Sunday, 15 February 2015

Monday 1st December, 2014

What’s been happening Mr. Stubbs?
Far Cry 3 has been happening, that’s what.
Was it any good?
Well, it was a lot of fun once the story pissed off. The worst thing about this game was being locked into missions. Second to that, I think, was the story itself. I felt so bored by all the cutscenes. I did like Vaas as a villain though, but like some forum commenters, I too thought he was under-developed. Hoyts turned out to be nothing interesting so it would have been far more interesting to see Vaas still alive and trying to kill Hoyts as well. The player then could have had the choice to let Vaas do it himself, but making him more powerful, or to try to kill Hoyts first to stop Vaas from gaining power, but having to deal with Vaas at the same time as a consequence. Or something like that. Overall, the story theme, that of slave-trading, was fine, but I thought the whole mushroom tripping and amazon-warrioresque aspects were generally pretty dumb and pointless. So many times through a cutscene I was pressing buttons on the controller in hope that the apparently non-mapped ‘skip cutscene’ button would suddenly spring into existence. But it didn’t, and I was left to voice my non-caring attitude out loud.
The story might have had more impact if the player character was one of the local islanders themselves and had to pick up weapons to save a bunch of white-American holidayers, or even make them a bit of a mix-up: French, Canadian, American, etc. In some ways, it could test the player as to how much they need to care about some random people opposed to their own fellow local inhabitants who were also in danger of being kidnapped by Vaas and his pirates. Or even, if the fellow inhabitants were getting disillusioned and slowly going over to Vaas’s side, so then some of the missions would revolve around collecting evidence through the kidnapped holidayers, or otherwise.
And with that idea in place you could even throw in the twist of if you save the foreigners, they call their parents/family to say that they are okay, but if you don’t, the families come in with their ‘big foreign weaponry’ (government sanctioned, or private) and completely fuck shit up but in doing so bomb you and the locals, thus turning them into the new and more powerful enemies.
Hmmm. Sounds like a completely different game now.
Far Cry 3 just needed to stick to its basic slave-trading template with one insane villain who was growing more and more powerful.
Here’s another way of getting around the “white guy saving the locals” colonialism aspect of the game:
  1. Player is local guide that takes holiday foreigners on their trip,
  2. Player is kidnapped with the foreigners,
  3. Player is constantly being taunted by Vaas to become a pirate like him,
  4. Player is constantly asking themselves how important saving the foreigners are, opposed to the player-character’s local community who are also in danger of being kidnapped, or losing faith and going over to Vaas,

This would have then given greater impact to the final choice of taking the life of the foreigner at the end, especially if she was the first one you saved and became a love interest who actually fought along side of you.
But then, in this version there’s no mushroom tripping either, so that choice might not work as well.
But it could.
Imagine if the syringes that the player crafted became the trip sequences whenever they were injected, and the game twisted everything around so it felt like you were fighting your own people until the effect wore off. Some players might enjoy that and do the syringes heaps, others would never use them again, but the final mushroom trip you were given took you over the edge forcing you to question everything and making that final decision more potent.
As it was I just wanted to throw my controller at the wall because the designer or writer had dared to expect me to think a final choice was hard to make when throughout the entire time I was completely invested in saving the lives of my friends. Liza’s whining throughout did nothing to change that.