Despite its pessimistic outlook, Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" is one of my favorite books. (It's also a quick read and you can find it free online, so give it a try: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/526 .)
Nifty trivia fact from the Internet (http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/ aliensyoudidntknowx23x10x03):
The ship at the centre of the story was originally named the Snark, after the legendary creature being sought in Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark. Its next name was Leviathan - a reference to its enormous size - before Scott eventually settled on Nostromo, the title of a novel by Joseph Conrad, a quotation from whom opens the screenplay: "We live as we dream - alone."
That quote is from Heart of Darkness, and it also opens the Alien video game for the Commodore 64. The quote pretty much captures the spirit of the book, so don't read it during bouts of depression.
Over the years, I've thought about making a Heart of Darkness game in BYOND, because if you know me at all, you know I could hardly resist the idea of taking a brooding meditation on civilization and morality and turning it into a light-hearted online multiplayer game. (I actually have at least two projects created for this very purpose, both of which I haven't touched in years.)
I say all that to say this: Far Cry 2, which takes much of its inspiration from Heart of Darkness, is excellent. It requires patience -- there's lots of walking, driving, and boating all over the map, and unless you're playing on Easy like me, probably lots of failing as well. But the game's world is beautiful and convincing, and best of all, it's saved me about $400, since I now have no need to buy a PS3 to play Afrika.
Warning: keep multiple save files. I recommend at least five. The game isn't generally buggy, but there is at least one game-killing glitch; needless to say, I ran into it, and didn't begin to realize it was a game-killer until after I'd already overwritten all three of my clean saves. The glitch apparently arises when you save the game while you're supposed to be letting a captive out of a room five feet away. So before you save, ask yourself: am I on a mission where I have to free a captive five feet away? If the answer is yes, do that first.
P.S. I almost forgot -- this was meant to be a political post. So here you go: UFLL = COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP! APR IS FOR THE PEOPLE!
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