Archive for Far Cry

Days Gone or An Idyllic Apocalypse Sandbox Adventure

Posted in Hands On, Played & Explained with tags , , , , on May 14, 2019 by Rabidgames

For many among us, the initial reactions to Days Gone probably were “another zombie game?” or perhaps “yet another open world game?” And true, at first glance, Days Gone is a bland mix of The Last of Us, Far Cry and maybe some hint of a Sons of Anarchy feeling. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you.

But once you dive into the as beautiful as disturbing open world of Days Gone, once you start exploring Oregon, you’ll quickly notice it’s a bit different. For starters, there is no point in killing each zombie, pardon freaker, you’ll see. Just going from A to B would be a challenge if you tried, especially as you need some rather limited resources when stumbling upon too many of those post-humans. Oh, and you definitely want to be close to your trusted bike – not only can it outrun all threats easily, which you can’t on foot (not often at least) – but it’s also your means to save the game (almost) any time.

Unfortunately, combat is rather Days Gone’s weak point – melee feels weighty and powerful with the right tool, but also a bit cumbersome. Guns feel powerless and weightless at first (get the Focus skill ASAP so you can slow down time while aiming – a lifesaver), and stealth is as average as stealth can get. So try to avoid fights – not just because more than 3 freakers can mean death, but also because it’s more fun evading and exploring than actually fighting. That being said, the fighting isn’t unbearably bad at least, so you’ll make do when you have to fight.

But here’s the thing where Days Gone is different – imagine you’re close to an enemy camp, and your task is to take the camp out. You fire at the guys with a silenced rifle, the enemy fires back loudly, only to attract freakers that overrun the camp with a bit of luck … it’s these situations that stand out in Days Gone – and the game is barely scripted (except for some main missions, of course) so anything can happen anytime! It’s pretty much Far Cry on speed!

The gameplay and missions are fairly repetitive, sure, but the game gives you plenty of freedom to tackle many missions your way – stealth or loud, melee or guns, the choice is often yours in Days Gone. Main missions are better paced and often feel unique enough, and they also come with some flashbacks and one nice revelation or two. Side missions however mostly consist of “get a door open”, “kill baddies” or “find nests and destroy them”. Some of the latter are surprisingly hard to find though, and doing them by night or by day is a bit different, too. The presentation of the main story and side stories as different, often inter-connected stories is a bit odd at first, but once you get used to it, it starts to make sense.

Sadly, Days Gone’s lost world means a bit of problems on the technical side, too. While the game runs far more stable than at launch, sometimes there is a noticeable lag when riding too fast for the game’s liking, which can result in a crash into a tree (now that brings back memories of trees and horses in Red Dead Redemption 2, although the physics aren’t as great). There are also extremely long loading times to the start menu and then again from the start menu into the game. And if you die. Last but not least, once you progress to the second map, you can expect some pretty annoying slowdowns and frame rate drops riding around – come on guys!

One point many reviews touched – and failed to explain – is the presentation of the story and the main character in Days Gone: civilisation is gone, and your role is being an outlaw biker. That means fuck being the nice guy. Being the nice guy would most likely get you killed in a hostile post-apocalyptic world anyway. And honestly, the protagonist being a loathsome piece of shit was fine in Sons of Anarchy, it was fine in Breaking Bad, fuck, we all enjoyed Trevor Philips, so what? Deacon is a cliché, his best buddy is one, enemies and allies alike are clichés, and so are women. Well, except that the second important woman you meet the game is a hard-ass leader of a group of survivor who won’t take shit from anyone. Which makes you wonder if some reviewers ever progressed to that point of the story …

You may not like a game presenting many characters as clichés, which is fine, but there’s nothing wrong with the portrayal of it – it’s not that Days Gone presents Deacon as a role model after all. After all, have you been shouting at Walter White he’s an unlikeable bastard all the time? Probably not. So why is it criticised here then?

