Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?
Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?

Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?

What's best about Far Cry 2? Is it the astonishingly beautiful African environment, so alive with movement, sound and realistic reaction to your actions that it might just be the best shooter sandbox of all time? Is it that the potential for eye-popping explosions, flying vehicle chassis and spiralling wood splinters awaits around every corner, above every ridge and in every chasm of the huge 50km square open world? Or is it the true freedom the game grants the player, allowing for a plot that has its roots in linear storytelling but provides tantalising off the beaten path branches?

The true answer is that there is no one thing that can be considered best about Far Cry 2. Its brilliance lies in the fact that it is more than the sum of its already impressive parts. Essentially the game is a playground that caters for whatever mood players find themselves in. Want to storm into an enemy encampment in broad daylight John Rambo style, perhaps running a few unfortunate soldiers down with a MG-mounted Jeep before letting loose with your grenade launcher? Go ahead. Prefer to fast-forward the incredible day/night cycle to midnight by taking a nap in one of the Safe Houses and sneak in under the cover of darkness before slicing and dicing from behind with your machete? Be the game's guest.

Ubisoft Montreal isn't, of course, the first developer to do open world shooting. Indeed last year's graphical tour de force Crysis is still fresh in our memories - as is the follow-up Crysis Warhead. But it is so well executed, so technically proficient that we can't help but feel it at least matches Crytek's shooter, and in some areas even surpasses it.

The game's first hour, however, might convince you otherwise, and it almost did for us. After choosing from a selection of nine refreshingly un-clichéd mercenaries, ranging from a 45-year-old Mauritian to a 38-year-old Algerian (when was the last time you could play a game as anyone not of American, British or Alien descent?), you're thrust into an unnamed African country being torn apart by two warring factions. Your mission: To kill The Jackal, an arms dealer who's fuelling both sides of the conflict with weapons, and making a mint as a result. You immediately run into problems - malaria wraps its diseased mitts around your innards, forcing you to collapse as soon as you arrive in town. You wake, groggily, and find The Jackal standing ominously above you. He knows everything - who you are, why you're here and how defenceless you've become as a result of the malaria. In pity, he hands you a machete and a hand gun, and lets you live. This is where Far Cry 2 kicks off.

It's not long before all hell breaks loose, and you're right in the thick of the action.

It's not long before all hell breaks loose, and you're right in the thick of the action.

Outside, all hell breaks loose. The United Front for Liberation and Labour (UFLL) and the Alliance for Popular Resistance (APR) are going at it in the streets. You make a break for it, dodging bullets as you head anywhere as long as it's away from certain death. But there is no escape - either you're shot or you collapse from the malaria. You wake in a slaughter house just outside town. A merc, one that you did not pick to play as at the beginning of the game but is determined by that choice, now reckons you owe him a few favours on account of him saving your ass. From there, it's up to you what jobs you take on, whether it be paid work from the UFLL or APR (diamonds act as currency in Far Cry 2, which can be spent on upgrades), malaria pill jobs from various good Samaritans, weapon vendor jobs that unlock new purchasable gear, buddy jobs that improve your 'history' with the NPC mercs or assassination jobs dished out by a disguised voice heard from communication masts. What they all have in common, however, is combat, and it's here that Far Cry 2 initially frustrates.

We're used to developers holding our hands so tightly during game tutorials, and even beyond, that Far Cry 2 will at first jar with many due to the fact that it's actually pretty tough right from the start. Simply shooting stuff is difficult. Unlike the console versions, the PC version doesn't have a snap to target function when you zoom down the barrel of your gun. This is fine - the PC keyboard and mouse set up allows for a degree of FPS accuracy console controllers simply can't. But this doesn't stop your weapons, especially at the beginning of the game, from being, frankly, crap.

You'll find the recoil offensive, the jamming so regular you'll tear your hair out and the enemies so hard to spot in your splendid surroundings that it won't be long before you grab a mouthful of dirt. The healing system doesn't help. Whenever your health dips you can inject yourself with magic hit point juice. That's fine, but when your health bar is almost depleted healing will instead trigger an animation where you gruesomely pick bullets out of the holes in your skin. The problem is that this animation, which takes about five seconds to complete, is interruptible by enemy fire. Invariably in an encounter during the first few hours you'll find yourself surrounded by enemies you can't see, peppered with bullets that bring you to within an inch of your life and unable to heal because the healing animation keeps getting interrupted. Then you die and reload from the last time you saved.

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EISPower's Avatar

EISPower

A great game & a real must have.
Posted 10:07 on 10 March 2011
crozzy's Avatar

crozzy

This has got to be the worse game I have ever played in my life.
You cant wait for the sequel to come out and when you have unloaded your hard earned cash and ran home to start playing what you think will top Farcry1 your instanty dissapointed.
The storyline is crap, the endless driving gets on your nerves.
I could go on for hours telling you how crap this game is.
I for one wont be wasting my time and money on Farcry3 if it ever arrives.
You programmes must have been on something when you made this game,what a dissapointment.
I agree with the previous response Very Boring
Posted 20:04 on 12 April 2009
NIRMpower's Avatar

NIRMpower

One of the greatest real-life games ever made!
Posted 06:41 on 24 November 2008
fazli's Avatar
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fazli

good
Posted 16:12 on 17 November 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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Anonymous

The most boring game ever!!!
Posted 17:37 on 11 November 2008
ddmau's Avatar
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ddmau

I just finished this game this weekend (took about 40 hours of actual game-play).
I agree with all the reviewers points; visually stunning game, but it falls apart in actual game-play. The storyline is initially great, but falls apart very quickly - and the ending is EXTREMELY disappointing (both of them - you have a choice -both suck).

Close...but definitely no cigar. This could have been FAR better than it turned out - It's like a Kit Car. You put a Ferrari body on a Volkswagen....looks great, but very disappointing when you actually drive it.
Posted 13:51 on 03 November 2008
Netmind's Avatar

Netmind

Multiplayer is sweet.. Hey, lets have a game shall we? :)
Posted 18:23 on 30 October 2008
dammu's Avatar

dammu

got it on xbox360 very good but stuck
Posted 14:04 on 30 October 2008

Game Stats

System Requirements
9
Out of 10
Far Cry 2
  • Wonderful open world gameplay
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Complete freedom
  • AI a bit shoddy
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/10/2008
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 572 29
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