Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I have a confession: I’ve never played as far as the mutant stuff in Far Cry.
RPS Feature No mutants allowed
Hot on the heels of Fallout 4’s Survival Mode, which brings exhaustion and dehydration back to the world of post-apocalyptic entertainment, Ubisoft have announced that Far Cry Primal [official site] will be getting the survivalist treatment.
The keystone of that survival mode is the change in the exploration, crafting, and difficulty of the game to make it even more realistic. After that, there are options the player can activate to go further.
Survival mode will arrive as part of a free patch on April 12th. We called this earlier in the month, of course, when we made Robert Zak play the game wearing nowt but a loincloth. More details below.
RPS Feature Basic instincts
When Far Cry Primal [official site] was unveiled, I shrugged with semi-feigned disinterest, aware that the series has hit milking point, but unable to dismiss the inner teenager tugging at my inner sleeve saying “But it’s got cavemen and tribes and woolly mammoths and you can ride them, and throw spears and stuff!” Yes, the prehistoric era taps into a primal fantasy in me, but when that’s overlaid with an advanced radar, an owl endowed with the abilities of a military drone, and heat-vision that conveniently colour-codes every object, footprint and smell, the fantasy kind of tapers off.
By shutting off as many aids and HUD elements as possible, I intended to reclaim the fantasy.
RPS Feature Posthistoric
A week later than consoles, because apparently Ubisoft have abandoned that promise already, Far Cry Primal [official site] is out on PC tomorrow. I’ve donned my wolf-skin coat, daubed random lines of paint on my face, and killed some local wildlife (sorry Mrs Primms about Fluffy) in preparation to tell you Wot I Think:
There’s a scene in the new Far Cry Primal [official site] trailer in which the player character instructs his pet owl to eat someone’s face. It’s amazing how inconsequential the lack of vehicles and rocket launchers seems now that the full extent of the animal-taming can be seen. Feed wild beasts and they can be tamed, which leads to big cat snuggling, guard bears and tiger ridin’. Given that sniping the locks off animal cages was my favourite way to take out a baseload of baddies in Far Cry 3, Primal suddenly looks very tasty indeed.
Psssst! You wanna hear some gossip? WELL! So, Eurogamer told me that some friends of theirs told THEM that a marketing research survey told them – the friends not Eurogamer – that they wanted to talk future Far Cry game settings. I *know*, right?
Apparently the talk came in the form of a survey which asked players to make their preferences regarding potential settings such as Alaska, zombies, dinosaurs and Vietnam known.
RPS Feature Far Cry Some More
Far Cry 4 is a funhouse mirror. I love pointing it in in different directions and seeing the way its design reflects the videogames around it. Angle it one way and the first thing you’ll see in its reflection the only slightly distorted visage of its predecessor, as Far Cry 3’s every idea turns formula: there’s an exotic setting; an extravagant and verbose villain; crafting by way of animal hunting; a mixture of linear campaign and dynamic missions. This sequel could be considered a lavishly made standalone expansion pack and, if you enjoyed the previous game as I did, its slavish devotion to existing structures is no bad thing.
Know what Far Cry needs? A villain so kerrazy that he takes a selfie right after he murders a bunch of people. Thankfully, that’s precisely what the series now has in the shape of the mad despot who takes center stage on the box art and rants and raves his way through the debut trailer above. GTA V was the game to popularise the act of inappropriate post-carnage selfies, I believe, and dare we hope that Far Cry 4 will take the art to the next level? Brave new worlds opening up before us.
As part of my continuing display of ignorance, I hadn’t realised that the upcoming Far Cry The Wild Expedition – a bundle of all the previous Far Cries in one imaginary box – was going to contain something called Far Cry: Classic – a slightly remade version of the original game. Something that’s already available for consoles, apparently, but sigh Ubisoft etc. It seems the PC will only get it on the 21st, as a part of the rest of the pack.
RPS Feature "a rainforest beyond a real rainforest and a city beyond a real city"
Many people set their furrowed brows to maximum anger (known in some places as a warface) and rallied against Crysis 2. I wasn’t one of them. It was, in many ways, a far more directed experience than Crysis 1, but it was still far from being Modern Warfare in a snazzy pair of robo-pants. That said, when word got out that Crysis 3 was aiming to get back in touch with the series’ more open roots, I may have done a little dance. But then, mid-awkward-convulsion-shuffle-step, I halted with a sudden sobering realization: could it all be too good to be true? Fortunately, this entire series of events took place at a Crysis 3 event in San Francisco yesterday, so I immediately turned and asked director of creative development Rasmus Hojengaard. Here’s what he told me.
