PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Far Cry 3 concept art shows theme parks, tourist resorts and other rejected ideas">Far Cry 3 concept thumb







Rook Island: home of caves, dilapidated buildings, caves, bars that can withstand a barrage of RPG fire directed at them by an angry me after a particularly unsuccessful poker game, caves, temples and caves. Far Cry 3's island is beautiful, to be sure, but it's not the most wildly varied of environments. This collection of early concept art shows a much wider selection of themes and locations. There's the familiar rusted shipwrecks and wooden shacks, but also ideas that would mark a very different tone than the game's final setting.



Theme parks, a golf course, yachts, luxury resorts. Much of the art suggests Rook was once planned to be a tourist retreat for the wealthy. All of the locations are in some state of disrepair, presumably hastily abandoned after the threat of Vaas or whatever alternative antagonist was being considered at the time.



The pictures were made by concept art specialists West Studio. I've embedded some of the best below, but you can see the full collection here.



Thanks, Kotaku.



































PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Face Off: Should you buy games at launch?">face off buying games







The hurricane of savings that's swirled over PC gaming in the past few years has been tremendous. Deep discounts seem to pop up weekly on digital stores like Amazon, GOG.com, and Steam. But should the ubiquity of sales fundamentally change our buying habits?



In this Face Off debate, Logan argues that waiting for a sales gets you get a more refined product at a cheaper price. But Evan thinks that waiting too long denies you the best-possible experience, especially in multiplayer games.



Jump over to the next page for more opinions from the PC Gamer community, and make your own arguments in the comments. Debate team captains: it’s your time to shine.



Logan: Nope. Hanging on to your cash for a while—a few months, a year, or whenever you’ve caught up with that backlog that’s been building up—buys you a game that’s had its bugs squashed, costs far less on sale, and probably even runs better on your machine. Remind me what the downside is again?



Evan: We play games to have great experiences, right? In most cases those experiences diminish in value over time. Technology ages. Stories are spoiled. Sequels outdo their predecessors. I’m not advocating against the ridiculous sales we’ve seen in recent years, but looking back, being needlessly frugal would've denied me some of my most precious gaming experiences. Playing Left 4 Dead every night after work in October ‘08 with my friends was so special because we were mutually discovering the game together. I can’t put a price tag on that.



Logan: OK, let’s be clear here: I don’t think buying games at launch is a bad thing. You can bet your pet headcrab that I won’t be waiting for Half-Life 3 to hit the discount bin. What I’m saying is that with a little patience (and, sure, some deft spoiler-dodging), you get a better experience at a far lower price. Sure, you miss out on being a part of the conversation when a game launches. Like how pissed off people were about the save-corrupting bugs in The Walking Dead series, which to the best of my knowledge were fixed by the time you could buy the entire season during the Steam Winter Sale for half-price at $12.50!



Evan: Oh, whatever. If you wait until a game is bugless, you’ll be waiting forever. The Walking Dead was more than playable at launch—we gave it a 90. The conversations I had with friends about that game (and Mass Effect, and Far Cry 3, and XCOM) are worth so much more to me than $12—it’s a lesser game without that.



I think you’re overstating the impact that launch issues actually have. Other than Diablo III and, I don’t know, Sword of the Stars II last year, when were games unacceptably broken at launch? If I was picking up Diablo III now—assuming I could actually twist a friend’s arm to reroll a new character—that pristine experience of grinding our first dungeons together and feeling caught up in something new together would be gone.



Beyond that, I think we should be mindful that our purchases have a real and actual impact on developers. Last year, Rockstar Vancouver, Big Huge, Black Hole, 38 Studios and Paragon Studios closed. Great games don’t exist unless we support them.



Logan: You’re being hysterical. It’s not just about bugs and launch issues. It’s about enjoying a smoother ride overall, and getting stuff like new features and levels to boot!



Evan: Listen, all I’m asking you to consider is this: How many indie developers’ malnourished babies are you personally responsible for?



