As I understand gap years to be.
I mourned when I completed the main game, and can only liken the sense of loss to having a foot amputated. I’ve never had a foot amputated – even though I suffer from crippling gout, following years of consuming little more than dry sherry – but if anything my loss was probably even worse than having something like that happen. At least if you do lose a foot you’ve always got another.
For a while after completing the game, I limped on, ticking the boxes, finding the last of the collectables, hunting, dragging my face across the map like a big, fleshy, mop, before just… giving up. It wasn’t the same. It was like staying in a relationship long past the point where all parties know it’s over. I’d been playing out of habit, trying to hang on to what was once good.
Inevitably, I played Blood Dragon in an effort to ease the grief. I enjoyed it to a point, but it felt wrong. Imagine coming home to find your mother has died, and your father has replaced her with an ironic parody robot, called Mombus? It might parrot all your mother’s favourite sayings, but it does so in a sort of sassy twang, while skateboarding around the house, dribbling gravy from a pulsing, rubber vent, and leaving your mother’s extracted teeth under your pillow.
FREE CRY 4
Because I don’t get games free no more, I bought Far Cry 4 today. Due to all of the above, I can’t quite recall looking forward to a game this much. As you might imagine – because I’m barely one step removed from a tramp – I spent the whole afternoon playing it, like some filthy, jobless, student.
I’m not going to give it a review. Such is the responsibility of people who are far more paid than I. Instead, I scrawled down whatever thoughts popped into my big, hairy, mind-hole during these first few hours of play.
Here, in no particular order, are those think-ohs, in unsatisfying, inconclusive list form:
- This opening sequence is a bit dark. Did I set the brightness slider too much to the left?
- Ha ha. A monkey.
- Yes. Yes I did set it too dark. How much monkey did I miss because of this?
- Did they choose the name Kyrat, because it sounds a bit like Cry?
- Oh. It’s pronounced “Hy-rat”.
- Did Pagan Min (stupid name) just call me “Andre”? Why have there never been any games characters called Andre? Andre is a delightful name. It would be a good name for a whimsical, cartoon loris. I can already hear the sprightly theme music. It even has lyrics: "Andre, Andre, he's always on the go, Though because he is a loris he sadly is quite slow".
- This doesn’t look noticeably better than Far Cry 3, even on the PS4. Maybe the location isn’t as interesting? Those rocks don’t look all that good close up. It looks like someone’s drawn some rocks on a bit of cardboard.
- There’s a lot of climbing, using my new grappling hook, and it’s becoming a bit tedious.
- Man alive!! Bears!!!!!
- Does Andre have to make disgusted noises every time he skins an animal? Then again, I make similar disgusting, retching sounds every single time I clean the cats’ litter tray.
- This is really very similar to Far Cry 3. But more vertical.
- Why do I have to find tapirs in order to carry more weapons? Tapirs? Will the hide of no other animal suffice? Why is tapir hide considered the ideal material with which to build a weapons holster?
- I just found a “Photo of a dwarf”. No, really.
- Why do the characters look like characters from some grungy animation? Am I expecting too much of this generation? Wasn’t everything supposed to look photorealistic by now? Maybe things are getting better looking, but the Uncanny Valley is getting more noticeable as a consequence? I dunno.
- It only takes me three seconds to skin an animal. Why is that guard spending so long on that boar? What is he actually doing to it?
- These are very steep zipwires. Also, they have flags on them. How does that work? Wouldn’t the flags get caught up in the mechanism?
- Who leaves hangliders just laying around? Aren’t they, like, really expensive? Who leaves the hanglider on the edge of a cliff, and goes off to get a latte? What if there’s a big gust?
- Rhinos? I didn’t know they had rhinos in the Himalayas. This why I got ‘unclassified’ in my geography exam.
- Oh! So, we’re back to the big mountains that take forever to walk round.