So whilst venturing the internet as we all so regularly do nowadays, I came across the news that Far Cry 3 director, Patrick Plourde, is creating a new RPG game with Ubisoft based around the premise of that time long honoured traditions of games – a princess- called Child of Light. However this princess is the playable character and not some convenient damsel in distress for plumbers to rescue.
The Princess, Aurora, is a girl (shocks there) who falls ill and her soul is transported to the magical kingdom of Lemuria. There the Black Queen has stolen the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, which in my mind sounds like a band releasing their first single, and Aurora (yes, if you realised it there is a lot of celestial stuff going on with names and plots) must find the missing light sources, defeat the Black Queen (from reaching No.1) and save Lemuria.
While Child of Light sounds nowhere near original, it at least looks pretty damn awesome, getting inspiration from Japanese art styles in games like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. But in fairness, for me anything based off Japanese art style is always going to get my money since I’m a bit of an otaku, if I can even claim that title.
But you must be wondering “It’s all well and good that you are talking about Child of Light, but why then is your review titled Far Cry 3 – A Far Cry from Greatness why you aren’t even talking about it?” That’s a good point, and I’m going to get onto it now.
While I love original film, book and game concepts, I still do hanker at times for a retelling of familiar stories, but in new and inventive ways. So why is it that Child of Light is more interesting for me than their previous, greatly acclaimed and profitable game Far Cry 3? Far Cry 3, while not exactly original in itself, does take a new spin on first person shooters in a sandbox environment with lots of aesthetically pleasing surrounding. You can craft your way to become a greater warrior and has lots of little missions that allow you to stray from the main mission whenever you so desire. Sounds like a game that would have me hook, line and sinker. But it doesn’t. And do you know why? It’s because I think Far Cry 3 is forgettable.
Ok, let’s be clear here. I’m not saying its crap, I’m not saying it’s not worth buying and I’m not saying … actually what the hell am I saying, it’s all of the above and more. I bought this game on the pure recommendation of my brother. My brother thrilled me with vivid descriptions of how he stealthed around an enemy base, picking off all the enemies without him noticing he was there, how he took on a bear with his bare hands (ha-ha, pun) and now uses it’s skin to cover the hands he used to beat it to death and rip off its fur. And also paragliding.
With all that apparent amazingness swirling round my head I set off down to Game, bought a copy and presently walked through the game in a few days. And what did I get from this apparent tantalising experience. Well not a lot.
The scenery is done to an absolute T and it can really immerse you, but then again you come to expect that from game nowadays so it’s kind of a throwaway compliment. Also the fact that wild animals can come out of nowhere and munch on your innards is always a plus with me, and the fact that picking off unsuspecting pirates in a variety of ways is fun until it gets repetitive, and it will. However, besides that, this game feels immensely hollow.
Your character Jason Brody doesn’t help the situation by being one of the most annoying protagonists I have ever played in my life. He continually bitches about his friends needing him, then goes into “Oh my God, I am so free to slaughter whatever I want here and to be the master of my own destiny” and then jumping back and forth between loyalty to his friends and the ability to decapitate pirates. It makes it really hard to like Jason.
Also, he’s got Liza, who many can term as “quite fit” and in all honesty, she’s sort of sensible as well as being able to be termed “quite fit” and yet Jason leaves her so he can go round killing stuff and going off with Citra who again can be described as “quite fit” but unfortunately all I ever thought of her was that she is “bat-shit crazy lady”.
Also, and spoilers for those who care, but there’s a bit in the game where you’ve just defeated a huge Ink Monster and then wake up to find that you’ve been having sex with Citra. I bet loads of people were like “Damn that is kind of awesome”, yet all I was thinking was “Oh my God, Liza is going to be pissed when she finds out!” It was just too annoying and the end scene… the less spoke about that the better but basically if you choose Citra, it’s a shit ending. But because I thought this whole “Be in charge of your own destiny” thing was paper thin plot at best, I got the good ending and went with the sensible Liza instead of bat-shit crazy lady.
I honestly think this game could have been improved by allowing you to play as Liza, as at least you could have someone with some actual brain capacity to play as. She could have been the eyes of a civilized world (which unfortunately is represented by an all white group as the holiday-makers/prisoners) looking at the horrors of a backwards place in turmoil, but doing what needed to be done to save both her friends and the islanders. It would have been more believable as well and would have at least prevented us playing generic hopeless man that is Jason Brody.
Also, I love Yahtzee Croshaw’s Zero Punctuation but he missed something in his review of Far Cry 3. While I love the fact that I am just some dude who has no previous training with guns, which Yahtzee points out, and that the only guy who would be useful in this situation, is killed within about ten nanoseconds of the game’s start, but Christ did it drop the ball from a tall height onto a retarded child from there.
Your character goes from running scared and pathetic to mass-murder McGee within about twelve seconds. And yes, I know he’s and American and may have some experience with guns, but he’s not a super soldier. I’m sure not every American knows how to shoot a pistol, assault rifle, sniper or even a rocket launcher without being told what to do. The fact you can pick stuff up and shoot irritates me. I can carve out a wallet from shark skin, but gradual development on the weapons front? Oh no, that’s too hard to do and wouldn’t interest the gamers… or our profits.
You know what; I can go on this game for way to long for all the terrible things it dealt me, like the weak plot and the one great villain, Vaas dying too freaking easily after being the only thing keeping me interesting the game, and the one great side character, Dr. Earnhardt, having serious shit happening to him off-screen by just get to see him die cliché. Seriously, apart from a few gems, and a brilliant escape scene helped by Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, there isn’t much preventing me from trading in Far Cry 3 for money to spend on a game that’s slightly more interesting than a slug.
That’s why I opened with an appraisal of Child of Light. Because I really hope they can pull this off and do something awesome as, if Far Cry 3 is anything to go by, it’ll be like a painted whore. It’ll have a nice façade, but you wouldn’t want to go exploring into its deeper parts because you might come out scarred and infected.
Oh, if you want to see Child of Light, here’s a link to the trailer.
Articles you might find interesting:
- Far Cry 3 creators take a 180-degree turn with Child of Light … a princess game? (venturebeat.com)
- Far Cry 3 – Review (pixelvallee.wordpress.com)
- __game review: Far Cry 3 (ermiliablog.wordpress.com)
- Far Cry 3: Everything You Can Want (eshpal.wordpress.com)