With Far Cry 5 being the hot topic of the first quarter of 2018, how does the series fare against this highly demanding CPU-dominating, memory hungry behemoth title?
History of Far Cry: Revisiting the genre-defining video game series.
Let’s just start off by saying that this won’t be one of those crazily analyzed, super speculative/negative/positive and decisive pieces about any video-game series you’ve read recently. A series spans across so many different periods of available technologies that it makes no sense to compare them based on their handling and performance, or looks. Comparing Far Cry 2 to Far Cry 5 would be like comparing GTA Vice City to GTA 5; I can tell everyone gets the point.
Remember, it is always the best thing to compare reality with potential, of the same item – be it a game or a… something else.
Well, that being said, we will actually be reminiscing the awesome times we all had while blowing up convoys, scaling the radio towers and admiring the awesome weapons, before that stupid shark ate us the second before we would have picked up that relic… Aaargh.
Really though, it is strange how absolutely unbelievable amounts of explosives find their way into our inventories when we play any of the Far Cry titles. We all had our favorites – but, every single one of them provided some serious fun…cough…destruction…cough…! From the very realistic Improvised Explosive Devices of Far Cry 2 to the sticky C4s of the later titles, this is one series that never fails to act as an extreme stress-buster, or satiate all our explosive cravings to the fullest and then some more.
We haven’t even mentioned the RPGs yet!!!
From the First Shot to the Boss-kill
Video-games are considered successes according to its sales – but those numbers fail to show the number of people who actually play the game for two hours and leave it to gather dust on their shelves, simply because the game either failed to prevent the disappointment; or, it bored them to no end. Like No Man’s Sky – a game that would have supposedly changed the way we perceived and played games, but only ended up falling short of the players’ expectations. And the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the developers who got ahead of themselves when making claims and thus creating such a hype that caused simply incredible features to get labeled as possibilities in the game.
Though this is not the place to discuss the failure of No Man’s Sky in comparison to its own potential; it is actually quite a nice game if played with no preconceived beliefs or opinions. And like we had said at the very first of this article, let’s also not delve into the black-hole of unfeasible comparisons and compare No Man’s Sky with Far Cry.
The commercial success of Far Cry does not simply rely on sales numbers – though there’s also that – but on the gameplay hours every singe of the fans, like us, have spent driving around, hunting, blowing things up, searching for special locations, and blowing up a little more – this time hordes of enemies. The sheer amount of time players has spent on only ONE of the titles is astounding; combined gameplay hours for the whole series would look insane on paper, those who have had the awesome experience of actually playing at least one of the titles, though, would agree that the number of hours didn’t see insane at all back when they were in front of their screens, mashing the controller buttons.
And, this success is due to the compelling and breath-taking awesomeness that characterizes a Far Cry game, all the way from the starting intro video, the first shot from the trusty 1911 or the AK47 and all the way up to the point where the boss is killed/final story mission is completed.
One, Two, Three and Four
Guys, guys, guys… Let’s not dance, not yet. Those were the numbers the Far Cry titles appear in sequence as.
Behold… the ever-confusing, over-immersive (seriously, we could have done with a little less of… Citra and Noore’s ladies… in Far Cry 3 and 4) and explosive world of Far Cry!
Far Cry 1
Far Cry 1 was the first game of the series, placing the player at an exotic tropical island location and handing them a confusing set of mysterious incidents to experience from the get go. And, it becomes only more confusing and wilder as it gradually delves into sci-fi storyline, with things and explosions making even less sense than it did, to begin with.
It wasn’t an open-world that we have come to think of the worlds in Far Cry series. It had an open-approach style mission set up and the story progressed in levels rather than missions in the real-time. And the choice of weapons was limited. If that sounded like a bad game, then that is probably because compared to what we have today, it wasn’t much. But back when it released, it was the pinnacle of video game tech, running on the CryEngine 1 – the game was actually based on the X-Isle, a demo made by Crytek to showcase the capabilities of Nvidia GeForce 3.
A very successful title selling about 750,000 copies at the very beginning, Far Cry 1 was acclaimed for its visuals, map design, and gameplay mechanics.
Far Cry 2
From a tropical archipelago straight to the ruthless and harsh, but equally stunning and beautiful, lands of Africa. The savannas, the forest, the desert scrubs – they were as close an experience to actually visiting Africa in person that we could get while growing up; never mind the car that blew up with four people in it – they were the bad guys.
There are countless stories of fun – Far Cry brand of fun – and ‘lively’ experiences that could be had in the massive open-world of FC2. And, the fun was doubled when played with friends. FC2 supported multiplayer co-op for up to 9 people, and it had a LAN mode!
There was this one time when none of us were looking at where we were throwing stuff and one of the co-op partners threw a Molotov at one of the trees. Seven people died of the resulting wildfire that day.
Or the first time someone got the AS50 – it was a mess. We would try to sneak close to the camp before killing bad guys with suppressed weapons, only for that one guy to mess it up by shooting someone from half a kilometer away with his .50cal sniper.
At least the games don’t allow players to hold the RPGs in the reverse direction, that would have been mayhem… absolute, utter mayhem! Remember Adventures of Tintin?
FC2 really set the standards for the rest of the amazing series!
Far Cry 3
There is good, there is better and then there is THE BEST! And Far Cry 3 was exactly that, the best of all that there is! It created its own genre tags – an open-world, adventure, action, puzzle-solving, exploration video game that would continue to entertain its fans with unlimited hours of fun, even eight years later, even when the series has moved forth, and across, three complete titles.
