And that's that. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. 31 hours. Gold on all 108 challenges. An end to incessant whining which is probably quite welcome (＾▽＾) One final tribute to old grudges, though. Wasn't fun in the slightest. Performing simply out of joy of performing is somewhat understandable but not when learning yields no feedback at all. I'm quite certain I improved my skills while playing the game but not once did it acknowledge such progress.
The worst races easily took a dozen or so attempts and when I finally won, it still wasn't about skill at all. The game's idiotic rubber band logic simply happened to come to such conclusion. I suppose it could've been somehow understandable if there was even a weak story behind it all. Alas, there was none and so it was just 108 individual challenges for us easily entertained imbeciles.
Platinum would still be up for grabs via a bit of irrelevant grinding but as the most challenging part is now done, the game can just as well keep its remaining trophies – not interested in the slightest.
Thus, apologies for past negativity and off to merrier pastures!
Nothing new in particular. Just the usual amount of bile towards Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. After two thirds of the racer campaign completed, at least it's still nigh on perfect in sustaining hate towards it. Even after 25 hours the game is still perfect mostly for those moments when everything in general just plain sucks. In a cute and totally non-commercial fashion its built-in EA channel already promotes the next in line for an NFS experience, The Run, but that only drives me to see this one through and then bid farewell to a franchise nearly two decades old. Seriously, EA. The pulse is long gone and even you should show respect to something that should be obviously dead by now.
Then again, Hot Pursuit isn't entirely hopeless. It's something despicable, yet something that one keeps coming back to. As a cathartic experience of some peculiar sort, it's actually nigh on perfect.
Today I filled a gaping hole in my common games knowledge with The Tomb Raider Trilogy. I have never played (through) any game in the series before but the oldest of the three, Tomb Raider: Legend back from 2006 has now been completed. England's gift to treasure hunters, Lara Croft, is naturally one of the most familiar and iconic female heroes ever but I always thought it was just due to her, ahem, appearance. It was slightly surprising that she's a lot more than just a humongous rack and that the game was sheer puzzle-filled action adventure brilliance!
This time Croft and her sidekicks keeping her company from the safety of the family mansion embark on a grand adventure seeking King Arthur and his fabled Excalibur all over the world; Bolivia, Peru, Ghana, and Kazakhstan just to name a few exotic locations. They're up against a delightully arrogant little prick, American millionaire James Rutland Jr. and his merry troupe of mercenaries. One can look forward to reek of gunpowder, plenty of mountaineering, and Lara even ends up facing ghosts of her past as the series, probably for the first time, sheds proper light into her background.
The pleasantly varied environments require navigating as much vertically as horizontally. Massive leaps and smooth acrobatics are Lara's forte and those opposing her have to deal with her dual pistols with infinite ammo or secondary weapons procured from the fallen. Combat isn't about headshots or hiding behind cover. Simply lock on and let loose. Simple and crude, yet speedy, effective, and loads of fun, especially as most foes fight near various environmental hazards. Spare a few bullets for those and the confontrations get twice as easy and entertaining. There are also a bunch of boss fights but they're exceptionally good, fair, and packing just the right amount of challenge.
Still, Tomb Raider: Legend is easily at its best during puzzles. These most commonly physics-based brainteasers take place in vast areas with no hints given or correct routes highlighted. There's just Lara, her pistols, a grappling hook, and the wits of the player. The balance feels spot on – never taxing enough to cause frustration but never a matter of making progress without having to think a little. After the kindergarten approach of, say, the Uncharted games this need to ponder and wander was a refreshing change of pace.
The HD remake is technically sound and looks modern enough but gameplay, unfortunately, has evolved beyond what the game is able to deliver. Lining up Lara's jumps with required precision is often a matter of sheer luck. Plummeting to death and having to endure an annoyingly long reload was something I encountered dozens of times. It's twice as annoying post-game when the levels can be completed against a time limit. It often takes just one mistake and the challenge can be waved goodbye, something which happens very easily.
Luckily the seven hour adventure offers a lot more in terms of replayability than just self-torture with overly aggressive time limits. The levels are full of treasures to discover, ranging from easy bronze ones to devilish golden ones. These in turn are rewarded with various extras ranging from concept art and character models to new costumes and even cheat codes. As an amusing bonus, treasure hunting is also possible in the massive, secret-filled Croft mansion itself. And then there's, of course, a nicely varied bunch of trophies to collect.