Logan: I am not a baby malnourisher. I don’t want to deprive developers of handsome profits. In fact, I wish I had a leaf blower that blew cash into their windows. It’s just that I—like most gamers—have a limited budget. Buying games at a discount means that I can buy more games. And feed more babies.



Look, developers who don’t want to discount their games simply won’t do so. But most do put their games on sale because, ultimately, it makes them more money.



Evan: My imaginary leaf blower also shoots money. Waiting months to buy something isn’t universally the best budget decision if you’re passionate about a game. It’s actually becoming more prevalent for pre-orders to provide incentives or actual savings over the retail price. In the case of free-to-play games like MechWarrior Online and Tribes: Ascend, putting money down before release got me extra in-game currency, extra content, and immediate access. Multi-copy packs are also usually a great deal—in Borderlands 2’s case, you could get four copies for the price of three at launch, something that’s much harder to do after release.



Logan: Oh, yeah, pre-order bonuses can be great deals too, and the Borderlands 2 promotion was a pretty smart way to get cheapskates like me to pony up before launch. But these are exceptions to a general rule of thumb that’s indisputable: if you can wait it out, you’ll almost always get a better product for less money. Any way that you legitimately purchase a game is supporting the developer. If you insist that supporting a developer means paying more than you have to, then I think that what you’re talking about is a contribution, or charity.



Evan: Waiting for patches might give you a less buggy game, but I don’t think you’ll necessarily get a better experience, which is what you’re paying for. Sure, EA made Battlefield 1942 free last year, but replaying it years removed from its popularity wasn’t fun for me at all. Moreso than film or books, games age. Hopping into Battlefield 3 now—just 14 months after release—and you’d miss out on the volcano of enthusiasm, shared discovery, and level playing field in the metagame that existed at launch.



There’s always going to be several games a year where I’m going to want to be there on day one. If you wait four or five months—about as long as it typically takes to shed 25% off something on Steam—or longer, you’ll have missed out on that.



Logan: But remember, games acquire new fans when they’re discounted or go free-to-play. Solution: make new friends.



Evan: Or we could get everyone we know to wait six months to buy a game.



For more opinions on PC gaming, follow Logan, Evan, and PC Gamer on Twitter. On the next page: more opinions from the community.







For more perspectives, we've poured out some of your thoughts from the bucket of opinion known as Twitter below.



@pcgamer It depends on if they're $60 triple A titles for me. $60 is too much for most games, especially after last year's disappointments.— Coalton Ross (@Coalton) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer If you're a fan of the game, the series, the studio, etc...then yes, it's your job as a fan to positively reinforce great work.— Kevin Robertson (@krobulous) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer To anyone who has any sort of budgeting they should never buy on release date. Waiting for a sale is the only way.— Ryan Melanson (@RyePunk) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer established franchises or series yes (elder scrolls), New and unproven games wait for more info and reviews.— Now Hiring Henchmen (@HiringHenchmen) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer It's definitely difficult to see the game you paid $60 for be repackaged with extras for the same or lower price < 12 months later.— James Schumacher (@JamesInDigital) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer On the other hand, being swept up in the ARG and playing the heck out of Portal 2 was a delightful experience.— S Wilkins (@ElAcordeonachi) January 14, 2013



@pcgamer Multiplatform/console port multiplayer games are better at launch however. They're most fun when the playing field is very equal.— Jason (@TeslasButler) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer depends if I trust the developer enough to deliver a good product. I rarely buy into the hype anymore. Burned too badly in the past— Wim (@Quercuas) January 15, 2013



@pcgamer overpriced on release, wait a week, don't follow the hype— TFB (@tf_blackjack) January 15, 2013
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Why Far Cry 3′s menus drive me crazy">Far Cry 3 menu







Listen, Far Cry 3, I really like you. I like running from your wild beasts and the way your bad guys twirl out of cars when I snipe them through their windshields, and I like you even better with mods. But we have to talk, because your menus are really stressing me out. It's not just that there are too many submenus—I know that granular design is a console holdover—it's something else, and you're not the only one.



