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October 26, 2008

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FC2 is now one of my favorite shooters of all time and I think it's in my personal top 20 best games ever. Play sessions are filled with intoxicating moments and lots of emotion. Such a major accomplishment. I think I'd give the game at least a 90% rating. I like it as much as Bioshock, which is saying a lot (within the spectrum of my tastes). This game touches on so many things that are important to me as a game designer (in terms of systems, natural aesthetics, emotion, stealth...); I'm amazed at the executional ability of the team/company. I'll be playing this game for quite a while. Congrats on a job well done...

Reading comments by some others it's interesting to see just how different people are viewing the game. I personally found the guard posts enjoyable to avoid and have spent a lot of my time running cross country and witness some simply stunning vistas. Some of the buddies might annoyed but to me that seems to be because they are not really nice people rather than because of any failure of implementation.

I've just had to "euthanize" my best buddy and it was so unexpected and ultimately avoidable (I'd just used my last syrette on myself when I really didn't need to) that I had to stop playing for a while.

That affected me to an extent the moral choices in BioShock never managed, it was so unexpected and so clearly down to my own actions that it felt like very little I've ever done before in a game.

There are some issues but the emergent possibilities and sheer sense of place you and the team were able to imbue Far Cry 2 with is a significant achievement. I gladly second Harvey's congratulations.

Only in the game industry is "86 to 88" considered "tough." Good grief.

I would rate your game 95%, so far. Even with a few flaws it is simply one of the best shooters I have ever played.But if you are contemplating about what game to do next, I would recommend something similar to Far Cry 2, only with more RPG elements (like..Deus Ex : )).

Cheer up, mate, it's an exceptional, grounbreaking game but it's going to take a while for people to see the really revolutionary aspects of it.

I'm personally liking it the more I play it, and personally I quite agree with PCG UK's Tim Edwards giving it 94%. It's definitely not perfect, but the problems I found with it (Respawning enemies ofc, buddies being annoying, sometimes annoying controls when I was in a boat) were either easily overlooked, or were easily rectifiable by the player (murder those annoying buddies FTW) and those annoying controls were only noticed after I had royally pissed off many people in boats, and I had no chance of surviving anyway. Good Game.

Computer and Video Gaming (http://cvg.com) is giving you 9 to 9.5 out of 10 depending on the platform. I can't wait to pick up a copy and get to work.

This is a bit of backhanded compliment, but I'm actually admiring this game more than I am enjoying it. By that I mean I admire the consistency of design vision, the technical and creative art direction, and the sheer ambition of it all. But every time I bring up the map to see where my next objective is, my heart sinks a little as I know I'm going to have to race across a hostile environment in a fragile vehicle and fight off loads of nuisance enemies.

It's like playing through GTA with a constant 2-star rating where the cops are always after you the moment they see you. Certainly adds to the tension, but personally I would spend conflict diamonds just to have the opportunity to warp across the map. Still, I'm plugging away because of the action, the story and the beautiful vistas. Keep up the good work.

It was a good, solid game. There were some notable flaws (in my opinion) - firstly, putting objectives at the edge of the map and thus forcing the player to travel all the way across the map (ergo artificially extending the length of the game)...I thought that was pretty lazy design. Also, the respawning checkpoint enemies/constant barrage of MG 'technical' trucks just got tedious after awhile - it got to a point where I just wanted to get to the objective already and skip through the travel sections. Also - I don't know who handles gameplay design at Ubisoft Montreal, but FC2 had a lot of the same issues as Assassin's Creed - the missions were repetitive (go here and kill this person, or deliver these travel papers to get your malaria medicine) and also got kind of tedious after awhile.

Having said that - there were also a lot of positive things. The immersion was nice - the healing animations, the fire, the minimalist hud, the health system with the syrettes. And the gunplay was amazing - seriously I haven't had that much fun shooting a MAC10 since I don't know...most games make the SMG's feel weak and puny but you guys really made all of the guns fun to shoot, so kudos on that. Performance was also nice too - I'm currently making a mod for Crysis so I'm used to having my hardware pushed to the limits, and it was nice that FC2 looked as good as it did and still had very respectable performance.

in response to this:

...I don't know who handles gameplay design at Ubisoft Montreal, but FC2 had a lot of the same issues as Assassin's Creed...

While there is an editorial division within Ubisoft, and there is a unique corporate design culture, I assure you there is no one in this company telling me to make the game - as you found it - 'tedious' or 'repetitive'.

Any similarities between Pat's direction on AC and my own on FC2 are entirely coincidental and probably arise more from similarities in the game structure than any kind of faulty 'guiding philosophy'.

Anyway, the buck stops here and any flaws you found with FC2 can be pinned directly on my lapel.

Conversely, any credit for the (incredible) execution on weapons such as the MAC-10 goes directly to the designers, artists, animators programmers and sound designers who built it. I'll make sure they know.

Really enjoying it but also agreeing with the mentioned annoyances. Would love to read a postmortem or a followup to the talks about immersion and procedural story. For all the great things it did immersively, there were other things that equally took away from the immersion. And so far, it's been hard to tell just how much I've affected the story until I talk to other players or replay it.

Clint thanks for the response - and just to clarify I am a big fan of your games, particularly the Splinter Cell series.