Anyway, Days Gone is a game that really shines when it comes to atmosphere – driving around in a thunderstorm, nervously looking out for gas because you’re low, and then you drive into a trap by some assholes, which results in a firefight, which again results in a horde of dozens of freakers closing in on you. Fingers crossed the humans are between you and the horde …

It’s those moments of sandbox gameplay, freedom to ride around as you want and the need to always make sure you’re never low on resources (be it med-kits, tools to repair your bike or fuel) that elevate Days Gone out of the murky waters of open world mediocrity. It’s the virtual wind in your hair while you ride along some open road, it’s the balance between exploring a bit more and risking an empty tank or returning to a safe place, it’s the need to always look for exit routes, and it’s the open-ended nature of Days Gone that keeps the game fresh despite being repetitive.

In fact, the mix of depending on the bike for survival, the necessity of always having a way out and the grim depiction of Days Gone’s world make the game a worthwhile addition to any PS4 games collection – unless you abhor open worlds or need to identify with a protagonist, of course. Days Gone is surely not a blockbuster game that is easy to digest both conceptually as well as gameplay-wise like Uncharted 4 or God of War, it is rather one of those games where you need to take some time for a bit of slow story exposition (The Last of Us comes to mind, yes, it is finally mentioned again), open a nice cold beer and then you ride into the sunset, knowing the night won’t be peaceful but interesting.

Rabidgames’ verdict: DO NOT BUY the game if you don’t like sandboxes, a slow story or clichéd characters. WAIT for another patch if you’re concerned about technical issues.

GO BUY the game if you want to travel a lot on a bike through an often beautiful wasteland where anything can happen around the next corner. And it will.

 

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8 Reasons Why New Dawn Is Better Than Far Cry 5

Posted in Commentary, Hands On with tags , , , on March 4, 2019 by Rabidgames

You know, if it’s easy to see a game improving on its predecessor within just hours, it’s a good sign. And yes, Far Cry New Dawn might rather resemble an add-on than a stand-alone game, but it beats Far Cry 5 in many ways. Here are 8 reasons summed up quickly:

  1. No more abductions: Honestly, this bullshit was the biggest reason why Far Cry 5 sucked. The abductions were pointless, too often and how on earth the kidnappers could then, and only then, detect you everywhere on a map is beyond the laws of, well, everything. This shit is gone now. Thank fuck!
  2. More gameplay diversity: Far Cry 5 had quite some things to do, but it was mostly the same pace. New Dawn mixes this up quite a bit: Sure, there’s still stealth and shooting, but now there’s also racing to an extraction point when everyone is homing in on you at the end of the new Expeditions, and there are packages you need to race to to get some goodies.
  3. Crazier than ever: Yeah, Far Cry 5 had a bear and a cougar as guns for hire. Well, New Dawn has a boar and a sniper granny who’s “like a 1000 years old but can shoot a dick off a mosquito”. And all guns for hire now have more useful perks. Speaking of guns, guns are also crazier now. The ricocheting Saw Launcher clearly is a highlight!
  4. The landscape is more diverse: Sounds bizarre, but the downfall of civilisation has brought more greenery and colours to Hope County, and seeing the changes for yourself is a nice thing. And sad at times. And once more, Expeditions: They bring you to completely new areas.
  5. Exploration is spelt with a capital E: You can find lots of things in the world, and many loot is hidden behind an – often quite simplistic – puzzle. Some are a bit more elaborate and require some steps or just a bit of platforming though. One of the key innovations of New Dawn are the Expeditions; exploring gets you more loot, but you don’t want to alarm everyone before you grab the package you’re there for.
  6. The RPG elements add depth: Sure, there are just very light RPG elements, but they add some level of strategy to it – should you take out the one elite enemy first? How? You can use a perk for a Takedown. Or you level up your weapons. Should you even take him out? (Of course.) Sadly, once you’re in the late game, all of this doesn’t matter any more, but for a while, the danger posed by over-levelled human and especially animal enemies shrugging your bullets away before tearing you to pieces makes up for some entertainment new to Far Cry.
  7.  Crazy powers: Not to go to deep into spoiler territory, but at a certain point of New Dawn you’ll get new powers. It might not make much sense but who cares – all you need is a leap of faith! If you do crazy, you gotta do crazy right after all …
  8.  Proper end-game content: You can scrap and take over Outposts on the hardest setting as many times as you want. Same goes for Expeditions. As a reward, you can upgrade perks and guns virtually infinitely … If you’re the kind of guy who likes a challenge or wants to have a handgun that nukes everyone, New Dawn offers this kind of entertainment for you.

