Wednesday, December 16

Reloaded Review: Far Cry 2 (Xbox 360)

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Player:(s) Offline 1, System Link 2-16, Online 2-16
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: (NA) October 21, 2008 (EU) October 24, 2008
Platform:(s) Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC)
Rated: Mature

Far Cry 2 was highly anticipated with the promise of a powerful, open-ended experience in the beautiful landscapes of Africa. Does it live up to what we were promised?

You take on the role of a mercenary in Far Cry 2 rather then the first game's protagonist Jack Carver as you struggle to hunt down and kill an arms dealer known as "The Jackal" in a small Central African state that has been embroiled in a civil war.

With the recent collapse of the government, two factions have begun battle for control of the state. The two factions at war are the "United Front for Liberation and Labour" and the "Alliance for Popular Resistance."

Far Cry 2 is a very, very gorgeous game in meaning of the term. Every single one of the landscapes is beautifully modeled and I even found myself just taking in the sights.

The engine that was designed for Far Cry 2 is called the Dunia Engine and it's quite impressive to be honest. The game features a real-time day to night cycle and weather cycles that all occur in real time.

Setting off explosions will cause trees to sway and break as leaves fall everywhere. It's very realistic and only adds to FC2's sheer level of polish in this department.

One of the best features in Far Cry 2 is the open world style of exploration and the way the game completely immerses you in the world Ubisoft has created.

Sadly, everything looks the same so exploring the landscapes can get old once you've done it for too long. You have the ability to take vehicles, boats and hang gliders to explore the world but they are extremely weak and within a few shots from any gun, you will need to get out and fix the motor by watching an animation of your character repairing the engine. This happens every time your vehicle takes damage and if you want to be able to get anywhere, you will need to constantly get out and repair the vehicle and trust me, it gets very annoying very quickly.

The currency of this state isn't money, it's diamonds; so that is your payment for doing the missions. They can also be found in hidden locations throughout the map and are indicated by a flashing green light on your GPS system.

Yes, your navigation is done entirely through a map and a GPS system and if you don't have a high-def TV, (like me) you have to keep looking down at the map in your hand which is a total pain when you're driving around smashing into stuff.

The weapon selection in the game is also very large and the games are extremely realistic not only by look but also by use. If you have a heavily used weapon, it might jam and it always seems to happen during a firefight. It's a good way to keep you immersed in the game but they really did go a bit overboard.

Fire is also it's own character in this game as everything you'd expect to be flammable is indeed flammable. How far the fire will spread depends on how dry the environment is and how windy it happens to be. It's fun just lighting things on fire but no matter how big the fire gets, it always seems to extinguish within a minute.

Another thing that should not have been included in the game was the fact that your character starts the game off with malaria. Because of this, you need to take pills for it every 30-40 minutes of real-time gameplay and once you've taken your entire case of pills, you need to go do a mission to refill it. The reason this is annoying is because it always happens when you don't want it to.

One of the things that really gets to me is that the enemies can always detect you from miles away and still hit you with their impossibly accurate rifles meaning stealth is absolutely pointless. They also never seem to die and it takes almost a full clip to actually put someone down.

My final complaint is that scattered throughout the world are guard posts filled with enemies. Every time you come across one of these posts, you need to get out and kill them all before you can head out on your way because if you try to drive past, they will chase after you and they will always catch up. The 'best' part about these guard posts is thatevery time you drive past one, the enemies have respawned and you need to repeat the killing process.

Far Cry 2 also features a multiplayer option that plays similar to Call of Duty 4's leveling system. Many of the features in single player like fire and the weapon damage translates well over to multiplayer but the best feature is without a doubt the map editor. The amount of items and options you have at your disposal is impressive and the fact that you can share maps makes it all worthwhile.

Far Cry 2 does sound very well to be blunt. Throughout your adventure, the only time you will really hear music is when you are in a battle which allows you to be immersed in the sounds of birds, wind, water, fire, and animals littered throughout the land which is easy on the ears and just pleasant to hear in general.

Because the music cues in whenever an enemy is near, it helps when you are not aware of what is nearby since the minute you hear it, you know to arm yourself and fast.

The voice acting is also pretty well done but since you spend most of the game alone exploring, there isn't very much dialogue spoken besides what you hear when you're with enemies or in a town.

The designers behind Far Cry 2 were obviously a very ambitious group and the ideas they had for this game were in-genius but sadly, not all of the ideas translated well to the game even though I'm sure it sounded great on paper.

Gameplay gets boring after a while mainly because everything looks the same. The outposts, impossibly accurate and strong enemies also really damage the game's playability.

If you can get over these things then you will find that Far Cry 2 is very enjoyable as not only a game but also eye candy.

- "Dunia" engine is very impressive
- Plenty of realistic weapons
- Enjoyable multiplayer
- Lengthy story
- Fire is fun

- Everything looks the same
- Enemies are too strong, too accurate and respawn too often
- Annoyingly weak vehicles
- Not much of a story


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