#834 Far Cry 2

Posted: 14th January 2012 by Mulholland in Games
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115th played so far

Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft

Remember when we played a lot of shooting games in a row and then suddenly it all went quiet for a month on that front? Well the shooter is back and it is in the form of Far Cry 2.

Normally we would try to play games in chronological order (at my insistence because it’s the only way we can watch a franchise develop) but since this is a borrowed game there is a bit of a ticking clock in terms of how long we have to play it. Also, in a strange turn of events Far Cry and Far Cry 2 were made by completely different developers… who knew.

Our Thoughts

Some games are very difficult to describe, others are known so well everyone already knows what we’re talking about… and then there’s a game like this, where we mention two names, link them, and assume you all have a good idea of what we’re talking about. So here goes…

Far Cry 2 is a combination of the later Grand Theft Auto games and Metal Gear Solid 3. In a way, it feels like GTA 3  or later in a jungle setting, where you need to work as much on surviving in the environment.  In some ways I can see where you are coming from but it doesn’t really take into account the amazing freedom that you feel in this game. Apart from with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas… I cannot wait to play that again.

The story itself is interesting as well, in that it features some branching and, aside from this being an open world game, the story allows you to side with either of the two warring factions in your quest to find and kill the Jackal, the weapon merchant who seemed to have started the mess. Some of this branching isn’t even voluntary – the place in town where you end up fainting when playing through one of the first areas determines the first batch of quests you have to play.

Since I was the main player of this game it falls to me to talk about gameplay but to be honest I want to wax lyrical about the sheer freedom I felt when playing this game. After i got through the lengthy tutorial section I boarded a random bus and went to some far flung corner of the map and this world feels absolutely massive. Honestly it is the first time since GTA:SA where I felt that I could just climb into a car and drive and drive and drive for ages and I would still be exploring new territory. Well I would have it is wasn’t for the regular guard checkpoints and enemy vehicles that kept running me off the road.

The gameplay itself works well but I am not completely won over on the gun controls, also I would like to personally hurt the makers of Bioshock since they made it acceptable to use injections in the wrist in a game. I am not squeamish personally, I mean as a teacher I have to dissect body parts, but it was not the most pleasant way to heal… and do not get me started on having to press a button to bring up a GPS… it would have been far more user friendly to have the normal map in the corner. Still, this game had some great ideas for driving controls.

The game itself looks wonderful as well, as I suppose we can expect from a 2008 game. There are a lot of different environments with very little seemingly repeating. You can wander through far deserts or make your way through dense jungles, eventually finding a gorgeous waterfall into a lake. I wouldn’t use the word life-like – it’s not that close – but it certainly looks lovely.

One of the things that’s missing from the illusion, though, is wildlife. There are humans around, of course, with their settlements, and plenty of lovely different plants (a lot of them destructible, thanks to your machete), but despite the distant bird calls, you never see them moving around. No snakes sliding through the bushes, no furry things darting away, not even a bird high in the sky where you can’t reach it. This makes the world seem rather empty and static, while the game plays like it shouldn’t be. What makes the absence of wildlife all the more noticeable is that when you arrive into town you pass some people who are walking along with their farm animals. This did make me wonder whether this game would take a leaf out of the Destroy All Humans handbook and allow for some light cattle-mutilation or at least hitch a ride on a marauding giraffe… but no… something for the sequel set in *looks up* Antarctica… so if there are killable penguins I predict an angry phone call from the RSPB.

Even more of a reason this lack is annoying is that I wonder what they could have done with the AI. The AI for humans is very good – it’s clear we’ve taken some great steps forward here, with the characters responding to your actions, seeking you out, or ducking away. We found some scared in the corner of their hideout at one point, while at another it at least seemed like the foe was trying to hide under the car. It’s just a pity that the eyes of some of the characters resembled cue balls.

All in all, despite the occasional omission, the game plays incredibly well and is a lot of fun. It’s beautiful and seems to have a great story – even though we’ve barely had a chance to explore it, I know I want to learn more.

Final Thoughts

This is so annoying. We have so many games on the ‘to play’ list and now this has been added to my Amazon Wishlist for later. CURSE YOU 1001 LIST!

  1. […] been a few years since we played Far Cry 2, the Ubisoft open world game set in the jungle (as opposed to historical cities or Watch […]