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Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Ubisoft Official Site: http://farcry.us.ubi.com/
Publisher: Ubisoft
Far Cry 2

Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Ubisoft
Official Site: http://farcry.us.ubi....
Publisher: Ubisoft
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Far Cry 2 Review
Review By @ 01:17pm 23/10/08
XBOX360
So I've just driven about 12 km's and managed to avoid too much confrontation at the last two checkpoints before quietly rolling up about a kilometer away from my target. I still don't know much about it, or what to expect so I have to be quiet; take things easy and assess the situation. Thankfully there seems to be a large rock face lurking over the immediate area that should keep me out of sight while I recon the potential damage.

Scurrying up through the thick brush, I find a fairly inconspicuous spot, kneel and pull out my map and GPS. From this position I can see most of the camp, so I pull out my monocular and target the guard post at the camp's entrant, click and add it to my map. Behind the guard post there's also a med box, which should come in handy if the shit hits the fan. Click, it's been added. Panning along I also manage to see a sniper perched high and above my target area, but he hasn't seen me yet – click. Before finishing up I also notice a bench of ammo located under a makeshift shelter, and realise I'm running low myself. I click and add it to my map and retreat back to the safety of my vehicle. Time to plan my approach.

From this point on I can choose to take out the encampment in any way I see fit. I could jump in a jeep with a mounted machine gun and head in there gung-ho, no-holds barred, or I could attempt to stealth my way in, sneaking up on enemies with only my machete drawn to take them down silently. I could pay attention to the wind, stand up-wind and start a fire a little ways off so it eventually propagates down and terrorises the camp. I could go completely over-the-top and lob a bunch of grenades, set-up bombs or just fire a couple of RPGs down their direction to blow the hell out of them, or I could change my weapons up and perch myself, sniper-style, and pick them all off from afar.

Meet The Jackal


The Jackal has come into Africa, amidst a cease fire to profit through conflict. How does he do this? He’s selling weapons to all sides and inciting war among then. You’ve been hired to take him down, and you’ll actually meet him very early in the game. He knows who you are, but because of your malaria, no longer sees you as a threat, leaving you for dead. This, however, is obviously a good thing as out of his mind, it’s much easier to get close to him.
In short, the opportunities for engagement - based on my own reconnaissance - are endless (well, as endless as the game will allow, which is still very extensive). And bear in mind, the description above is based on one encampment from one mission; throughout the world of Far Cry 2 there are numerous villages and camps - all with different location types and therefore different ways of being broached (or breached, as the case may require).

In fact, there's 50sqkm of ground to cover with varying factions, encampments, rebels, towns, safe-houses etc; all waiting to be explored or exploded. But finding stuff to blow up isn't even remotely the point of Far Cry 2 (though it is one of its most enjoyable parts), and it's in the game's main goal that it truly shines because, for all its intensely robust parts and size, you truly only have one endgame goal – to find "The Jackal" and kill him. That's it.

A few awesome gameplay innovations stem from having a single goal in a massive fully functioning game-world. One is finding a single person (who clearly doesn't want to be found) in such a huge space – like the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Another is utilising said functioning game-world to edge ever closer to your goal, and in Far Cry 2 this is accomplished by making uneasy alliances with the three main factions of the game; the UFLL (United Front For Liberation), APR (Alliance for Popular Resistance) and the Underground. As The Jackal is supplying weapons to all and sundry without discrimination, it creates all kinds of mission goals for you with branching outcomes that paint a path that will (obviously) eventually lead to your target. While that sounds like Videogame Design 101, the fact he is only an endgame goal means anything can happen in the lead up to your eventual showdown.

There's already a synergy then between the first and second gameplay innovations, and so invariably each of these is equally fed by having to live in the Africa Ubisoft Montreal have created for you, and believe me, despite looking lush and beautiful as a place of nature, the denizen representation is anything but. This is war-torn, poverty-stricken Africa – a place full of guns-for-hire, separatist gangs and corrupt governments. It's also a naturally dangerous place as you'll discover within your first five-minutes in-game because you're suffering from a severe case of malaria. And it's seriously messing with you (and doesn't go away for quite some time, so get used to being crippled, also.

