Make Me Play Videogames #1: The Devil’s Sandbox

To kick things off you’ll be choosing between a pair of sandbox games with different perspectives but similar mission structures.

Far Cry 2 was released in late October of 2008 as a sort-of-not-really sequel to the original Far Cry, a tech demo created by CryTek for their Cryengine, which (disguised as a “game” called Crysis) was later used to incinerate video cards owned by arrogant would-be power gamers. Far Cry 2 was made by the good folks at Ubisoft Montreal who previously developed the Prince of Persia games, Assassin’s Creed, and most components of the Tom Clancy money-printing franchise. They do good work, in short. The game itself is a first-person shooter with a free-roaming mission structure. The player is a double-crossed mercenary set loose upon a fictional African country that’s been staffed by a small coterie of mission-granting NPC “buddies”, a large population of murderous militamen, and several innocent zebras.

Grand Theft Auto IV is an April 2008 release from Rockstar Games, who were previously best known for making me murder prostitutes in cold blood and vote Democratic. The game is the latest in a long-running series that you know about perfectly well, and little ought to need saying about it given that improvements from game to game seem more incremental than revolutionary. Like Far Cry 2, GTAIV casts the player as a new arrival in an expansive foreign land, although the jungle in this case is concrete rather than literal. Also like Far Cry 2, GTA allows the player to roam from mission-giver to mission-giver at any preferred pace; it’s just as possible to spend your time wandering the city and seeing the sights as it is to progress the story, and completing a story mission simply leaves in the spot you finished it, free to pick up a new mission elsewhere or simply poke around your new surroundings.

Finally, both games require you to choose between stealing cars, taking inconvenient public transit, or spending a fucking week running from one place to another. Yeah, you take the bus in Far Cry. In the jungle.

Ok, fns nation (by whom I mean my sister and possibly my girlfriend), the choice is yours:

Far_Cry_2_cover_art vs. GTAIV_Logo
Jungle mercenary jogging simulator   Fake New York misogyny seminar

Cast your vote in the comments section.

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