Despite slight control issues Tomb Raider: Legend was an extremely enjoyable experience and a promising start to the entire trilogy.
Looks like blindly choosing anime isn't a good idea. I learned this the hard way by watching Aria the Scarlet Ammo (2011, 12 episodes). Kinji Tōyama is a second-year student in Tokyo Butei High. It's not a typical school by far as its students carry firearms and blades while training to become mercenaries who help the official authorities in fighting crime. Kinji wouldn't mind a more peaceful student life but it's easier said than done when an ordinary morning bike trip to school can end up in being chased by a remote-controlled Segway with an uzi strapped on it while the bike itself has been rigged with a bomb ∑(O_O；)
The poor man is eventually saved by his new transfer student classmate, the highly skilled and extremely tsundere Aria Kanzaki; a petite girl armed with two pistols, two katanas, and one very, very short temper. For some inexplicable reason Aria is quite drawn to Kinji and while he still thinks of transfering to a more normal school, it's no longer a viable option what with Aria suddenly bustling around him and everything. There's also the small matter of a mysterious organization whose assassins seem to be targeting the students of Butei High.
So there. It should be a given that Aria the Scarlet Ammo isn't taking itself very seriously. At least at first, it looks like a boisterious action comedy overflowing with ecchi and boob jokes flying straight at the face (quite literally) within the first two and a half minutes. Not exactly good for Kinji, that, as the more aroused he gets, the bigger the chances of him entering a state of hysteria that awakens his awfully self-centered and cocky, yet skillful-in-combat side personality (^_^;)
Those could be ingredients for something juicy but in this case nothing really works. Girls with guns is a slightly outdated idea already and the quality of ecchi is just plain bad. It's the same tired old jokes stemming from misunderstandings that were all the rage even more than a decade ago. An awkward love triangle is of course needed as well (why?) so add in Kinji's childhood friend, Shirayuki Hotogi, who is a shrine maiden gifted with superpowers and a superbust. As the show halfheartedly rumbles onwards, a few more others join to vie for Kinji so this one's almost counts as harem as well.
There's not really a storyline to speak of. It's weird to even fathom why the government would train teenagers to fight crime when the only criminals they're dealing with are those against them themselves. Still, that's the whole deal behind Aria the Scarlet Ammo, I shit you not. Totally random bus hijackings, plane hijackings, 1 vs 1 feuds, and constant fan service eventually lead to an abysmal final episode that suddenly decides to up the ante with a supernatural monster.
The series deliberately leaves the characters' backgrounds open, most likely in hopes of another season but that approach could be used forever without ever starting or concluding anything concrete. It could be pulled off with enough chemistry between the characters but Kinji is just another lackluster lead while Aria bounces between extreme irritation and affection totally out of control. Kinji's side personality could have made a difference but towards the end it no longer even changes his personality. There's just one Kinji who can't do anything and another that can (;¬_¬)
Too bad. I'd love to share experiences of enjoyable entertainment but this wasn't such occasion.
No, seriously :) As I used to believe, Yakuza: Dead Souls that sees daylight here in Europe next year isn't a spinoff conclusion to the adventures of Kazuma Kiryu. Sega is already busy with Yakuza 5 and tiny morsels of information are already trickling in. Or rather, just one morsel but it's a juicy one! After four games the central stage of the series, Tokyo's Kamurocho district, is beginning to resemble a cow that has fallen into a pool of piranhas. The fifth part, however, promises to take gamers not only to Osaka familiar from the second game, but three entirely new locations as well; Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Nagoya. Ambitious, yet auspicious!
Also, as a pleasant and rather unexpected surprise Ubisoft ended up hearing the desperate crying of us vertically challenged (just kidding) people. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Trilogy finally got a patch that enables the camera Y-axis to be inverted. For some people it's a small, yet crucial fix that magically transforms the entire trio from something entirely unplayable to something truly worth a deeper glance. It might have taken awhile but well done, Ubi! Thank you!
Another week, another batch of the usual suspects. Red Dead Redemption single player campaign has aged to ten hours and about a third of everything imaginable achieved. Story-wise this rerun isn't half as enjoyable as it was on the first go. The missions simply are a bit ho-hum whereas galloping through the plains doing whatever strikes one's fancy is most entertaining. In this case, it's almost a pity to follow the story in order to unlock more of the overall playing area.