While weakened by your virus, The Jackal actually pays you a visit, tells you no one will ever find him and then leaves you for dead pronouncing you no longer a threat in his eyes. Good thing, because now he won't be expecting you, which means you can start the game grassroots proper, and this begins with having to escape the hotel you're lying sick in because, as is the case in most areas of Ubi's Africa, war has broken out and you're smack in the middle.

What all this means is your initial strength, conviction and goal have been stripped back. You're starting from square one and as Ubi's Africa is a big place - you're going to need some help.

This comes in the form of a buddy system that may sound borrowed from GTA 4, but these guys are far less cumbersome, and the reality is you could kill them all if you wanted to (their deaths in-game are permanent).

At the beginning of the game you're asked to choose from manifest of characters - all free agents working to gain from both sides but ultimately bring down the Jackal. Who you decide to play as will have dynamic affects on particular conversations, missions and more. It's subtle, and doesn't alter the game-world a great deal, but it's still cool to know Ubi have included enough to keep gamers interested, should minor nuances like this tickle your fancy.

The other free-agents left after you've chosen your persona are then available to you as "Buddies". These guys can pull you out of tricky spots in fire-fights, or if you're hurt enough you'll die. To get their aid, however, you will need to unlock them.

Initially one of your first missions is to free a buddy, but the others are strewn about the game-world and once found, will get you to perform some side-quest to add them to your buddy stable. Once added, they not only save you on the battlefield, but can also offer different ways to complete accepted missions and may even sometimes have a plan that benefits you even more.

Benefits in Far Cry 2 come in the form of safe-houses, weapons, vehicles and diamonds. As you're told early on, paper money isn't "worth wrapping a fish in", and so one of the personal sub collection quests you can follow is to collect every diamond in the game. There are over 200 scattered about Ubi's Africa (you can find them via your GPS as it will blink when one is nearby), while others are gained through completing missions for the game-world's denizens. You then use the currency to buy and upgrade your weapons and the like at various weapon stores and you'll even be given side-quests by shop-keepers that go a long way to helping you fully flesh out your arsenal. It's all very RPG in scope and execution, and just another deep element that'll keep you playing for a long time.

What all of this means is you're never lead down a linear path, never told there's only a single way to complete a mission and never told you're playing the wrong way - this is sandbox gaming in all its glory, and for the most part they [Ubisoft Montreal] have nailed it.

It's more than a refreshing approach to the FPS genre, and while the original Far Cry attempted something like this, Crysis's effort is barely a patch on what Ubisoft Montreal have done with Far Cry 2 (so much so, I really think it should have been called something else). However, in saying that the development team's epic ambitions have most definitely lead to more than a few design inconsistencies and omissions that should have been clearly obvious from the outset as essentials.

The control set-up (on console) is very much the same as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which is in no way a bad thing, however, the running implemented in Far Cry is not nearly as natural feeling. You can't really alter course once you've set your path meaning you have to stop, change then run again. Moreover, while I like the fact Ubi have utilised the D-Pad for weapon hot-swapping (you can also carry more weapons in FC2 than in CoD: 4), having to push up on the D-Pad to select my machete (my only melee weapon, mind you) while in close-quarters in order to dispatch enemies is pretty ridiculous. It's even more ridiculous then you don't really use R3 for anything when it could have clearly been used as a melee attach for any of the weapons you have equipped.

It's also really annoying that everything in the game respawns (barring mission-specific kills). I understand that having such a massive game-world you could potentially empty if you were so inclined wouldn't make for much replay, but I think the respawning of check-points, and various other impediments is just too quick. At the very least, randomise it so it's not an expectation.

Finally, the enemy AI is really good. But something CoD: 4 did right that hasn't really been done properly since the days of N64 GoldenEye of Perfect Dark is reactive hit-points on targets (though I know there are more, but they were among the first).

There's nothing worse than facing off against an enemy who has you in his line of sight and can still shoot you with deadly aim no matter how many times you're hitting him. Having reactive hit points would add to the game's realism and would also complement the AI cover and flanking system here which is great, but without reactions appropriate to the fight, they [AI] just seem a bit too invincible.

Those issues aside there's still so much to enjoy. If it's not the warring faction intrigue that gradually draws you in or just being able to burn massive portions of the environment, the obvious online support to follow alongside the already impressive list of features will more than keep you spinning the disk.