I made something to tell you how I feel—a brief episode of our new video editorial series—and I hope you watch it. Oh, and I'm not saying you should add mechs, because I like shooting your crazy kidnappers, but I do highly recommend watching our last video, too. Evan makes a great case for why mechs are the most fun thing to shoot in a video game.
PC Gamer






After the holiday break, we've reconvened to talk about the games we're looking forward to in 2013, Steam Box, PlanetSide 2's upcoming patch, and explore Logan's formerly-repressed fear of a childhood animal.



We also finally discuss Far Cry 3 at length, now that most of us have finished it.



Listen to PC Gamer Podcast 341: Treasure Bath



Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Leave a voicemail: 1-877-404-1337 ext. 724 or email the MP3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com.



Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.



Follow us on Twitter:

@logandecker (Logan Decker)

@ELahti (Evan Lahti)

@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)

@omripetitte (Omri Petitte)

@AsaTJ (T.J. Hafer)

@belsaas (Erik Belsaas, podcast producer)
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Best Animal Husbandry of the Year 2012: Far Cry 3">Far-Cry-3 GOTY







Come, says the cassowary, turn my hide into a wallet. Come, says the tiger, carve a knapsack from my flanks. Come, says the bear, blow me up with semtex even though you’ve already maxed-out the size of your grenade pouch. You are a hunter. I am your prey. This is Nature.



Assassin's Creed 3 may have had a button which let you tickle sheep under the chin and Black Ops 2 may have single-handedly devalued the price of glue with its laissez-faire attitude to horse welfare, but it is undoubtedly Far Cry 3 which has most profoundly changed my relationship with the animal kingdom. Not only did Ubisoft’s open world shooter prove tapirs to be little more than snuffling jam-bombs, begging to be burst beneath the wheels of a hurtling jeep, but its crafting mechanic has made me view the entire natural world with a newly utilitarian avarice.



Once, I was afraid of sharks. Now I realise that their primary role on this planet is not as ferocious, pitiless predators of the deep, but as floating hand-bag farms, eager to be stuffed full of trombones, saucy photographs of dwarves, traffic cones and other assorted beachcomber tat.



As I stand on the back of my boat, machine-gunning the crystal blue waters, I like to imagine I am Ernest Hemingway.



The downside is that I now can’t help but look at someone’s pet shih tzu and calculate the number of gas canisters it could feasibly hold.



Runners-up: Assassin's Creed 3's sheep tickling, Black Ops 2's Afghani burrowing horse
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Most Annoying Gaming Cliche of the Year 2012: Escaping Burning Buildings">burning-building GOTY







If I have to endure another level in which I must escape from a burning building on the verge of collapse, I'll set fire to my house. I'll collapse through the floor, tumble twelve feet onto my back, crawl at tedious pace through a low section, traverse a room that's entirely on fire apart from a narrow path of miraculously not-on-fire floorspace and then climb a series of conveniently collapsed roof beams to safety.



"Phew!" I'll think, "I'd have been in a spot of bother there if I hadn't played through pretty much the same section in Black Ops 2, Max Payne 3, Far Cry 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and twice in Assassin's Creed 3 this year."



It's not the fire that's annoying. Things tend to catch fire a lot in videogames. No, it's the feeling that there are mission designers worldwide calling their set-pieces from the same playbook. You could tear out the pages, laminate them and resell the package as an Action Adventure Videogame Construction Kit. Shuffle the cards and lay them out in a row for an instant framework.



Let's have a go with the modern military shooter edition: escape a burning building - sniper section - flee a helicopter - warehouse section - fire at pursuers from the back of a truck - breach and clear - press X to kill prominent antagonist.



This section felt particularly incongruous when it interrupted the terrific free-roaming violence of Far Cry 3, especially considering the fact that Far Cry 3 has a fantastic dynamic fire effects built into the engine. The "escape from burning building" sequences that emerge naturally from Far Cry 3's systems are much, much better than the scripted sequence written into their early story mission.



But not all games aspire to create a dynamic open world, and nor should they. But in a dedicated, scripted action game there's an even greater need for new set-pieces and fresh settings.