I've now probably spent just as much time online. At least yesterday, the 3x experience still seemed to be in effect and as so, the pace of leveling up unlocking new characters and gear was still delightfully fast. Now done with all co-op story missions as well as all gang hideouts on public free roam. The latter mostly on my own as in a huge, unrestricted sandbox everyone tends to do whatever they damn well please. Then again, that's the way it should be. It wouldn't be free otherwise.
As for trophies, Platinum on this one is going to be a no-go thanks to a bunch of excessively competitive trophies mostly catered for the questionable folk of trophy whores and boosters. The rest, though, I will gladly hunt down, especially the 100% single player completion. If this masterpiece deserves a keepsake, that one is definitely going to be it.
Speaking of masterpieces, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Dreamy Theater 2nd is turning out to be one of the best gamepad-only music games ever. It's still married to its PSP original in the most irritating of ways but if that can be forgiven – and it's just Sega taking blatant advantage of us junkies – then even after Miku-esque 39 hours the game still rocks hard! The difficulty level in particular is just plain right. I still haven't found enough mental strength to perfectly tackle the two remaining songs of the first game on normal but as for the songs of the second game, the previous 25/46 performance has improved to 31/46. It's awesome fun in short bursts and even if perfectionism could be classified a disease, this time around I'm more than happy to have caught it!
Modern technology sure is great. Today has been spent mostly on re-experiencing Red Dead Redemption and while progress has been made, can't come up with anything notable to report. My latest pleasure has been, somewhat surprisingly, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I haven't bought the game and probably never will but there's always internet. Living through the single player campaign via YouTube is actually a pretty fun experience. Chaotic big budget action that is a lot more fun to watch than play.
My previous COD was the very first Modern Warfare and even back then, I was utterly annoyed with the rampant pace and constant guessing of whether the enemies up front are those that need to be disposed of or those that respawn until the next checkpoint is reached. It looks like the series hasn't changed at all since then and judging by the sales, it never has to. Thankfully these pinnacles of gaming can nowadays be enjoyed purely as a bystander.
Life is uneventful as usual. After a break of about six months, I've gone back to Red Dead Redemption. Instead of continuing with the post-game, I simply began anew. This time around, I aim to turn the game world upside down. After a few enjoyable, yet familiar hours I ended up going online and sure enough – it's still surprisingly fun and busy over there. Dominating other gamers was, as usual, as interesting as a pile of rocks, so this virtual cowboy headed into 2-4 player co-op dressed up as miniature, story-driven challenges. As a nice bonus it looks like this week also provides PlayStation Home avatar goodies and triple experience points.
Observing the playing style of other gamers is always fun and during today, co-op pals could be roughly divided into three categories. The lousiest were the usual ADHD cases for whom staying put for even a second is just plain impossible. These jolly little rascals jump, brawl, and goof around whenever possible. During missions, these retards often rush straight into the thick of it, possibly being awesome for about 30 seconds before being brought down, waiting for a revival. Most often, they end up dying in a position where a rescue attempt simply leads to another pointless death. They sure pack the energy but not an iota of self-control.
Things get a bit better with veterans. They are the heroes who have played online with such impressive dedication that they likely know the exact presence of every enemy of any mission even when asleep. They perform with incredible skill and are even polite enough to revive haphazard newbies but on the downside, playing with them is simply playing the role of a bystander witnessing clinical run-throughs of everything.
Still, every now and then that random co-op pal ends up being a mediocre rookie as well. These (usually just two-player) matches are just plain brilliant. They might not be that efficient or fast but they provide the essence of all that is well with co-op. Mistakes are made, yet even without a headset both players survey the situation and act accordingly. When someone totally random shares the same playing style and goes his way to revive you, or vice versa, that's when co-op truly shines!
It took about ten hours to triumph over Taiko no Tatsujin: Portable 2, although completion with these kind of games is always open for interpretation. Still, drumming through all 62 tracks on normal difficulty rolled the credits so I'll just consider the job done. In the end that elusive flow wasn't quite there. Perfecting a little over two thirds of the songs still didn't pose any problems but it's very easy for Taiko games to turn "impossible" simply by increasing the tempo and/or introducing combos beyond reactivity.