An obligatory online multiplayer mode is well supported, but having a map-editor across all platforms is just the absolute icing on the cake, and the depth available to even console players is something I guarantee will keep creatively ardent people happy for a while (there are even map editing Achievements to unlock).

Beyond all that, the impressive technology at-hand is a marvel unto itself. With an engine built from scratch (initially for PC) that not only lets you play in a 50sqkm game-world, but also only loads once despite an unbelievable amount of detail and actions all working at once and streams almost seamlessly (I saw the most minor of hiccups in frame-rate here and there), you're going to find yourself marveling regardless.

There is definitely room for improvement in a number of key gameplay areas, but the sum of its parts far outweigh a few gripes that can most definitely be overlooked. At the end of the day, this is a sure winner for shooter fans. Though it does spark the beginning of the end of the year when everything of incredible quality claws its way into your wallet or purse, it does have the advantage of being among the first, and given I was clearly over 15 hours into the game when writing this review with a percentage completion rate of just under 20, you can bet you're going to get some serious value for money (and that's not counting the online and map-editing stuff).



What we liked
  • Massive open world that streams with barely a hiccup
  • Stunning visuals: Trees sway, shrubs burn and grass crushes beneath your feet
  • Controls on console are very intuitive
  • Robust map-editor and online community options
  • It looks and feels like Africa
  • Longevity to the nines - you'll play for 50+ hours
What we didn't like
  • You have malaria!
  • No real reactive enemy hit points
  • Enemies and certain locations respawn too quickly
  • Where's the melee??!!
More
We gave it:
9.0
OUT OF 10
Latest Comments
ravn0s
Posted 09:53pm 23/10/08
might want to link directly to the review
Steve Farrelly
Posted 09:55pm 23/10/08
heh, good point - PC died right while posting, so I forgot... fixed now :)
reso
Posted 09:59pm 23/10/08
Beyond all that, the impressive technology at-hand is a marvel unto itself. With an engine built from scratch (initially for PC) that not only lets you play in a 50sqkm game-world


I just loaded it up on PC and it seems really really heavy with the accel on the mouse, and I can't find anywhere to turn it off either. It feels kinda similar to how console thumbsticks are setup, but on a mouse, obviously.

Anyone experiencing the same thing, or have any tips on how to remove it?

last edited by reso at 20:59:46 23/Oct/08
Bah
Posted 09:58pm 23/10/08
Enemies seem to react to hits for me, granted they recover quickly and start shooting back, the way cod did it annoyed me as the enemy would fall over making you think they are dead, only to get up as soon as you turn your attentions elsewhere.
I find it more annoying that the enemy can spot you through the undergrowth and shoot at you when you cant see them, although i've only played for about an hour, so my feelings may change.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:02pm 23/10/08
I noticed that you simply can't trounce through the underbrush, I have managed to truly sneak up on enemies and get right behind them to take them out with the machete, but yeah, AI seems *slightly* off IMO, but still cool
StreX
Posted 02:25am 24/10/08
just finished a marathon sesh with it then.. love it. thought i would need to upgrade my pc to play it, but its supersmooth on a 8800GTS with everything cranked at 1680x1050. looks s*** hot.

i get the same thing reso.. feels like a mouse lag or something.. takes me a bit longer to line up my shots and difficult to do snap 180 headshotz. getting used to it though.

also agree with your point steve that checkpoint enemies respawn too quick. i'm rolling through the jungle in my jeep and have to pull over to clear out a checkpoint again like i did only minutes ago. i do like how the AI is super aggressive though.. shocked me at first how relentless they are, but they can take a lot of lead considering theyre just wearing a fkn singlet.

gfx are very slick.. love the afternoon sun streaming through the foggy jungle. and the explosions are the best ive seen in a game too.

seems heavily based on that lord of war movie. would be better if the jackal looked like nick cage so you could shotgun that sad-puppy look off his face.

