Full disclosure, when I first booked my appointment to check out Motiga’s Gigantic most of the folks I talked to wondered why I wanted to check out “yet another” MOBA title. Due to the insane success of free to play MOBA titles such as League of Legends and Dawn of the Ancients 2, designing the next great MOBA has become a quest of sorts for developers everywhere, and for good reason, success means a whole lot of cash and quite a bit of glory. After about five minutes with Gigantic I was blown away with how unique a specimen it really was and may have actually had more Team Fortress in its DNA than League of Legends. Gigantic is a tactical class based action game at its core, and it turns out its core is made of gold.
Far Cry 3 has been selling and reviewing quite well since its release last December, and for good reason, it’s a ton of fun, but how does the cooperative multiplayer hold up?
The Setup: Much to my surprise, Far Cry 3 co-op features a fully fleshed out story starring four brand new (and comically stereotypical) protagonists. There is even a shirtless tattooed Russian guy with karate pants that looks and sounds like someone from an old Steven Seagal film! All kidding aside, the new characters fit very well into the action film-esque Far Cry universe, and don’t at all feel out of place. In terms of the plot line, the character’s motivation is pretty simple, “Let’s get our money back!”, and the objective based missions are padded with brief in game cinematics that finally let you know exactly why you’re shooting people in the noggins! Weapon load outs can be changed on the fly, and players gain experience that carries over into other multiplayer modes. While the customization isn’t quite as robust at the single player game, it does dangle the carrot just close enough to keep you coming back for more. It’s just a lot of fun gang.
Multiplayer Stealth? Sold! : Far Cry 3 has a great stealth system that can now be enjoyed by up to four players at once. Since extra experience is offered for dispatching enemies in creative ways, the stealthy player and his friends will, in theory, level faster than the machine gun wielding maniac. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of gun play, but being stealthy really is a viable option, and we think that’s pretty cool.
A Typical Mission: The opening mission sees the four protagonists dropped off on the familiar beaches of the Rook Islands. Unlike Far Cry 3’s single player campaign, the cooperative campaign is entirely linear and doesn’t really leave the player with all that much exploring to do. While having the vast open world available to multiple players at the same time would be nice, I can understand why it probably wasn’t possible from a design perspective. To be honest, I’m sort of shocked that the folks at Ubisoft were able to squeeze such a massive world on a single disk. I’m not kidding, it’s Skyrim big. Once the action starts players will have to figure out the best way to dispatch enemies, carry supplies, ambush vehicles, and sneak around pirate infested shanty towns. I for one have always wanted to sneak around a pirate infested shanty town. To break up the repetition of endless bandit slaughter, there will occasionally be challenges that pit the players against one another for some extra experience and bragging rights. The challenges are brief, but make no sense in terms of the narrative. Then again, who really cares right?
Nerd Appropriate: The Far Cry 3 cooperative campaign has a lot to offer, and despite some minor technical issues, the level of depth and complexity it offered left me happily surprised. Also… sneaking through pirate infested shanty towns? Awesome.