That's not to say the game wouldn't be willing to train the player into a veritable taiko demon. A dojo provides a handy way to learn comping and each song can be practiced by fast-forwarding to the tricky parts. Sadly, what can be achieved with drumsticks isn't exactly doable on the PSP. The first generation PSP in particular isn't very ergonomic to begin with and when things get frantic enough, it doesn't take long for the fingers to scream mercy. Undulating progressive songs are merely the icing on top of the Impossibility Cake.
Still, fun times were had. Rhythm games are still all about the music and Portable 2 serves its full course without any gimmicks and in a way that is tasty for any imaginable skill level. Two additional difficulty levels beyond normal are there for the most dedicated of drummers and while the game lacks that certain Miku-esque appeal, improving on scores and challenging oneself are most likely to take place in the future.
Then again, complete one and two pop in. The PSP JRPG queue is getting unsettlingly long but a mighty promising Jeanne d'Arc, rescue from eBay, joins it just the same. VGP in turn offered another reason to stop the year-long boycott of crap hardware. Otomedius Excellent finally saw daylight outside Japan (whoa!), even if took successive delays ever since the original planned release date of last July.
The game, paying tongue-in-cheek fan service homage to Konami's entire lineup of 2D shooters, simply had to be the definitive version, i.e. the game, a 35-track soundtrack CD, hardcover and rather ecchi 60-page art book, and a two-sided pillowcase (these seem to be all the rage this year...) I'm still unsure whether I'm dealing with a version region-locked to the US market but who cares – not having high hopes of ever seeing this one in Europe.
Nothing currently happens over here but let's use that time to hype about things to come, even if it's old news already. If the 3DS ever needed a killer launch title, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy would have been it. A shedload of old FF classics dressed as a rhythm game, Squenix will be eternally damned if they don't bring this one to the European market. Actually, they only need to release it somewhere – it looks so awesome that I'm hell-bent to experience it whatever sacrifices it will take :D
There have been no dedicated gaming days so I'll just wrap up this week with a statistics heavy (since numbers are always fun) summary of a few random eternity projects. Gran Turismo 5, for example, has continued steadily since last August. It has been updated to version 2.01, claimed a whopping 8.48GB of hard disk space, and sadly the seasonal challenge price money has gone down. Granted, playing on successive days now provides an exp and cash boost but that's not exactly anything to shout about for us random casuals.
Hourwise I'm now at 87 and A-spec hasn't progressed beyond level 33. The experience needed for leveling up raises in such an exponential manner that the way I'm playing, reaching the maximum of 40 probably equals to a level or two per year. Oh well, it's going to be a grand party in 2014 or something :D On the B-spec side, Mr. Virtual Driver has reached level 18, although he usually has to compete on his own. That mode usually doesn't kick in until I'm bored enough not to drive or turn off the console. Truth be told, that entire feature feels bloody pointless.
The biggest garage of my automotive gaming history keeps on expanding, though. The number of unique cars now stands at 426, meaning I'm that bit closer to the halfway point of the actual challenge. I kinda wish the seasonal challenges would make more use of those vehicles. Then again, just aiming for that thousand car carage is probably a worrisome mental sign all by itself. I suppose it just has its own, perverse "gotta catch 'em all" charm :P
Reaching all this has meant 5,149 miles driven. It has been forever since I saw anything in single player even vaguely finishable on a joypad, and the last trophy was probably awarded more than months ago. In practice, there should be absolutely nothing left to addict or reward but the game is still jolly good fun in short burts. Go figure.
Another eternity stamp goes to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. My new favorite piece of rubbish hasn't gotten a single iota better but I'm still determined to see it to its woeful end, no matter how many expletives it takes. It's one of the coldest, most soulless cash-ins ever and can be taken in doses of two or three races apiece before blowing a fuse. Sure, an arcade racer worth 21 hours by now ain't too shabby but as for a love-hate relationship, there has been preciously little of the former.
As might have been said before, the cop side already stands at 48/48 whereas the racer progress is now at 29/60. The game looks nice and kinda plays OK but it sure as hell has never seen balance. It's not pure luck – play nonchalantly and you just get your butt kicked – but I haven't witnessed a single moment when performing well would have been rewarded with anything else than leveling up the field in the most unscrupulous, totally non-transparent fashion. Sure, try racing when penalized for your own mistakes and AI getting a boost for theirs. Gnaaaaaaaah!