in conclusion, i never want to travel to africa irl.
trog
Posted 02:30am 24/10/08
seems heavily based on that lord of war movie. would be better if the jackal looked like nick cage so you could shotgun that sad-puppy look off his face.
hhhhhhhahahahha ha ah haah. I laughed IRL.
Nathan
Posted 10:51am 24/10/08
So should I be looking to get this or Dead Space?
Khel
Posted 10:55am 24/10/08
Get both :)
ctd
Posted 11:25am 24/10/08
I just got both. I will tell you which one is less crap.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 11:27am 24/10/08
And Fallout 3.
SmOOvDoGG
Posted 12:38pm 24/10/08
Cant wait for the Mod Community to get a hold of this. Maybe a realism mod
boba
Posted 12:46pm 24/10/08
I edited the GamerProfile.xml under my games and set UseMouseSmooth="0" Smoothness="0" Smoothness_Ironsight="0" and I don't notice the mouse lag in game, only on the menus
Steve Farrelly
Posted 12:54pm 24/10/08
ZOMG - Dead Space... so good. Review coming soon
rufio
Posted 07:10pm 24/10/08
Bought this game and am dissapointed atm. Using and ATi 4870, even with the 8.10 hotfix im getting stuttering and CTD's. Haven't even got past the first firefight. will have to wait for patches. QQ
Bah
Posted 07:27pm 24/10/08
The only weird mouse behaviour i am experiencing is with the monocle and menus, guns seem fine.

A few hours in and i can see the driving everywhere could get old quickly, did two missions for the weapons guy, both times he sends me to the other side of the map.
reso
Posted 07:29pm 24/10/08
Ride the bus! Better way to travel usually.

If you can get where you're going by boat it's often a better way than driving too, less checkpoints.
Bah
Posted 07:57pm 24/10/08
I looked at the bus locations, but it seemed as much f*** around to drive to the bus stop, then drive to destination... i guess far cry 2 is just like real life.

Yeah the checkpoints seem to be a bit annoying, cant just drive straight through as they instantly catch up to you, even if both guys werent in a car and the engine was off, unless you slam straight through and get straight in the turret while moving and mow them down before they start firing.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 08:33pm 24/10/08
Yer I'm not happy with the Checkpoints. I wouldn't mind if you could just drive right on through and not get the Insta-catch up they seem to do.

O and I'm really not liking the Super Soldiers. You shoot these singlet wearing dudes with several bullets and they still keep going, kinda kills the 'realism' the game seems to be aiming for.
StreX
Posted 02:14am 25/10/08
use the bus station in the central town nubs. it can take you directly to any of the four corners of the map, then back to the center. though i dont like to take it often cos i lose my orientation and it feels disjointed.. but i'm starting to know the area pretty well and dont even need a map for the most part.

the bus ride also takes a couple of hours (in game) so when i arrive at a destination it's usually in the middle of the night. nights are gay cos it doesnt look as purty.

i wish there was more wildlife too.. beyond the odd gazelle and zebra. i want to hack up baboons leopards hippos n s***.

yeah 'farcry2: big game hunter' mod w00t!
Khel
Posted 12:03pm 25/10/08
Using and ATi 4870, even with the 8.10 hotfix im getting stuttering and CTD's.


I'm using a 4870x2 and I get no problems at all, run it in ultra high detail and it runs perfectly.
eu4ia
Posted 12:13pm 25/10/08
I just logged into Steam and saw that they've released Far Cry 2 to Australian users. $54.99
pyro
Posted 12:59pm 25/10/08
just remember (i forgot) its $54 USD
Tollaz0r!
Posted 01:06pm 25/10/08
I'm using:
x1950 Pro 256meg
64 X2 4200+
3 Gig Ram

Most settings are on medium and I get 30fps during the day and around 50 during the night.

I was getting the mouse lag until I dropped down the physics and real tree? level. It seems the mouse lag is caused by chewing up your CPU.
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 01:11pm 25/10/08
The voice acting is SOOOO BAD! Other than that it seems OK, totally different to Far Cry 1 though.
eu4ia
Posted 01:27pm 25/10/08
just remember (i forgot) its $54 USD


True, it works out to about $88 AUD.
Spook
Posted 02:01pm 25/10/08
f*** yer the voice acting is bad;

ive just started and listened to the monotonal speech of the guy writing the story on the jackal, and was thinking "f*** yer, this voice acting is bad"
greazy
Posted 07:17pm 26/10/08
its not that bad.

