Far Cry 4

Update 2016-04-23: If you’re looking for your Far Cry 4 fix after Far Cry 4 Enhanced stopped working with version 1.10 then you’re in luck! Far Cry 4 Open World Mod, as far as I can tell, has almost everything good about Enhanced except increased difficulty. I really, really wish it did have that but pickers can’t be choosers. At least it comes with an additional version that removes some helper things like seeing enemies through walls, seeing enemies on the minimap, and removing laser beams from sniper rifles. Since Enhanced no longer works, Open World Mod is the next best thing!

Update 2015-09-05: I’ve been thinking about replaying Far Cry 4 lately after having finished the game a few weeks ago. The world is just so rich and beautiful that I wish I could go back in and experience it all over again, but I feel that I’ve already seen and done the vast majority of it. I googled around for replaying and came across some decent posts, like 5 Cool Things to do After Beating Far Cry 4 and Looking back: why it’s time to return to Far Cry 2. The second article is an interesting comparison against Far Cry 2 and where the author feels we’re really lacking with 3 and 4. I tend to agree. FC2 had its problems but it got some of the more important things right. By the way, I still absolutely recommend Far Cry 4 Enhanced, a great modification allows you to play the game at a much more visceral level to get the most out of the experience. If you’ve played through Far Cry 4 once without this mod you’ll have a great time playing through again with the mod.

Update 2015-09-05 (2): Added Replay section.

Far Cry 4

I’ve just finished Far Cry 4 and, I have to say, while Ubisoft has done a lot to hurt its reputation in the past few years, the Far Cry series are consistent better-than-expected entries in their portfolio. I’ll say here and now that Far Cry 2, 3, and 4 are the best exploration games you can play these days.

Exploration

farcry4-2bWhile games like Skyrim or Witcher offer massive worlds, they tend to have that RPG-style, clunky, tick-tock-based combat that really brakes the fluidity of the game. It’s a pleasure to play in a massive world like Far Cry offers with all the fluidity of a real-time FPS.

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Far Cry 3 and the Survival Experience Mods

Update 2015-07-24: I picked up Far Cry 4 a few weeks ago during the Steam Summer Sale and I am delighted that Ubisoft actually heard and listened to the Far Cry 3 survival enthusiasts and added lots of options to the game to disable certain helps that take away from the potential immersion of the experience. The game is a real charmer, its puts a grin on your face from the first moments when you finally get to move on your own, in particular if you’ve come from and love Far Cry 3. The extra survival options only go so far, though, for example you earn money way too easily for the price of the items you buy everything and you earn so much you have nothing left to spend it on. So I went googling for some survival mods and came across the Far Cry 4 Enhanced mod. Good news, just like Ziggy’s Mod back from Far Cry 3, it comes with a “Hardcore” mode that makes it a pretty tough but rewarding survival experience. Note! At the time of writing, the latest Steam version of Far Cry 4 requires the 0.19 beta version of the mod! Without this the very first shop in the game crashed the whole game for me.

I’ve been playing Far Cry 3, again, after letting it sit since beating it a couple of times last year. I even upgraded my system recently to see the game at its visual best. Some time ago I posted about injecting some life into Far Cry 3 after you’ve already beaten it, largely about encouraging exploring, and trying out new, more difficult ways of playing the game. Recently, I’ve come across some blog posts about Ziggy’s Mod, a mod that attemps to really go after the hardcore, wilderness survivalist thing that Far Cry 3 seems on the verge of nailing.

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Far Cry 3 Benchmarks and the Sweet Spot for SLI Price Points

Far Cry 3 is a great game and I play it quite a bit even after having already finished it twice. It’s a great open world to explore. I decided, recently, to upgrade my NVIDIA GTX 460 SLI setup and went about researching new video cards. A little background, when I was buying the 460s everyone was saying they were a fantastic price (under $200) for their performance, so I picked up one and a little later picked up another for SLI. They turned out great so I have a good feeling about this segment of the NVIDIA line up.