As far as eternity projects go, hands down the brightest trophy goes to Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Dreamy Theater 2nd. About a month back I dreamed about perfectly clearing all of its songs on normal. That's the road I'm still on after 36 hours. 29/31 perfected on the first game and 25/46 of the second. I've already condemned those two remaining songs of the first one to the deepest depths of hell but whenever I feel like playing something, yet nothing at all, it's Miku that deviously boots up.
In a way, I feel like getting closer to the essence of rhythm games. It's not a matter of playing any given song over and over again, desperately aiming for perfection but simply a matter of enjoying the whole variety without any sort of pressure. Something that once felt utterly unfathomable slowly but surely starts to feel possible. A month back, I failed over 60 notes of a 626 note song. Today, I "only" failed 16. At this age the feeling of actually getting better is empowering indeed :D
Sigh. It's once again that period of time when nothing in particular warrants hyping and all the even semi-interesting releases have given room to big budget shooters in order to have their own go early next year. Even the earlier hit releases still retain a price tag high enough to wait for the eventual Boxing Day sales. Some tenner plus bargain bin acquisitions from Zavvi might tide me over, namely The Tomb Raider Trilogy, Prince of Persia Trilogy, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, and Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection.
In this household, Professor Layton and the Last Specter from VGP is probably closest to an AAA title of the end of the year but the series has gotten so repetitious that I'm not exactly prepared to wolf it down like the previous parts. In Eurogamer terms it's most likely a solid eight but then again, that's what they usually are.
Drumming has been the theme of the beginning of this week as I ventured into Namco's Taiko no Tatsujin: Portable 2. In Japan, this rhythm game series about two enchanted taiko drums, Don and Katsu living in the Wada household, has witnessed over 40 incarnations on consoles, mobile platforms, and as countless arcade machines. And why not, all it takes is new songs to play. This PSP version features a whopping 62 of them and as usual, variety is the key. There's j-pop, anime theme songs, children's songs, classical music, game music, and a bunch of Namco originals as well.
The gameplay is easy to get into. The middle of the screen is reserved for red and blue symbols - representing the face and rim of a taiko drum - steadily flowing towards the hit zone on the left. Each has been given a button and for bigger notes, another two come into play. Additional complexity comes by line segments during which two or all four buttons have to be pounded as fast as possible, and some songs even feature temple bells during which the PSP analog stick has to be waggled in hopes of an even better overall score.
On the top of the screen Don-chan follows the progress and score of the song being played. On the bottom in turn is a stage that gathers the more peculiar creatures of the Taiko universe to jam the better the player performs. The colorful, thick lined and simple cartoon graphics do their job quite nicely and Don's frequent notes about the progression of an ever-growing combo raise a smile on the face, encouraging to aim for a perfect run.
Then again, the first six-or-so hours have been a tad too relaxing. On the easiest of the four available difficulty levels, acing all songs on the first try is quite common and based on the first few songs on the next difficulty, things still aren't getting pleasurably challenging. Granted, taking it deliberately slow is a good way to practice for challenges yet to come but after cheating to see what the game is going to be at its hardest, it's a clear-cut case of abandoning all hope already ^^; Still, I'm keen to see where I throw in the towel and just how wide that genuinely pleasant gameplay period is going to be.
This Sunday hasn't brought down the Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception fever in the slightest and its crushing difficulty has now been conquered as well. It felt somewhat easier than in the previous games but mostly because even normal was occasionally rather brutal. A few alternative ways to survive against 1:20 odds were found but it still feels like the third installment has been built more upon action than stealth. Praise the games goddess for providing checkpoints also within some of the larger firefights.
As for trophies, platinum is now just a matter of brushing up miscellaneous stuff, although a break is still in order. Trying to locate all the 101 hidden treasures, for example, is still as mundane as ever, especially when they once again seem to reside not only in corners but high above as well. Hunting them down isn't exactly fun whether trying on your own or just picking them up following a walkthrough. Otherwise the trophies are brilliant as always. No rewards for multiplayer or reaching certain points in the storyline but instead rewards for versatile playing.
