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Far Cry 3 and Introverted Gaming Systems

#1JenniferTatePosted 3/3/2013 2:06:49 PM
I came across this article yesterday:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/mar/01/far-cry-3-theory-of-introversion

It's...I won't say it's an interesting read because I found myself shaking my head and disagreeing with nearly every point, and some of his analogies and terminology are melodramatic, even for me. I do know everyone has different gaming tastes, though, and I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

There are several points where I differ from the writer's point of view: I like having stat screens to chart my progress, but I don't like relying on them; I certainly don't feel lost or overwhelmed if I'm not made aware of everything the game offers me. To this day I'm still discovering new encounters or things to do in GTA4, RDR, and Fallout 3.

And I like that games, especially RPG, have things "couched in secrecy", as he puts it. In a game like Skyrim or Diablo, I like exploring and finding new things. I like wondering if I'm missing content, because it gives me something new to spend time on later, be it going back after hearing about it on a forum, or just starting over and playing differently later.

I also don't feel some games really do rush me. He cites GTA4 as being overwhelming, and I know I've waxed about my RP approach to those sorts of games before, so I'll just say the phone never bothered me. I just hung it up/didn't answer if I was busy, like in real life. I felt just as clever in Sleeping Dogs pulling off environmental kills as I did in Mercenaries "forcing" my own stealth approach in some bases with creative means.

Where the author thinks that " if I see the words 100 hours of gameplay, I'm thinking that I probably should spend at least half of those playing with my kids, or putting a load in the washing machine or fixing that bloody shower curtain", I think that perhaps this guy shouldn't have a job playing video games if that's how he thinks. I don't know about you, but when I expect a game will last me 5, 20, or 100 hours, I don't budget those hours out of the rest of my life. I don't suddenly think I need to dock time from my spouse, friends, drawing, exercising, cooking, whatever - I just expect that the game will last me a long time around my life. As I said, I'm still getting mileage out of GTA, RDR, hell, Super Mario Bros 3 all these years later.

This whole piece made me wonder if this guy approaches the hobby as a chore and not recreation.

I could go on, but I'll wait until we have a discussion going. What do you think?
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#2Rome218Posted 3/3/2013 2:22:46 PM(edited)
I thought the article was pretty good. While people like you may have been able to just not answer the phone on GTA, I was so used to answering on past games it felt mandatory. When I found out it wasn't, or some of the side missions weren't, I felt like I would be punished for not doing it.

I don't think Far Cry 3 is the best sandbox that ever existed. Like people said in the comments, by the second Island things started to get a little boring, at least for me.

I do not care either way if a sandbox shows my stats. I never really pay attention to that.

Those are wild assumptions on what he feels a 100 hour game is to him. I guess he likes to leave his game on as he does chores, but I don't.

It feels like this guy just really loves Far Cry 3 as an open world game. I can write an article of why I love SR2 or RDR. :P In those games I never felt rushed, and I explored the hell out of them.
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I served 8, in war... my father served 23, in war... both of my grandfathers served, in war. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, GWoT, etc. - ScarecrowES
#3ramseanGoodbyePosted 3/3/2013 2:22:34 PM
About the time point, I kind of agree with him. 100 hours+ is more of negative than a pro for me. You can look at it like you say, it'll last me a long time. In reality if I don't play a game from start to finish over a few days, I'm not absorbed in the story or the world. If that's the case all I'm doing is wasting time.

Far Cry 3 is the perfect example of this, I was really enjoying it until they started putting 6 bases between you and the next cut-scene. Its like they only had enough story for a 20 hour game, so decided to pad it out with busy work. Games shouldn't feel like a chore, but this obsession with a million side quests and 100+ hours is killing the experience for me.

Side quests should compliment the story, not distract you from it. Yes they're optional but i'm of the mindset that you finish everything before moving on, otherwise I feel i'm skipping part of the game. In my opinion, side-quests should not be longer than the main quest. When that happens it feels like the developers are just adding them to justify a price tag.
#4Arucard05Posted 3/3/2013 2:25:06 PM
From: ramseanGoodbye | #003
100 hours+ is more of negative than a pro for me. You can look at it like you say, it'll last me a long time. In reality if I don't play a game from start to finish over a few days, I'm not absorbed in the story or the world. If that's the case all I'm doing is wasting time.


Persona 4 Golden took me a little over 100 hours to beat. That took place over two months. It is my favorite game of all time.
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#5Rome218Posted 3/3/2013 2:27:01 PM
ramseanGoodbye posted...
About the time point, I kind of agree with him. 100 hours+ is more of negative than a pro for me. You can look at it like you say, it'll last me a long time. In reality if I don't play a game from start to finish over a few days, I'm not absorbed in the story or the world. If that's the case all I'm doing is wasting time.

Far Cry 3 is the perfect example of this, I was really enjoying it until they started putting 6 bases between you and the next cut-scene. Its like they only had enough story for a 20 hour game, so decided to pad it out with busy work. Games shouldn't feel like a chore, but this obsession with a million side quests and 100+ hours is killing the experience for me.

Side quests should compliment the story, not distract you from it. Yes they're optional but i'm of the mindset that you finish everything before moving on, otherwise I feel i'm skipping part of the game. In my opinion, side-quests should not be longer than the main quest. When that happens it feels like the developers are just adding them to justify a price tag.


