The essence of the gun control debate is this.
Protectionist vs. Freedom-lover
P – No-one needs guns.
F – How can we defend ourselves against violent criminals?
P – The police will defend you.
F – With guns?
P – Yes, only the police and the military need guns.
F – So some people need guns. Are there violent criminals in the police or military?
P – Well… no, I’m sure they’re screened out.
F – Why isn’t this screening process used over the entire population?
P – Umm.. you can’t.
F – So they’re not screened out. You realise there are situations where the police and army never know there are people they ought to save, and therefore can’t save everyone, right?
P – The army saved the Jews in WW2.
F – It was the German army that was killing them in WW2!
P – Crazy gun-loving redneck racist.. *insane ranting*
Touted as an open-world shooter Far Cry 3 is a pretty long way from that. It is a sprawling environment that has little change. Mountainous tropical Pacific island with ruined Japanese fortifications from World War 2 and thoroughly despicable antagonists (slavers and drug dealers who are exterminating the natives) has little variety. It is really an updated Far Cry 2 with many of the same play elements but beefed up for the latest console players’ expectations.
Your character, Jason Brody, is a fantastically tough and mobile “natural with a gun” who is seeking to rescue his enslave friends before they can be ransomed, but sold off into slavery after the money is collected.
The writing of plot attempts edginess with quotes about sanity and the lack thereof from Alice in Wonderland: a favourite of shallow-writers attempting to be deep. Nietzsche would be a better source than the opiate riddled classic by an English diletante. All the writing really conveys is the shallow understanding that psychopaths/sociopaths cannot be reasoned with and attempting to is the definition of insanity; attempting the same thing expecting different results.
Some tribal magic loosely inspired by the Maori as Rakyat has a classic Serious Sam like monster encounter complete with closed arena and sprawling mass area attacks being put out whilst the monster must be struck in only one area. This kind of tired arcade trope should have died last century. For a game that claims originality it only manages to do a tried formula in fiction of having thoroughly hate-able antagonists, with a protagonist that has the abyss he stares into, look deeply back into him.
Still, the killing and jingoistic patriotism not so subtly veneered behind laconic humor is apropos for the USA audience and the thinly veiled un-PC snappy lines attempt an edginess that would be successful on all the minors who ought not be playing this game.
Game-play is polished to simplicity. There is a lack of leaning, replaced by context based “peek-a-boo” shooting conveyed to the played by the gun being lifted when close to an object – no slicing the pie and using lean in this game. Far Cry 3 successfully captures the kinetic fear of combat with an AI that will flank you well but it fails to suspend disbelief with spawn-behinds and impossible reinforcements, just like its predecessor.
Open-world is often only while you are not on a mission. It’s for this reason I have to say the game promoters are lying when they say it is open-world. It simply is not. If you are mid-mission you cannot leave the mission area without the mission auto-failing. Also if you stray to far from the islands you are locked into you will die auto-magically. This is like playing D&D with a 12 year old who can’t ad-lib, or a philosophy lecturer who gets upset with you not buying into her false dichotomies presented as moral paradox.
Morality is loosely touched on but there is no ramifications for actions in this game apart from auto-magical results. Ultimately it is a hint of a flavour but never really brought to the forefront. Many sequences intended to shock the player are better off left as a scripted cut-scene, in particular the torture of the younger brother, and the vanishing antagonists whom you are forced to work with become tiresome very quickly.
Far Cry 3 has many failings mostly with what the promoters claim it is meant to be. If presented as a frenetic shooter with visceral elements to build tension and a plot that has despicable enemies you will really want to take-out, then that would be accurate. Its open-world elements are limited to in-between missions and ought to be taken with a grain of salt.
Ultimately, though, it is an addictive experience because the AI is smart enough to be a challenge, the exploration rewarding enough to pursue, and the combat frenetic enough to be engaging. The main missions are a let down and if Far Cry 3 had a “non-story mode” it’d be a far better offering.
This showed up when I did my monthly search for belt drive gear hub bikes.
A very nice looking 7005 aluminium belt drive commuter/urban bike with carbon disc-brake forks. The Spot website even claims enough bidons/mounting-points for fenders AND racks. This I have to see.
Unfortunately it seems to be a new release (2011) and I’ve not seen any of them guarded and racked up in slick urban bike goodness.
My only gripe is the rather Hipster-ish moustachio handle bars. The option for drop bars with Versa or Essex brifters would be very nice. It’d look quite nice with Thickslicks on those rims, too.
Hey Spot Bikes: send me one for review in Melbourne, Australia. I take my bikes on trains with hundreds of people on-board that have nothing to do but play with their phones. If it’s better than the Cannondale Bad Boy 8 I’ll upgrade!
Someone stole the front light off my bike. Some rotter who thinks they have the right to take anything not secured well enough to prevent them taking it – and the person who didn’t secure their goods, it’s their fault. By their logic if I had a tow truck I could take their car and it’d be their fault. What annoys me the most is that I lost three of my Eneloop batteries, too.
Bye bye little Spiderfire B200. You served me well. At the very least I hope you save the thief’s life so that they realise what a grave thing they did in stealing my light.
William Worthington’s White Shield is an India Pale Ale. It is labelled as a “Defiant survivor of 1820’s IPA traditions…”
It is a defiant beer. IPA have become quite hop driven but this IPA is not really so flowery or sweet. It has a slight bitterness but that mostly comes from the in-bottle conditioning and the head. It was a tight foam with a feisty scent. I had to scoop the head off the ale as its odour was too much for me. Once done I found the White Shield a very fine drop and heartily recommend it. This IPA can be shelved and will continue to improve for up to three years.
Remember: don’t tip the last drops into your glass – this is bottle conditioned. The sediments are the dead yeast cells and other bits you don’t really want to drink.
Runjikol’s Score: good & recommended.
Securing a contract has me dreaming of a new bike. It would start off like this but have a Rohloff internal gear hub added in. I think it’d be damned sexy and run like a dream.
However, I’d have to drop about $6,500 to get it done. Not money I have for such a dream.
So the next best thing comes to mind. A lugged cro-mo steel frame, modified for belt drive, with disc-brakes and lots of bidons for guards, racks, and such. Something like the Americano Rohloff, below, but with a nice Rivendell style lugged frame & trekking bars.
What is a minor bummer, the Rohloff shifter only comes in twist type – like a Nexus. I’d much rather a rapid-fire type shifter like the Alfine and almost all the Shimano mountain-bike stuff.
Guess this will all stay a dream for some time.
A Tale of Rum Town is a book I’ve written and published on Kindle. I’m running an experiment with Amazon’s algorithms but I need some help. If you’ve got a spare 2 minutes go to my Kindle book page for A Tale of Rum Town and add some tags. Put in whatever you think appropriate and any, or all, of these tags:
less than epic
Tell your friends to jump on and add tags. I’d like to see how many tags can be added in a week.