Far Cry 4 $11.99 on Humble

From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)19 Apr 2019 02:54
To: Manthorp 191 of 211
Well that's on my discount bin watch list. As an illustration of the depth of the FC universe, just spent a wonderful hour in FC3 trying unsuccessfully to cap a base while a FC5 update downloads (hours to go on that). Awesome combat sim.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)19 Apr 2019 12:43
To: Manthorp 192 of 211
I'm starting to really like the bow for close-in wet work in 5, and I'm getting good enough to do head shots from 15-20 feet out (it helps if the target stands still). My sidekick does awesome long-distance one shot kills, that I suspect are beyond human capability. Fucking AI (my guess is Ubi wouldn't touch an aboriginal-themed game with a 10-foot pole).
From: Manthorp24 Apr 2019 11:45
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 193 of 211
Made solid progress on FC:ND over the holidays - about 70% through the main quest.

Some slightly spoilery bits in and amongst:

I'm so impressed with it. The gameplay is beautifully balanced, with (as I said before) good structural reasons for completing sub-quests - you need to up your skills and weaponry to meet increasingly hard challenges. You can 'scavenge' (their word) any base you've liberated by resetting it to enemy occupation, but the NPCs get really tough after the first time.  The rewards, though (ethanol, one of the staples of the game economy), increase correspondingly, so I'm returning to them again and again.  I've been using the guns for hire all the time, especially the wolf, Timber, who scouts out hidden items & NPCs and is useful in a skirmish. The other stalwart is Nana, a septuagenarian sniper who is tough as old boots.  I wonder whether they should have implemented permadeath (or a longish sin-bin time) on the guns for hire, though, as it's all too easy to bring them back to life (even within the period of a skirmish).

The narrative is really strong and the world responds - to an extent - to its arc. They get their metaphysical/stoner bit in, with a slightly Apocalypse Now journey up-river leading to one of the major plot turns.

It's interesting to see features from the first game completely changed by the explosion and repurposed by survivors. There is some great post-apocalyptic-punk engineering, including vehicles. The economy is highly scavenge & craft based and reasonably logical, though to craft the elite weapons you have to have killed some hard-as-nails animals, which is a bit random.  Higher grades of weaponry are locked until you reach main quest milestones (the progress of regeneration of your home base). The grenade launcher is elite, so you can only get your hands on it late in the day. Part-way through the game an additional layer of skills is opened up - I have yet to acquire or play with them.

New to the game are the Expeditions - side quests set outside the main game world into which you're dropped by helicopter to pick up packages from well-guarded bases and escape to rendezvous with the chopper. The first, set on a beached aircraft carrier, is as much fun as I've ever had in FC.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)24 Apr 2019 13:41
To: Manthorp 194 of 211
Ubi should put you on free pints for life, for services rendered.

I'm on a two-day, flu-fueled Far Cry binge, actually playing all three in my collection yesterday, even subjecting myself to the uber tedious Faith finale--it's super-hard on "hard", even with the benefit of hindsight. I considered giving up and resetting the game, but stuck it out, don't even remember how many tries it took. Fun fact: when you shoot Faith, she spews rose petals, not blood.

I may as well catalog my FC 5 sins while I'm at it:

- turned Montana into a wildlife-free zone (not guilty for the buffalo and passenger pigeon, other folks done that). The stats are, well, shocking.

- blew off a roaming shop lady's head with a shotgun at close range, just after she bought my skins and sold me ammo. I plead involuntary manslaughter -- I was trying to shoot the wolf that was attacking her dog, your honor.

- carelessly killed several (or many, depending on POV) innocent civilians, mostly by tossing explosives around like confetti. OK a couple of times by deliberately hitting them with a vehicle, after mistaking them for cultists. Just two or three. That I can remember.

- selfishly left my sidekicks to die in battle, when I could have risked my life to save them. In my defense, I have saved the stupid fucks several times (TBF, they saved me many times).
From: Manthorp24 Apr 2019 14:00
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 195 of 211
When the wildlife respawns the moment you take your eye off their furry little corpses, there's not much motive to conserve it. 

