Pinback, Creexul, Entropy Stew, Fussbett 5/4/2004 

Pinback begins the adventure.

So the first question you're asking me is, "Hey Pinback! If you can stop bleeding out of your rectum for two seconds, answer me this: Can I run FarCry on my computer?"

Welp, I've got bad news and good news. The bad news is: NO!

The good news is: NEITHER CAN I, and I'm enjoying it!

I mean, if you've got the beefy video card/PC combo to be able to handle this baby at its higher-end settings, then god bless ya, but for us mortals without GeForce 6+ 2.5 gig video cards, we've got trouble! Here's what you're in for:


(click Yes)


I said, "screw this", and set everything back up to "Medium". Then I fired up the game. The Coolest Opening Video Ever. Then I was given control of my guy...

And everything... stopped. Well, not 'stopped', but, everything started moving at about 4 FPS, if you catch my drift. On MEDIUM. That's not good, I say.

I set everything to LOW, and it started to run like I expected. Smooth and silky. But... "low"?

SECRET KEY TO CONFIGURING FARCRY: If you're having trouble with everything on MEDIUM (or HIGH, if you're that AWESOME), the one key setting is "LIGHTING". I can set everything else to medium or even high and still remain within playable levels, but you move that badboy (lighting) off LOW, and you (I) got some serious problems. Unfortunate, too, because where it really slows down with lighting set higher is INDOORS, and yet it's OUTDOORS where the difference in setting really hits you. On LOW LIGHTING, palm trees don't sway. Underwater flora has remnants of whatever targa file the texture came from. Those are the two most noticeable things, but still, it'd be nice to see those palm trees swayin'.

That being said: WHOA, man! THIS is more like it. THIS is what I'm talking about. The first time you crawl your way out of the basement you start in and catch a peek of the lush tropical island you find yourself on, and you know... this is cool. This is very cool.

It's an ol' fashioned FPS in every respect, not far removed from Wolfenstein 3D in intent (blow badguys up, eat health, get weapons), but I mean... whoa! There are some genre improvements: binoculars are a big part of FarCry. The deal is, you enter a particular "theater of battle", but since each theater tends to be huge and sprawling, there's little way to know what the hell is going on. So you got binoculars -- but they're SPECIAL binoculars, you see, ones that can spot and (once you've spotted them) continually record the location and mood (kickin' it, on guard, or after you) of anyone you get within their scopes. Is it realistic? No. Does it add an entirely new level of... tactics, of... tension... of voyeuristic titillation??? Why, yes. Yes it does. Would it do so if the locale wasn't so wonderful to just gape at, both awe-and-dumbstruck? Eh. Maybe.

So, anyway, even if you can only run it on LOW, I'd still highly recommend it. Because, I mean, THIS is on low:

And that mountain in the background? That's no matte painting. You can go there. You can shoot things there.

Creexul ponders the 'message' of FarCry

I sort of fixed the freezing stuff by turning on vsync. I don't know how that would make my performance better, but it's a bug. I remember on day 2 of playing this game, I was PRAYING!!!!!!!!!!!! to the computer that it would just stop doing this. I kept trying random stuff, I read stuff about underclocking(????) your video card to make it go away, or turning up graphics. I tried that but it fixed itself pretty well with vsync. It would still freeze up with helicopters, but a restart could make that go away for a good while.

The areas in this game are the real star. If they didn't bother to take advantage of the engine that allows huge areas, it would just be another corridor game, minus walls. But no, I could walk anywhere if I wanted, and then hey, what's this? Some kind of fuckin cave. I can go in there, or I can go around it, or go on the other side, or grab a boat. Blowing away so many people in the process. With the expansive areas of the game, I was surprised that I still saw squad after squad coming after me. I'd blow away two or three guys, and I'd think, "that'll do it," then five more guys are coming at me, and there's like one in each tower that I have to snipe.

M1 rating: no M1, but the Desert Eagle kind of makes up for it with semi-auto blasting of hot lead at people's faces. I could probably go through the first half of the game with just the Desert Eagle (if it let me).

One thing missing: tripmines. Tripmines in games usually don't work. In Half-Life, they were so easy to spot, and enemies wouldn't really set them off. The best they were for in HL was for just setting on the ground and getting a garg to run over it so you could save some rockets. But in this, guys come at you from all over, especially the big hitters later on, it would be nice to run away from some narrow area (especially in the volcano at the end when those huge motherfuckers were running after me) and place some mines.


Anyway, this game is the perfect realization for the technology and the engine. They can finally make a game that's like one huge giant island simulation. Before, some FAGGOT developer would make this huge island area in just the first level of this game, and then be done and sell that map as a game where you can "run around a realistic realtime jungle, with birds and trees and leaves." They wouldn't add vehicles or enemies or weapons or crazy shit. Now, they can do that, and it's just about the perfect game. And they didn't even stop at great jungle and island areas, but created crazy caves and abandoned Japanese WW2 aircraft carrier makeshift helicopter landing pad bases, and futury installations which crazy goings on, and tiny tent camps on remote islands, and little remote base outposts with buildings and people hanging out. Then you run through them and fuck things up beyond all repair.

I think just the fact that they've added hollowed out caves in a few mountains, AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO GO IN THEM. You could go around bases and come in from every possible direction. Sometimes, you're in the jungle going around and shit, and you come to a giant underground base with huge rooms and stuff, and there's no loading. It's like you could go from the bottom of the ocean to the fucking moon in one pass.

The AI is good as well. The guys come at you and they don't try to just run at you, but they take cover behind shit. I remember being impressed by the AI at one point when an enemy was hiding around a corner, I knew he was there, he knew I was there waiting for him, he popped out, I shot at him, he went back, but when he popped back out, he ran a few extra steps. In so many games where enemies hide behind corners, we ALL know that they pop out on the exact same spot when they come out to shoot at you, it's like they are finding their marking. In this, you can't just expect to fire where you think they'll come out, because they will really try to throw you off by winding around and taking cover and trying to come from behind you (I've had that happen a lot where I'd run down a hill and start attacking to have guys shoot at me from the hill I ran down), flanking shit.

It's like someone made an exploration sim, with guns and blowing shit up like crazy and awesomeness. Plus ragdolls. Ragdolls haven't been used better in a game so far. Every game should have ragdolls of course (I'm sure just about any computer that can run these modern games can deal with the physics for this).

If this was released last year it would've been game of the year so easy, and maybe new "best game ever" or something. I hope this game doesn't kind of ruin Half-Life 2 for me though, or I might hate it. :(

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