still better than most games.
Murderist
Posted 08:11pm 26/10/08
I have some minor issues with the mouse-lag - feel Consolized and not as sharp as other games, still - looks pretty good, will give it a good hack until L4D comes out
BRAINSS
VRBones
Posted 12:44pm 28/10/08
I love the open world feel and realistic feel, but it had an odd effect; it felt wrong gunning down the safe house protectors during the tute, so I thought I 'd try to play the game without killing anyone. Gotta say it's WAY harder. Those checkpoints aren't too bad if they only have one jeep (blow it up from afar and drive on through), but some missions are nigh impossible to complete without getting spotted. The dart gun made it a lot easier, but only 3 shots is a right royal pain. Anyone know what upgrade you need to store more darts?

So far my kill list is:
2 guards in 1st safehouse (mandatory)
2 drug dealers (mission, but they were bad! ./arnie)

[quote]yeah 'farcry2: big game hunter' mod w00t![/quote]
On the Collector's Edition DVD they show parts of the producers trip to Kenya and one of the guides asked what would happen in the game if you shot an animal. They basically said that there's nothing stopping a player shooting anything, but it's not going o be encouraged. Felt like it was a PC type of thing to say to a conservationist guide, but he looked like the the thought of a trophy or the like for bagging some big game had crossed his mind.

Funniest thing I've seen so far is a jeep coming over a hill sideways and rolling over a couple of times. 'WTF??!?" I thought, but kept sneaking along only to find a dead zebra right on the rize of the hill. The patrol had hit it at speed and crashed with no direct involvement from me. That was awesome incidental action. I was expecting though to see more of that. Isn't there supposed to be a war on? why aren't there gunfights over patrol points? Maybe I'm not far enough through it (~15hrs, most side missions but only ~12% main storyline). Does the war open up everywhere later on?

VRBones
Posted 01:18pm 28/10/08
And yeah, the mouse cursor looks software controlled, possibly to make the code transition to consoles easier.

Anyone tried multiplayer? The matchmaking is s***e with many games located on overseas servers and no gamespy-like interface at all to make any kind of informed choice. I can only think that they did that to keep the codebase the same as the consoles, and if they did I'd be whinging more about that than a software mouse cursor.
dther
Posted 08:30pm 01/11/08
Far Cry 2 doesn’t feel like a PC game.
Plays more like a consol game to me.

I’ve noticed a trend in the past few years, games made purely for PC seem to be enjoyable, however games that are prepared for both PC and consol seem to be . . . S***!
DM
Posted 08:54pm 01/11/08
1 of the funniest moments i've seen in-game was a mission the arms dealer guy gave me. destroy the convoy thingy. So i arrive where it shows on the map and somehow the leading car has gotten stuck between a rock and a tree, facing sideways blocking the entire road. So the truck i need was just there doing nothing. on top of that, there were like 6 or 7 people all standing around looking at the stuck car as if seeing wtf to do. 1 grenade... mission complete.
taggs
Posted 10:23am 02/11/08
got to 16% through the story in the 1st act and couldn't be assed playing it anymore.

playing far cry 2 feels like a chore, it's not fun at all =(
B4r0n
Posted 07:35pm 03/11/08
how can i download the game??can someone tell me??sorry is sound likka newbie or something but can someone help me?
trog
Posted 07:47pm 03/11/08
how can i download the game??can someone tell me??sorry is sound likka newbie or something but can someone help me?
www.steampowered.com
greazy
Posted 07:50pm 03/11/08
nice troll trog
nF
Posted 08:01pm 03/11/08
how can i download the game??can someone tell me??sorry is sound likka newbie or something but can someone help me?


if they release a demo get that. when you complete a mission, hit quick load.

keep doing this until you are bored out of mind, you'll have experienced pretty much exactly what anyone who bought the game did.
greazy
Posted 08:08pm 03/11/08
shut up nF.

I dont even think the noob wants to hear your s***.
Le Infidel
Posted 08:26pm 03/11/08
I got it but cant see going back to it after gta4 + xbox 360 i got at the same time which was maybe a dumb idea

even though crysis ran a lot worse than far cry I think I liked it more with the fun fun fun powerup runs chokes and throws it had
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