In Which I Rant About Why People Aren't Good Enough for Far Cry 2
[EDIT: Wow, okay, that was a lot longer than I'd anticipated, and what is intended as a chiding tone might sound a bit more aggressive than I mean. Apologies if that's the case. I just want to express an alternative point of view while expressing the great frustration I feel that a game I so very much love is being hated on because it was so deeply misunderstood. Imagine if Dark Souls got turned into a cover-based FPS and you might understand how I'm feeling right now.]
I'm genuinely baffled by some of the comments about Far Cry 2 here. I knew it was a game that was easy to play incorrectly, but wow.
Most of the game's faults happened as a result of it trying to be a game. It needed to go all the way with simulation mechanics--because those would have fixed, for instance, the respawn areas, every NPC being out to get you, and stuff like that. At the same time, it failed to communicate just how open it really was; by reading these complaints, it sounds like a lot of people constrained themselves to behaviors learned in other video games, and they were incapable of treating Far Cry 2's Africa like a real space, much less respecting it as one, which hurt their experience a lot.
Still, Far Cry 2 was a superb game. Yes, the checkpoints had fast respawn times, but these weren't an issue at all if you accepted the world as a real world, rather than a game, and stopped trying to play it like every other shooter out there (because it's NOT every other shooter out there), you'd actually have fun with it.
Using all the tools provided--buses, cars, and boats (especially boats), meant that you didn't come across checkpoints all that often, which, in turn, solved all the complaints. Stop using cars all the damn time, and most of your complaints get solved right away. People are talking about cars showing up "every thirty seconds." Bullshit. Cars showed up, but not nearly that often, and a wise use of buses and boats would have helped balance that out.
Look at your gun--notice if it starts getting rusty--and replace it. Pay attention to the game. Malaria showed up once every couple of hours in my playthrough, and I was rarely in a position when it proved to be a problem. You know what, though? In the times it did, I often had a buddy from that awesome-ass buddy system to help me out of the mess, creating a more emergent, interesting experience.
A friend of mine once complained to me that Gears of War 3 wasn't interesting, because the Lancer was the most efficient weapon in the game, so he'd just use that and play the game with one gun all the way through. His absurd sense of efficiency destroyed his ability to have any fun. He never tried to test the game--to see what it could do.
Most of you, from the looks of things, didn't deserve Far Cry 2, because you sure as hell didn't understand it. Your responses read to me like people who hated Dark Souls because they weren't willing to give it the respect it deserved. Where Far Cry 2 says "hey, here's all these things you can have! Go wild!" most of the complaints I'm hearing indicate to me that you guys... well, you didn't.
It almost sounds like, secretly, you all just wanted a linear, corridor shooter that told you what to do.
God, complaints born from ignorance are depressing.
Maybe if Far Cry 2 had led you by the hand, or maybe if you'd been more open to what it was offering, you would have understood just how fucking incredible of a game it was, because it's not near as broken as you seem to think. It was an uncut diamond, which is a helluva lot more valuable than a polished-up, nicely cut bit of glass.
Far Cry 3 should be an improved version of Far Cry 2. The rust system should slow down a bit, the Buddy system should have characters that actually feel like people, the quest system could stand to have better things, ally or neutral NPCs should inhabit the world, checkpoints should respawn more slowly (iirc it's 20 minutes in Far Cry 2) and the game should rely a lot more on AI simulation, with better AI and a focus on enabling players to sneak around. Gamified bits, like all stores functioning the same, or all hideouts being basically identical, should be changed so that they feel like real locations. Far Cry 3 should feel even more like a real world that players can do anything with than Far Cry 2.
Instead, we've just got an open-world FPS with XP systems. At least it does feel a bit stealthier, I guess, and it looks pretty. Some of those missions look awfully on-rails, though--where's the focus on improvisation and immersive simulation that the previous game did so well? :\