My Game of the Month – February: Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 is full of problems. Many, many problems that you, the gamer, have to suffer through in order to call yourself a ‘real’ gamer and sleep peacefully at night. These said problems exist in the game world and in the real world. Far Cry 4 is in no way the perfect game, quite far from it, but it makes my game of the month.

You may wonder why I’d pick a game that isn’t “the best thing ever” – well the truth is, it’s the only thing I’ve been playing alongside Star Wars Battlefront (I’m still hooked. I think I’m addicted, seriously send help). With the recent release of Far Cry Primal, I thought I’d try and blow the dust off my copy of Far Cry 4 and actually complete the darn thing. I’d like to say that I consider myself a completionist, but my backlog of incomplete games would only contradict that statement. Instead it would seem that I only truly complete a game if a) I love the game or b) it’s easy to do so. Call me a dirty casual. Go on I dare ya’.

ee05813f2506e194c23f440527f9ad07081a1710

So why does Far Cry 4 exist? Well that’s a good question. If I was to give a personal answer I’d say Far Cry 4 leap-frogs off the back of Far Cry 3. The third installment was positively received by the masses (especially after 2, which… well nobody liked 2), the story, the gameplay, everything seemed a huge improvement and made for a largely enjoyable game. This amazing package is what makes Far Cry 4 similarly great, but also acts as its major downfall. People who know me in person would understand my issue with the Call of Duty series and its onslaught of repetition. Well now I’m worried for Far Cry. With Primal making its debut this month all I’ve seen so far from trailers and gameplay videos is Far Cry 3 rehashed into 4 rehashed into Primal. If you placed all three games into a blender you’d receive the exact same mush in which you started off with. It’s beginning to become difficult to tell these games apart. Take Assassin’s Creed for example, another series published by Ubisoft. If you haven’t been living under a rock you may have noticed a consensus of disappointment and boredom from the Assassin’s Creed fanbase. This is hugely due to the lack of creativity and simple recycling of money-making formulas. Remember when the devs attempted to change gameplay aspects in order to improve the next game? No? You were born in the naughties? Well I’m glad you’re here, might actually expand your library of games beyond Fifa and COD. But this is my problem. Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed are great games, can’t deny it really, but it’s turning into a case of using the same old phone just changing the case every year and calling it new (bit like the iPhone then really). Far Cry 4 (and Primal) are at the roots the same game as Far Cry 3, they play the same, the animations and missions are the same, however there’s a glossy new skin covering it called Kyrat or stone-age Europe.

fca4d9c05cae115a5af06c257f9932cc7005f08a

Rant over. So what makes Far Cry 4 good? Well most things actually. It’s pretty damn fun for a starter. Although some missions can be overwhelmingly difficult and punishing, the shooting and fire-play (literal fire) is super punchy and feels so good. Bad guys can soak up some bullets but still drop with the well-placed headshot. It’s satisfying and makes even the driest of missions entertaining. Alongside the solid shooting you have the ability to mess around with a decent sandbox environment. The amount of ways that you can tackle a single outpost is impressive. You could sneak in, taking out each guard silently or you could go berserk, riding an elephant firing off your MG and lobbing flaming molotovs into crowds of people shouting “I am the King of the Fire Elephants!” for example. You can’t do that in most games, but most games aren’t Far Cry. It’s a real shame that most things that you experience in 4 are blatantly ripped straight from 3. The Shangri-La segments follow 3’s hallucinations, the brick factory sequence was an attempt to recreate the thrill of 3’s cannabis burning mission (accompanied by Skrillex’s Burn Dem – it was amazing). They’re good but taste the same, I was really hoping 4 would push above and beyond. But hey-ho, it’s all-round good fun if you’re looking for more drug-intoxicated, animal-littered, psycho-maniac mayhem Far Cry 4 is here.

Once I finish 4 I will invest in Primal and see where that takes me (probably on the same journey just with less soap and edible food)

Alexander Jones

My Game of the Month – January: Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death

This is a funny one. So you know those Steam sales that come about occasionally? Well yeah, I saw this little gem in one of those glistening tiles of discount and I just had to pick it up. I checked the reviews and such before committing to the purchase, although for less than Β£2 I couldn’t really complain no matter how potentially awful it could be.

I’m not very knowledgeable about the world of Judge Dredd, I have only watched the 2012 film adaptation of the comics and thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven’t explored the world of Judge Dredd comics so I wasn’t prepared to see the weird and strange entities that are portrayed within the game. Bizarre things such as huge, blob-like people who very closely resemble the unhealthy inhabitants in Wall-E, vampires, zombies, ghosts and so much more. I didn’t realise there were so many fantasy elements to the Dredd’s world. This never comes across in the 2012 film – which focuses on the massive-scaled apartment blocks and the harshness of the living in the proposed gritty world. I assume that these unexpected events derive from its comic book roots instead. I must say, it does spark an interest in maybe reading some of these comics, after the film I wanted to explore more of the same world, especially outside of the very same 200 storey apartment block. The game opens up another opportunity to follow Dredd’s adventures in Mega City One, and it’s dark, gritty, bloody and most importantly full of justice ready to be served.

2016-01-16_00002

The several missions I carried out saw me dispatching naked vampires in the futuristic street, fighting and arresting gangs of punks in rainy dockyards, clearing a super-market mall of zombies and finally frantically running through some crazy laboratory. It’s pretty diverse in terms of what happens, gameplay-wise it’s pretty samey. There’s a few different guns but you only really need to use the pistol – which offers different firing types. The enemies provide a change of pace, some shoot you, some slash you and others walk slowly towards with utmost determination for your brains. It’s a fun arcade experience.

2016-01-16_00001

I haven’t had the chance to complete this game but I’ve had enough hands-on gameplay to experience the fun and dark world that the almost celebrity Judge Dredd lives in. I say that he’s like a celebrity, because everyone seems to know who you are. I assume that Judge Dredd is similar to how Duke Nukem is celebrated in his world – except this only applies from other Judges, because everyone else seems to be a criminal. Many admire you and even more despise you. To my amusement you can arrest every single NPC (except Judges, vampires and zombies obviously). This is fairly hilarious and makes you feel unbelievably omnipotent, comically so. Β I couldn’t help myself wrapping handcuffs on every silly looking person I could find, it was just too funny. Just taking a stroll on the street? 5 years imprisonment! Talking to your friends? More like conspiring against the Judges! 15 years!

Sometimes being the coolest Judge in Mega City One gets to you…

Alexander Jones