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Frraksurred
23rd Nov 2008, 06:29
I was eagerly looking forward to Far Cry 2 for a few of its open world / free choice similarities ("play it your way") to Deus Ex. The game is getting mixed reviews thus far, but regardless of people's opinions, I hope Eidos Montreal will learn what they can from player's input.

With that in mind, if we use FC2 as a reference what would you have to say? Here are some of my thoughts:

What I liked:

The visuals and audio. Definately well done.
Impeccable AI. Smart enemies are believable enemies (and more enjoyable!).
The "play it your way" style. Choice is always a winner!
Variety of weapons and transport.


What I didn't like:

Repeatative play. Having guards respawn at posts I'd just cleared ad nauseum got extremely annoying.
Non-upgradable weapons. What you get is what you get, no customization.
The "play it your way except where we want you to" style. The game lets you shot people any way you like, but it won't let you not shot people if you don't like.

This leads me to my primary reason for posting. This last gameplay decision was the biggest replay killer for me. You can play it your way unless you don't want to be an assasin or thief. What if I want to help the people and not be a greedy mercenary? I started the game thinking I could choose the missions I wanted and didn't want, build the reputation I wanted, but unless you take certain missions the plot does not progress. In fact it rewards butchery at times. It gives you almost every choice except the moral one, which is the most important choice in my opinion. If I cannot play the game as "me", then the experience is already ruined. This is some thing that Deus Ex was known for, even unrivaled for, in its day. I truly hope this is not a mistake that DX3 makes. In the DX universe especially I think it would be a fatal one.

APostLife
23rd Nov 2008, 07:23
I think there is a movie that turns the game FarCry into movie and it is to be released this year of 2008?

Romeo
23rd Nov 2008, 08:00
I was eagerly looking forward to Far Cry 2 for a few of its open world / free choice similarities ("play it your way") to Deus Ex. The game is getting mixed reviews thus far, but regardless of people's opinions, I hope Eidos Montreal will learn what they can from player's input.

With that in mind, if we use FC2 as a reference what would you have to say? Here are some of my thoughts:

What I liked:

The visuals and audio. Definately well done.
Impeccable AI. Smart enemies are believable enemies (and more enjoyable!).
The "play it your way" style. Choice is always a winner!
Variety of weapons and transport.


What I didn't like:

Repeatative play. Having guards respawn at posts I'd just cleared ad nauseum got extremely annoying.
Non-upgradable weapons. What you get is what you get, no customization.
The "play it your way except where we want you to" style. The game lets you shot people any way you like, but it won't let you not shot people if you don't like.

This leads me to my primary reason for posting. This last gameplay decision was the biggest replay killer for me. You can play it your way unless you don't want to be an assasin or thief. What if I want to help the people and not be a greedy mercenary? I started the game thinking I could choose the missions I wanted and didn't want, build the reputation I wanted, but unless you take certain missions the plot does not progress. In fact it rewards butchery at times. It gives you almost every choice except the moral one, which is the most important choice in my opinion. If I cannot play the game as "me", then the experience is already ruined. This is some thing that Deus Ex was known for, even unrivaled for, in its day. I truly hope this is not a mistake that DX3 makes. In the DX universe especially I think it would be a fatal one.
Hm, I know there were a few instances in Far Cry where you still had to kill, yet could utilize stealth, and other instances altogether where you could simply sneak by. But you must understand you're comparing two different games. Far Cry is not about how you go about the situation, it's about how you go about eliminating the targets. Whereas Deus Ex's mood and atmosphere lend themselves well towards hiding, or selective assassination, Far Cry tends to be more action-orientated, which in turn, lends itself more to vehicular, weapon and entrance selections, with stealth often taking a back-seat.

spm1138
23rd Nov 2008, 09:39
DX was not a "go anywhere, do anything you like" game.

It had a number of invincible characters. The people you could kill were never mission critical.

It also had a clear succession of levels. You could not opt to turn Paul in to UNATCO and go to work for MJ12. You always went to Hong Kong after NY.

There was a pretty good reason for this.

Presumably the same reason FC2 does this.

It makes it very hard to write a meaningful story whilst still allowing for every action the player might take.

The more branches there are, the more complex things get. The more complex things get the harder it is to write well.

I describe DX as non-linear linearity.