Rabidgames muses: Far Cry 5 went into a dark and twisted direction, which only partially worked. New Dawn chooses the Saints Row way out instead, and that makes for a better game.

Far Cry 5 Says Hello to Montana’s Right

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 26, 2017 by Rabidgames

First of all, here’s the Far Cry 5 trailer everyone and their mama are talking about, some of ’em already foaming and moaning about the damn left-wing liberal communist SJW gaming industry:

So, Far Cry 5 will be set in rural Montana’s Hope County, where we will ready our weapons to kill us some fine christian far-right extremists. There will also be some characters helping us, the customisable protagonist (among other things, we can choose gender and colour), to tear the zealots apart. Oh, and it seems we can finally fly planes! Far Cry 5 will also be entirely co-op compatible, which seems to be a big deal these days. Whatever.

One thing is for sure – Ubisoft knows that controversy creates cash, and that’s what they’re trying to do. It still seems to be a taboo in gaming to kill christians on US soil, no matter how corrupted or insane they are. And set in the Trump era, Far Cry 5 and its depiction of backwards American rednecks lost in extremist delusions is one way to add fuel to the fire. Then again, it’s always been okay to kill Arabs in military shooters, and how many decent American citizens have we already digitally removed from their mortal shells in the likes of GTA, Saints Row, or Watch Dogs? But hey, it’s going to be interesting to see what Breitbart, Fox and their ilk will come up with …

One interesting detail is the cross, replacing the stars of the US flag, which also adorns many of the extremists’ buildings and vehicles in Far Cry 5; while some think it looks similar to the iron cross used by Germany, it could also be interpreted as being similar to the Templar cross featured in Assassin’s Creed – and since there was an Abstergo facility in Far Cry 3, both universes seem somehow connected anyway.

Rabidgames is ready: Visiting this virtual Montana will be great fun – the graphics look great, the setting is interesting – now we need to wait. For some titbits of information to be brought to us during E3, and then it’s going to be a long wait until February 2018 … Let’s just hope the setting of the game remains fiction until then!

November Will Be Gamergeddon!

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by Rabidgames

So far, this year has been a game drought … We had Watch_Dogs and Wolfenstein, but that was more or less it, wasn’t it? But come November, we’ll all be drowning in games – long, big games …

Let’s have a look at Rabidgames’ wanted list:

11/11
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Rogue

18/11
GTA V
Far Cry 4

21/11
Dragon Age Inquisition

So … who can afford to buy 5 AAA games, 5 big releases, let alone play them, if they are released within 2 fucking weeks? Let’s not forget there’s also a time before November with FIFA 15, Alien Isolation, The Evil Within, Shadows of Mordor, Sherlock Holmes, Raven’s Cry and WWE 2K15 looming …

Honestly, are publishers dumb? This question goes out to Ubisoft especially: How stupid is it to release two Assassin’s Creed games at the same fucking day? And even more stupid to release Far Cry 4 one week later … Have they lost their mind? But in general, why the fuck are there virtually no games during summer, but comes September, the gaming world gets crazy?

Mind you, these are just the games Rabidgames is interested in … there are more out there …

Rabidgames is scared: Most likely, one or two of the above games will not make it on the day 1 purchase list. Why? Because no one on earth has the time to play 5 games at the same time, of course! Different publishers too dumb to take a look at schedules – fine. But Ubisoft is just insane … makes you wonder how they’ll justify that decision …

WTF Is Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon?

Posted in News with tags , , on April 10, 2013 by Rabidgames

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a mystery. A big one. Ubisoft hints at it here and there, but we know not much about it. But now, we have a video with in-game action. Yes, dragons shooting lasers from their eyes just sounds like a drugged dream, so maybe it is just Jason dreaming he’s a 80’s action star … Anyway, here’s a video showcasing the madness in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon:

Ubisoft seems to be hellbent on deleting all versions of this video, so watching it could be a race against time.

Rabidgames wonders: Why Far Cry 3 in the title? There seems to be no connection at all. But hey, the video suggests the game is a Saints Row version of Crysis, so that’s a hell yeah!