Take Bulletstorm, whose opening sections dramatically undersold its capacity for bonkers theatrics. Sure, it had a "fire at pursuers from the back of a truck" bit, but in Bulletstorm's case the pursuer was a colossal red doom-wheel that careered about the landscape blowing up pipelines and threatening to stomp the player into a smear at any moment. If action games are determined to be rollercoasters, we're sorely in need of some new twists.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Text Adventures That Never Were: Far Cry 3">Far Cry 3: The Text Adventure







Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.



If you're looking at leafy tropical jungles, shimmering oceans, impressive motion-capture performances, and more off-mission activities than you can throw a knife at during a knife-throwing contest, you must be playing open-world shooter Far Cry 3. But wait... that tattoo that suddenly appeared on your arm... it looks like it says... Far Cry 3: The Text Adventure!

















PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Best Music of the Year 2012: Hotline Miami">hotline miami GOTY







It’s a busy and varied field this year: exquisitely picked soundtracks tussle for our affection with gorgeous bespoke scores, covering every genre from bustling chiptune beats to orchestral epics. Dishonored's sparse but potent use of the sea-shanty was fittingly iconic, while Jesper Kyd’s Darksiders 2 score swept from Celtic pipes to Mongolian throat singing, and Spec Ops: The Line’s astutely selected records patched both Deep Purple and Verdi into its eclectic, psychedelic ambience.



A hat tip is certainly due to Jessica Curry for her intensely unsettling Dear Esther score, managing to create a bleak, lonesome space for your neuroses to fill, without ever overtly forcing emotion upon the player. At the other end of the scale, Far Cry 3’s weapons-grade dubstep was hardly subtle, but a delirious, irresistible indulgence nonetheless.



However, the final battle here is to be fought by just two contenders - Hotline Miami and Super Hexagon, both offering a line in pounding electronica. Super Hexagon’s is chirpy, hypnotic and deployed with the level of craft witnessed in every area of the game: the way failure skips the track to another section avoids grating repetition without ever shattering the game’s sense of pace. But it’s Hotline Miami that triumphs, if not for the skill with which the tracks are woven into the game, then for the air of illness, caustic unease and pitiless violence that they collectively conjure. I can think of few games, or few anything, which have been able to sonically construct such a powerful sense of psychosis. An achievement, albeit a dark one.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Far Cry 3 mods">Far Cry 3 helicopter bazooka







Apart from a map editor (check out one mapper's impressive efforts), Far Cry 3 doesn't contain in-depth modding tools. It's a shame, but that hasn't stopped the ambitious members of the official forums from snooping around data files and jungles of code, unearthing tons of tweakable content in the process.



Though Far Cry 3 already includes darn near everything—leopards, sharks, pirates, and at least one really crazy person—the mods we've gathered here can significantly change your island vacation for an altogether different experience. Want to turn off target tracking? Or slap attachments onto more of your guns? Perhaps removing the minimap entirely will finally give you that deep immersion you've wanted. It's all here.



A few cautionary notes: The majority of these mods and tweaks involve replacing and changing Far Cry 3's core files (located in the FarCry 3/data_win32 folder), so always make backups of the files you're asked to change if you're unsure of what to do. Also, some mods require a hex editor for changing values in certain DLL files (located in the FarCry 3/bin folder). The HxD editor is available as a free download if you need one.



Second, Far Cry 3's file configuration recognizes only one mod installation at a time (as opposed to, say, Skyrim's multi-mod support), so unless you're sticking with a single mod for, you'll need to install one of the various compilations assembled by the generous technical wizards on the Ubi forums.



Lastly, follow installation instructions carefully so everything works smoothly—we PC gamers know the pain of agonizing over uncooperative data files more than anyone else. As Ubisoft rolls out additional patches, these mods will surely break, so make sure supported versions of your mods matches that of the latest update. Obviously, downloading the most recent releases from the mods' authors should keep things purring like that tiger sneaking up behind you. Either way, we'll update this story as we discover new mods or as old ones are phased out.



All set? Read on for the mods.



