I never really got on with the original Far Cry, which came out when I was at university and which another one of my friends, who lived next door, fell in love with. His PC was better than mine at that point and the fact that he could max every setting and I couldn’t probably had a lot to do with it though.

This game is amazing, check out the graphics!” He’d say.

The problem was, I’ve never been someone who is incredibly interesting in graphics. As I’ve said loads of times before, I play games for other reasons. I want a good story or gameplay that challenges and engages me. I want to be transported, to be somewhere – someone – else. I want to invest myself in something that is worthy of my attention and to be able to take something away from it, even if it’s just a new joke or a funny story. I don’t just want to look at pretty pictures.

Pretty pictures can be a big part of it, obviously. If a game has photorealistic textures and so on then that all helps with the illusion, but for me a game can’t rely on just the pictures if it doesn’t have a good tale to tell, whereas if the tale is good enough then it doesn’t matter how bad it looks. Unfortunately, all Far Cry had was pretty pictures. The story was absolute dross.
Games I Own: Far Cry

Worse, I never thought the gameplay was all the good either. Fans of the series often defend the level design and talk about the wide open areas of jungle, but they too often forget that the majority of the game actually took place in underground tunnels that were about as interesting and fun as a papercut. The outside levels which the game was remembered for were quite the minority and, although everyone talks about them being wide-open and allowing for many tactics, they actually didn’t. Try to venture too far from the available paths and invincible helicopters descend on you.

There were good things. I really like the sniping, but that’s probably mainly because I love sniper rifles in general. I liked the size and scope of the outside levels too, especially one of them I remember as having a series of three small islands you had to move through. Stopping the dinghy in the middle of the sea and picking of enemies from there was great. The early levels especially were great fun, even if Crytek committed the cardinal sin of using lava levels for the endgame.

Games I Own: Far Cry

But, for the sake of all that’s green and geeky, why did Crytek throw those stupid mutants into the mix? The Trigens utterly ruin the game. They don’t fit in, their presence changes the entire tone of the game from being a tense survivalist shooter to being an idiotic sci-fi game. Plus, they were insanely hard to defeat. Even on the lower difficulties it took multiple sniper headshots to defeat the brutes, which just seemed stupid. Especially when they each have fast-firing rocket launchers and the later levels force you to fight through a dozen of them at once – all without mentioning that level where you don’t have any guns.

But that isn’t the most stupid thing about Far Cry. The silliest thing about the game is that, despite by dislike of it, I’ve still played it multiple times. I’ve even finished it on the hardest difficulty, mainly because I didn’t have much money to spend on new games at the time but also partly because I always felt that Far Cry’s faults were mine and that by playing it in a different ‘proper’ way then I could get a better experience out of the game. But I never could.