14. Playing a structured, linear ‘level’ in an open-world game
The problem with open world games is that all too often the immense freedom and emergent, gameplay they impart comes at the price of level design. The scope might be immense, but by nature of open-world gaming’s freeform structure the kind of detailed, paced level design found in linear games is rare. But there’s a cool subversion of that trope early in Far Cry 3.
Tasked with finding some rare cave mushrooms to cure an unconscious friend, we found ourselves exploring a large, winding, multi-leveled subterranean complex. After swimming, crawling and climbing our way to the top, we thought we were nearing our goal, when we suddenly realised that we’d been infected with some ‘other’ mushrooms along the way. The mystic fungus kicked in and everything went a bit Arkham Asylum by way of a rather brilliantly directed trip sequence. No spoilers, but the whole ‘level’ was a damnably well-paced diversion, and made us rather hopeful for some more standout structured shenanigans in amongst Far Cry 3’s wilderness wandering.