Far Cry 1 is TERRIBLE

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Wolf3

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I'm a pretty huge fan of the Crysis trilogy-played all three over the past year or two on Xbox 360, and they look and play great, and tell a fun story (other than the boss of the first game is too hard).

Was expecting Far Cry 1 (Windows) to be worse, but not THIS much worse.

The difficulty is ludicrous, even on "easy", and there's no way in hell I'd be playing this without a god/invincibility mode.

It's got escort missions (hurray?).

It's got occasionally broken scripting (which would suck 20x more if I weren't invincible).

It's just boring and frustrating as hell, even when you're invincible.

I can't believe this got good reviews. Granted game design and FPS design has come a long way since 2004, but even in 2004 we'd had Deus Ex and System Shock 2, and I'm sure other good games besides (not to mention Resident Evil that's at least tangentially related to an FPS).

Ugh. I can't really put my abhorrence of this into works properly.

At least it's another game out of the backlog when I finish (hopefully tonight).

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ltcolumbo

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It was a technical showpiece, not a great game. The story was pretty corny and the eagle-eyed rocket-sniper monsters were real dumb and frustrating, but the bright, vibrant open-world island with individual blowing leaves and blades of grass was mind-blowing at the time.

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Cure_Optimism

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I never played the original, but I remember enjoying the 360 version where you go around superman punching people off of cliffs. The most I know about the PC version comes from Uwe Boll

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nnickers

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As explained above, Crysis was mostly a mind-blowing technical showpiece. I remember playing it on my first owned-as-an-adult PC and being just absolutely blown away by what video game had become capable of. I’m not surprised it doesn’t hold up well, but at the time it was amazing to run through the jungle.

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FacelessVixen

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I'm not gonna act like Far Cry 1 is a perfect game, but I'll play my usual role as Devil's advocate.

There is an aspect of being spoiled by aspects of modern game design that can make older games feel impenetrable at times, such as the lack of health refrigeration, no iron sights, and the lack of other gameplay improvements of which were made it in first-person shooters to follow. I could also argue that Call of Duty 1 and Battlefield 1942 would be more accurate gameplay comparisons since Deus Ex 1 and System Shock 2 are RPGs where shooting accuracy is based on dice rolls and skill points where you character gets better, as opposed to more straight-forward shooting where you get better; save for Far Cry 1's stealth element since first-person stealth wasn't back then what it is now. And there are the technical achievements of which Cryengine 1 have accomplished at the time compared to Unreal Engine 2 and id Tech 4, which is another of one those historical pieces which isn't as important now with most modern engines being pretty much the same in terms of overall graphical fidelity. Yes, some games certainly served as tech demos, but to say that Far Cry 1 is just a tech demo would be naïve.

TL;DR: I disagree. It can be a little rough to go back to, but it's not a bad game.

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Wolf3

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#6  Edited By Wolf3

@cure_optimism said:

I never played the original, but I remember enjoying the 360 version where you go around superman punching people off of cliffs. The most I know about the PC version comes from Uwe Boll

Yeah, I played Far Cry: Instincts: Predator: Too Many Subtitles on 360 back close to when it came out. I'm sure it's not great by today's standards, but it was a HELL of a lot better game than this is. Ironic, since I assumed it was worse, given the point of it I assume was to do a Far Cry port to Xbox 1...but it's a much stronger game, AND at least the 360 port looks at least as good as this.

Also, I couldn't really stand Far Cry 2 when I played it 10 years ago or whatever, but I can at least get behind what they were going for compared to this. (And I'm going to give it a second shot-always been meaning to.)

Genuinely love Crysis though...it's hard to believe a developer could get so much better from one game to the next!

(Though I played the Xbox version which I think massively cleans up the controls in a way that makes sense.)

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deactivated-5d5f33a6b34f9

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100% agree with you. Back when it first came out I only played the first level in the demo and thought “wow this is super impressive” Looks gorgeous, enemy AI seems smart, it has vehicles and weapons that feel pretty good to shoot.

