Video Games – Far Cry 2 is Terrible
Far Cry 2 starts with a five minute cut-scene, where a man drives me to a hotel, I get malaria apparently, and then the man I’ve been sent to kill rummages through my possessions as I lie helpless in bed. He mocks me and leaves.
We’re off to a great start! I’m having a lot of fun being useless.
When next I awaken, I hear gunfire outside. Still ill from my bout of malaria, I nevertheless foolishly decide to grab a hand gun and investigate. At least it’s not another cut-scene.
Outside, I bravely empty clip after clip in the general direction of men who are returning fire with AK-47s and the like. It’s hard to hit enemies when you’re running in circles like a moron. There’s too many bad guys! Where do I go? They’re coming from both sides of the street, everyone’s shooting at me, did I miss something in the hotel? It’s very confusing.
Then a scripted event, where I fall down, check my pill bottle in the middle of a battle for some reason, and pass out again when I see that I have no pills.
Ah. I was supposed to fail. They’re . . . really rubbing that failure thing in, huh? To briefly recap – I arrive, get sick, get taunted by the man I’ve been sent to kill, then stumble into a gunfight and pass out.
At this point I assume the rest of the game consists entirely of me stepping onto rakes, getting my feet stuck in buckets, and tripping face-first into piles of dog shit.
Now that I’m about 80% done with the game, I can say with confidence that I wish the game had been all buffoonery. Instead, it was an awful stew of repetitive gameplay and nonsensical plots.
Every mission is “go here and kill person X.” That’s it. Oh, why are you killing person X? Well, because someone told you to. Everyone wants you to kill someone else to help their little organization gain power. They give you diamonds, which you spend on new weapons, weapon upgrades, and miscellaneous upgrades like carrying more grenades.
But from a character standpoint, none of this matters. You’re here looking for the Jackal, the arms dealer who keeps supplying all sides of the conflict with weapons. You’re here to kill him. You’re not here to run murder-errands for small-time warlords. You’re not here to gather diamonds, or to get cool new weapons. The only reason you’re here is to kill the Jackal.
There’s the thin excuse that if you keep killing people for these organizations, they’ll tell you where the Jackal is. But here, near the end of the game, I have been betrayed twice, left for dead twice, and imprisoned once. I have killed hundreds of men. I’ve blow up dozens of cars, trucks, jeeps, dirt buggies, four-wheelers, air-boats, and river barges. I’ve set the plains on fire more than once, the jungle on fire at least twice, and I’ve depopulated entire villages. I keep hitting antelope and zebras when driving, which is a little unrelated but still unpleasant.
At this point, I could constitute an entire side of this conflict myself. And yet, here I go again, returning to some town to get orders from a guy who isn’t helping me. And this isn’t even the worst part.
Remember earlier, when I said that you get malaria at the start of the game? Well, you go on a handful of quests to get medicine, using travel papers as bribes. Here’s the part that almost made me lose it:
You alternately work for the UFLL and the APR. I don’t know what the acronyms stand for. But you keep switching sides too, for some reason. There isn’t any real explanation. It makes no sense. Anyway, you get a job from the UFLL – the APR has a facility where they are using a native plant to create a cure for malaria. You have to go blow it up.
Let me just be clear – you have malaria.
Quest: Go blow up the only place nearby that makes a cure for malaria.
Are we clear? You have to destroy a facility that makes a cure for the disease that you yourself have.
But . . . why would I do that? Why would I, filled to the gills with malaria, ever want to destroy a place that is making a cure? Why can’t I go to the APR and tell them “Oh hey, the UFLL is targeting your malaria-cure center. They hired me to burn it all down. So, let’s not do that; hit me up with the cure and I’ll work for you.”
Or, how about this – I just go to the center, kill everyone there, and take the cure myself. Hooray, I don’t have malaria anymore! And I’ve even satisfied the developers keen interesting in making the main character a frothing-at-the-mouth madman. Win-win!
This isn’t a minor oversight. It completely destroys the game world. I’ve poked around a bit, and I see that at the time Far Cry 2 was released (2008), it was hailed for its “realism.” Guns jam, cars and trucks break down. It rains (I haven’t seen this. It is always sunny out, unless it is night). Oh, right, there’s a day and night cycle. But your character defies any sense of realism; the mass murder, the hundreds of bullet wounds taken and healed with a tiny injection of, uh, something I guess, and the terrible decision making.
The plot is awful, the characters don’t make sense, and every quest is the same. Oh, the voice acting is shitty, too.
I have more to say about the game, and I am about to finish it. That’ll be up next Friday, the 14th. Until then, just make sure you don’t play Far Cry 2. Please.