The fundamental problem with FC2 is that its fucking boring and tedious.”

    This. More turgid offerings from Ubisoft.