Make Me Play Video Games Field Journal: The Rhythm

I’ve been playing Far Cry 2 for almost three weeks, and I’m solidly at 50% complete according to the taunting little completion reading that appears next to every game save. Here’s hoping my speed of play never comes up in a job interview =P

Part of the problem is that it’s really hard to sit and play this game for more than about two hours. I don’t think this is a problem with my attention span or gluteal fortitude; I’ve played WoW, Madden, and Mass Effect for far, far longer stretches. There’s something about Far Cry 2 that just doesn’t compel me to play for long stretches at a time.

That’s not to say I’m not enjoying it; far from it. It’s like Chinese food: I have a course, get all full, and then get hungry for another serving in a couple of hours. I think part of it is the incredibly free-form structure of the game. In WoW you are at least working towards levelling. In Madden, you are building a win/loss record as you complete the season. Nothing that you do in Far Cry ever really changes anything. Maybe it’s part of allowing the player to do anything at any time, but there’s very little sense of progress over time in Far Cry 2. You complete a mission, and now you can’t do that mission anymore, but everything else is still the same.

It’s really discouraging when that’s all you have to show for an hour or two of time.


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