I do get fits of the guilties when I kill civilians, and in ND there's a really easy way to do it: there are regular trucks with a single prisoner in a cage that you can free for perk points, but you have to be super accurate at taking out the driver or the prisoner gets it too.

Ubi seemed to have ramped down the business where if you took out a civilian, all their compadres turned their guns on you for a while. It's only happened to me once with ND and not at all (that I can remember) with FC5. I quite liked it. Mistakes have consequences.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)30 Apr 2019 10:12
To: Manthorp 196 of 211
I managed to get myself shot at by a peddler lady by accidentally pressing the "F" key (punch/kick) instead of "R" (shop). She screamed at me, I proceeded to do my shopping then when I finished she let me have it with her shotgun, backed up and gave another blast for good measure. She calmed down and went back to bitching about Peggies, I purchased a replacement med kit, and we went on our ways.
From: Manthorp30 Apr 2019 11:18
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 197 of 211
It's a heartwarming story.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)30 Apr 2019 14:34
To: Manthorp 198 of 211
I was expecting a duel to the death. I guess I kicked her pretty hard. Still got pellets lodged in my face and rib cage.
From: Manthorp30 Apr 2019 15:16
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 199 of 211
Wait till you meet Nana, ND's pensionable sniper. She's made of boilerplate and chrome leather. Kick her in the stomach and she'll kick your arse to New Eden and back.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 4 Nov 2019 22:06
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 200 of 211
...and 10-months later I'm back at it, having possibly wearied of FC5 in all that time (though I continued to sporadically go at FC3, still got ND and the cave man thing on a back burner). After a slow start, the bow [arrows 'n bolts mod] is coming into its own, easily surpassing the firearms I'm able to get my hands on for all but fraught CQB. One shot kills of tigers and badgers, 2-shot kills of Rhinos, yeah I'm already kitted up again pretty good.
From: Manthorp 5 Nov 2019 13:26
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 201 of 211
It's still my fave, though I'm very happily playing through ND again, front-loading skills development and weapons loadout so the core quest is a breeze when I choose to engage with it.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 5 Nov 2019 20:00
To: Manthorp 202 of 211
Good plan. I'm not there yet with ND.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)29 Jan 2020 15:19
To: ALL203 of 211
Sporadically working my way through the replay. Got all the south end bases + forts capped, did one turn through the arena, and just spent ~6-hours dawdling through the sneak into Paul's hooker truck and go kidnap him from his torture ranch mission. I decided to see if I could kill everyone guarding the truck (obviously without triggering the alarm), about 10 guys, before climbing aboard. This took many, many tries -- they seem extra vigilant in this mission. I did it with the bow from the periphery, starting with the dog and slowly circling around, pausing after each hit for the "I think whoever did it, is gone" all clear. Anyway, while killing all the guards is in fact feasible (I did it twice), unfortunately it also seems to kill the script that triggers the cut scene of leaving on the truck and getting to said ranch. The screen goes black, you can still move around blindly (and open the map to check your position), but you ain't on the truck, and you don't go nowhere, certainly not to the ranch. Still, killing all the guards one by one with the bow is kind of the point. I had to restart the game to reset the mission script and this time did the conventional sneak onto the truck, go to the ranch, take the pics, and grab Paul. And now as my reward I've got the so-called autocross (crossbow that reloads like an automatic rifle), which is entirely the point: with this little toy, I am now invincible again.  (cheer)
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)20 Apr 15:07
To: ALL204 of 211
I finally got sort of bored with FC5 and decided to fire this up again a few weeks ago. Realizing I was stuck in South Kyrat *forever* unless I went up to Yogi and Regi, the two miscreant trickster stoners squatting in the family manse, and submitted myself to the indignities of Shangri-La: siccing a pet tiger on hallucinated demons and their hot knives (IRL, I substituted a skunk fatty), spinning and ringing bells, and back-stabbing a flame-thrower dude. Done, and done.

Then I did the CIA guy's stuff: killed everybody at an airport, flew up into the Himalayas, killed a bunch more people, got tossed in prison, escaped from said prison, yada (I deliberately shot the CIA guy in FC5, because CIA guy but in hindsight, I had considerable justification).

