Bad, vile and meaningless: Far Cry is far cry from a good game from Alan's clob

Far Cry is teh suck

In case you didn't get the summary from the title, here's a longer version: I will review another hopelessly outdated game with my boring style producing blather not worth crap to anyone but hardcode freak with total boredom residing in his brain. Now don't read the rest of it. Go away.

Story

Okay, so you are Jack (Jaska) Carver and you got this foxy woman with you on your sailboat and think life's great! Then, out of the blue, the bitch takes off towards the islands with some kind of scooter, and some baddie blows your sailboat up with a rocket while you are on it. After that, you wake up in a sewer. Don't ask me either, how come you end up in that sewer, there's some kind of intro animation that's supposed to explain it all but which mostly has more style than content. (Much like certain movies I've seen, but that's rant for another day.)

So, from this sewer you will run on towards your eventual liberation that is putting a bullet in the head of some baddie. What is in between involves largerly tedious snipering from the distance with proper zoom, or just using machinegun against some 2x4 pixel image of a baddie. You have to kill them this way, because getting much closer means almost certain death. They all come at you, and you won't have enough opportunities to conserve your health; they aim too well.

So you do this each time: lay low or crouch, take aim, fire. Fire. Fire. Fire. After you have shot about 4 short bursts, you may have one more dead body to disappear into bit heaven. Make no mistake, these aren't any normal baddies. They are shild-wearing, armor-wielding baddies. Even if every shot was a hit, these bastards can take like 10 hits. Unless you shoot them in the face, which is what they promise to do to you. That at least kills with a few shots. Sometimes.

Then there's monsters. These monsters have small arms but have huge reach for them. One of those ex-monkeys can jump from considerable distance and make some kind of "I-hit-the-ground-now-with-all-my-force" movement and incredibly you're dead! You have to avoid places where they can jump at you.

Some of the monsters are small and need only half a clip for conditioning. (For instance, 4 times with a shotgun for the primates.) Some of them are a bit larger and you will only need half of your clips to kill them. For instance, one guy with rocket launcher integrated to his right arm takes about 10 point-blank shotgun shots, or about 80 hits with a machinegun. You'll be mostly out of ammo on all weapons after encountering some 5 of them in a row.

When you aren't shooting your enemies from long range, you will be using your ridiculously field-limited binoculars trying to survey the scene in order to notice if there's any baddies about. You see, only after you have "detected" the baddies with binocular will you be able to watch them in your radar. How this makes sense is not exactly clear to me.

When there isn't any baddies around, you have the option to usually run for brief moments, or drive some truck or other vehicle to get where you need be going. Driving the vehicles from your first person perspective is near impossible because you can't make out half of the road from window glass and frames and other shit in between. So, you use F1 to switch to the 3rd person perspective. But then it becomes damn hard to fire at enemies because the way aiming works in 3rd person means that when you aim at ground level, your own vehicle will be obstructing the view at your enemy. While you try to cope with that, you're usually dead.

Anyway, if you open the console and type, say "\aiupdateinterval 1" the game becomes a whole lot easier, and it makes these long aimless drivings around much less nerve-consuming.

Bad taste

This game is not the least bit subtle. For instance, the physical attraction between Jack and Valerie is represented in awful scenes. One of them involves Valerie bathing under a waterfall wearing only some underwear. Another of those is when they're taking antidote against the mutagen. The scene is staged like a kiss.

It's all awfully poor taste, that's why I'm complaining. It fits with the general macho bullshit that this game has going on. I thought games where the heroes and villains are testosterone-pumping morons were long gone. This game has so many annoyances in that department that I don't think I want to even go there.

And the jokes. Oh-my-god, they are baaad. It all matches with the bad taste of the other part, but produces no exhilarating effects. It's just ... bad.

Bugs, Bugs or even more bugs?

First off, this is a slow game. You will most likely remember running around in some island hopelessly searching for some road or path to walk to get to where you should be going in the map. This game really would benefit from a map, just any kind of image of the island we are talking about. It's a bug not to have a map. I don't want to run in this "terragen" island trying to figure out how to scale a big mountain and run around pointlessly for 15 minutes until some kind of passage opens up that roughly allows me to go towards the eventual objective. With these walking speeds, and with Jack "exhausted-in-20-secs" the Athlete, you don't want to notice that you turned the wrong way 10 minutes ago.

Secondly, this is a slow game. It's hard to find sensible settings that had acceptable framerates and wouldn't look like total crap at the same time. I think we should expect Half Life 2 level of framerates from all games, and simply not accept anything else.

With patch 1.3, I couldn't complete the game after "Catacombs" level. The enemies stopped moving and then when I reloaded game actually fully disappeared. I don't know what was going on there. I reloaded the scenes and restarted windows and everything but no enemies could be seen any more. Or if I could see them, they didn't move. I had to reinstall the whole game (and start again from beginning, thank you very much) to get the Catacombs level working.

Verdict

Pretty bad. "Pretty" means that it has got pretty graphics, and in fact by pretty I mean "really nice sometimes". But it's bad because its playability sucks ass. Definitely not my style. You know, the worst thing you can do to a reasonably realistic-looking game is to make its enemies boring and tedious to kill. The art of FPS is to make a game where it's fun to shoot things! I mean, didn't it ever occur to the guys that having to shoot something 10 times with a shotgun is a damn bit too much?

I'm tempted to think that this is a pretty gaming engine looking for a game to show it off with. The water is great. One of the last levels with the long boating section was really nice visually. But that game is ruined with the macho bullshit stuff at the end. As usual.

For some fun, set AI update intervals to 0.3 or so and watch Valerie walking around like a drunk bitch. Not having enough chances to correct her movements, the AI program makes for fun watching. It's genuinely refreshing, being innocent fun compared to the rest.

Here's the list of improvements this game needs: