FarCry is a pretty game, but not fun. At least, not for me. I was wanting to play something yesterday, but didn't really want to play FarCry. So I played Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban instead, and that was fun. All too soon, I finished it. If you've seen the movie, you know how it ends, but that's not really the draw of the game in this case.

The part that makes it fun are the challenges and puzzles. Hippogryph-riding was pretty fun, but the 3 spell-oriented challenges were very good and exploratory as well. You can redo any of the challenges whenever you want, and you're usually free to explore the levels, especially Hogwarts, where there are plenty of secrets and opportunities to increase your collection of the various sweets that are used as currency at Hogwarts, and of the collectors cards, which are a trickier challenge. I was not able to find all of them, and there are some that must be found, rather than bought from the NPCs who offer to sell them to you. A complete collection of the cards is not necessary to win, though.

In looking over the site I just linked above, it appears that the PC version of the game is much smaller than the console versions. There are spells, potions, and locations shown on the site that are not in the game that I played. The animation and graphics quality appears to be much better on the console versions as well, if what I'm seeing there are actual examples of the gameplay. Also, I see on their site samples of Hermione performing the Glacius spell, and Harry performing Carpe Retractum, which does not occur in the PC version (in which only Ron performs Carpe Retractum, and only Harry performs Glacius).

As for FarCry, it has 4 or 5 difficulty levels. The easiest one has the description "A nice walk on the island. Enjoy your vacation." But they lie. It's not a vacation. I thought I'd be able to just explore the island, maybe go hang gliding or ride a boat around. But no, people were still shooting at me, just like in the rest of the difficulty levels!

They need a mode where you can start out on your boat, then you approach an island.

"Ahoy there!" say the mercenaries, who are on the beach playing cards. "We just made some coffee. Want some?"

Meanwhile, Val is sunning herself on the beach and looks up as you approach. "Hey Jack!" she says. "Want to come windsurfing with me?"

Then another mercenary comes up and says "Hey guys! You won't believe this, but I just found the ruins of an ancient civilisation on the other side of the island! Let's go look around it!"

That would be fun. No enemies, just exploration and activities. There could be some goal-oriented gameplay, like "get to the most scenic vista and take a picture", but there doesn't need to be. Like in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where you can always go back and play the fishing game, or go horseback riding. On a real tropical island, there are plenty of outdoor activities that people do just for fun, without any goals. How hard would that have been to include, even if they only meant it as a joke? Even a simple mod could accomplish something like this. The scenery in this game is so pleasant and enjoyable, why can't we have a way to just leisurely go around and enjoy it instead of having to run through blowing things up?

Heh, perhaps I should have written about my much more rewarding experience playing Thief 3.


A little research on the subject reveals that indeed the PC version of Prisoner of Azkaban is quite different and much more limited than the console version. How irritating.