Game Name: Far Cry 2
Release Date: Available Now: Dec 31, 1970
FarCry 2 [PC/PS3/XBOX360]
“You better bring your wrench...”
Ubisoft who brought you FarCry have returned to us with the second instalment FarCry 2. Far Cry which was famed for being the next generation of action shooter not just for graphics but for unique game play too was unique and first of many games with similar styles. FarCry 2 lives up to this and surpasses it in many ways, but fails to deliver in others.
This instalment of the FarCry series, if you can call it that has no relation to the original. Not a mention of Jack Carver and not even a scrap of mutagen. However FarCry 2 has set itself its own story and setting. This instalment is set in Africa in an unknown country where it just so happens that the local factions called the UFLL and the APR are in an all out fight for power. Unlike most games of this type and unlike FarCry where you had a main central character in which you play, here you get to choose from a multitude of characters. Starting the game with a simple tutorial which when played and then completed you will be introduced to the basics. The usual introductions into the game with controls and HUD give you a brief look at what you can and can’t do as you progress. Your mission is to find a person named The Jackal, this person is described as the main factor in supplying arms to both the APR and UFLL factions. You must ultimately kill him or die trying, and along the way there are lots of things to keep you busy. The main way to get anywhere and your reward for all this violence is diamonds; these can be found in certain locations and are the main payment for any missions which you do for either the APR or the UFLL. The game on this basis does seem a bit repetitive, it either seems like you are going over there and killing this person, then going over here to destroy this. Then once you have done that, do it all over again in a different way and setting. This may be a harsh observation but I think that the missions or the style of game play could differ more, rather than being passed around initially between these two factions.
During the course of the game you will bump into some friendly or helpful characters, of which are the characters which you didn’t choose to play. These can help you out with mission hints, help advice or just be there as support when close to death. If you get shot as you have enough medication you will inject yourself with a quick burst and away you go again. You will inevitably get hurt so much that if you try and heal you actually pull out the bullets from your arms and leg, it’s quite gruesome if you’re not expecting it. The only problem or annoyance is that it takes some time for you to do this, and if you are in a hairy predicament it can be dangerous and might get yourself killed, so heal wisely.
How it looks
Like with its predecessor FarCry, FarCry 2 looks like the real world equivalent to savannah plains, Rocky Mountains and lush jungle. Rich scenery, realistic lighting, unsurpassed textures and visuals make this a must see even if the game play is not to your taste. Like with games like Crysis and the original FarCry you won’t get the best out of this game unless you have a pretty decent graphics card which can pump out those stunning graphics. But FarCry 2 has good graphics that don’t strain your hardware too much, meaning you can push them just a bit further than on the likes of Crysis which at any sight of decent graphics causes your pc to melt into the ground. I found that strait out of the box I didn’t have to push or change the graphics at all, not only to make them work correctly but to get stunning graphics. The environment in which you play is rich in foliage, dirt, rocks, huts, vehicles and all sorts of objects which give you a sense of immersion. With that the added sounds and general background noise of whatever environment you happen to stumble upon makes the way it looks and performs quite spectacular. Water reflects as it should and with the destructible environment it’s quite entertaining too.
How it works
Game play wise it is similar to that of Crysis, a wide open no-wall world in which you play and cause havoc where you go. Using vehicles, weapons or just your fists to fight and win. You have access to a wide range of vehicles and weapons from dirty, broken down trucks and cars to new shiny jeeps. Even though you do have missions to complete as you go you can always divert and explore to see what you can find. Weapons act and respond realistically, where if you spend some time and money on a new shiny weapon, die and lose it, you can pick up some of the many ‘free’ used weapons which are rusty and prone to jam. This is especially of a bother when in a hairy situation. Having to un-jam the weapon can take its time, meanwhile you are being shot at and losing health. But when you think you are close to death there is usually a ‘buddy’ there to help you out of a pickle. Picking missions is simple, well, ok simple but you sometimes have no option to select a mission or go with one.