As it usual goes with engrossing games, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception began and came to a close in a single session. On normal difficulty, the 9+ hour adventure was tried and tested Naughty Dog quality and saw Nathan and his friends traveling via London, France, and Syria all the way to Yemen in search of Atlantis of the Sands, the long lost desert city of Iram.
In terms of quality and content, the experience had its highs and lows. The level of graphics and performance on consoles is once again taken up a notch and then some. Breathtaking scenic views are all around, the play of light and shadow is a joy to behold, the orchestral score supports the action splendidly, and countless epic moments toss Nathan with such enthusiams and mercilessness that a new par for action-adventure intensity has easily been set. There's more exploration and lightweight puzzles that occasionally even manage to make the player scratch his head, and even the final foe is closer to the spirit of the first game, i.e. part of a brilliantly flowing story rather than just a ridiculous damage sponge.
Still, for an AAA title Uncharted 3 stumbles on surprisingly crucial parts. There's a new feature that allows thrown grenades to be swiftly returned to their senders. The developers obviously wanted players to take notice and thus most skirmishes are now absolutely horrible, COD-esque nade spam. The villains are also way more aggressive to rush the player. This was probably meant to promote melee fighting but it's badly overdone as well. There's nothing more frustrating than having to go fisticuffs with a single bloke while his 3-4 buddies have no qualms giving Drake a lead massage from afar.
There doesn't seem to be as many sections completable via cunning and stealth as there used to be, although that could just as well be an illusion of the first playthrough. Still, most fights ended up being utter chaos and that's when the series is at its worst. One überdork with his henchmen on a badly rocking ship, for example, was even an worse gameplay experience than a certain testosterone junkie on a train in the second game, and that's saying a lot.
Yet bygones be bygones. For a story about adventure, it was a wild and enjoyable ride indeed and as has become tradition, I'm more than eager to start it all over again in an attempt to tame it on its hardest difficulty.
The boys over at UPS sure know their business! Of the pile shown, the strong contender for game of the year, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, left U.S. on Tuesday and was delivered straight to my home door today (o.O); Sweetest collector's edition ever. The wooden wardrobe holds the game in a fancy steelbook case, Drake's ring and belt buckle, and of course a truly wicked Drake statue. As for random junk, the euro collector's edition of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin was none too shabby either. Game, soundtrack CD, six art cards, an A3 poster, and a pre-order bonus T-shirt.
I still haven't gotten any proper 3DS gaming going but perhaps turn-based strategy à la Tom Clancy's Ghost Recond: Shadow Wars will do the trick. Obscurity is most likely to be served by Railfan, a somewhat rare PS3 title released only in Japan. It gives the player a chance to live the immensely exciting life of a train operator in one line in Chicago and two in Japan. Language barrier might once again cause some problems but it's probably easy enough to at least stay on tracks. Lastly, for the good old DS, the furry action adventure Solatorobo: Red the Hunter including a soundtrack CD as well. Joy!
...then I, too. In other words, there's the recently released, first ever trailer of the game world's veritable behemoth, Grand Theft Auto V. Gamers around the world are currently busy coming into their pants and everything but there's not much to say, really. San Andreas for the current generation and everything looks like something played in the past. That's not to be misunderstood, though. Sure, it looks like GTA is making a triumphant return back to its colorful and versatile roots, and that's awesome. It's just that the series has become so lovely that a day one purchase has been a given ever since Grand Theft Auto III and this trailer didn't really do anything. Rockstar could just as well release the game and it would be an instant sale. The trailer, purely in terms of being a trailer, however, was a bit meh.
It took a long time but Far Cry 2 finally joins the pile of completed games. This time around the project lasted mere 13 hours but that was spent entirely focusing on the main storyline. Completing all side missions and locating all the hidden stuff would've easily tripled that time but since this was my third go already, jungle warfare quickly became somewhat dull. The final conclusion served a little surprise but the last mission was still identical to every other, i.e. go to spot X and kill everyone.
This three year old relic of a game should get a sequel, come March 2012. I'm actually quite interested about it. As flawed as the second game is, the potential is still very much there. If the sequel cuts back on too eagerly respawning enemies then that would be great. If the damage model goes through radical overhaul then that would be awesome. If the playing area wouldn't be quite so vast and/or it had more variety then oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Far Cry 2 has already proven that an FPS can also be a fine sandbox. Building on top of that should result in good things aplenty.