Open Country - Gary

Open Country is a hunting-slash-survival game by FUN Labs, who’s been working on the Cabela games for a good long while now. This studio certainly has the chops to make a game where hunting is a major activity, and Open Country is that sort of game. My fellow Half-Glass Gaming cofounder Julian seemed enamored by it, so I figured I’d give it a go myself.

My character — whose canon name is Male Character — is attempting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, not unlike the playable protagonist in Stardew Valley. So he packs up his RV and hits the open road, eventually ending up at the secluded Snowridge Lodge, which is run by a guy named Gary.

The game wants me to believe that Male Character and Gary are becoming pals of some sort, but I don’t know; something about this Gary fellow seems off to me. His forced, awkward banter and plastic facial movements put me on edge. I spend as little time in the lodge as possible so I don’t have to witness this guy’s failed attempts at small talk — or his failed attempts at doing anything remotely human-like.

After completing the first story quest, which has me set up a small camp and deliver a package to a ranger, I return to the lodge to see what chores Gary wants to dole out next. Apparently, he wants Male Character to hunt some rabbits. Gary casually slides a rifle across the bar, and the second Male Character picks it up, I have this irresistible urge to test it out — right in Gary’s stupid face.

Open Country

Unfortunately, Open Country saw this coming a mile away. The game doesn’t give you access to your inventory — including your rifle — while in the lodge. FUN Labs, it would seem, is very much on Team Gary.

And it’s really a shame. While yes, this is supposed to be a chill Male-(or-Female)-Character-vs.-the-wild sort of game, I was hoping I could take it in a darker direction — a less Gary-focused direction, if you will.

I’ll keep pressing on, I suppose, but the fact that I’m not allowed to straight-up murder Gary is taking some of the wind out of my sails. Every time I find myself back in the lodge, I can’t help but press up on the D-pad to see if, by some miracle or glitch, the game suddenly lets me whip out my hinting rifle. So far it hasn’t.

So long as Male Character is staying anywhere near the lodge, Gary should probably be sleeping with one eye open. The second the game gives me the opportunity, I’m going to reduce the world’s Gary population by one. I’m just biding my time, Gary. Just biding my time…

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