"These guys don't even know why they're fighting anymore, if they ever even had a reason."
I'm not sure you knew either, Paul. Maybe it was just for the money and drugs, maybe it was quiet guilt after deserting the IDF or maybe it was just because you didn't know how to do anything else. It doesn't matter now. I called it- you're gone, I'm not. You got paranoid and sloppy. Seeing Mossad agents everywhere (as if you, a backpacker gone mercenary, were their most pressing concern), you took too many risks. Going in with the prince, and rattling the APR, you brought the whole hive down upon you. Upon us. I did what I could, but with the pistol and rifle both jammed and the RPG launcher literally broken in my hands, the Jackal's old machete couldn't keep us both alive. I turned and you were already gone.
The permanent death Far Cry 2 engagement continues. Ben's second post is here and Michel's is here (and my part one is here if you missed it). Unlike the other two, I didn't opt for the buddy expansion to the first mission, since I remember the shantytown being a deathtrap my first time through. The "special forces" and their supplies in the desert were dispatched easily. After that, I ran a number of missions for the local arms dealer, looking to kit out my weapons as quickly as possible.
The tension I identified in the first sessions has largely dissipated. As both Ben and Michel have noted, Normal difficult really isn't that hard. Even with lots of rusty, fragile guns and malaria flaring up, I've only required one buddy rescue. And that was due to my failing to make this jump, looking for a diamond briefcase. I guess Paul told Josip to go looking for me at the fort, where he found me, blacked out after banging my head on a rock.
Despite this, and after losing Paul at the hidden gold ambush, it's still not as tense as that first hour was. I'm currently without a main buddy and Josip isn't rescue-ready yet (not sure if I need a new main buddy before that will reset or not). I've got another arms caravan to ambush and we'll see if running that without a net will prove more alarming.
But unless things get demonstrably harder very soon, I think I'm also upping the difficulty as soon as I get a new buddy (I may be a little crazy, but not that crazy).
Still, playing the game this way gives the game a feeling distinct from the first time I played it. Maybe I'm more aware of the overall aesthetics and themes, but the game feels more dire, more grim than last time. I'm looking forward to seeing where else this goes and, ultimately, where it ends. Hopefully it will be with a bang, and not with a whimper. With a literal bang would be even better.
(conclusion in part three)