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Stick to the Jungles: A Far Cry Retrospective (in progress)

Posted Over 1 Year ago by Jet Presto

After finishing the Zelda retrospective, and in honor of being stretched way too thin as it is, I opted to do two retrospective playthroughs. The first is of the Far Cry series, of which I have a little familiarity with. Far Cry 4 was the first game I played on PS4 (part of the bundle I got), and I wound up playing Far Cry 3 later because it had been a Games with Gold game on XBox 360. I also played Blood Dragon. But I have no real sense of the history of this franchise and how it became what it is. So, this is gonna be a thread where I share some thoughts and invite conversation from those who have played them!

Far Cry (2004)

I think having started a few retrospective playthroughs of other franchises, there's just something about video games that make the original game next to impossible to revisit. Obviously, there's the tech side of it. If you even can get your hands on a copy of the OG game (something much easier with Far Cry due to re-releases than something like the original GTA). With the re-releases and updates, Far Cry is on the most technical of levels playable.

But boy is it hard to revisit an almost 2 decade's old FPS. (Actually, I would be curious to revisit Half Life at this point too because I feel like that probably holds up a lot better than Far Cry.)

What's frustrating to me about this first game is how impossibly unfair it feels all the time. Early on, the guy on the radio tells you to "stick to the jungles," suggesting that you can stay out of view of enemies and sneak around. But I don't even really know how possible that is because every time I tried to do that, someone heard me very quickly. And it's one of those games where once enemies know where you are, all of them always know where you are. There are times where like, I'm hiding behind a bush and I can't see through the bush, but I'm taking fire because they all know I'm behind the bush somehow. (It's also really hard to see enemies. The idea of camouflage in video games like this is certainly interesting, but uh, it's not very fun to be squinting the whole time trying to figure out if that's a dude or not.)

It's neat that their default design position was to try and make a game with multiple approaches to a situation. It eschews he Call of Duty-style of hyper linear action. Stretches of it are fairly linear, but the idea is there. Kinda wish they would split the difference between this in Far Cry and the sprawling open worlds of say, Far Cry 4.

Ultimately, I'll admit that I got maybe about half way before I just couldn't handle it anymore. It was just such an unpleasant game to me, even after lowering the difficulty. It's very dated and hard to play without nostalgia (which is something I say about almost every "first installment," including Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda.

Also, I don't know if it's just the re-release for "Far Cry Classic" or if this were true of the original game, but my god is the audio mixing awful! So wild how much it fluctuates.

So I'm moving onto Far Cry 2 because I feel like I played enough to get the gist of it.

There are 5 Replies

So I'm not terribly far into Far Cry 2 and I'm already having a very similar issue that I had with the first game. It's definitely not as cheap as the first one, but the "camo" enemies are almost too good. There's something just frustrating about regularly dying and never having any idea who is shooting you and from where because you just can't see jack.

Over 1 Year ago
Jet Presto

I wound up giving up on Far Cry 2 because I wasn't having any fun. Really think they just needed enemies to be a little easier to spot.

But man, Far Cry 3 starts off soooo much better than the previous games.

Over 1 Year ago
Jet Presto

Far Cry 3 thoughts:

Clearly the one that defines what Far Cry games would become. It's mostly good, though a little clunky by today's standards. I don't necessarily love FC3. Mostly it's just that the world is pretty open, but it's not very engaging. Liberating outposts, climbing radio towers, killing people with knives, and hunting animals with specific weapons gets repetitive really quickly. The wildlife is pretty dope, as is the wingsuit you get late in the game. I feel like they could have done a better job keeping you on the story pace a little bit more. It's one of those open world games where like, they give you free rein pretty early, and then you can be overpowered by the time you do the next story mission. It's also kinda funny that you can get virtually all of the character upgrades on the first island. Feels like those could have been spread out, because there's really no reason to do any sidequests when you get to the second island.

The story is fine, but there's also no real reason to care about any of your "friends." They give you this big choice at the end in which there really is only one choice that makes sense narratively, but it's also the one that they wind up using to "troll you," basically. Vaas is a good villain. Whatever the bigger bad is after is pretty whatever. There story missions are weird in that they wind up doing all they can to "spice up gameplay," but wind up often playing to the weakest of it.

It's definitely the most playable one in the franchise so far. Holds up fairly well for today. But it's also a tad exhausting.

8 Months ago
Jet Presto

I wound up giving up on Far Cry 2 because I wasn't having any fun.

So one could say that Far Cry 2 is….

A Far Cry from being an enjoyable game!

8 Months ago

Waaaaaow (or whatever that sound effect in the show is).

It's an interesting game with a number of neat ideas that I wish they had implemented into the next couple of games. But I had such a hard time finding it enjoyable to play in 2021. Probably one of the many games from that era that just don't hold up well because video games have become so much smoother in their controls, generally.

8 Months ago
Jet Presto

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