Saturday, January 24, 2015

Interactive Friction: Far Cry 3: Episode 6: We're Still Running Everywhere

This week, we bring you a mandatory stealth mission. Because of course we do.

Let us recap what is going on in the plot so far. First, the island our protagonist and his douchebag friends skydive over is run by a group of evil pirates. When we escape, we arrive at a camp where we are given a tattoo, and told that we are the Ultimate Warrior. Using this pretense, we are attempting to rescue our friends.

Then, we decide that it would be best to petition the natives to help. To that end, we talk to their leader, Citra. After spending a few minutes trading insults, see agrees to help after we take an acid trip, acquire a missing dagger, and truly become the Ultimate Warrior. When we look for the dagger, we discover that we need to get the help of a CIA agent to track down sources of information about the dagger. We go even further than that later, with a whole Indiana Jones-inspired expedition questline.

Shamus Young once wrote a piece about how games tend to do this, in response to Neverwinter Nights 2. In essence, what we are doing in order to, theoretically, make our end game easier is takes significantly more time and effort than it should realistically take to just complete our main objective. After all, our goal is to save our friends and get out. Instead of sticking to that, we are embroiling ourselves in a conflict which does not exactly further our self-interest. It's not as bad as the example Shamus is talking about, but it is related and definitely the sign of filler content.

We also talk a lot about tailing mission at the tail end of this episode. As many players of the Assassin's Creed franchise, also by Ubisoft, will know, tailing missions tend to be extremely poorly paced. More often then not, the tracked subject will take a super-convoluted path to their objective, ignoring a much more direct and simpler path. At the same time, the move at a snail's pace, meaning that you have to as well. Even if we know where he will go, we fail the mission if we just head directly there.

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