Its not about what this game contains, its about what it did not deliver. It lacks many expected standards.
VisMajorX wrote this review on .
On the top layer, there should have been an ebb and flow of the war going on which you could assist with by placing your own favored side (political reasons, or financial reasons perhaps with a bonus for using the type of character roll you chose to play for example) in to the check points you clear out at least for awhile, so you know that in some particular regions your only risk of attack is by encountering a push from the other side. Being attacked by everyone everywhere is not only annoying but senseless. Partial success in the game should be based on how much of an effect you are having by being there in the war. Either doing or undoing charity work, and your gun play, and it does not have to be static as of course other mercs are doing the opposite you are. So a command post you may have held for the last couple of days, might have suddenly been lost to you and too bad you didn't scout it before driving on in (or getting an update somehow for your GPS) because driving through an enemy checkpoint should ALWAYS equal death. So instead of constantly respawning checkpoints we could have had interesting strategy and a GOOD REASON to attack a certain position. 50km2 and no strategy for moving through it - for shame.
Starting small, I understand that this can not be Crysis and for that matter I'm not a big fan of Crysis (although I admit, its well done) but the lack of customisation of anything in this game (the "manuals" are a very weak and uninspiring idea) and for that matter not really having any idea about the difference between similar weapons is just so 1999. Why can I not have different rocket warheads for the RPG-7 for different targets? Because of a well established game like Stalker or Crysis, we expect to be able to get our firearms in different calibers, or ammo types, hell even firing modes, my god a lack of single fire on the AR-16 who decided this wasn't important enough to include? Mount or unmount scopes, add lasers for accuracy bonuses, and flashlights to blind night enemies or just to see because there is no nightvision on anything in this game (besides car headlights) and I know its "Africa" but I was sure it was modern day Africa and the lack of tech (how about standard merc body armor instead of the silly health system) in this game is stunningly ignorant. This game could easily have had an interesting firearm system similar to perhaps Stalker but not nearly as detailed. Just a few variations per weapons and a few more weapons (specially rifle types) would have gone a long way to giving this game what I call "depth". So we have yet another aspect of the gameplay left completely devoid of extra effort compared to what we expect these days from a title like this.
Could SOME of the roads in this "country" be paved? At least two major highways allowing some speedier travel to some areas, not every road has to be a dirt and pot hole filled death trap, and while I'm on that point the 'downtown' could have been a little bit more built up. Otherwise there is no believability for a reason to fight over this "country". You can go on and on about the "giant space to roam around in", except I see it the same way I see every aspect of this game and that is that every small region inside the 50km is largely devoid of interesting terrain. I don't care about what the vegitation looks like, I already said that I know that this can not be Crysis and I don't care if its a little repetative, its the actual layout of the regions. If every 5km2 in this game was an individual map from a game 6 years old or so I would almost applaud it. Remember Vietcong, it was not completely linear like many games of its time, yet not a Sandbox (though nearly) but yet it had far more variation in the structure of the landscape not only for its time, but compared to this very similar game? So why is it so many are so excited about this vast and largely empty and unimaginative total area? Again, even Stalker had more detail when it came to the majority of its 'maps' and if you are not going to make a FPS with AT LEAST the depth of geography that Stalker had, then please do not tell me to get excited about your empty 50km2 that I will be repeatedly attacked inside with very little to hide me from the enemy.
Which brings me to cover and suppression. Medal of Honor, Rainbow Vegas, Brothers in Arms, Ghost Recon.. and yet in THIS "GAME" you CAN NOT even LEAN LEFT OR RIGHT, never mind go in to an actual 'cover mode' and keep your head down until you have a chance to shoot back and kill. No, instead this game leaves you mostly wide open and simply gives you a ton of health and multiple health refils providing you can run away and duck from battle for a moment to use one (far too easy to stay alive) not to mention your magic friend showing up to save you if you do die. What was the last game you saw like this that did not allow you to lay down a smoke screen? After an AI takes half my clip to his head, should he not perhaps put something between him and my line of fire so as to survive and rethink his angle of attack? Can they not also carry two weapons as the player does and use the best tool for the job, and not shoot randomly in my general direction when I have found 'cover' (a ditch or a wall) and do not know where that sniper fire is coming from.. YET. AI in Stalker didn't do that, and the AI in Crysis would swarm you if they knew where you were. I can't quite remember the last time I saw AI that was this bad ("I heard something over here, I shall predicably walk over to it!") and just looking to get killed ("I guess it was someone setting a mine because I know I'm in pieces now." - not that the game contains claymores). Again, not only are the strategic elements this game should have contained missing, but the most simplistic tactical elements are completely lacking as well yet on the other hand not really all that necessary because the AI can't fight its way out of a wet paper bag.