Far Cry 3 or Fun, Choices and Insanity

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , on December 13, 2012 by Rabidgames

Expect some crazy spoilers here.

Okay, ending rage (2012’s motto it seems) aside, Far Cry 3 is definitely a solid shooter where the fun and gun parts are a big plus. The insanity however, is only partly voluntary …

The first thing you should know if you want to have fun with Far Cry 3 – it’s not an ordinary shooter in the veins of Corridors of Duty, it is primarily an open world game. So please don’t expect a story-driven, linear experience – instead, be prepared the real protagonist of Far Cry 3 is its open and vivid world. With that in mind, Ubisoft itself is to blame for high expectations in storytelling – don’t advertise a game as a drama to explore depths of human minds, etc. etc. when it’s all about exploration and funny ways of killing after all.

That in mind, Far Cry 3 succeeds on a gameplay level. The story missions and side missions are varied, hunting down animals with specific weapons is sometimes challenging, sometimes pure chaos, and finding all relics and letters of the lost (which tell the story of Japanese forces in WW II; spoilers: it did not end too well) require you to explore caves, to fly on hilltops with ruins or to dive into the shark-inhabited seas. You have to finish off enemy “bosses” with a knife in assassination missions, which ranges from cool (if they battle with your allies) to boring (most of the time). Furthermore, there are your usual mini-games such as poker, sharpshooting and throwing knives. That’s all good. Not that good are the completely misplaced racing challenges with no story basis and the pointless online challenges (some are alright, some are boring as hell). While you can do a lot of stuff or ignore it, you’ll tend to ignore it since the connections to anything else are thinner than any golden thread.

But hey, fuck missions, the open world is where the fun in Far Cry 3 is: If you want to take on an enemy patrol or an outpost, there are many options to choose from: Do you feel like playing Rambo, shooting them up with RPGs, machine gun fire and grenades? Do you want to rush in there with a jeep and its machine gun or do you prefer to attack from the sea? Do you want to set fire to the surrounding woods to roast them? Do you want to eliminate them from afar with your sniper or your awesome bow (easily the best weapon of the game)? Do you want to take them down via brutal melee takedowns (which can later be combined)? or, if you’re special, what about leading a tiger or a bear to the enemy? All of the above is possible in Far Cry 3, and it’s all fun. Above all – stealth actually works great. If you hide in bushes, enemies won’t easily spot you as long as you don’t do something like, well, shooting them. Be aware of dogs though. If you get spotted, you can easily run away and hide somewhere else. Enemies know your general location, but you can outsmart them easily.

As seen, choice is an elemental aspect of Far Cry 3’s open world, which also comes into play if you upgrade your arsenal: By “repairing” radio towers, you get almost all guns for free (you could also buy them, but why would you?), you can buy weapon upgrades, and after hunting animals, you get upgrades for your wallet, more weapons slots, more ammunition, and so on. Sadly, that’s where the pacing of Far Cry 3 is off: If there are two islands, why are we allowed to unlock everything but a few weapons on the first island? This makes no sense whatsoever. Exploration on the second island is rather pointless unless you’re a completionist.

Now, let’s talk about insanity: As Rabidgames mentioned, don’t expect a serious, down-to-earth drama from Far Cry 3. But still, a spoilt, annyoing, useless brat turns into Rambo within mere minutes? Just because of some magical tattoos? Dear Ubisoft, try to find the middle between your rushed characater development in Far Cry 3 (good for gameplay’s sake, bad for immersion) and the looooooong tutorial in Assassin’s Creed 3 (bad for the gameplay, good for immersion and that nice twist). It can’t be that hard.
Then, Far Cry 3 is another victim of the villain-dies-early disease: Just as in Saints Row The Third, trailers, the beginning and the plot are focussed on the one main villain … who dies halfway through. Seriously, what the holy fuck? This is insane!

