Sunday, April 9, 2017

Far Cry: a very short review

Over the last eight months, I've spent WAY more time than I'd like to admit playing first Far Cry 3, then Far Cry 4.

If you have any interest in these games, you already know about them; they are not new games. Far Cry 3 came out in 2012, I think, and Far Cry 4 at the end of 2014.

Far Cry 4 is DRAMATICALLY more polished. You might never see a more beautiful in-game environment than Far Cry 4's Himalayan kingdom of Kyrat. Skyrim was stunning; The Witcher was breath-taking, but Far Cry 4 puts them both to shame. This is just glorious, glorious visual beauty.

But the funny thing is: Far Cry 4 is jaw-droppingly beautiful, but Far Cry 3 is more fun.

And that's the point, after all.

Part of it is the setting: Far Cry 3 has this bizarre retro-1960's thing going on, with jungle islands, and psychedelic flashbacks, and bizarre Imperial dreams dashed to shreds in the South-east Asian jungles, while Far Cry 4 is a more nuanced story of tribal tension, religious conflict, and Zen Buddhism.

And part of it is the screen-writing: Far Cry 3's story just feels more immediate somehow: no matter how much it is a direct rip-off of Apocalyse Now (itself a fairly direct rip-off of Heart of Darkness, after all), it is still, at its core, a gripping story.

And, quite simply: in Far Cry 3, you end up getting the bad guy. While, in Far Cry 4, in the end there really are no winners (Let's hear it for realism!).

Maybe, it doesn't really matter: both games are extremely well-executed, and stand as modern classics.

But Far Cry 3, though older, and nowhere near as polished and elegant, is, in the end, the winner.

Anyway, you'll have to excuse me; I'm heading back to play some more Far Cry 4.

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