Content of the article: "Far Cry 1 – A janky, cringy, dated game that is still somehow pretty fun"
Recently on xbox I noticed that all of the far cry games were on discount for under 10$ each. I had never played a far cry game, but I had always been interested in them since I saw some far cry 3 footage back in the day. Unfortunately, during that time I was deep into other games so never got around to it, and besides I have a bit of OCD in terms of playing series in order.
Speaking of which, now that I have all the (numbered) far crys, I decided to start with the first one, in the form of "Far Cry Classic" via 360 BC on xbox one. I have now finished it and I can say I enjoyed my time with the game, though I honestly can't really say why. I am aware that this first one doesn't have too much in common with the other games in the series, and I'm pretty happy about that. Now I'll break down some of my thoughts about the game.
Story The story in far cry 1 is just terrible. The plot is as generic as possible, and is spoon fed to you by some guy that sounds like Morpheus from the matrix through a magical cell phone/remote thing. The dialog is SUPER cheesy, and the voice acting is some of the worst I've heard. There are a few twists that will be obvious to anyone who has watched any spy movie ever, and the cut-scenes are poorly acted and cut and are extremely jarring even compared to the in-game story elements. And yet, despite all its flaws, I actually kind of enjoyed the story in a sort of so-bad-its-good way, like some of the cheesier James Bond films. I've played enough shooters that a generic if well voiced and written story would have been less interesting or enjoyable than this absolute train wreck.
Gameplay The gameplay suffers from just as much jank as the story does, but unfortunately here it doesn't cross into so-bad-its-good, but rather is just generally frustrating. Far Cry was a PC game first and foremost, so playing on a controller did it no favors, but games like Halo and Call of Duty prove you can make a shooter feel natural on a gamepad. Unfortunately, the gunplay in far cry ranges from mediocre to plain bad, and a lot of this has to do with which gun you are using, with the worst ones being the starting weapons. Once you get weapons with scopes and not horribly blocky iron sights, it gets a bit better, and the auto-shotgun is fun, but other guns seem to shoot all over the place despite not seemingly having any recoil. The other problem is that while the game encourages stealth, the enemy AI and the stealth elements simply do not work. An AI will see you seemingly out of nowhere and start shooting you from the other side of the island. Also, I had a bug where rockets shot at me didn't make any noise, making them impossible to dodge if shot at you from behind – a problem since you later face enemies with automatic launchers. Vehicles also were terrible to control, largely because you couldn't see anything due to the tiny FOV – something which the PC version likely addresses. Overall, the gameplay is the weakest part of Far Cry, and at points made me really want to stop playing.
Level Design Far Cry 1 is not open world, but rather has a series of fairly large levels to explore. Unfortunately, half of the game is spent in research labs and bunkers, which are much less enjoyable than the more open jungle levels since they rely more on the gunplay to carry them through. These get especially annoying once you have to face the TriGen, a new enemy you encounter halfway through the game, that have very powerful melee attacks. The levels that are more open and allow you to decide how to approach them – the ones that most resemble later far cry games, are so much more enjoyable, even if the enemy AI makes stealthily taking everyone out before they notice you impossible.
Overall Far cry is a game that is overflowing with jank, cringey dialog, terrible voice acting and gunplay, and has deficiencies in AI and mechanics, and yet despite everything, I still somehow enjoyed my time with it. I think what made the difference was setting the game to easy difficulty, playing like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando or Predator, attacking villages filled with soldiers that have no chance against me, and enjoying the hilariously awful story components. This is how I would recommend playing this game to anyone new. Did anyone here have the same experience? Are there any games that you felt similarly for, where objectively you shouldn't have enjoyed it, but subjectively you did? Thanks for reading through my long winded thoughts on Far Cry. Off to play number 2!
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