It’s exotic, it’s violent, it’s one of the biggest success stories of recent years. It started as a tech demo, and spiraled into one of the most profitable Videogame IP’s, and yet, prior to 2012, it wallowed in obscurity. It is the video game we have come to know and love, Far Cry.
The first game was created by Crytech, a legendary developer, responsible for its ultra popular Crisis Francis’s, to test their legendary CryEngine Interestingly enough, this engine was originally designed to test architectural plans, under stresses such as storms and earthquakes.. It the game itself offered top of the line scripts like Ragdoll Physics, unparalleled freedom and a large arsenal of realistically depicted modern firearms. The game was a bestseller and guaranteed a sequel. The game’s developer then left the publisher, Ubisoft, retained the rights to the franchise and sent in another whole development team.
Far Cry 2, Far Cry’s only direct sequel, is very different from the first game. Rather than being a stage based shooter, the player has access to an enormous African Savannah,\ and all of its inhabitants as they shape the face of the Unnamed Central African Republic and it’s bloody civil war. The mission is to find The Jackal, an elusive arms dealer, and kill him, all while fighting dehydration, malaria and fellow men. In order to track The Jackal, one must work for both sides of the insurgency, the Socialist United Front for Liberation and Labour and the Capitalist Alliance for Popular Resistance. The game was a modest success, however, it was insignificant compared to the masterpiece that chased it down in 2012.
Far Cry 3 starts with a group of rich 1%’ers vacationing in the South Pacific landing on tropical Rook Island. They are captured to by the pirates of the island, who plan to ransom them off and sell them into slavery. A lone escapee is armed by the island’s locals and wages a one man war against Vaas, the leader of the Pirates, to liberate the island and free his friends. An underlying theme is the insanity of the main characters, both heroes and villains, and of the stereotypical white savior. In fact, this controversial criticism is based on the fact that the main protagonist is of European descent, while all of the other characters are Pacific Islanders; leading some to conclude that this is a metaphor, for how only the smarter, stronger, heroic main character is the only person who can save the poor, helpless Native Islanders. It’s common criticisms include the fact that a character is referred to as a “douchebag” by the other main characters, hit or miss story missions and frustrating forced stealth sections. It was a terrific game and built up a solid fan base for what was implied to be another title.
The fourth, and latest, title was dropped in November 2014. It revolved around Ajay Ghale, (pronounced Ah-jay Gha-lay) and the civil war in Kyrat, a fictional Himalayan nation. It was an improvement from the third game, with double the weapon count, more exotic animals to hunt and more flora to pick.
Both the third and fourth games include an advanced flora and fauna system, which lets players hunt down and skin around a dozen or so beasts to craft into useful gear and plants to pack into syringes, to provide useful medicines. Far Cry is a series of grand exploration, exotic locations, and of course lots of shooting, which has made it one of the most popular in gaming today. It’s a far cry from the possibly stale shooter genre it inhabits, transforming from from Shooter into First Person Experiencer.