Ready for the retro review? The game has good points, and bad points. The controls are clunky and the weapons mostly suck. Except for the jizzed-up arrows and bolts mod, which makes the crossbow especially lethal as in, you can actually kill shit with it whereas without the mod, it's more like a nerf blaster.

The fight to cross the fortified bridge separating north and south really highlighted the clunkiness and weakness of the FC4 combat model, though these qualities dependably make an appearance at every firefight and wildlife encounter. The presentation of NPC's veers from not too terrible, to terrible. Kind of like FC3.

I've gone on to scale a couple more bell towers, a generally frustrating and useless exercise except it makes parts of the map visible, and captured a fortress and a couple of forts, which, once you know how (and can remember how), is fairly straightforward.

I'm gonna say this release marks an 'interesting' evolution point in the series. I have a better understanding of the game designers' intentions, and more respect. The scenery is consistently impressive, so extra points for that.

Heavily discounted, as one might reasonably expect for a ~7-yo game.

From: graphitone20 Apr 21:27
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 205 of 211
This has no doubt been mentioned before (myself and Throb have been verbal on it), but the Reggie and Yogi missions are a game highlight, I wasn't a fan of the Shangri-La parts, but the missions where're you chasing them down in a drug fuelled hallucinatory rage are brilliant and the music is the best I've heard in a game. 

One of the weapons you get in the 2nd half of the game (the ripper IIRC) is a must have for tearing through enemies. One thing I really liked about 4 was the grenade launcher was a sidearm and can be wielded while driving. (bounce). 

As you said, the scenery is amazing. The best bit in the 2nd half is when you're approaching Pagan Min's fortress. If you're in one of the helicopters, you fly over a crest and the whole valley just falls away from you revealing a vast landscape. :D
From: Manthorp21 Apr 00:30
To: graphitone 206 of 211
Plus when you complete Reggie & Yogi, you get a transcendental fishing rod.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)21 Apr 13:38
To: graphitone 207 of 211
where're you chasing them down in a drug fuelled hallucinatory rage are brilliant and the music is the best I've heard in a game.

I don't remember this, so either I did that mission and found it unmemorable, or I never did it. I'll see if I can pull it up on this, my third go-through (I also spent several months in base-reset mode, which I found very enjoyable and aim to repeat).

I always turn off game music before I even begin, because I find it a distraction and seldom share developers' taste in music (I have teh olds).

It's entirely possible, likely even, that my rig is a shade too underpowered to do justice to this game, e.g. the NPC combat animations are unnaturally quick and jerky, simply because the engine is not optimized as well as in later iterations -- 5, Primal, and ND are all relatively smooth and believable.

Some of the game designers' strategies to overcome ca. 2014 technical limitations by other means are inventive and fairly effective. What they couldn't seem to overcome were conceptual limitations in player engagement. I think what I'm trying to say is, they did the best they could, and it's pretty impressive at that.

The game is really good, but it's been improved on at least in those respects.

EDITED: 21 Apr 13:44 by DSMITHHFX
From: Manthorp22 Apr 09:00
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 208 of 211
Another great drug-addled set piece is the John Woo-influenced shootout in the brick works/drug factory, where as you shoot the sacks, your vision becomes increasingly psychedelic and Panjabi MC's Jogi, his wonderful remix of the Bollywood classic Mundian to Bach Ke, kicks in.

For me, in that context, the music blended perfectly. Aceeeed, as the young ones used to say.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)22 Apr 13:58
To: Manthorp 209 of 211
I wouldn't mind seeing it remastered against latest engine, along with various other tweaks, such as: give Min and the Minions more airtime, with more meaningful player interactions, and remove mandatory side-missions (such as Shangri-La) -- this also applies in spades to FC5.

Not likely, though.  :-(
From: Manthorp 3 May 21:40
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 210 of 211
I dipped into the Vortex VR hack.

Being there was wonderful, but it didn't use the HTC wands and natch you can't see the keyboard controls. If I'd learnt it on a gamepad, it might have been a goer. Also, non-VR optimised ports = motion sickness.