Genre: First Person Shooter Developer: Publisher: Ubisoft Classification: MA15+ Release Date: 23rd Oct 2008 Platforms:XBOX360
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The Good bits
Massive map with loads to do.
Great, branching storyline.
The map editor is great.
Looks and sounds fantastic.
The Bad stuff
Some might find the giant map overwhelming.
Multiplayer isn't great... yet.
Maybe everyone already knew this, but it only became apparent to me with Far Cry 2. If a game starts out with a long-winded mostly pointless vehicle ride the game is an instant classic. Think about it. Half Life. Half Life 2. Call of Duty 4 (not pointless, but long-winded). All classics. And now, Far Cry 2.
Bold words, but the fact remains - Far Cry 2 is a definite masterpiece. It's not perfect, but the game combines an open world, great graphics and a pretty fantastic story to create a game which is both engaging and consistently playable.
Your character (chosen at the beginning) is tasked with killing the Jackal, an illegal arms trader who has been creating chaos in this land of diamonds, warlords and jungles. Fortunately for The Jackal you come down with a poorly timed case of malaria and things go belly up from there. After a series of tutorial missions you're then left to your own devices - you still need to kill The Jackal, but you have to find him first.
Malaria has recurring symptoms if not properly treated - so you constantly need to suppress the effects of the disease with tablets. The tablets run out - forcing you to quit stalking Zebra for long enough to go and get some more. Beyond this though you're free to go about missions however you like - you can take a range of jobs which result in new items becoming available at your safe houses, new weapons unlocking for purchase and of course - earning the currency needed to purchase those weapons.
Missions aren't necessarily straight forward affairs either with the mates system in effect. The game provides you with a variety of people who will support you when you fall in battle - more importantly though, they give you alternatives. Many of the missions in the game have alternative side objectives provided by your friends. Sometimes these result in a small bonus in your pocket or an extra item at a safe house, but sometimes they can really affect the world around you.
At the same time, if your friends die in combat - they're gone forever and any opportunities they would have provided are gone as well. It becomes a matter of risk and reward - I initiated a mission early on in the game with the side mission in effect, but I got to my buddy a little late (I was waylaid by some guys in a gun truck) and he died. Gone forever. Had I simply done the main mission he'd still be with us.
There's no time to mourn for your dead friends in Far Cry 2 - the game keeps moving. In fact, you're always moving - with 50 sqkm nothing is close by. Probably the worst thing in the game is the amount of driving you'll do - and the fact that if you find yourself without a car you might rapidly contemplate simply reloading from your last save. There's a quick travel option (find the bus stops in the game) but they're not exactly well placed - they occupy some fairly strange areas of the map.
Travelling will eventually become a little tedious for some, but at the very least it's never confusing. The map system - where you can pull out your map at any time to zero in on your location in game - is definitely top draw. Coupled with the dynamic street signs and the ability to whip out the map while driving (not recommended in real life) it's a realistic and functional method for getting players where they're going.
Everything in Far Cry 2 focuses on realism. Guns and cars deteriorate, day turns to night realistically (and it looks fantastic doing it) and the animations when you're healing your critically injured body are down right amazing. Some people might not like the break in gameplay that fixing your car or swapping your broken weapon might result in, but it's part of the entire game's atmosphere.
The multiplayer in the game isn't fantastic - not yet. The pre-made maps are geared towards normal deathmatch type games, but Far Cry 2 is much slower than your Quakes and Call of Dutys - you move at barely a walk - which means it typically relies heavily on grenade spamming and sniping. When better suited maps are created using the unbelievably awesome Map Editor - included on all three versions of the game - the game will probably pick up online.
Far Cry 2 is what you might call a risky move. In a culture of playing it safe with first person shooters, Ubisoft Montreal has created a title where you have to essentially make your own fun. It gives you all the tools you need, but at the end of the day you'll only get out of Far Cry 2 what you want. If you go in and treat it like some generic shooter in a giant map, that's what you're going to get. If you fly in on a hang glider under the cover of night and play the game like it's actually you in the wartorn African country, your experience will be entirely different. We strongly recommend the hang glider option, and we strongly recommend you pick up Far Cry 2.
If your ultimate dream is to run riot throughout Africa, wreaking havok this way and that, then Far Cry 2 is the game for you.
The game starts with you being driven through the country to the nearest hotel, when you are suddenly attacked by a man known only as the Jackal. After he captures you, you come down with a serious case of malaria and he leaves you alone to die.
Fortunately, you survive and are forced to venture out into the open. After you complete a few basic missions, you are free to go about the game as you wish, but your main goal still is to kill the Jackal.