But later when I tried to actually play through the game it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with a first person shooter. It’s a bad tech-demo. The level design is horrible. The scope of the maps is certainly impressive for the time but they do so little with that and it ends up feeling so constrained in a weird way. And the difficulty, it is just straight up broken. Enemies will see you from a mile away and spam you with rocket launchers, even seeing you through walls. The later levels are just insane and the only solution the devs had for making the game more of a challenge was “lets just put more dudes on watchtowers with rocket launchers” or “lets spawn a million trigens in this one small area”.

And it’s not because it’s an older shooter. I’ll happily play through the original Operation Flashpoint, DOOM, DN3D, Quake etc. Those all hold up, FC1 is just broken.

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Now that you remind me, this might be the only game I've ever quit like a few hours in because the enemy AI sight distance seemed absolutely absurd. They would spot you in foliage from a mile and a half a way, and suddenly 30 guys are firing at you. Maybe we're all soft now, but I vastly prefer modern open-world FPS games with the "here's a crescent that fills in as an enemy is close to spotting you" so I at least know why I got spotted. Sure, guards in most modern games are functionally blind, but at least that makes it a fun game to play instead of just being sniped by Superman and his x-ray vision every few minutes.

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Sumofarmer

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Far cry 1 is the only one in the series I actually finished.

Played it back in the day, haven't touched it since, but it's the most fun I've had with a far cry game.

And yes I am aware it probably is just nostalgia, wich is why I'm not going back to it.

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ShaggE

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The first half (or third, maybe? been a while) of Far Cry was fun, but yeah, it got pretty rough as it went along. Same with Crysis, although Crysis had a much stronger start and never got nearly as bad.

I still have a soft spot for it, though. Blew my mind at the time, and it's still surprisingly good looking all these years later. Gameplay over graphics, of course, but sometimes it's nice to just drool over a glorified tech demo, even if they age like fine milk.

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Brackstone

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Far Cry is one of those games that's super impressive and you just have to love what it's trying to do.

But it's hard to love what it ended up actually doing.

I'd agree that Far Cry: Instincts: Predator: Reloaded: Armageddon: Ultimatum is probably the better game. Much less influential, and much less interesting, but it has much more modest goals and it achieves those goals quite well.

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BeachThunder

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I played it for the first time this year. It has a lotttt of issues, but I wouldn't go as far as saying terrible. I was definitely glad when it was finally over though. It's interesting, because the two games that Far Cry directly spawned are some of my favourite games ever [Crysis and Far Cry 2]

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Wolf3

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Man, such awesome comments from everyone! faceless, I appreciate yours, don't have much to say, but do appreciate it! I'd like something like Digital Foundry to go over the differences between different engines at different points in time.

100% agree with you. Back when it first came out I only played the first level in the demo and thought “wow this is super impressive” Looks gorgeous, enemy AI seems smart, it has vehicles and weapons that feel pretty good to shoot.

But later when I tried to actually play through the game it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with a first person shooter. It’s a bad tech-demo. The level design is horrible. The scope of the maps is certainly impressive for the time but they do so little with that and it ends up feeling so constrained in a weird way. And the difficulty, it is just straight up broken. Enemies will see you from a mile away and spam you with rocket launchers, even seeing you through walls. The later levels are just insane and the only solution the devs had for making the game more of a challenge was “lets just put more dudes on watchtowers with rocket launchers” or “lets spawn a million trigens in this one small area”.

And it’s not because it’s an older shooter. I’ll happily play through the original Operation Flashpoint, DOOM, DN3D, Quake etc. Those all hold up, FC1 is just broken.

TOTALLY agree with you. And I did the same thing-played either the demo or the first level of the full game back in 2004, on my Geforce 4, and was blown away. And then based on how much I love Crysis I really expected this to be like a worse Crysis, but still good, and much past the first level or three it's just a mess. It's probably good I played Crysis first or I'd just assume I'd hate it too!