The AI in this game is mediocre in my opinion and they could have done alot better. But don’t get me wrong it isn’t bad, just lacks umph, especially when it comes to clever AI. For example you are driving down a road, pass a checkpoint with x amount of soldiers/rebels there, in a hurry you pass and try not to (or if you want to) knock them down. Passing through relatively unharmed you are then almost guaranteed to be followed by one of their jeeps, trucks or cars, armed with sub machine guns and men. They try and knock and shoot you off the road and almost always succeed. Then once your vehicle has been knocked off the road and smoke is pouring out of it, you are then forced into a shootout.
How it plays
Surprisingly even because of the high graphical detail, plentiful AI and scenery. When in a fight, winning is not just down to how well you can aim, it’s down to how well you can run sometimes. Fighting, taking cover is something you will be doing most of the time. Be sure though not to aim in the wrong place, cars, trucks and barrels become instant explosives which may be put to good use on enemies but can prove deadly if you are too close. When travelling in your car or boat you will no doubts get shot at when near some unfriendly characters. Thus causing your vehicle to either grind to a halt or slow down. When you are in a safe location or if you really need to get out of the action go to the hood (bonnet for UK folks) and take out your handy wrench. A few turns later you’re ready to go on your journey, but be careful though if you see fire, run! Weapons in this game are also prone to go wrong, not in the sense that they don’t work but they are prone to jam, especially when it’s a dirty rusty one. What do you expect this is war torn Africa, not everything is new or works perfectly every time.
Like with Crysis the physics engine is spectacular, allowing for breakable objects and environments. There is literally nothing that won’t either set on fire or fall apart, but again be careful there may be something you are on or in that will do the same. Fire in any game is something you usually have to stay away from, the same applies here but you can use this to your advantage. See most of the game is either covered in savannah grass or thick lush jungle. You can set fire to these surroundings by tossing in a Molotov or using a flamethrower. Use this hazardous barrier to ward off, set fire to and kill enemies. Also use it as a layer of protection, say you are short of health, ammo or both, sometimes the best strategy is to let it all go up!
Controls and ease of use
Like with any first person shooter the controls are easy to use and once you have gone through the tutorial there should really be no need to look up the controls. Whether on foot or in a vehicle on land or water the controls pretty much stay the same throughout. There are 2 main ways of controlling your character and any vehicle, there is the standard keyboard and mouse setup, the mouse which is used to look and shoot, and the keyboard which controls all your movement and actions.
Multiplayer mode is fast and deadly, like with the single player mode you have all the
Weapons at your disposal and you can use them in the same ways. There are four different game modes in multiplayer, you have Death match which is your usual free for all kill or be killed style game play. Then there is team death match which works in the same way except your team must kill or be killed. Capture the Diamond which as some of you may know as capture the flag on other games. In this mode of game play each team has a canister of diamonds at their base, and the objective is to get the enemies diamonds back to yours, this is a simple game play style and works very well. Then the fourth and final/current game play style is Uprising, in which each team has to control all of the control points in order to win. Overall multiplayer is fun, exciting and well worth a look, if not to get addicted to.
One of the little gems that you get with the game is the Map editor, in which you get the chance to get your hands dirty and make some multiplayer maps of your own. The interface is simple enough, not as complicated as the likes of the hammer editor for steam, but is not too basic. You can change the map’s default look, so if you want to create a savannah, jungle or grass you select the texture and paint, same goes for water. Height and rocks are easily added and with this tool you.
• Graphically the game pretty much out surpasses any release at the moment.
• The open environments and the almost limitless things to do in-between missions.
• The story and general concept, sorry but it lacks a background and depth.
Overall the game is very good with physics and general game play features such as the ability to destroy your environment and objects. This is something which I see becoming a more popular option for most games right now. Also the look and the style of this game whilst being unique is done very well and I applaud Ubisoft for their creativity and for making a game which draws you in. The ease of use when it comes to vehicles, and weapons is another favourable point in this games impressive arsenal.
Discuss this review and the game on our Far Cry 2 discussion Thread;