The entire malaria thing should have been scrapped after a mission or two, it could have been an interesting detail for SOME of the games length but either you get over it or decide that maybe the Jackle will still be around after you've gotten some R&R. One of my 'buddies' (who always seem to want something yet I haven't had much pay off yet) for a mission told me "These two are about to ship serious drugs in to this country to get rich quick, but I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN... could you go kill the two for me? One at the north side of the 50km map other at the south." (people in war torn evacuation swarmed by mercs and revolutionaries... CAN NOT AFFORD SERIOUS DRUGS).
Never mind that many of the mission concepts are stupid in general or have you driving from one part of the map to the other .. like there was nothing near by that could use some bullets.
For a VERY SERIOUS and LAUGHABLE example: You're at times running missions for the gun dealers by attacking other supplier shipments.. yet, your main target in the game is a weapons dealer selling arms to both sides, has it dawned on your character that the people you keep ambushing to 'unlock weapons' for the local gun dealer MIGHT be able to get you close to the guy you came out to kill in the first place? In fact, I bet that after I've killed everyone except the driver of that convoy who I could question "Where did you pick up this shipment from?" that the guns and ammo in the convoy MIGHT just come in handy, and I don't have to hand over diamonds for them either. I wiped out the entire meat contingent of one of those convoys and yet my mission was not over until I tossed a grenade at the supply truck itself... my jaw hit the floor. The level of any lack of attempt at polish or game plot sense had finally struck me.
I haven't begun to nitpick and I said I wouldn't BUT (one thing) Automatic weapons do jam, but this is NOT a well thought out system for portraying that aspect of combat. Weapons tend to last for many more rounds than they do in this game; I should not have to pick up a new main battle rifle every single day from my unlimited supply in the many available ammo depots because its become worn out (even after getting the "upgrades" and a day only lasting 4 hours). HOW does that make ANY sense at all?
Here is a rethink of that entire concept, its simple; After a day or two of heavy fighting you must go to the safe house and spend one hour(ish) for each weapon cleaning them to decrease the chance of them jamming on you in combat. See? Time is spent having to clean your gear, kinda like sleeping but a manditory passage of time.. interesting? I think so. And different weapons should jam for reasons that weapons jam (prolonged firing - so you must not 'pray and spray' or risk a jam when you finally need a clean shot). They shouldn't jam up during basic use like controlled burst firing of the G3. In fact, the G3 is very reliable.
And if you really want to ANGER a PC game player, disallow them from binding an action to certain keys (try kp_enter and see what happens) and bind to ONLY ONE SET of keys (every game should allow, two binds for each action in addition to accepting gamepad inputs - period - not doing it is just lazy). Oh also, I found a hang-glider on a mountain and couldn't control it because its controls (like the watch) were set to the default WSAD and not my own keypad layout as I discovered about 20 feet to my surprise (luck) from the opposite cliff face (it came to me because of the watch controls).
Its all these things which demonstrate a lack of even minor consern about the actual product and I believe goes to prove that they has planned to ride on the name of the previous title and a few gimicks in order to produce revenue (in fact I wouldn't be surprised if this was an existing work in progress that just had the Far Cry name slapped on it to produce larger sales volume than if it had been released under its origionally intended title). I won't nit pick any further because I've proven 3 major strikes against this game as it is (4 if you want to include the large amount of obvious and deserved 'nitpicks') and they are all basic and important aspects of a game that these days should mean death for the titles sales if found wanting. I suspect that after the additional reviews about the reguarding the even more serious lack of any effort at multiplayer origionality are released it will start to have a negitive effect on their income from this one. We can only hope, or else they will continue to do this to gamers, (and soon we'll have to "just say no" to one of their hopeful releases to protest the string of products which reveal a lack of respect for the intellegence of their customers - just wait until that happens). But unfortunetly its still possible that this product could ride its title and single and seriously misrepresented gimick (50km2 of nothing new at all) to another sequel of the same poor level of planning, design and development in the areas of strategy, tactics, plot holes and flaws, and general interaction level of many games you've already long forgotten about. In fact all this is, is a game with 10 year old concepts and development thrown on to a pretty (barely as the visuals are a bit over hyped as well) and vast empty landscape. And as I said thats a shame because this had much more potential to 'revolutionize' gaming once again (in more ways than one) and just as it failed to deliver, I believe I'm going to fail in my mission to kill the jackel (finishing the game) because I just can not allow myself to be insulted by an obvious lack of effort on the part of the development team and misrepresentation by the marketing division who I'm sure is putting in more work on this product than the dev team ever did.
I'm going to play a long game of Gears of War... been awhile.