And that's dead on about how it actually feels constrained. I was expecting this to be super open, and to me it's really not.

I'd love to pull out Predator again, as I don't recall that seeming any less open than this does, only it had the super powers, and just way better gameplay.

Now that you remind me, this might be the only game I've ever quit like a few hours in because the enemy AI sight distance seemed absolutely absurd. They would spot you in foliage from a mile and a half a way, and suddenly 30 guys are firing at you. Maybe we're all soft now, but I vastly prefer modern open-world FPS games with the "here's a crescent that fills in as an enemy is close to spotting you" so I at least know why I got spotted. Sure, guards in most modern games are functionally blind, but at least that makes it a fun game to play instead of just being sniped by Superman and his x-ray vision every few minutes.

Yeah, no kidding!

Far Cry is one of those games that's super impressive and you just have to love what it's trying to do.

But it's hard to love what it ended up actually doing.

I'd agree that Far Cry: Instincts: Predator: Reloaded: Armageddon: Ultimatum is probably the better game. Much less influential, and much less interesting, but it has much more modest goals and it achieves those goals quite well.

"Far Cry: Instincts: Predator: Reloaded: Armageddon: Ultimatum" I just love this LOL :-D

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BoOzak

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#14  Edited By BoOzak

I enjoyed Far Cry 1 at the time. I had to save scum the hell out of it and play it stealthfully though. (at least until the mutants appeared) I had a similar experience to yours when playing Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. I really wanted to like that game but it felt broken at times.

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fnrslvr

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#15  Edited By fnrslvr

This is an odd coincidence, I'm actually currently in the middle of my own first Far Cry playthrough. What compelled you to pick it up at this time?

It is a rough game to play in 2018. The movement isn't great, and I'm not a huge fan of the shooting either, which makes the at times really savage combat encounters feel especially unfair. (And I'm only about a third of the way through, so hearing that it gets rougher isn't comforting.) The story is indeed very cheesy, and I think the fact that it was released in the same year as Half-Life 2 (which I just finished a playthrough of) invites some unfavourable mechanical and visual comparisons. (Although maybe I need to bump the graphics settings up a few more notches.) (EDIT: yeah, I think the game didn't take my graphics settings the first time round. Game looked like a strong 2004 game when I got the settings to stick.)

That said, I'm actually far more disappointed by Half-Life 2. (And Half-Life, for that matter.) I've been considering writing up my thoughts on both of these games somewhere, though they're likely to inflame some people.

--

I've been on a bit of a tour of shooters contemporary to Goldeneye and a little further down the road, ever since Die Another Friday compelled me to do emulator playthroughs of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. (If you've never played Goldeneye or PD with keyboard and mouse before, give it a try. Once you have it set up it's incredible.) I'm particularly trying to figure out whether people who blatantly omit Goldeneye from recounts of the history of the FPS genre do so for any good reason, when it seems to mark the single most profound shift away from Doom/Quake clones and brought a ridiculous wealth of innovations to the genre. Thing is, I haven't been able to find any compelling campaign experiences that predate Goldeneye and aren't Doom clones (aside from maybe System Shock?), so that kinda leaves the hypothesis some have suggested that Goldeneye was ignored by its successors, which has led me to look at games in the 1998-2010 era and form a better picture in my head of what ideas developed where. I might just end up defaulting to the null hypothesis of PC master race gamers being assholes as usual, though.

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cikame

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The first half of Far Cry was incredible at the time.

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deactivated-5d5f33a6b34f9

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@boozak: The last part of Shadow of Chernobyl can especially fuck you over if you’re not prepared enough since it has no turning back. I played the last part with weak armor and not enough ammo/healing items and had to resort to the most ridiculous save scumming, basically quick saving every 5 steps I took.

But yeah that game also has major difficulty spikes throughout.

