Trouble in Paradise
The EGM crew’s wacky adventures in Boston at PAX East 2012 continue as Ray Carsillo and Eric L. Patterson travel to some tropical islands with the folks from Ubisoft Massive and test out Far Cry 3’s Multiplayer!
Ray Carsillo, Associate Editor: So it’s been almost four years since Far Cry 2 and a lot of people have been looking forward to this game, not only because of the long wait, but because of the visceral emotions that the single player looks to provoke as well returning to the series’ roots with a tropical setting. But at PAX East 2012 we got our hands for the first time on the multiplayer, which as we all know, can be what really makes or breaks a first-person shooter nowadays and so it was interesting to see how far Far Cry’s may have come.
Eric L. Patterson, News Editor: Knowing absolutely nothing about what we’d be seeing, I had for whatever reason expected that it’d be the single-player portion of the game—instead, it was multiplayer. That’s interesting, because my one real experience with the Far Cry series is via multiplayer. Back when I first got my Xbox 360, and before I owned any real games for it, I downloaded the demo of Far Cry Instincts: Predator. It was one map of capture the flag, but you could play a full game and play it as much as you wanted—so it had a huge community of players who did nothing but play the demo. I ended up playing it to death, and that led me to buying the full game.
Ray: Well, I’m going to be honest, I had a lot of fun in the one match of Domination we played, but there was nothing that really stood out to me from any other first-person shooter out there we’ve seen in recent times. The location was beautifully rendered and fit with the setting of the single player story. We had an assortment of modern weapons to choose from that were based in seven very distinct classes (I chose Warrior with an AK-47 and grenades as my secondary). But, aside from the kill cam, there was really nothing that blew me away about it.
Eric: I feel a little strange about having had this be the showing for Far Cry 3 that they gave to fans at PAX East. Because, you’re right—there wasn’t a whole lot in the game that really seemed all that different from other shooters. Like, there’s this point where unspecified mercenaries killing each other in a third world setting becomes a scene you can’t quite place or name. I mean, had you not told me that this was Far Cry 3 from the beginning, I’m not sure I could have even determined what game it was that I was playing.
Ray: Don’t get me wrong. The controls were tight and I had a great time playing the game. I’m a big fan of it only needing a few bullets to take a guy out. There were perks for kill streaks, which I always enjoy. But, considering the level of competition that’s out there in the first-person shooter genre as we know we’re going to be getting another Call of Duty later this year and other big time shooters like Borderlands 2 (whose booth is right behind Far Cry’s by the way on the PAX East floor) releasing right on Far Cry 3’s heels do not bode well for long-term appeal if this game does nothing else to differentiate itself to me once I hop on Xbox Live or PSN.
Eric: It’s really funny to hear you say that, because I had the complete opposite opinion on the kills. I found myself dying way, way too quickly. Sure, go ahead and say it’s because I suck—that’s fine, my ego can take it! But I’m not a fan of multiplayer in first-person shooters when kills go that quick. I don’t mean to sound totally down on what we played, because I didn’t at all think it was bad—and stuff like the kill cam was seriously cool. I just find myself being really picky about the balance between it taking too few shots to down somebody and too many.
Ray: Okay, you suck, haha. I had 18 kills to 9 deaths so I was pretty pumped. Of course, this is a very small sample size of one match with a bunch of other people who were only playing it for the first time. And it may have also been your class selection as with seven choices and no way to switch class or weapons in-between deaths, you could be doomed to fail early on until you learn your preferences. Either way, I think it’ll be interesting to see how this tight handling, but unoriginal looking multiplayer stacks up to the competition while also supporting the single player mode come Far Cry 3’s September 4th release.
Eric: Yeah, I do hope that class selection is something that comes to the final game when it hits, because I was finding myself wishing I could switch out to playing the sniper class, or some other option other than my first choice. And really, what we got was just a small taste of what the full multiplayer portion of Far Cry 3 will be—and one does have to wonder how much real originality there can be in how multiplayer such as this feels at this point. I think with what we’ve seen of the development of the game so far, I’m not worried about the final game turning out to be good—my uncertainty is just in if this was the best way to have shown off the game here at PAX East. Now, not only am I curious to see how the game develops from here, but what the reaction of show attendees ends up being to the demo.