Games catch my eye for lots of reasons. Sometimes I think they look like fun. Sometimes I think they look terrible. And other times they catch my eye because they make me scratch my head. This is one of those times.
Star Wars Battlefront is a first or third person shooter (for those not in on the gamer lingo, a “shooter” is a game where your only objective is, yep you guessed it…to shoot things). The game supports both solo and multiplayer co-op missions, with split screen local multiplayer for gamers who have actual real life friends.
What the game is lacking is any kind of a story or campaign mode. It’s just missions. You get dropped on a planet and off you go! Time to shoot the other faction. You can be an Imperial or a Rebel, and that’s pretty much your choices (playing Survival missions requires you to be a Rebel, but Battles or Hero missions let you choose).
As you run around, you discover power ups. These power ups might be a vehicle, like an X-Wing fighter, or if you’re playing a Hero game, you might suddenly be Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. Completing missions earn you credits, earning credits lets you get better equipment, getting better equipment lets you survive more than ten seconds once the game starts.
And that’s what makes me scratch my head. Star Wars Battlefront is at once chaotic and simple. There isn’t any depth of gameplay, no real strategy, this is just a measure of how fast your twitch muscles will move the game controller and how accurately you can aim. I understand the game, mind you, I have seen the Battlefield games this one is based on, but I just can’t understand why you’d have an amazing intellectual property like Star Wars and do nothing but chaotic battles.
On the other hand, truth in advertising, it is called Star Wars BATTLEFRONT, and such it is. Releasing on November 17th, to tie in with the new Star Wars movie opening around the same time.
If Star Wars Battlefront makes me scratch my head because of what it isn’t, Far Cry Primal makes me scratch my head because of what it IS.
Far Cry is also a shooter, only this one can’t really be a shooter. This is one more like a sticker, smasher, poker, or twanger. It’s set 10,000 years ago, you see, and the objective of this game is simply survival.
You’ll be hunting mammoths for food, trying to avoid becoming food for the saber tooth tigers, and always being on your guard for the other marauding tribes trying to accomplish the exact same things.
Part of the charm of shooters like Far Cry is finding cool new toys with which you can slaughter your enemies. New guns, perhaps a bomb or two, the kind of serious hardware that gets left laying about in games like that.
I’m having a hard time imagining what the power ups will be in Far Cry Primal. Perhaps a really large pile of mammoth poo? Some discarded arrows?
It’s really a survival game, then, but with so many shooter elements that it favors the fast twitch muscles crowd. In my experience those are a different sort of gamer from the survival game fans, who enjoy solving puzzles and figuring out ways to make forts.
Far Cry Primal is a single player game for PCs and next gen consoles, and it will release in February 2016. If you’ve been hoping for a chance to face a saber tooth tiger with a sharpened stick in your hand, you have that long to wait.
That’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.