PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Far Cry 3 producer: Vaas compares to Darth Vader">vader 2



Vaas embodies the savagery of Far Cry 3's Rook Islands. The unbalanced pirate boss is one of the stand-out villains in recent memory. In an interview with IGN, Ubisoft Producer Dan Hay compares Vaas' memorable presence with how Darth Vader commanded attention whenever he appeared.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

"You think about that opening scene in Star Wars," Hay says. "What you think is a huge ship is going by overhead, and then it's absolutely dwarfed by a massive ship. Then everything inside it is white, and the rebels are holding against the door. It blows up. They just had a firefight going on, and when it’s all over, in walks this guy who’s head-to-toe in shiny black. That moment is galvanized in your memory as a kid forever. For us, our focus was giving that same taste for Vaas and making sure that it’s short, sweet, and about craving more of it."

Also in the interview, Far Cry 3 Lead Writer Jeffrey Yohalem, explains why Ubisoft decided to let players kill Vaas halfway through the game. Yohalem, who's made several attempts to clarify the meaning of the game's story in interviews, says that Vaas' sudden death halfway through was totally intentional. The decision was driven by, of all things, Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To The Lighthouse and its offhanded mention of the death of the main character.

"She dies in the middle kind of parenthetically," Yohalem says. "The whole book is going, and you get to these parentheses in this middle portion, and she’s dead. The rest of the book is about the absence of her. That is so daring. And we did it. I think that it's hard for some people, but at the same time, you also want that kind of a character to take a bow when everyone wants him the most. You never feel that in a game."

Missing Mr. Mohawk? Fear not: Vaas lives on as a reskin mod for Grand Theft Auto IV.

You can read the rest of the interview at IGN.
Product Update - Valve
All new content for Far Cry 3 is Now Available for Free on Steam!

The co-op story is far from over. Hoyt’s privateers have ambushed the four survivors and taken them hostage. It’s up to you and your friends to escape an underground prison and find a way off this island of insanity.

This Free High Tides DLC Pack Includes:

- 2 New Co-op Maps: Jailbreak & Redemption
- 4 New Co-op Skins: "Warrior-ized" Leonard, Tisha, Callum & Mikhael

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Grand Theft Auto IV mod brings Far Cry 3′s Vaas into the concrete jungle">Grand Theft Auto IV Vaas mod



OK, who gave Vaas a plane ticket? The demented pirate lord from Far Cry 3 definitely fits right into the lawless streets of Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City with rocket launcher in hand and that unhinged smirk on his face, but who would ever think it was a good idea to unleash that psycho on the mainland? Well, modder wapeddell did, actually. And it looks like fun.

Like other custom models of a more critter-like nature, this Vaas mod completely reskins Niko Bellic with a high-quality, bump-mapped texture. This means a heavier hardware load if you're also using graphics overhaul mods or custom cars, but this also means you'll see the most detail you can get out of the game's engine.

Want to see more? The video above shows a particularly shiny Vaas doing what he does best after nonchalantly checking his phone. Grab the mod here, and if you miss the interactions between the mohawked madman and his favorite punching bag, there's also a Jason Brody model by the same author.

Thanks, PCGamesN.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Nvidia 313.95 beta drivers improve performance for Crysis 3 beta, Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3">Crysis 3 Ceph-thrower



On the cusp of an open multiplayer beta for Crytek's maximally lustrous Crysis 3, Nvidia released an early version of its GeForce 313.95 drivers today. The GPU giant claims the drivers boost SLI performance for Crysis 3 by up to 35 percent in addition to other "sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains" in games such as Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3.

Nvidia says users should expect a 27 percent gain in graphics performance while playing Assassin's Creed III, 19 percent in Civilization V, and 14 percent for both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and DiRT 3. Just Cause 2 improves by 11 percent, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, F1 2012, and Far Cry 3 all improve by 10 percent.

Demonstrating its mastery over orderly green bars, Nvidia also supplied benchmark charts for these games using four of its most recent cards: the GTX 650, 660 Ti, 680, and 690. With the 313.95 drivers, the company declares GTX 690 users can max out all settings in Crysis 3 and still achieve 60 FPS.

Grab the new drivers and check out the charts at Nvidia's website. Also try out the GeForce Experience—which we've talked about at length—to automatically optimize and configure your games based on your PC's hardware.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
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
rel="bookmark"
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
rel="bookmark"
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
rel="bookmark"
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
rel="bookmark"
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.
...