As good as Far Cry 2 is, in my travels it seems like most people are too deep into Fallout 3 to care much about anything else. If you've overlooked this fascinating and absorbing title, at least check out a couple links and consider playing it later.
-First, Chris Remo at GameSetWatch wrote about Far Cry 2's slow burn, the process by which the game's sluggish pace initially seems offputting before casting an unbreakable spell. Also at GSW, an interview with Jean-Francois Levesque, the man who programmed the game's dynamic and unpredictable fire effects, which add a lot to the gameplay.
-PixelVixen707 examines the ways in which Far Cry 2 is the latest game to offer you gutwrenching choices -- or not, as the case may be. There is something to be said for the fact that your character is given an awful lot of unsavory things to do in this game, and while you could always choose not to accept the mission, you would then have nothing else to do. Games are great because they give the player control over how their events unfold, but sometimes I appreciate when they force me to do things I may not want to do. I'm playing a role. Think about how boring would books or movies would be if every character was just like you.
-Last but not least on the Far Cry 2 tip, Ben Abraham calls the game "Clint Hocking's masterpiece." Ben did a great job discussing theme and not plot details, so don't hesitate to read it for fear of spoilers. For all that the game's grim and humorless tone works, a part of me wonders if the designers let themselves off the hook by leaving out the real consequences of your actions on innocent people. Then again, the whole point of the story is losing your own moral bearings, so maybe it doesn't matter. Someone ought to write a post about that.
-L.B . Jeffries wrote a wonderful look at The Darkness, one of last year's best games. On that post, I commented:
Great analysis. I loved this game when I played it, and in the—what is it—16 months since then, it’s stuck with me. I think about it often. Really glad to see it’s had legs, and didn’t vanish down the usual hype->hate vortex.Seriously, this game is $19.99 at Amazon (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), and will take up probably 10-12 hours of your time. Well worth it.
Even with a game like Far Cry, which I’m truly enjoying, I always get stuck at things like a buddy system, wherein I’m supposed to like my character’s friends just because the game tells me I should. The Darkness is singular in that it really made me care. I cared about Jenny. I hated Paulie and Shrote. I loved the fact that the main conflict wasn’t an overblown end-of-the-world scenario, but just a vendetta between two angry men.
-I'm a little giddy to have contributed to Bill Harris's "Friday Links" on Dubious Quality. Sadly, it's just a link that I sent him about a "War of the Worlds" hoax in Ecuador, and not a link to this blog. Someday...
-Not like he needs the traffic from me, but this week's Zero Punctuation review of Dead Space is noteworthy. Yahtzee douses the flames of fanboy passions with a brutal -- and, it must be said, deadly accurate -- review. The content of our reviews was much the same, but his tone just seems ballsier.
-Speaking of Dead Space, have you heard a single person mention it since Fable 2, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, or LittleBigPlanet came out? And here I thought it was "an achievement that rivals greats like Half-Life 2 and BioShock."
That's right, I linked to my own blog in the Friday afternoon tidbits. What.