Weapon mods



Screenshot from Far Cry 3 forum user "khenaz"



Better Sights



We expect this to be become a popular one. Far Cry 3's weapon scopes certainly give you an edge while hunting in the brush, but some of the crosshairs blast our eyeballs with an exaggerated brightness like a tiny supernova. This mod makes optics less bold, and it works for the reflex, tactical, red-dot, and other unlockable scopes. The author's forum thread has a few more comparison screenshots.



Screenshot from Far Cry 3 forum user "Leechmonger"



Attachments Mod



The starting 1911 pistol and AK47 rifle handles the job of delivering swift bulletdeath in a pinch, but they lack the bling of the utilitarian attachments you'll buy for later weapons. No longer: The Attachments Mod adds customizable slots for the 1911, AK47, SVD, and other early-game guns. You'll also find more of your repertoire supporting extended magazines and additional scopes.



Hereticus Weapons Mod



If you're leery of teetering atop rusted radio towers to unlock more guns at the store (the things we do to get some customer satisfaction), then Hereticus has the answer. All available weapons in the game—including the premium privateer guns from the second island—are unlocked for purchase from the start, eliminating the need to scale towers besides map uncovers. Choose from three flavors: radio tower-dependent, one tower only, or no towers at all.



Improved Weapon Ballistics



(Download the author's fixed version here.)



Oh, waiter? I think there's a little Arma in my Far Cry 3. Author Fnx's tweak compilation changes gun behavior for higher recoil, more realistic ranges, and slower reload times. Sniper rifles and shotguns receive appropriate damage boosts—check out that 25 percent increase to shotgun damage at close range. Be aware: these changes affect enemy weapons as well!



Screenshot from Far Cry 3 forum user "BreckR"



Scope Viewmodel Edit



Some of Far Cry 3's scopes allow you to peek at your peripherals while zoomed in, while others take up your entire view. This quick fix piles all zoomable scopes into the former category, keeping the edges of your vision clear while you draw a bead on your target.



UI mods



Screenshot from Far Cry 3 forum user "R.Sporkington"



Minimap Removal



When it's time for an au naturel jungle excursion/mushroom trip/killing spree, turn to this mod. It does exactly what its title proclaims, yanking the minimap entirely and fading out health bars and medkit counts for a more minimalist interface.



More UI mods should slowly appear further on, and we'll definitely update this section as we spot them. The current dearth is probably the result of the latest patch (1.04 as of this writing) adding toggles for objective reminders, crafting tips, and other interface elements.







Tweaks



A collection of tinier mods for changing your Far Cry 3 experience.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0HeIdDInHhs



Enhanced Weapon Holster



Though an impressive accomplishment, scaling a sheer cliff face while holding a 30-pound sniper rifle isn't exactly reflective of the real world. Luckily, the Enhanced Weapon Holster automatically shoulders your weapon after performing an action such as exiting a safehouse or vehicle, because if you're going to sprint clear across a tropical island without breaking a sweat, you'll need both hands free to high-five everyone along the way.



Screenshot from Far Cry 3 forum user "razorfinnish"



Ultra-Low Configuration Mod



Far Cry 3's heavily modified Dunia engine touts great visuals across a wide spectrum of hardware setups, but the pursuit of ever-higher framerates is a PC gaming mainstay. If you have no problems with trading quality for an overall boost to your FPS, the Ultra-Low Configuration Mod lowers shadows, viewing distances, and detail levels for a smoother performance.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P1WGv9gnols#!



Stop Object Blinking



The golden glow of ammo, fallen enemies, and plants can remove one from of the experience being a tattooed survivor, but a simple fix only involves a couple of snips using a hex editor. Objects will no longer Midas at you when you get close, a boon for realism junkies.



Difficulty mods



Hardcore Mode



Oddly absent from Far Cry 3's default difficulty levels, Hardcore Mode (the actual download link might be hard to spot, so grab it here) disables nearly every map icon, tracking symbol, and resource location mark. Couple it with the Minimap Removal mod, and you'll make exploration a serious task..







