Perhaps it's the post-Holiday Season blues, or maybe it's the dull, numbing-thud of back ache that has plagued me since I decided to show off my manly strength with boxes, but I'm feeling more belligerent than ever today.
Working dutifully through my pile of video games that Santa brought like a crack-addict, I have finally gotten around to Far Cry 3. And while for the most part this is an enjoyable tropical romp complete with both murder and shark mutilation, I do find myself screaming at the television at odd intervals.
It's not the cluttered mini-map that is getting to me; neither is it the restricted inventory in the beginning steps of the game - no - it's the god awful narrative that is chasing my patience through a dark alley and threatening to do it a mischief right under the fire escape.
For those that haven't played Far Cry 3, you essentially play Patrick Bateman. Yes, you read that correctly. Our plucky protagonist whimpers his way into the game, crying, spluttering, and whining. He's a real catch.
But it's all a charade see. None of our heroes actions are grounded in reality. Like a psychopath, the emotional outpourings are a reaction to the environment, not anchored emotionally. And as a trained psychopath spotter, I will tell you how I know this.
The masquerade starts simply enough, our hero is reluctant, he is captured, he leaves the escaping stuff to his elder brother - the man's man of the game who is unfortunately gunned down by 2012's most arbitrary villain.
After whimpering lightly over his brothers corpse, our hero rushes into the jungle, whimpering lightly still, mouthing the odd "I can't believe this shizzle" and ultimately flees his holders by plunging into a body of water.
Fast forward a few hours, and he awakes to find a young Nelson Mandela tattooing his arm - add in a tiger and Mike Tyson and this could be a hilarious set-up for Tell Tale's "Hangover: The Game".
But, sadly, it isn't. Mandela fills in our hero on the happenings of this "ker-azy" island, forces him to buy a pistol, and sets him on his merry way. All the time, our protagonist is muttering "I can't do this" and other such wet blanket sentiments.
Except, as soon as we are thrust into the tropical locales of Far Cry 3, it's time to go hog wild, literally with hogs. Taking possession of the whiny rich kid, you shoot little boars in their tiny, innocent eyes. You jab knives into their squishy stomachs, play with their entrails, and fashion little trinkets out of them.
And where are the whines then? The little yelps of fear? Nowhere to be seen. Our hero takes to this situation like a duck to water. He's a step away from bathing in their blood and proclaiming he is the second coming of Christ. And he is angry.
Quite literally, Far Cry 3 puts you in charge of a psychopath - a man that pretends to feel ordinary emotions, but when out of earshot, is an unstoppable killing machine hell bent on murder and making pretty little ammo pouches.
Which brings me on to my point: why, in 2013, +1 year after the apocalypse, are FPS games so lacking in coherent and interesting characters? Why do developers feel that narrative is secondary to everything else? That if the blood splatter is pretty, and the headshot achievements intact, that we will skirt over a particularly disjointed and uninspired plot?
The jarring moments between my character sobbing about his dead brother, wiping his nose and heading to deal numb, cold justice is monstrous. I feel like GTA Vice City's "Exploder" one step away from proclaiming "I'll cry when I'm done killing!"
The point? Developers, publishers, countrymen lend me your ears: hire competent script writers.