Far Cry 2 Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Excuse Us For going all doe-eyed and sincere, but Clint Hocking, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, is one of the most inspiringly creative, passionate and enthusiastic game developers you could ever hope to meet.
He's one of the people responsible for Far Cry 2, as you might have guessed, and even after the game's release he'll talk about the explosion-filled shooter with as much gusto as when he'd just started work on it.
We cornered him (on a telephone) and grilled him on the development of 2008's biggest - and certainly the hottest and shootiest - shooter.
"When we started development, we knew there was a negative view of the console versions - Jack Carver with mutant powers, that kind of stuff - so our mandate was to rejuvenate or reinvent the brand. All this talk about it being a cash-in, that wasn't really the space we were in at all. We were asking ourselves, What is the real heart of this game?' and, for us, it was going to somewhere foreign and exotic, somewhere you'd never seen before in a videogame, and something you didn't believe was even technically feasible to put in a videogame.
"For us, Africa was the solution to that because it captured the original essence - beautiful, dangerous, exotic - but at the same time it wasn't handcuffed to any of the other baggage we didn't think was central, like mutants and science-fiction stuff. For us, we didn't think about expectations. We were like 'That's perfect, that's exactly what we want to do'."
"We knew the enemy was tenacious. We really wanted to have the shooter aesthetic, where you're fighting every step of the way. Some people are complaining that they never seem to get a breather from the Al, they can't get down a road without having to take out a guard post, but when you play something like Call of Duty, you can't go down a road without killing some guys or people trying to kill you.
"I mean we were making a shooter and the fact it was set in an open world wasn't, from our perspective, supposed to make it like Oblivion or something - it was a shooter where you're fighting for every inch you gain. It's an action game, not a wandering-around-looking-at-the-sunset game. It makes finding that hill where you can sit and watch the sunset from the bench outside of your safe house much more rewarding. When you can find a few moments of peace, there's a powerful contrast."
Journey, Not Destination
"It's actually surprising to see some of the criticism we've been getting. Getting to the objective isn't just half the fun, it's all the fun and every little skirmish is the great joy of the game, every little fight at every little checkpoint, that's the game. For people to say they want less of that... it's weird and really surprising.
"I understand it's challenging their expectations of what a game is supposed to be. I've been reading a few of the reviews and I find a lot of them saying the game is punishing and almost abusive, and then they say something 'clicked'. This seems to be the consensus with Far Cry 2. that once you get to that point, when you get the rhythm of it, it seems to change for a lot of people, but not for everyone.
"The challenge for us was to make all the combat that you get into, potentially thousands of times, always exciting."
Lions And Tigers
"Predators were one of those things that got cut really early. We have a hard limit of about 23 Al active in the world at any given time, and animals count towards that budget. So, for us, if we start putting in zebras and then some cheetahs to try to kill the zebras and then by the time the players see any of them, maybe some of the zebras are dead or have been chased off, we're putting in all this Al that kind of diminishes the gameplay we can do with enemies.
"The other constraint was that we wanted to use the same animal skeletons as much as possible - we have the same basic skeleton that is shared by all of the quadrupeds. If we'd added giraffes or elephants or rhinos, we'd have had to create new skeletons and that would cost a lot more, unfortunately."
"My favourite healing animation? Well, some of the dislocations are really, really grisly. If you haven't seen them, I suggest you find an explosive crate somewhere, and lob some grenades at it while standing 10 metres away. They're disgusting, the sounds effects of the sinew and the bones popping back into place are just vile.
"My personal favourite is one if you're near a structure when it explodes and you get hit by a piece of it - you go down on one knee and you see this piece of metal sticking out of your leg. It turns out to be 10 inches long and its been driven straight down, parallel to your shin, and you kind of pull it out three inches at a time. It's just really, really gross."
A Misleading Premise?
"Maybe there's this kind of feeling that they were going to get more of a straightforward shooter, or that it would be more like Fallout or Oblivion, that they could go anywhere and explore. For us, it was always a shooter and we didn't want to pack the game out with all of this role-playing, collecting, inventory management stuff that has to support this whole exploration thing. We didn't want to bog the game down with sorting all this crap you're carrying around. We wanted to keep it fast and light and agile, and keep you in contact with the vehicles and enemies. Maybe this has kind of thrown a curve ball at people."
"The similarities of the factions was intentional. I wanted to avoid a situation where the player was empathising with one of the factions because they are both real bad motherfuckers. I didn't want the player picking sides, I wanted him to always feel like he hated both sides and was only grudgingly working for one or the other, but it didn't really matter who.
"I read Romeo Dellera's book Shake Hands With The Devil about the Rwandan Genocide when we were doing conception. He talked about how these groups come up with euphemisms they use in naming themselves, and they're all repeating these same jingoistic phrases, but really they're all just horrible, horrible bastards and you can't really tell them apart."
"For me the whole question from day one, 'How do we make the player, who's going to spend dozens or hundreds of hours in the game, actually care about one of these people?' Of all of the thousands and thousands of people that are going to get shot in this game, how do we make you care about just one? Because if we can accomplish that then we can make you care about dozens or hundreds of thousands as we move the story forward.
"For me, the goal was to see how much we could move the player, not through a story, but through a unique experience for you, that is totally honest and totally real, that only you will experience and that was it. One person out of hundreds of thousands, if I can make you care about him, I've done my job.''