A Machine for Pigs Postmortem, and Why Far Cry 4's Cover Reveal Rankles

A Machine for Pigs Postmortem, and Why Far Cry 4's Cover Reveal Rankles

Far Cry 4 cover

Hello, Escapist readers! As part of our partnership with curation website Critical Distance, we'll be bringing you a weekly digest of the coolest games criticism, analysis and commentary from around the web. Let's hit it!

Far Cry 4's box art (shown right) is, let's be honest, deliberately provocative. At GamesIndustry.biz, Brendan Sinclair remarks that given the series' problems with 'satire', it's reasonable to be wary of giving Ubisoft the benefit of the doubt. Further, Shivam Bhatt writes a thoughtful post for Gamasutra about the lack of respect shown to South Asians and Buddhists in general, specifically through the lens of FC4.

On the brighter side of cultural representation, The Financial Post have an interview with Upper One Games, the first U.S.-based indigenous videogame company, where they discuss the development of Never Alone, a game with an Inupiat protagonist and her arctic fox companion.

Simon Parkin writes for the Guardian about 1000 Days of Syria, a free online game by an American journalist who covered the conflict in Syria.

Finally, still sort of on the subject of 'dark things', Gamasutra has a fascinating postmortem of The Chinese Room's Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Want some more? Be sure to swing over to Critical Distance to have your fill!

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I'm disappointed with the Far Cry post and the Pigs post-mortem (although the post-mortem is still a great insight into the behind the scenes).

I feel like the first confuses the tepidness of Assassins Creed and it's inability to strongly convey events to the player (quickly name me 5 of the people you killed in AC2. I bet the only name most people remember is the one you didn't kill) as respectfully handling controversy. I don't think the Far Cry games are designed to be exploitative, regardless if whether they are, but Ubisoft is trying to position it as a franchise that deals with hard issues. That's a good aim, regardless of whether they achieve the affect. The cover is shocking and designed to shock, but the cover doesn't represent the sole reason the game exists.

The Pigs post-mortem seems to have a very different impression of how people received the game than I got, which naturally places it in a situation where I disagree with it. I do also think the game would have done better without the Amnesia title though.

I don't see any lack of respect for Buddhists specifically ... games do awful things with religious iconography of lots of religions and I think that's quite alright.

Most people could use a slightly thicker hide, I disrespect people who are easily offended.

While I personally do not find the Far Cry cover offensive, I also recognize that I do not have any sort of monopoly on judging something as insulting. Other people might have different values than me. Whether or not one should act on their protests is a whole other matter, but a smidgen of sensitivity will go a long way to discover such controversies beforehand, so one at least will have an answer ready when they arrive. Attempting to tackle difficult topics and taboos is a good thing, blindly stumbling into unintended controversy, even when the criticism is misguided, is ignorant.

Shivam Bhatt's article gives the interesting information that while most of us imagine ourselves as the implied observer, ready to take down this horrible tyrant, some people relate to the kneeling person instead, completely changing the dynamic of the piece. Suddenly it is not a story of heroic adversity, but of helpless oppression; their lives entirely in the hands of the blond bastard above them. This is absolutely not the intended interpretation, but such is the law of unintended consequences. Instead of rolling our eyes at the others who see things differently, or raging against Political Correctness Gone Mad and Social Justice Warriors, we should note their position under "things people might think" and then go out and live our lives armed with slightly more knowledge of possible reactions to our actions. Please note that I have not asked anyone to alter their views (or cover artwork), merely recognizing the existence (if not validity) of other interpretations.

So A Machine for Pigs' gameplay streamlining through removing the infection meter and inventory system was "what went right"? Interesting.

So why is it that I completely forgot about AMFP and my entire playthrough of it until this article reminded me, but not The Dark Descent?

Grenge Di Origin:
So A Machine for Pigs' gameplay streamlining through removing the infection meter and inventory system was "what went right"? Interesting.

So why is it that I completely forgot about AMFP and my entire playthrough of it until this article reminded me, but not The Dark Descent?

I thought their explanation of why removing inventory and the infection system made sense. No one would have cared if the puzzles and gameplay elements were more challenging.

The big complaint was that The Chinese Room turned the game into Amnesia: Dear Esther edition. But, if TCR is to be believed, most of the decisions that made the puzzles and gameplay easier were Frictional's. TCR does seem pretty honest in their assessment. They acknowledge that this situation was partially created by their bad planning. The idea of getting thrown in a cell after attacks made a lot more sense. Actually having threats during the puzzle segments would have been better. It's too bad that the complications of two companies working together led to this stuff missing. It really sucks that TCR took such a beating from gamers for stuff that wasn't only their fault.

For myself, I found the story and world more interesting in Machine. The puzzles and scares were better in Descent.

The article for Machine for Pigs was interesting. I enjoyed hearing the logic and shortcomings of why the game ended up the way it did.

I enjoyed Machine for Pigs more than Dark Descent, primarily because I felt the story was much better, but also because the sanity effect didn't add to my enjoyment of the game though I get why they had it in the first game.

 

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