May 062013

Status: Complete Most Intriguing Idea: I Love the 80s: the FPS! Best Design Decision: High walls around outposts Worst Design Decision: As usual, zombies Summary: Video game violence is mostly stupid and unbelievable. This makes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon a superior FPS almost by default, as it is one of the few first-person shooters with a story and world dumb and ridiculous enough to match its gameplay. Sergeant Rex Power Colt punching a cybershark with his cyber-fist makes sense in a way that Dude McBro gutting a jaguar to make himself a new purse never did. What’s more, Blood [Read more…]

Jan 112013

The other day Seb Wuepper posted a critique of Far Cry 3‘s design at Gameranx that I did not find compelling. Wuepper’s argument reads less like criticism of Far Cry 3‘s design per se than a complaint about the fact that this game is not Far Cry 2. I am sympathetic to his point because I also prefer Far Cry 2. However, I don’t feel that not being some game I like more is a fundamental argument against design quality. One’s opinion of the design’s quality will depend on what one thinks the game is trying to achieve (or should [Read more…]

Jan 102013

[Trigger Warning: This post concerns a plotline in Far Cry 3 where a secondary character is raped, as well as some related cultural artifacts that also feature rape.] Buck should have gotten away. Buck is a peculiar hitman in Far Cry 3. Apparently employed by the game’s big bad, Hoyt, Buck has an interest in men, and in ancient Chinese artifacts. As it happens, he presently “owns” one of protagonist Jason Brody’s male friends, and will exchange him if Jason retrieves a ceremonial knife originating from the treasure ships of Zheng He. Since Jason needs the knife for another purpose, [Read more…]

Mar 252009

Far Cry 2′s Africa burns impermanently. The lifelike flames consume plants and buildings and men, leaving great black scars on the landscape of a nameless, war-torn nation. The rickety shacks will char, the rusted jeeps will explode, and gas pumps will erupt like volcanic vents. In the course of the game you will leave dozens of checkpoints and ersatz military bases as smoldering ruins in the wake of your bloody path. Come back after a few minutes, however, and these sites will be transformed. The grass regrows, the buildings repair, the vehicles return to working order, and the men stand [Read more…]