The story goes from point A to point B to point C. It just lets you decide what road to take between the points.

I'm very sure that stealth will continue to be an option and I'd be really surprised if they took less than lethal out. I don't think it's going to be Grand Theft Nano though.

Personally I'd like a game with a strong storyline. I consider that more important than trying to build a truly open world game. Just "fairly" open is good enough for me.

K^2
23rd Nov 2008, 10:29
Personally, I don't see a reason not to allow every possible action. You want to keep blindly following UNATCO's orders and stay ignorant of other things despite being told many times that you should look into it more deeply? Fine. Game is over in 3 hours of game time, and you get the "You're a tool." ending, with a hint that maybe you haven't been all you can be. Just pick up one of the saved games, and try something different. All it does is adds replayablility. And if some people chose to abandon the game after getting the "easy" ending, well, it's their own fault. I'm sure reviewers will not be in that category, so it won't hurt your sales.

spm1138
23rd Nov 2008, 10:51
Because everything they do include is at the expense of something else they couldn't include.

Development time and money is finite.

There's always choices to be made.

Including a "UNATCO" ending like that might have been completist but might not have done anything for the main design objectives they had in mind and would have had nothing to do with this main story arc they'd spent all that time on and including it might have taken time away from something that was related to those things.

As it is it sounds like DX3's will be branching a bit earlier but they still won't be able to allow for every possibility without compromising telling a good story.

Not if you want the game this side of 2010.

K^2
23rd Nov 2008, 13:12
I don't think it requires nearly as much effort as you seem to imply. Choosing to kill or betray a key character should simply end the game there and then. A very brief narrative and a short CG movie would be sufficient as an ending. It does not need to be detailed or informative, as it is implied that this isn't the "right" ending of the game. Chose to give Paul to UNATCO? Get a "You ****ed-up, the bad guys won." "ending" and try again.

ewanlaing
23rd Nov 2008, 13:20
The point of the Far Cry 2 Story (as far as I could tell, judging by the trailers and my own gameplay experiences) was that in order to remove the Jackal you needed someone just as driven and just as ruthless. To me, the killing aspect was essential to the darker aspect of the storyline.

jordan_a
23rd Nov 2008, 15:55
Having guards respawn at posts I'd just cleared ad nauseum got extremely annoying.There was that on a very old game called Project IGI, and it was horrible.

Yargo
23rd Nov 2008, 16:58
I don't think it requires nearly as much effort as you seem to imply. Choosing to kill or betray a key character should simply end the game there and then. A very brief narrative and a short CG movie would be sufficient as an ending. It does not need to be detailed or informative, as it is implied that this isn't the "right" ending of the game. Chose to give Paul to UNATCO? Get a "You ****ed-up, the bad guys won." "ending" and try again.


Because everything they do include is at the expense of something else they couldn't include.

Development time and money is finite.

There's always choices to be made.

Including a "UNATCO" ending like that might have been completist but might not have done anything for the main design objectives they had in mind and would have had nothing to do with this main story arc they'd spent all that time on and including it might have taken time away from something that was related to those things.

As it is it sounds like DX3's will be branching a bit earlier but they still won't be able to allow for every possibility without compromising telling a good story.

Not if you want the game this side of 2010.


Personally, I don't see a reason not to allow every possible action. You want to keep blindly following UNATCO's orders and stay ignorant of other things despite being told many times that you should look into it more deeply? Fine. Game is over in 3 hours of game time, and you get the "You're a tool." ending, with a hint that maybe you haven't been all you can be. Just pick up one of the saved games, and try something different. All it does is adds replayablility. And if some people chose to abandon the game after getting the "easy" ending, well, it's their own fault. I'm sure reviewers will not be in that category, so it won't hurt your sales.

Or you could do it in a way were you still go to all the same places. you just work for the bad guys. Like maybe you would have met with Page at versalife and he would give you a mission to kill Tong. And going to Paris you would hunt down Debeers and kill him. Things like that follow the same level progression just have different goals :D :thumbsup:

spm1138
23rd Nov 2008, 18:24
There was that on a very old game called Project IGI, and it was horrible.

Oy! IGI had gaming's first welshman.


Chose to give Paul to UNATCO? Get a "You ed-up, the bad guys won." "ending" and try again.