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How to inject some life back into Far Cry 3

If you’re like me, you tore through Far Cry 3 and learned that if you took outposts out early and raced to unlock radio towers you were able to see more sooner and get to story missions quicker. Now that you’ve finished the game, you have this feeling that you want to play in that beautiful world again, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to it anymore? Here’s a few things to try to reinvigorate your Far Cry 3 experience…

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Ubisoft: Are you stupid?

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

In the past, we asked Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” Well, Ubisoft has turned around and asked you and I, “Are you stupid?”, with the release of Assassin’s Creed 2.

I wrote a while ago about Prince of Persia for the PC. Ubisoft was trying an “experiment.” This game had no DRM and they were going to see how well it fared. According to metacritic, and user ratings, it didn’t fare so well. It was a pretty mediocre, uninspired game. It looks like ubisoft has their answer on DRM.

And that answer is apparently a resounding approval for more DRM. And this isn’t just run of the mill DRM. This is ridiculously dumb DRM.

So, I have to ask you Ubisoft, “Are you stupid?” But really, Ubisoft’s answer is “Are YOU stupid?”. To get that answer, we’ll just have to see how sales do.

Prince of Persia Retrospective

I hold up Prince of Persia: Sands of Time as probably the best game of all time. Unfortunately, Ubisoft absolutely destroyed the soul of the game when it released the sequel Warrior Within.

I hold up Prince of Persia: Sands of Time as probably the best game of all time. Unfortunately, Ubisoft absolutely destroyed the soul of the game when it released the sequel Warrior Within. They tried to recover with Two Thrones, and while fans appreciated the attempt, they fell flat on their face in the afterglow of Sands of Time.

I get the idea most people don’t understand just how they screwed up so bad.

Worse, I don’t think Ubisoft gets it.  So, as stubborn and bitter as I am, I won’t let Ubisoft forget it.

Ben Croshaw has probably the most concise, well laid out diatribe against the travesty that occurred with Prince of Persia. Amidst his foul language at times, Ben does point out each and every brutal, horrific choice Ubisoft made developing the sequels.

Now, Two Thrones was supposed to recover what was lost in Sands of Time and it’s unfortunate that Ubisoft didn’t get nailed to the wall with how bad Two Thrones was.

There must be some law out there about the curse of trilogies…hmm a google for “curse of trilogies” returns only one relevant result. Too bad. Movie makers and game developers should be forced to read it.

Hey, Ubisoft, I bought PC Prince of Persia, the one without DRM.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back. You deserved what you got.

When Prince of Persia launched, Ubisoft said they were trying it without DRM, and delivered this snarky comment along with it,

Youre right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM well see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and Im sure well see more steps in future to try to combat that.

Community Manager UbiRazz

Perhaps the “Razz” in “UbiRazz” is more indicative of what the “community manager” role is all about. Getting the community up in arms?

Now, this happened a long time ago and I didn’t have anywhere to write about. So I’m writing about it now even though I bought this the day it was released.

Barring UbiSoft’s arrogant behaviour, and yes I will apply the community manager’s behaviour to Ubisoft, they did two good things. First, the lack of DRM. Second, the PC version of Prince of Persia was released at a $29.99 price point. That’s about the maximum I’m going to spend on a game unless it’s an 9+ rating and I know I’m going to like it (I bought the Sands of Time trilogy at full price).

So, I bought it. There. You happy now Ubisoft?

Maybe you shouldn’t be so happy because the game isn’t all that great.

It’s technically sound, which is why industry critics gave it a decent score. Good visuals, new art style, good sound, decent gameplay. But isolated analysis like that isn’t what game are about. Take a look at Metacritic’s user rating.

So, I took your bait, I bought your game, and you did two good things, no drm and price point, but then you released an average game.

What does that say to your users?

It says your no-drm and price-point were gimmicks to sell a poor game.

Nice try, Ubisoft.

You lost the magic of Sands of Time and you had no idea how to get it back.

You deserved what you got.