As for this:
"Any similarities between Pat's direction on AC and my own on FC2 are entirely coincidental and probably arise more from similarities in the game structure than any kind of faulty 'guiding philosophy'."

I'll take your word for it, but I have to say that the similarities were noticeable - even down to the same dialogue being reused (particularly on the malaria missions) just like was done in the Assassin's Creed side-quests. I just thought I would point it out because it really did break the immersion, and I know you guys were aiming for immersion in FC2.

Also - kudos on including the map editor on the consoles. It's too bad you didn't release the SDK though - it would be fun to make a mod for DUNIA.

I found most of the disappointing stuff could be easily rectifiable with a patch/update. An option for respawn times, rate of weapon degradation, and perhaps a little more relationships with the buddies, which I felt was the main one. If I could just have a buddy tag around with me, it would make it much more enjoyable. Click on my name to go to my full opinion.

RE: "While there is an editorial division within Ubisoft, and there is a unique corporate design culture, I assure you there is no one in this company telling me to make the game - as you found it - 'tedious' or 'repetitive'.

Any similarities between Pat's direction on AC and my own on FC2 are entirely coincidental and probably arise more from similarities in the game structure than any kind of faulty 'guiding philosophy'."

Isnt it exactly the problem? The lack of internal communication between the teams inside Ubisoft? Anyone from Assassin stood up and walked to your team to mention where they fucked up? How can FC2 or any other ubi game benefit? I dont think Ubi is leveraging from its past experience – and that’s too bad. To what I hear, its a big fucking internal competition about who's gonna be better than anyone else. Live or die hard I guess.

But that's getting off topic. FC2 is some serious fun. The team's ambitions to make something that could change the world is palpable. Thumbs up!

No offence, Clint, but Ubisoft is one clusterfuck of a company. Christ, just look at R6V2. They released a goddamn no-CD crack and called it a fucking patch.

Here's my beef with Far Cry 2. It came out between Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet, and Fallout 3, the latter two of which are my personal most anticipated games of the year and both could be played for a LONG time :(

Damn this industry - I don't get crap for games all summer, but October hits and it's now time for ridiculousness.

However, I have purchased and installed FC2 for the PC... just not played it yet. I'm really excited to check out what you guys did with the weapons, from the comments above. I know how hard it can be to make weapons fun in an FPS... some of the GUI guys at work were passing around screenshots of the sniper-scope look when zoomed in.

Couple quick questions, which you may or may not be able to answer. How long was Far Cry 2 in development? And how long would you consider you spent in pre-production vs. full production?

Hey Clint -- Congrats on the game release! I'm following the discussions of the game with interest.

In our research group we're about to look the narrative dimension/experience in game and a crucial question for us right now is -- on which platform have your own narrative ambitions been best realized? I've some strong hypotheses about this but it would help us greatly to have your intuitions on the matter.

I'd happily take anyone else's suggestions on the matter as well

Bart

Thanks for stopping by.

There is absolutely no meaningful difference between the platforms from a narrative or story experience perspective. The data and code are exactly the same on every platform in this respect.

-c-

Clint - Great game ! I've just played a few hours into the game, and instead of repeating the common praise/criticism, I thought I'd 'narrate' what happened during one of the side missions
------
I had one mission where I'm supposed to destroy a truck that is bringing in arms supplies to the city. So go to my safe-house, set the timer to sometime around 10 pm so I can move around in the dark (and intermittently look at the spectacular moon). I wake up, hop into my vehicle. On the way I lay waste to one of the guard posts. The next guard post is across a bridge, and they spot me while I approach and open fire. My vehicle is badly damaged, and as I try to evade my attackers I fall onto a ledge jutting out of a cliff, with no apparent way of getting back up to higher ground. I look down at the river flowing beneath me. Seeing no other option I dive, survive the fall, and swim to the shore. Another guard post lies somewhere ahead on the river bank. I slowly move through the grass, sneak up behind one of the guards, kill him with my machete, run, grab the boat and set off towards the area where the arms-truck is expected to arrive.

So I'm tracking the truck as its moving along its route, and about a mile away I hide behind a rock, pull out my rocket launcher. As the arms-truck approaches, I jump out fire the rocket, sending the truck flying upwards. I'm just admiring the wreckage, tires bobbling around, the nearby grass is on fire, the driver and armed guards are dead, and there's a nice message on the screen saying "Objective completed".

Then I look up, the truck is falling down, heading right towards me. Too late. I'm crushed beneath it and die.

What a game!

I had a target to eliminate. I arrived at the camp where I needed to take him out but lo and behold one of his own men threw a grenade that blew up him up for me.

I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when "Objective Completed" popped up and all I'd done was run away like a wuss.

Clint, I'd like you to know that Far Cry 2 is my personal game of the year. I tend to squeeze as much out of games as I can then sell them while they still have value. I recently sold Fallout 3, Dead Space, Midnight Club: Los Angeles and Uncharted but absolutely couldn't even FATHOM CONSIDERING even THINKING about TRYING even WANT to sell Far Cry 2.

Far Cry 2 is a game that just won't get old. Keep in mind I barely play the multiplayer (because I suck). I'm 20 hours into it and only at 23%! It does the "sandbox" thing better than any before it.

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