Yeah too many sidequests can be a bad thing. I think it's what got me burned out on Kingdoms of Amalur. I know it's not an RPG, but Dead Space 3 has only a handful that, like you says, are there just to compliment the main game. I like how they handled it.

I do not want for a game to have more side quests than quests. When I think back at how much I loved SR2, I just remembered how much I disliked doing some diversions(side missions) to unlock weapons and cheats. It really was a chore.

Also this man should beat the game before declaring Far Cry 3 the best game ever. Yes Far Cry 3 is one of the better FPS's this gen, but like I said before and was commented by a few, the second half begins to get stale.
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I served 8, in war... my father served 23, in war... both of my grandfathers served, in war. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, GWoT, etc. - ScarecrowES
#6656stoogePosted 3/3/2013 2:39:35 PM
I have to disagree with the entire article. I loved Far Cry 2 and hated Far Cry 3 for reason he liked it. I don't like games that hand everything to me like that. I'd much rather be left to my own devices.
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#7JenniferTate(Topic Creator)Posted 3/3/2013 2:40:20 PM
I agree on that side quests and time sink point. I think most of my Skyrim files per character clock in at around 30-40 hours each, and that's how it's a 100+ hour game to me. Same with GTA, I've do a play through annually, and to this day I still pop that and RDR in and still have Achievements to bang out, so that's how I get my extra time. That said, yeah, I like the time padding to be on my end, not the game's.

And they should absolutely compliment the story in some way. In my mind, I grew bored with Saints Row 2's optional activities because they were just random mini games, but in RDR and GTA, I like all the side stuff because they're all little vignettes that compliment the bigger narrative. You can skip them, but each one has that snarky Rockstar commentary going on, if you're into that. Same with Skyrim or the Darkness, they add to the game's narrative if you're into it. Far Cry 3 I can take or leave - I like the bases because that is a lot of fun to experiment with, but the supply races don't do a thing for me.

Just Cause 2 goes either way on the side quest front - great game, but I felt the whole sandbox was just a scattering of distractions and took me out of the game's narrative. As bad as the story was.

I suppose the nature of the introverted game, as he coins it, still is up to the player. I take my time in sandboxes, and try to pace the story myself so the narrative makes sense (I hate when you do back to back missions in GTA/RDR and it's clear a day or two was supposed to have passed). So to me it's mostly leisure.
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#8JenniferTate(Topic Creator)Posted 3/3/2013 2:40:51 PM
656stooge posted...
I have to disagree with the entire article. I loved Far Cry 2 and hated Far Cry 3 for reason he liked it. I don't like games that hand everything to me like that. I'd much rather be left to my own devices.


Pretty much where I stand, even if I see where he's coming from. Mostly.
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"Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer." - Scott Stratten
#9656stoogePosted 3/3/2013 2:46:37 PM
AlkalineKitten posted...
656stooge posted...
I have to disagree with the entire article. I loved Far Cry 2 and hated Far Cry 3 for reason he liked it. I don't like games that hand everything to me like that. I'd much rather be left to my own devices.


Pretty much where I stand, even if I see where he's coming from. Mostly.


It was a well written article I guess. He explains his reasons for liking it without damning other games in the process. He might not have liked the phone in GTAIV (and who did?), but he does say the game is crap like most of the arguments on message boards boil down to (I'm guilty of this too).

But I do hate it when a game I love is taken in the complete opposite direction just to appeal to hose that didn't like it. I'm sure they could have kept a lot of Far Cry 2's mechanics and had it be just as popular as Far Cry 3 was. There was no need to throw everything out the window just because some things didn't work.
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#10Rome218Posted 3/3/2013 2:48:03 PM
656stooge posted...
I have to disagree with the entire article. I loved Far Cry 2 and hated Far Cry 3 for reason he liked it. I don't like games that hand everything to me like that. I'd much rather be left to my own devices.


I have a friend that is just like you. He LOVED Far Cry 2, while Far Cry 2 was one of my major disappointments.

He was disappointed in Far Cry 3, while I felt it brought the series back to being fun.

I enjoyed it for what it was, but there were some frustrations that did not need to be there. Why the hell is everyone shooting at you? Are you wearing a bullseye or something? The big complaints about how long it takes to get from point A to point B without getting chased by the same guys you just wiped out a few minutes ago. That was frustrating to me, sometimes I just wanted to make it to the next area without getting chased down.

I just destroyed their base and burned it. Whoever their repairman was, he needs a raise. He didn't just repair everything, he replaced it with new mercenaries in half the time it takes to deliver a pizza.

It wasn't all bad. I actually liked using the map, it added a sense of realism to the game that I actually enjoyed. The core combat was not especially good IMO. Poor death animations with nothing special added to them like bullet decals. Part 1(pc) was a bloody game, when you shoot someone in the face they would fall down with really nice ragdoll physics and you could see a bullet where you shot them.

Part 2 was a.. Far Cry from that, as they really toned down the combat too much.
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I served 8, in war... my father served 23, in war... both of my grandfathers served, in war. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, GWoT, etc. - ScarecrowES