Mixmod



Not as severe as Hardcore Mode, Mixmod instead focuses on breaking your wallet. Lowered loot off bodies, a tripled resource cost on syringes, and changes to when weapons become available in the shop strains your cashflow and "makes you feel not so rich, boy." We're scared.







New Crafting and Economy



You'll really need to become a master botanist if you install the New Crafting and Economy mod. Practically every item needing plants climbs in crafting requirements, and plants are now needed in addition to animal skins to fashion bags, holsters, and ammo pouches.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Far Cry 3′s latest patch adds DLC support, frees up glorious screen space">Far Cry 3 Vaas thumb







The 1.04 update for Far Cry 3 has the usual collection of bug fixes and tweaks. Removing the "reloading" shout after shooting the bow in multiplayer? Makes sense. Fixing a bug that made weapon models stick to the character's arm? Totally useful. Adding support for downloadable content? Inevitable.



But forget all that, because there's something far more useful hidden in those patch notes.







Did you spot it? Exactly!



A new selection of options allow you much greater control over the seemingly constant bombardment of HUD messages. You can turn off crafting tips, tutorial messages and those goddamn objective reminders, among others.







The patch is out now through Uplay or from the Far Cry 3 website. Here's the full list:



GENERAL FIXES FOR THE PATCH

Fixed several issues with customize controls



MULTIPLAYER



Improve stability on multiplayer maps.

Fixed the crash when the player was planting explosives.

Fixed several crashes.

Fixed bug where user was unable to jump on certain surfaces.

Fixed bug where players could become invisible.

Fixed bug with 3D weapon images in Decoding menu.

Fixed bug where weapons could disappear after completing objectives in Co-op.

Fixed bug where users could get stuck in Loadout screen in Co-op.

Removed “Reloading” shout after user shoots the bow.

Parties will no longer be allowed to numerically unbalance games.

Improved and fixed several issues with host migration.

Connection degradation will now properly trigger a host migration.

Fixed several bugs with Loadout menu.

Fixed bug that could display a profile restriction message when trying to join a lobby.

Fixed bug where users could get stuck in 3rd person in Custom games.

Fixed bug with Flamethrower not doing any damage in certain circumstances.

Fixed bug where “Player is on the way” tag could stick to downed players.

Fixed bug where clients could remain on black screen if host left the game.

Fixed bug where Fire Arrows did not do fire damage.

Fixed bug where Long Distance Kill was not awarded.

Fixed bug where Tag Assist was not awarded.

Fixed bug where Killcam wasn’t shown in certain circumstances.

Fixed bug where Survival Instinct was not cancelled properly.

Fixed bug where Psych gas could get dropped in the wrong place.

Fixed bug where Psych gas could affect players outside of the deployment area.

Fixed bug where users could get stuck when killed by Poison gas.

Fixed bug where other player’s footstep sounds sometimes did not play behind you.

Fixed bug where sound could get muffled when being revived.

Fixed bug where user could get de-synced if killed in mid-air





MAP EDITOR



Added information for Player Map playlists.

Improved available space for Player map names in lobby.

Fixed bug where User made maps wasn’t downloaded properly in lobby.

Fixed bug that made the user stuck when igniting Firestom nodes on certain maps.





SINGLE PLAYER



Fixed the accessing bug for the camera and the throwing rocks.

Users that have miss the Relic located in Dr. Earnhardt cave will have the relic recover.

Fixed the bug with the weapon models staying on screen / stuck on the charatcer arm.

The leaderboard is now updating correctly even after if the user is disconnecting/reconnecting the ethernet cable.

The objective is now properly updated after Jason burns the weed fields.

New options the hide the HUD are now available in the option menu.

Add support for downloadable content.

Fixed the issue when the user was becoming invincible after failing mission 'Black Gold' several times.

The Phonecall from Hurk (ULC missions) is no longer overlapping the brief of the 'Piece of the past' mission.

Fixed the issue when Sam was no longer in the jeep's turret after placing two bomb and being kill several time in 'Black Gold' mission.

Sam is no longer getting stuck when the user destroy an enemy car.

...