Technically, I'm aware that the employees of Valve have regular jobs, doing regular things on irregularly mobile desks. Even so, when picturing Clint Hocking's year and half stint with the company, I can't help but imagine him strapped into a central development node, where tendrilled mind probes extract creative ideas to be fed into the Almighty Feedback Formula. I'm not saying that's definitely what happened, but if it is, it's perhaps understandable why he'd leave. Which he has.
Far Cry 2
Susan O’Connor, who helped pen the stories in BioShock, Far Cry 2, and the latest Tomb Raider along with Rhianna Pratchett, isn't happy with the state of game storytelling. She doesn't condemn video game stories themselves, but rather the overall process through which those stories are written. She sees storytelling in games being as dominated by teams that care more about compiling code—and she's tired of it.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: calling all Tapirs, please be on guard. Ubi have revised their yearly profit estimates up to somewhere between 90 and 100 million Euros after better-than-expected sales late last year, and are going to need a much bigger wallet.
Gamasutra report that Assassin's Creed 3 shifted 12 million copies in the meatspace and online which is 70% more than AssCreed: Revelations managed. Far Cry 3 sold 4.5 million. A "much higher-than-expected performance," which means "fans certainly won't have to wait four more years for the next Far Cry."
I don’t know what an Undying Bear is exactly, but I’ve vowed to kill it. I hope it’s just a name. This is a mission for the island’s Rakyat tribe, and Rakyat tradition dictates that I must defeat the creature with the infinite-ammo pump-action shotgun they’ve given me. A recent tradition, I would guess, but one I’m happy to honour. The truth is, I have an ulterior motive for finding and killing the legend: I’d really like a new rucksack.
A lot of what you do in Far Cry 3 raises perplexing questions: why would a rucksack made from the skin of the Undying Bear hold more than the one I made from four dead dingoes earlier? Can’t I just make one out of six dead dingoes? What is it about Undying Bear skin that facilitates a particularly capacious rucksack design? And more to the point: if it’s never died, how would anyone know?
But as I scramble away from it, panic-firing my traditional tribal pump action, what I’m actually wondering is this: when did Far Cry 3 become so good?
Remember Far Cry 2's multiplayer mode? With that user-friendly level editor? Perhaps not. When I think of Far Cry I imagine standing on a hillside looking at a gorgeous open world that explodes as I pull a rebar out of my broken hand. Deathmatch doesn't spring to mind, but there's no reason why Far Cry 3's multiplayer mode shouldn't be good. It's got guns, right? And men to shoot. And "innovations" like "battle cries" and "team support weapons" and the like.
One of those team support weapons is a psych bomb that seems to drop hallucinogenics onto an area of the battlefield, resulting in some quite interesting visual quirks. See that and much more in the new multiplayer trailer below.
I'm surprised that Ubisoft haven't talked more about Far Cry's lovely fire. The second game introduced had fire that would spread through bushes according to wind direction and speed. It was chaotic and brilliant, and it's in Far Cry 3 as well. Fire is probably the dominant predator on an island full of things that are very eager to fight each other. Forget Vaas, I'm more interested in how the eternal war between bears and tigers will play out in an open world setting. Beyond that, I'm excited to play the inevitable "be a bear" mod that'll surely follow. See fire, bears, tigers, brigands and a zipline, but not in that order, in the new trailer below.
Motoring around Far Cry 2's picturesque African landscapes delivered the brutality of a nation ripping itself apart through civil war to your windshield, but it also brought frustrating moments of downtime when repairing broken engines. Ubisoft's third go-around with the open-world FPS includes driving improvements as a measure against the slim possibility that puttering around the Rook Islands while high on psychedelics becomes a boring affair. As Lead Designer Jamie Keen tells Official PlayStation Magazine UK: "You can just launch your vehicle at 70 MPH off a cliff. It might not end very well -- but you can do that stuff."
With Far Cry 3, Ubisoft appear to be delivering a positively psychedelic take on the modern shooter. But just what kind of rig will you need to do justice to the experience of setting fire to a Komodo dragon while under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms?
It looks like Vaas isn't the only tubthumping maniac battling for control of the jungle in Far Cry 3. Hoyt Volker is the leader of a band of well equipped privateers. They've set up camp on the Southern island, which means you'll have to don some funky gloves and parachute in and take it down from the inside. With a rocket launcher.
In Far Cry 3, pretty much everyone hated and wanted to kill you. It's nice to see that Far Cry 3 is building on that by introducing an army of animals that hate EVERYONE. Check out Dan's Far Cry 3 hands-on for an idea of the destruction a rogue bear can cause when set free in the middle of an enemy camp, and check out the trailer below for more animal madness, and the odd explosion of course.
E3 is tantalisingly close. Far Cry 3 raised eyebrows at E3 2011 with trailers introducing the game's psychotic antagonist, Vaas. Hopefully we'll get more of a sense of what the game will be like to play at Ubisoft's conference next week. The misty flashes above tease a few new characters, but it'd be nicer to see more in-game action, to find out exactly how open Far Cry 3's jungle will be. The footage so far has felt a little rail roaded. We'll be covering E3 in force, so stay tuned for more on this year's biggest games from the year's biggest games conference next week.
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and Far Cry 2 have more in common than you might think. They're both cult games, and they're both capable of inspiring lengthy, loving tirades from their devotees. If you've never played them, you can now pick them up DRM-free from Good Old Games. Far Cry 2 Fortune's Edition - which includes extra weapons and vehicles - is available for $9.99, and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is $14.99.
The latest CG trailer for Far Cry 3 sets up the premise quite nicely. The psychotic one in the red vest is Vaas, the star of the E3 trailer. It looks as though he'll be hunting you through the jungle as you try to find a boat, any boat, to take you away from the wilderness gone mad. You had a choice of characters to play as in Far Cry 2, but none of them were innocent holidaymakers caught up in a gang war. It'll be interesting to see if there's any transition between 'man on holiday' and 'man who can single-handedly take out a base with a toothpick.'
Jamie Keen, lead developer on Far Cry 3 has been speaking exclusively to PC gamer about the evolution of the series since Far Cry 2 and the difficulties of developing for multiple platforms.
I saw Jamie play through the same demo we saw running at E3. It seems that, despite the on-screen controller-prompts, the demo was running on a meaty PC. We guessed that from the framerate and anti aliasing too, but thought it was worth mentioning.
The maniacal performance of the player character's captor, Vaas in the Far Cry 3 demo was one of the most memorable moments of E3 this year. We caught up with narrative director on Far Cry 3, Jason Vandenberghe on the show floor to discuss the art of honing a great virtual performance, and explore the reasons why so many virtual actors end up in "the uncanny valley of performance."
Ubisoft Montreal's Jason Vandernberghe has been talking to PC Gamer about how games deal with mature content. Far Cry 3 is set to be an M-rated game when it releases next year, but the narrative designer stressed the badge doesn't give developers reason to pack games full of filth. He also hinted Far Cry 3 might be more of a cerebral experience than gamers who spent FC2 burning everything might expect.