Missions can grant you many types of rewards such as new safehouses, new weapons, new buddies and of course, diamonds, the currency used to buy anything in the game.
If you are killed during a mission, you nay be revived by one of your buddies, who will fight by your side to help you get out of some sticky situatons. You will want to protect them though, because once they are dead, they are gone forever.
One of the singleplayer mode's major downfalls is the amount of time you will spend travelling between missions and areas. It's bad enough if you have a vehicle, but if you are on foot, you better be VERY patient.
The multiplayer in the game varies from good to poor. Some of the maps in the game are too suited to camping, so the match just becomes a game of cat and mouse. Although some maps are a blast to play. Most people will enjoy Player Matches much more because you can play custom maps.
Overall, Far Cry 2 is a very enjoyable game and is a great game for all shooting fans.
Far Cry 2 is simply amazing, there is no other way to describe it, and I'll tell you why.
What truly makes this game great is the Dunia engine, which was built specifically for Far Cry 2. The engine allows the game to go through day-night cycles (which is pretty rare in games these days), non-scripted AI, the way the light shines through the trees from sunsets, how the environments react with everything, the animals wandering around their habitat and other amazing features.
In Single Player you are sent to war-torn Africa to hunt down and kill "The Jackal", a mysterious arms dealer selling weapons and equipment to both sides of an ongoing civil war.
The two main factions in this war is the United Front for Liberation and Labour (UFLL) and the Alliance for Popular Resistance (APR) which have plenty of mercenaries and local people at their disposal. Neither side are good guys nor bad guys, so don't think you'll be safe near any faction.
Before you do start playing the game you are given the choice of what mercenary you'll be and there is quite a list to choose from, and each have their own individual history and background.
When you start playing the game you first have to do a few missions for the UFLL as a tutorial which include you rescuing an important ally and taking out an enemy outpost.
It also shows you how to repair a vehicle and use your map, which you don't have to pause the game to use.
After you have done these simple tutorials, you get to finally start to do all the main and side missions; which is what makes Far Cry 2 even the better.
These missions include the Main Objectives, Buddy Objectives and the Underground Objectives. The Main Objectives are the ones that are offered by the leaders of the UFLL and the APR, the Buddy Objectives are the ones that are offered by your buddies (which you can find them throughout the game) and the Underground Objectives are ones that are offered by civilians. Doing the Underground Objectives are vital because they allow you to get malaria pills for a reward, as your character suffers from malaria ever since the start of the game.
Throughout the game you get to choose which missions you want to do anytime during the day and you can get them anywhere.
Once you have done a mission you'll be rewarded diamonds which can also be found throughout the entire game for use with buying new guns to buying accuracy manuals for your guns.
Aside from all the missions, lets get into the gameplay.
You get to carry three weapons at any given time and are also allowed to use your trusty machete. The categories for your guns are the Primary, Secondary and Special categories; The Primary category includes guns such as rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and two handed assault weapons. The secondary category includes side-arms, machine-pistols and various bombs and the Special category houses heavy weapons, RPGs and flamethrowers.
When you're using your handy guns be careful of the fact that they will wear out and bust over time (happened to me a lot). But don't worry though, it's pretty easily to figure out you've got scratches and worn out marks all over your gun before it does bust so there's plenty of time for you to get a new one from either a dead corpse or the Weapons Shops found throughout the entire map.
The vehicles in the game are also really fun to use, they range from Jeeps, Jeeps with turret emplacements, trucks, hang gliders, boats, your everyday car and more. All these vehicles are really fun to use because all of them have GPS units inside them for easy navigation which is important to travel around the huge 50km2 map.
Into the multiplayer now and it is pretty standard; there's a ranking system, you can purchase new guns, there are different types of classes and you'll be able to use the Map Editor; which allows you to create your very own maps.
You can put basically anything onto your map to everything from tinny little objects to massive mountains with a nice waterfall coming down it. It can take you a good few hours just making your map into a large lushful paradise which can also hold famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids of Giza. Another good thing about the Map Editor is that you can share them with your friends and you'll be able to post your maps to Ubisoft for popularity contests between user-created maps.
The only bad thing about Far Cry I found was that the loading times can get a little bit long.
In multiplayer, the respawning times can take almost twenty seconds which gets really annoying and you feel like your brought back away from the combat.
The single player loading times aren't bad but they can get up to thirty seconds at the most.
Far Cry 2 is the best game to come out in a long while and it will leave replayability for a very long time with the many hours of campaign time and exploration to do.