The story … well, it seems as if important chunks are missing here and there: Abduction, liberation, boy-becomes-warrior-and-finds-his-meaning-in-life-or-so-he-thinks, Vaas, something else, Hoyt, and then the most insane twist ever … the ending is simply insane. But let’s put the story into a fair perspective here: First, it’s well done for most parts (let’s forget heavily scripted scenes and QTE boss battles for a minute). But second, it could have been done ten times better. Yes, it is an open world game, and yes, Just Cause 2 is fun despite having virtually no story at all, but that doesn’t always work. With Far Cry 3, Jason’s decisive moments are not fleshed out, his friends remain spoilt douche bags who should have been sold to slavers or killed and no one would have given a tiger’s left ball, and Vaas, Becker and Hoyt should have been featured more in the game. Don’t get Rabidgames wrong, the story is okay, but it’s not great, it’s a tale of wasted potential.

Now, let’s talk about scripted scenes: Remember the open world and choices? Well, forget about them in one third of the story missions of Far Cry 3. It’s either sneaking or run ‘n’ gun. Worse, many levels are strictly linear: one way in, one way out. Even worse, some are scripted – granted if you like Uncharted and timers ticking down, you won’t have a problem with it but if you don’t … you’re sometimes fucked.

And then, let’s rage: That ending. First of all, it’s insane. Well, choose if you think it’s insanely awesome or insanely awful, but it only makes sense in a mind full of drugs. So, after you are the hero of the islands and a worthy Rakyat leader, your allies abduct your friends and gently ask you to sacrifice them in order to literally sever your ties to the past. Alright, yeah … But that’s not even worth the ending rage. That one starts when you choose the bad ending, which tells you why the French associate orgasm and death. But hold on, Jason is Jesus! After the credits, Jason is alive again! Halleluja. Seriously, Ubisoft, first you dictate which ending is supposed to be good and which one is deemed bad by treating us like naughty boys, and then you resurrect a dead protagonist? Fuck off! Oh, and if you want to see what happens when you choose the other ending – bad luck, mate. Just play the last couple of missions again, which are a collection of long interactive cutscenes, a ridiculous QTE fight, one shoot-out, an airborne rails mission and some more interactive cutscenes, culminating in you making your choice. Yes, the only available auto-save is AFTER all this stuff. Oh, and forget about manual saving. Goddamn it, that fucking ending!

By the way, Rabidgames might be a bit harsh on Far Cry 3. After all, Yahtzee likes it. And is it insane if someone thinks he’s a banana?

A banana. Seriously?

Rabidgames draws his bow: For once, Ubisoft listened to the fans: Virtually all negative points of Far Cry 2 have been eliminated. That’s a good thing, of course. Plus, Far Cry 3 IS fun. Hunting pirates with your bow and explosive arrows is basically the definition of fun! And yet, what could have been great is just good once more. Sometimes, fun is a good thing, but you know, sometimes there’s more to life than a hedonistic life style … which ironically is also one of Far Cry 3’s lessons.

That Fucking Far Cry 3 QTE Boss Fight … And A Solution

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , on December 12, 2012 by Rabidgames

Obvious bossy spoilers ahead!

Boy, what did Ubisoft think? Why taking the fun out of Far Cry 3 in such an important moment?
QTE boss fights while dreaming/high on all drugs that exist are shit. Utter shit. Well, it’s mostly that fucking QTE part which stinks (yes, Lollipop Chainsaw, Rabidgames spits at you).

Anyway, the Vaas fight was alright, but that Hoyt fight is QTE fucking galore. One mistake, you’re fucked. It makes you want to break your Far Cry 3 copy into smithereens! But don’t panic, Rabidgames has the solution.

Here’s the button combinations you have to press when QTEing Hoyt to death (/ indicating some chatter. Oh, the Y is optional):
AXBX / XB / XBA / XBX / XBAY

There’s even a youtube video, just in case you’re still overwhelmed by those flashy buttons blinking too quickly (the QTE relevant stuff starts after 5 minutes):

Rabidgames spits: To be fair, that fucking stupid QTE battle does not ruin Far Cry 3. But it’s utter bullshit. There is this Tony Montana lookalike and his huge compound … the perfect ingredients for an epic battle against hundreds of goons – and then you get to the big boss himself who greets you with his little friends … But no, instead we are punished with some fucking QTEs … Seriously, the next game with QTE boss battles should get castrated!

Oh, and then, there’s that ending … but let’s vent our unholy wrath on that another time …