Once upon a time, Far Cry was the great hope of modders everywhere. Its paint-like world-building tool appeared joyously easy to use, and its incredi-graphics seemed malleable to all sorts of visual experimentation.
That didn’t really happen. Half-Life proved a more suitable mod-foundation, and any number of mooted Far Cry efforts didn’t make it far past the drawing board. So it’s great to see one finally make it out the door (though worth noting we’ve had two other splendid FC mods in the last year.)
The Delta Sector is both a single and multiplayer mod, but its main goal – and its greatest accomplishment – is to squeeze every last drop of pixel-juice out of Crytek’s now-aged first engine. The results are incredible:
(Click on the pic for a big’un).
Read the rest of this entry »
This blog (scroll down if you don’t read French) has the details of an artful Far Cry mod that references Samuel Beckett and Fritz Lang alongside Rez, Shadow Of The Colossus, and Fahrenheit, in its design blurb. It seems to be called “Jeux d’ombres”, which means something like
“Play Of Shadows” “Shadow Play”, apparently. Although “Game Of Shadows” is the literal translation. My complete lack of professionalism means that I don’t have a copy of Far Cry handy to test this out on, but the description and trailer makes it sound worth taking a nose at…
Read the rest of this entry »
And now, Far Cry: The Movie.
Is that your gun, Gametrailers?
Y’know, a film about shooting men on an island really shouldn’t be that challenging to get right.
Disclaimer: Only “Americans” can get free stuff.
Ubisoft have decided to release three of their older games for free, albeit with a few adverts tacked on for good monetary measure. Get them via these games via these Gamershell links: Far Cry, Prince Of Persia: Sands of Time, and Rayman: Raving Rabbids. You also need a free Ubi.com account to get the buggers working. RPS recommends both Far Cry and Sands Of Time, but we’re a little less enthusiastic about the mouse-spasming mini-games of the Rabbids.
A freed game, yesterday.
Gosh, PC publishers have realised that they can generate good will (and a meager ad revenue) by giving away the old games they no longer have any use for, instead of carefully ignoring them and making loud noises to distract us from their existence. Hurrah for the PC’s infinite back-catalogue.
Single-player FPS mods, especially ones that aren’t brain-agony to play, are pretty few and far between. Adding plot, dialogue, setpieces and incentive to continue takes a lot more effort than making something that’s a lot like Counter-Strike but with brown uniforms, after all. Never entirely comfortable with being shot at by strangers who are far better than me at placing bullets inside skulls though, I’m always on the lookout for a good soloplay homebrew effort.
The intruiging Minerva for Half-Life 2, for instance, is trying hard to tell a good story, and is doing far more efficient things with level design than Valve themselves. When covering it elsewhere, I did find that it had an unfortunate over-reliance on those Find The Door puzzles I despise so much. Happily, the developer popped up in the comments thread, not furious but cheerfully willing to take the constructive criticism onboard. (I really should have replied to him, but I’m forgetful, and a churl).
So, while waiting impatiently for the next installment, which, wonderfully, apparently has had Valve’s own input on the puzzles, I stumbled across this. First Contact: Planetfall is a total conversion for Far Cry, created by the splendidly-named Sharkinacube, a team of students tasked to make a game for their final year coursework.
Well, I’d give them an A, anyway. While the understandable taint of amateurishness (there’s some really infuriating bugs) weighs too heavy on Planetfall for it to be a commercial release, it doesn’t undermine the quite incredible distance they’ve taken their mod from Far Cry. There’s no way you’d guess what skeleton it was grown around if you didn’t already know. The just-open-enough to feel lost but not actually get lost outdoor landscapes are there, but otherwise it’s entirely its own entity.
Halo’s a clear influence, from the music to elements of the HUD, and Metroid Prime, Outcast and Giants: Citizen Kabuto all get a look in too – most especially in the visual approach. Set on a thoroughly alien world, all the art is tailor-made and often gloriously wild. Sure, it’s blocky and its animations are often crude or entirely absent, but when you’re being followed about by a flock of impossibly cute, burbling, pink bunny-things, or being eyeballed nervously by a field full of otherworldly cows with emo fringes, nitpicking is irrelevant.
It’s also trying really hard to be an adventure game (in the genuine rather than genre sense of the word) rather than a shooter. There is some shooting, and where there is it isn’t very good, but largely it’s about pushing ever-onwards by solving simple but thoughtful puzzles. Given a proper budget and more than six months, I’d absolutely love to see what these guys are capable of.
Perhaps most importantly, it features a giant flying whale.