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Sin4profit

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The first time i played Far Cry 1 was the demo and i hated it. mostly because the AI was pretty stupid - murder a guy, hide right in front of the body in the tall grass and just murder the train of dudes coming to check on the bodies. However, i eventually played the full game and liked most of it, the ending was pretty crap.

What i liked about it was the sense of tactics i felt from doing long distance recon over an area. Binoculars in games were never useful as more than compensating for lower resolutions, but here, it was a tactical tool. At the time, applying tactics was something i didn't know i was missing in FPS games.

The only time i remember the game feeling frustrating was somewhere around the end, As soon as the buy eyed apes show up the game takes a dive but it was great up until then.

Far Cry 2, however, sucks.

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stabfreely

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I loved FC...One of my favorite of all time... I liked it because it was hard. The weapons for that time were just great. The levels just went on and on...I remember figuring out certain things to get through levels like bringing a chair through to the last level to hold the door open so you blast those really hard weapon handed giants. Then scoping the invisible ones through the gap in the door... They did eventually update it to make it even more difficult. Always loved the great conversations the NPC's would have and the way you could snipe them from seemingly a mile away.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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I'm not shocked by this reaction at all from someone coming to the game with modern sensibilities. As someone who played this game on release and almost every Far Cry game since, I couldn't disagree more.

@bisonhero said:

They would spot you in foliage from a mile and a half a way, and suddenly 30 guys are firing at you. Maybe we're all soft now, but I vastly prefer modern open-world FPS games with the "here's a crescent that fills in as an enemy is close to spotting you" so I at least know why I got spotted. Sure, guards in most modern games are functionally blind, but at least that makes it a fun game to play instead of just being sniped by Superman and his x-ray vision every few minutes.

And this is in part why I'm not suprised. I think stealth games have come a long way in providing feedback where previously trial and error was perfectly acceptable. I am a long time stealth game fan, but for me going back it's still really hard. I consider Hitman: Blood Money one of the greatest games I have played but going back to it now it's shocking how little feedback you have, especially compared to the current games. And that makes it quite hard, especially in a trial and error way which I think most gamers are really conditioned to be done with these days.

Anyways, on release Far Cry was one of the most mindblowing games I have ever played. For me, on the tier of Half-Life 1 and 2, Max Payne, Deus Ex, and Halo as games I recall doing some things that felt like firsts and so far advanced over what others were doing that they were really special at the time. I know I sound like an old timer even though I'm not 30 yet, but you just don't see those types of jumps in games these days that can feel so special.

The graphics were incredible and nothing especially came close as far as foliage and natural looking environments that were at times giant. The game had advanced physics for its time of release and I still vividly remember blowing up a helicopter with a missile and seeing it shatter and the wreckage blow apart and fall around me as I was in a gunboat racing down a river because I had played nothing like that in any game. The game did have little feedback as far as the stealth, but the type of stealth involving foliage and often throwing rocks as a distraction, was also way ahead of its time. The enemies also felt like they were thinking and using some tactics in an open environment, which was not something any other games were pulling off then, or even trying at all.

The monsters that came into the game were super divisive and although I had moments where I liked them, overall the game was way better as a basically modern military shooter stealth game when it was that. At that time it was one of the best that had been made in many regards, although it clearly lacked in story and pacing and certain areas.

I'm not going to argue it "holds up" to people who expect every game to feel like it was made for PS4. I get that thinking but I find it a boring way to look at old games.

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OMGFather

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@cikame said:

The first half of Far Cry was incredible at the time.

Yeah. As soon as it introduced the monsters I was out.

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randombullseye

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In it's day it was fine, but it's just been outclassed by many other games.

I also don't like the trend of games that have a back half where you get new abilities, Quake 4 did, Far Cry did it, and many other games around that time did the same gag.

