Gaming Like A Sir: No Quick-Save Is Making Me Hate Far Cry 3
Sometimes I hit F5 hoping it’s all just a bad dream. I end up staring at my Survival Guide, hoping it can tell me how to survive a broken heart.
Melodramatic nonsense aside, Far Cry 3 is almost the perfect woman. She’s a gorgeous lass, a true natural beauty. We like all the same things, and maybe more importantly, we hate all the same things. She makes me laugh, distracts me when I’m down and pretty much satisfies all my… gaming… needs.
Except for one thing… where her genitals should be, where all of my hopes for a fulfilled relationship and a family should be, instead there is a blank patch of skin. It kinda makes all the plans we had to build a life together a little pointless.
Sure there’s plenty to love, and plenty I do still love, but there’s always that niggling feeling that things could be so much better. If you’re primarily a console gamer, this whole article is going to seem like a whiny PC gamer being all whiny because everyone else doesn’t understand just how great PC gaming is. Ignorance is bliss, and I don’t mean that condescendingly. If you enjoy playing open world games without quick-save, don’t let me taint your good times.
Stop reading and go buy Far Cry 3, ’tis awesome stuff. The issue is that much like a cocaine addict, I’ve tasted the sweet nectar of freedom, I’ve enjoyed the bounty of the quick-save. Now everything else seems pale and boring.
So, if on the other hand you also desperately love all the magnificent freedom quick-save gives you, read a little further as I present, for your consideration all the ways I’m trying to get over my loss. It might not be exactly what I wanted, but its going to be something different. And doing something different is good, it’s how you know you aren’t an old person yet.
You could always go and watch every episode of Archer three times to make you fell better. I know I have, am and will continue to do. I really dig that show.
On the off chance some person who could make a difference reads this, here is my reasoning for the inclusion of a Quicksave in every single open-world game that is ever released. It is an entire gameplay element unto itself. The first time I ever got to use quick-save, Half Life 2, it was an eye opening experience. There is nothing in real life that even comes close to the freedom of the Quicksave. It means you can experiment, take risks, do stupid shit and all without any consequence.
The quick-save single-handedly made games like Crysis and Far Cry 2 fun. I was totally free in those games. I like to play stealthy and I enjoy pulling off ingenious plans and bad ass ninja-like manoeuvres. I enjoy doing it in games because until some serious revisions of the law take place along with a massive price drop in military weaponry and gadgets, I’m not going to get to do it in real life. And even if I was to be given a free-for-all license to kill along with an unlimited supply of weapons, I would have to be careful because in real life there are no do-overs.
Get shot, hide behind a chest high wall, wait for health to regenerate, bleed to death instead. Not fun. Gaming is all about the fun. Sometimes games get so real and so excellent that I forget that this piece of media is supposed to be fun above all else.
You know what’s fun to me? Freedom.
Look at that situation. Two guys and a dog with little old me and a silenced hand gun. It will take some serious talent to head-shot all three before they can raise the alarm. So I quick-save, I try and I fail. Quick-load, and try again. Maybe I fail a few more times. Then I try a new strategy. Maybe throw a rock to distract them and then take-down one and headshot the other two. Cool, I’ll try that.
Freedom. I have total, consequence-free freedom to play the game however I want to. The challenge of the game has been preserved, each achievement is no less meaningful, in fact they are hard earned perfect pieces of execution. Maybe I retry twelve times, maybe I give-up and shotgun my way through, but the decision is always mine.
That is fun to me, the game becomes a strategic thing. A series of puzzles to be solved however I most fancy at the time. That is what Crysis was, at least after I forged an Adamantium computer capable of running it. I replayed some of it in anticipation of Far Cry 3 and dreaming of the awesome adventures I was going to have.
Now I find myself continuing a replay of Crysis and ignoring Far Cry 3. And that is a real shame.
Take the same scenario above, but without quick-save. I try to do something cool and fail. So every alarm goes off and suddenly I’m playing Call of Duty in the jungle. Eventually I slaughter everyone in a frantic mess of jump-shots and grenades. It was good fun I admit. Then it’s over, and I look around at the carnage and feel ashamed. I meant to be so much more graceful than this. I wanted to be more delicate, and the game wouldn’t let me. Or more accurately, it only gave me a single chance to try.
You could argue that I should just get better at playing, that being graceful is now something to strive for. You’d be right, I should be better and pulling off a stealthy take-down of a whole camp will be more valuable as a result. My problem is that they haven’t given me the choice. They took away my freedom so that I would play the game the way they intended and not the way I want to play.
Borderlands 2 didn’t have a quick-save and I still loved it, so why here am I so angry? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this is much more of an RPG and there is a lot more character progression. Maybe it’s because it takes itself more seriously and as a result, so do I.
It got me thinking, if I can enjoy Borderlands 2 for what it was, why not Far Cry 3. It’s not the game I wanted and it’s not going to give me the open world freedom to experiment and test things that I expected. Instead its a game about survival. A chance to do whatever I can for a purpose. The means justify the ends.
So now I play the game like a survivor, what is fastest, most efficient and safest. How would I, as Jake, handle this situation if I was put into it – with all the possibility of failure that reality so lovingly provides.
Now I’m enjoying myself again. I do things now with the knowledge that I have to be prepared for failure and that I’m going to have to adjust on the fly. It’s not what I wanted, it’s not what I’m used to and it certainly isn’t something I would want in all future games.
I changed my attitude, I decided to expect something different from the game, something I know the game can deliver in fine fashion.
And suddenly, I’m having a really good time.