YouTuber Crowbcat published a 20 minute video comparing Ubisoft’s recently released Far Cry 5 for PS4 and Xbox One, to the decade old Far Cry 2 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The video is gaining widespread attention within core gaming communities, with many people noting how much Far Cry 5 is downgraded compared to Far Cry 2.
The very first comparison focuses on the bullet penetration, showcasing Far Cry 5 having no bullet penetration whatsoever. Even though the enemies are highlighted on-screen, the machine gun fire does not pierce through wood nor aluminum.
In Far Cry 2 things are far different, with the bullet penetration for higher caliber rounds piercing through wood, posts, and aluminum structures. You can see it for yourself in action with the video below.
Next up he compares firing rockets into the air in Far Cry 5 – the rockets go on forever into the sky. In Far Cry 2 the rocket runs out of fuel and eventually falls back down to Earth.
The next comparison focuses on Far Cry 2’s procedural fire mechanics, where the shifts in the wind forces the fire to spread. This was talked about rather frequently back during the development of Far Cry 2, where the Dunia Engine was fine-tuned to propagate procedural fire. In an interview with GamaSutra, gameplay programmer Jean-Francois Lévesque explained…
“As for the technical aspects of the implementation, I read quite a few PhD research papers. These guys came up with formulas to very realistically simulate fire — the way hot gases behave and how the fire propagates on complex, curved shapes.
“Unfortunately, those solutions can rarely run in real-time — and when they do, they are too slow for an FPS. I used my research as a base, and cut corners to simplify the math and physics. After all, the goal was not a fire simulation game, but a game with fire propagation in it.”
What the procedural fire lacks in visual panache, it makes up for with mechanical pizzazz. It’s still one of the most highly talked about features from Far Cry 2… a decade later.
Next up, the video compares the AI interactions. We see that in Far Cry 5 you shoot a guy once and he has a little animation where he begins to die. Sometimes a guy will go over and heal him, other times they just lay on the ground and die. A timer hovers overhead so you always see how long the enemy has until they bite the bullet.
We then see in Far Cry 2 how enemies can get wounded and will crawl on the ground and stay there until another teammate heals them. In one sequence a guy tries to help his buddy to safety but is killed by the player.
The next comparison showcases how weapons interact with the environment. We see that in Far Cry 2 you can shoot the branches off of trees, and literally deconstruct the environment around you.
In Far Cry 5 there are no environmental physics, so there’s no deconstruction of the trees or foliage. In Far Cry 2 the trees and shrubs within the environment shake, rock, and even fall over when met with enough force, whether it be from a vehicle, dynamite, or an M-79 grenade launcher.
Far Cry 5 gives gamers a far more stilted and unmoving playground to move around in.
We also see that when enemies are sniped out of the driver seat of a vehicle in Far Cry 5, the vehicle keeps rolling, smashing into a nearby object. In Far Cry 2 when you snipe an enemy out of the driver seat, the passenger or the turret-operator quickly slips into the driver seat to take the place of his dead comrade, and keep driving, eventually attempting to run the player over but bringing it to a halt in order to get out and engage in a firefight if they fail a hit-and-run attack.
It’s probably the only time you’ll find a higher average IQ in Africa than in America.
We also see that running over animals in Far Cry 2 damages your vehicle, where-as in Far Cry 5 nothing happens.
Additionally, running vehicles into objects in Far Cry 2 causes both vehicular and environmental damage. Concrete blockades chip away and deconstruct from force. In Far Cry 5 the concrete barriers don’t budge an inch and the vehicle just comes to an abrupt halt.
Far Cry 2 also features postmortem ragdoll effects, with the rigid body flag disabled so players can continue to move and push the bodies around shortly after they die, either with weapons or with explosives. In Far Cry 5 we see that piles of bodies simply disappear when you attempt to blow them up or move them.
We also see that in Far Cry 2 wind physics play a big part in the environment. Leaves flutter and move in the direction the wind is blowing, along with any nearby debris. This is completely absent in Far Cry 5. Some of you might be wondering how they managed to achieve this feat in 2008 but not in 2018.
Well, according to Ubisoft creative director Clint Hocking in the March 2009 issue of Game Developer Magazine, he explained that art director Alex Amancio wanted a pipeline that would allow them a lot of multi-layered shaders and dynamic procedural destruction on a light pipeline. This was achieved by creating a lot of small, reusable assets and expanding their permutations throughout the pipeline in different dynamically generated entities, thus creating the illusion of expanse in the art and gameplay loops…
“Broadly, [Alex] Amancio envisioned a technically complex art pipeline based on repetition and combination of memory-light compound assets. These assets would be made to appear more complex using run-time processes such as multi-layered shader systems, kit-system assemblers, dynamic weather systems and destructibility. Without the processes we would have required more numerous, heavier assets in order to avoid obvious repetition. Conversely, without light compound assets that reused all these components in dozens or even thousands of permutations, no amount of dynamic process would create the illusion of variety.”
The video also showcases how driving a vehicle through tall grass in Far Cry 2 leaves foliage impressions, giving the illusion that the vehicle matted down the grass. In Far Cry 5 this feature is not present.
Bullet decal effects are also present in Far Cry 2 but are completely absent in Far Cry 5, along with dynamic god rays.
In a way, Far Cry 2 might be a really worthwhile game if all the old models, textures, weapons, sounds, and animations were improved.
Another big difference is that the ammo crates in Far Cry 2 were explosive, and if you shot them they would ignite in a dangerous display of fireworks. In Far Cry 5 the ammo crates are indestructible.
Also, one of my own pet peeves is magical item grabbing, which is what’s present in Far Cry 5. In Far Cry 2, the character actually reaches down to pick items up and you see the player-model animation as he reaches for the weapons.
During idle stances, the Far Cry 2 player-character also checks his weapons and fiddles with them, while the Far Cry 5 guy doesn’t.
There’s also a pretty huge difference between the two games when it comes to healing wounds and bandaging oneself up. In Far Cry 5 there’s just a generic bandage-wrapping animation that plays, regardless of the wound you suffer.
In Far Cry 2 there are wound-specific animations, which is something that is completely absent from Far Cry 5.
Essentially, Far Cry 2 was function over art form.
They also showcase the weapon degradation system, which was very much complained about when Far Cry 2 first came out. What the video doesn’t show is that weapons would literally tear up and fall apart on you on minutes into a shootout, which definitely made for annoying gameplay.
The video also compares how you heal teammates. In Far Cry 5 there’s just a quick animation where you pull a teammate up from the ground and they’re back up to their feet. In Far Cry 2 you have to administer some healing supplies to a teammate, which may or may not be enough to get them back up and on their feet.
The video ends when the player-character fails to provide enough healing supplies to get a teammate back up on their feet in Far Cry 2, so they end up using the gun to put them out of their misery. I’m sure many gamers wish that it were the big AAA publishers that were being put out of their misery, given how badly the gaming industry has been downgraded, pilfered, robbed, and raped of its creativity over the last decade.