Monday, May 23, 2016

Missing pieces

As threatened, I finished Far Cry Primal. The beginning is good. The ending was also good, perhaps better than the binary choice endings of the last two games. But in between those two events, from around 50% to 90% completion, the game almost lost me. I was still running around the world, collecting doodads and conquering settlements, but it had been so long since the story had given me any reason to care that it felt like wasted effort.

In Far Cry 4 Pagan Min didn't show up on screen very often but he did call the player up on the radio to give him (hilarious) shit and egg him on. As an antagonist he was effective in spite of his absence of screen time. Primal has two antagonist: Ull, the leader of the Udam, and the fire woman, leader of the fire people, whose name I have forgotten because, compared to the Udam, there were rather dull.

Ull, he had some depth. His people had been shit on by evolution and the environment to the point where cannibalism was the only way they could survive. They suffered from an unexplained disease they called 'head fire' that either killed them or drove them mad. Ull was not a bad guy, he was doing the best he could for a species that nature had selected for extinction, and if that meant eating the early homos (as in homo erectus, homo sapiens, etc) so be it.

The problem in Primal is that Ull shows up about twice. He is introduced very near the beginning and then as a boss fight at the end. There was no way for him to stay in contact with the player because, well, no radios, so the game being true to its setting doomed him to obscurity and the game itself to a rather boring stretch where the player forgets the point of all the exploring.

Perhaps the point was that the Wenja v Environment was the real fight. Saber toothed tigers kicking my ass every time they showed up supports this idea. But interest is held by characters, their interactions and how they grow, not just the world itself trying to kill me at every turn.

Primal was good but 4 was better. Now on to other things.

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This may be boring week, blogging wise. It is four days to Combobreaker and I really should play nothing but SFV, KI and *shudder* USFIV. Why the hell did I sign up for that tournament. The USFIV pool is at 10:00 AM on Saturday which is a bit on the early side when an all night venue is factored in.

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