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NTM

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#23  Edited By NTM

Yeah, Crysis 1 is in my top five shooters ever. Far Cry isn't great. The shooting is fine, and the visuals for its time were great. That said, I played it late. My brother and I were really excited to play it around release but considering we mostly play on consoles since we have never built a PC to play all the PC games we'd like on release, we had to settle for Instincts, and I have to say, that's probably a good thing because Instincts is still, probably, my favorite Far Cry. It does away with the boring Jacutan setting (I like Instincts' Jacutan setting quite a bit despite its more linear structure), sound design overall was much better, and I liked the characters, like Jack Carver [the main protagonist] more.

The one thing I thought was interesting about it was the difference in its story between it and Instincts. Oh, and I want to say, Crysis 1 on 360 is admirable, but the PC version is exceptional. There's just enough difference between the two versions that made the console version slightly disappointing, and it's not even about the visuals. As for the difficulty, it was a challenge for sure compared to modern shooters. Crysis 1 isn't as challenging, but I think Crysis 1 was slightly more challenging than most shooters today as well. I didn't mind FC's difficulty, it was the setting and voice work that mainly disappointed me, and the two aspects in which made Instincts a better game in my opinion.

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MrGreenMan

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#24  Edited By MrGreenMan

Farcry for it's time was impressive but really does not hold up at all. After that I really feel like that franchise has been a slow downhill slope of diminishing returns. Farcry 2 was a joke and 3 was much better but nothing special, and 4 was more of the same as 3 just with some new stuff in it.

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Solh0und

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I remember being impressed with it when it first came out but never got to play more than a hour. I did however played and platinumed Far Cry Classic. Boy does that game NOT hold up at all even on a console.

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fnrslvr

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Okay, finished this yesterday. I think it grew on me by somewhere halfway through. Overall I think it's actually still pretty strong, and I think I can see what it did for the genre.

A few summarized thoughts:

  • Turns out my graphics settings didn't take, maybe because I neglected to restart the game after setting them but before going in? I don't know. Visually the game holds its own next to Half-Life 2 in my appraisal, which puts it roughly where it should be in 2004.
  • Figured out the movement: even holding a goddamn rifle slows your movement relative to being unarmed. This was colouring my perception of the general "feel" of the game for my entire playthrough (I just thought the movement was always bad), and even in hindsight I think it was a bad choice that luckily has been left in the wastebucket of history. Otherwise I think it generally controls fine.
  • Most of the shooting is fun. I liked the rifles, but the shotgun and pistol are bad, so it was basically just a rifle game all the way through.
  • I think Mission 14 was the highlight for me. It struck the right combination of island-hopping with boats and scoped inland battles in an environment that felt very open, the kinds of things I think the game does well and probably what made the game innovative back in 2004.
  • There were frustrating combat encounters at the end of the game, but I'd say no more or less so than the frustrating encounters at the beginning. In general I think the beginning is weaker than the end.
  • I didn't mind the Trigens. It was odd to see enemy design that felt like a throwback to something like Quake or Turok.
  • I don't have any strong feelings about the way the game ended, or the story in general.

A last thought: it's utterly wild to think about how much different Far Cry 2 is from the original.

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The_Greg

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Far Cry was amazing. I was 14 when it came out/when I played it and it completely blew me away. The graphics were incredible, the guns were hefty, the locations were stunning.

However, it holds up like sherbet in a hurricane. I've tried to play it a few times in the last few years and bounced off it very hard every time. If you want the Far Cry 1 experience, play Far Cry 3.

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#28  Edited By soulcake

You meant that it's fucking amazing at the time one of the first games where you saw bullet holes on the target. I remember being pissed that crytek sold far cry to UBIsoft at the time :D.

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w00master

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It's definitely dated, and I completely understand the current criticisms on it, but I absolutely loved that game. Except the final boss fight.

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I'm not going to say it's aged well since I haven't touched it in years, but I loved it when it was new. Probably finished it 4-5 times.

I also don't remember it being all that difficult.