FC3 features a huge, overwhelmingly so, open-world that is vibrant and colourful – like any tropical island should be. Yes, Far Cry 3 takes the player back to the tropics – to the Rook Islands… and there’s no shortage of fun there! You can explore the jungles, hills and rivers like a tourist; just remember to shoot anyone wearing red. Or, you can practise skydiving from the awesome cliffs, after you’ve had your fill of enjoying the amazingly detailed landscapes and the ultra-realistic lighting effects. Or, you can practise your driving skills in the numerous vehicle options you have – cars, boats, jet-skis and of course, the iconic glider. Many people believe the glider is a symbolic part of Far Cry, it makes the series what it is – and it’s probably true.
Well, you could do all of that, or, you can simply scale the radio-towers and free them, get new weapons and go on pirate/privateer hunting-sprees! No one said no to some good ol’ explosive fun either – because FC3 provides grenade, Molotov, C4, use-anywhere-mines, AND Rocket and grenade launchers. Don’t forget to unlock and get your Japanese tanto, it’s totally worth using it to painstakingly stalk and then melee stab that rogue pirate captain in one of the gazillions of Wanted Dead side-short-missions (gazillion is probably over exaggeration, but it gets the point through very clearly – there are lots of those quests/missions!).
Here’s a video that showcases some of the more awesome stuff in Far Cry 3.
The part in FC3 that a few people might feel would have been better left out is the Buck guy. Personally, I hate him and popped him in the head after he had died!
The quest you have to do for him, a treasure hunt reminding of Lara Croft, is pretty awesome though.
Far Cry 4
And… finally… from the grasslands and coasts all the way to the Himalayas, the abode of snow. And snowy it is – if any of the readers have had the awesome luck of playing Valley Of Yeti DLC Expansion, you know what that means. Those who haven’t, one line for you – GO PLAY IT!
FC4 takes the player all the way to the Kyrat, a small country high up in the Himalayas; assuming the role of American (born Kyrati) Ajay Ghale returning to his birth country to carry out his mother’s last wishes. That did sound sinister, but for those whose are unlucky enough to have never played FC4, believe me when I say what follows is absolute carnage – absolute carnage and a lot of silly fun, in other words, a LOT of explosions and playing soccer with a bucket that has a C4 inside it.
All thanks Ubisoft’s tireless efforts into perfecting ‘The Kick’ in FC4 – effectively making it a 1v1 explosive soccer match with your friend. And you thought Rocket League was the only title that let you do that, Haha!
The game features all the weapons from Far Cry 3 and then some more – the assault-rifle…ish sniper, SA80, firing .50cal every-freaking-thing penetrating bullets!
The graphics look infinitely more intense, vibrant and picturesque – mountain like – in the game. The story is unique with the basic Far Cry style thrown in and built upon. But there are countless small changes in the gameplay mechanics and the gun-handling that at no point does this amazing title feel like an expansion DLC to its predecessor – a problem that has plagued lots of games for a long time.
Since it is still relatively new (very relative conclusion; and definitely an opinion, not an assertion), it would be extremely bad to reveal too much about it (spoilers) – and get hated by the readers who haven’t played it yet and wanted to start now.
For those readers, a few stories and a couple of tips are what I am going to share!
First, stories… So, one of my friends had read about an easter-egg that was related to Indiana Jones and we all planned to try and find it. Two of us played while the others watched us play live. Eventually, after hours of searching and getting distracted, we managed to reach the location. It was supposed to be a cave, but we couldn’t find the entrance. So in frustration, my friend started firing RPGs randomly – accidentally launching himself high up in the air, and throwing me off my feet (I was playing as Hurk) with a tiny bit of health left. Amidst the chaos of everyone shouting something – my friend ended up opening his wingsuit; a terrible idea, because the next thing he knew was that he was under the map. And somehow he had managed to drag my dead body with him!
The game glitched out so badly that we had to immediately force stop it. We found out the cave later in our individual games, though.
Another time, we played demolition derby on elephants – and it was more fun than we’ve had in any of our recent gaming sprees!
There are countless such funny experiences that make every single play-through a massively different experience.
And the tips are – one, don’t invest too much into weapons because they will eventually become free and two, try and find alternate ways to approach mission locations as they might provide tactical advantages like stealth, the element of surprise, distance, etc.
Was something missed?
Right now, most of you are thinking – where the hell are the other two titles? I didn’t forget, no. I simply didn’t include them in the article. And I have my own reasons for not including them. They are –
- Both of them are re-textured and different story featuring versions of their predecessors. Some might even go as far as insulting them by saying they are palette-swaps of the original titles. But, Far Cry Primal is really good – it has a nice story and the game feels like a totally legit caveman experience when it’s being played. Blood Dragon, though, really doesn’t live up to the awesome expectations we have come to make when it is a Far Cry game in question.
- Blood Dragon brings to life the 80s and 90s style of humor and being someone who has only lived in the 21st century, I cannot appreciate it – Borderlands was cool, the Schwarzenegger movie Terminator has stood the test of time and is quite enjoyable, but Blood Dragon takes it too far.
- Last but not the least, even though Primal was a decent game to play, it wasn’t stellar in terms of playability – due to the obvious absence of the wonderful guns and explosives we are so fond of! On the other hand, Blood Dragon brought unbalanced weapons and supposedly sci-fi but actually dumb weapons with it.
So, all those reasons and many other ones will somewhat excuse my disregard for those two Far Cry titles.
Fear not, for those two are featured in one of my following articles, along with a couple of other titles as well.