At times, Far Cry 2 felt like an exercise in futility. No matter how many guys you shot, there would be still be an endless supply of them, presumably from the Jackal's massive private army. In reality, the endless spawning enemies at checkpoints was a deliberate decision made by the Far Cry 2 development team. This problem, among many others, have been examined by the Far Cry 3 team who said, "Worry not, fans, our game will not have infinite enemies." They didn't really say that, but the context is clear.
Don't be mistaken, Far Cry 2 was a fun game sometimes, but that was the problem. It wasn't fun all the time. Dan Hay, producer on Far Cry 3 has promised that his team has read the feedback regarding the second game in the series and is striving to ensure they won't be repeated.
Hay talked to CVG and discussed the kind of gameplay elements that caused a great deal of player heartache and what he and his team would be doing to ensure the gameplay experience in Far Cry 3 won't be as filled with frustration, promising players action when they choose to get into it.
The largest complaints regarding Far Cry 2 had to do with the aforementioned endlessly spawning bad guys at checkpoints, the long, long treks to get to objectives and safehouses, weapons that would degrade and be useless over time, and taking malaria medication. Clint Hocking, former creative director at Ubisoft and gameplay designer for Far Cry 2 was well aware of the problems fans complained about most, specifically the respawning enemies:
"The respawning guardposts thing - yeah, we're getting raked over the coals for that. Funny thing is, we did discuss it. I decided it was better to have them repopulate rather than have the player be able to empty the world of gameplay."
Hocking's heart was in the right place, but the execution on the final product wasn't as auspicious as he wanted it to be, unfortunately. It is true that driving through the desert and jungles can be really boring without some kind of action in between, but when there's action every 50 feet, then it gets out of hand.
Dan Hay and lead gameplay designer Jamie Keen discuss what kind of changes the Far Cry 3 team is making to reassure players the third game will return to the roots of the series.
"We want to give the player the opportunity to turn on the action whenever they want. We want to let you move around the periphery of an area, making the game wait for you.
We want the player to feel like they've got the tools at their disposal to really engage with the world however they choose. So the way you stay hidden and the way the AI interacts with you has been improved. We've got an amazing stable of games around us at Ubisoft Montreal, and we've looked to Splinter Cell for inspiration.
The game's not all about stealth, but you'll be able to play in a much stealthier way. It's not going to suddenly break as you're playing and have you cursing the AI.
As for respawning enemies and camps, if you go through and find someone and take them out, that's an action that's got to feel real. If you take out a character and you put them in the ground, they're staying in the ground."
That ought to bring the soothing kind of relief to players who had problems with Far Cry 2. The stealth approach Hay and Keen were talking about can be seen in the alternate E3 2011 walkthrough that features the impacts player choice has on any given enemy encounter. You can see a much more direct approach in the regular E3 2011 walkthrough.
As for the graphics of the game, which look spectacular, Ubisoft Montreal is using an updated version of Far Cry 2's engine, Dunia. It was confirmed that PC players will be able to crank the graphic quality up pretty high and console versions will still retain beauty, as well. A great looking game that will once again offer players freedom in approaching situations with enemies that stay dead? Count us in.
Far Cry 3 is releasing in 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
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