I s'pose. It seems a bit redundant though when there's no way to continue the game past that point.

GmanPro
23rd Nov 2008, 18:35
^^
They did that in Hordes of the Underdark. There was a scene where you get brain-raped by some Illithid mind-flayers and you go into a dream world. I don't remember exactly how it happens but I remember there being a choice to just stay in the dream world because it was all peaceful and perfect. I tried it just to see what would happen and it ended the game. Started showing the credits and everything - lol. :D

K^2
23rd Nov 2008, 22:41
I s'pose. It seems a bit redundant though when there's no way to continue the game past that point.
Just to give the player a bit stronger illusion of free choice. That's actually one thing that IW handled slightly better. At least, I don't recall any immortal characters. If it was too early to kill someone, you always talked to that character through the glass. It still feels a bit restricted, but in a more in-game way. But having a "wrong ending" would have been even better.

Or you could do it in a way were you still go to all the same places. you just work for the bad guys. Like maybe you would have met with Page at versalife and he would give you a mission to kill Tong. And going to Paris you would hunt down Debeers and kill him. Things like that follow the same level progression just have different goals
Ah, but that would require more work. This would be ideal, I agree, but the amount of time spend developing dialogue and meaningful story for each branch makes this rather unlikely to be done under budget and time constraints. Recycling levels, like you suggest, helps, quite a bit, but not enough, I'm afraid.

^^
They did that in Hordes of the Underdark. There was a scene where you get brain-raped by some Illithid mind-flayers and you go into a dream world. I don't remember exactly how it happens but I remember there being a choice to just stay in the dream world because it was all peaceful and perfect. I tried it just to see what would happen and it ended the game. Started showing the credits and everything - lol.
Precisely what I'm talking about. I also seem to recall from a review of some game that you could turn down the very first quest, one that leads you into the story, thereby ending the game within the first few minutes. Credits, etc.

Also, reminds me of Neverhood. First adventure/quest game I ever saw where you could simply lose not even half-way through the game. There was a big hole with a bunch of warning signs. If you kept approaching it, you eventually fell in, and the game ended. It was traditional to the genre to make it so that you can get stuck, but not lose. So despite an almost ridiculous number of warnings, you still felt surprised that the game actually lets you get killed.

Frraksurred
24th Nov 2008, 01:00
Personally I'd like a game with a strong storyline. I consider that more important than trying to build a truly open world game. Just "fairly" open is good enough for me.


I completely agree with you there. Story is always paramount.

--

Good discussion gentlemen (and ladies if present).

I should probably clarify a little. I understand game writers need to be able to write a story without too many unknowns, such as those brought up by the player's choices. My foucs was more on how DX allowed you to make choices. There were enough gameplay choices to keep the game replayable, but even more moral choices to allow for different player's character. I tend to play stealthy, but some times it is fun to burst in blowing up everything in sight. I can appreciate that kind of freedom of choice, but it doesn't destroy the experience if I have to live without it. The choice I'm looking for is more a moral one. Is the story such that I'm not forced to do things, or do them in a way, that I would not normally choose to?

Consider DX's first level, you could "go in like the US Marshalls" killing everything in sight or remember you were a cop sworn to serve and protect and "use my descretion". This is what I'm after. Mass Effect is another game that did this very well. It did not change the ending to the story, but it did affect how others reacted to you and opened or closed certains doors to clues or goodies.

I realize developers can only give us a certain amount of choice and still write a managable story. However choices like how I want to outfit myself, my weapon, my approach and my moral character are all choices a developer can give us without making life overly difficult for themselves. That is what I'm asking for.

Romeo
24th Nov 2008, 04:44
I think Far Cry handled killing non-essential characters in a very logical manner - it took away your controls, and instead went to CGI. I didn't feel like I was getting screwed out of choices, and yet, I also couldn't cause a massive plot hole by killing someone who'd be mentioned later.

rhalibus
24th Nov 2008, 22:09
I'm playing Far Cry 2 now and while I like the freedom of movement and tactical approach, I'm getting tired of every mission being either to blow something up or kill someone. I mean the explosions and fire propagation are definitely cool, but you can't converse with anyone other than to get missions and so you feel disconnected from the world. The conversational depth in Deus Ex is sorely missed in what is otherwise a very well produced game; one that I might finish...:rolleyes: