The combat is at first frustrating, but stick with it, it gets better.
The combat is at first frustrating, but stick with it, it gets better.

The combat is at first frustrating, but stick with it, it gets better.

During the first few hours of play Far Cry 2 is almost frustrating as a result of the way its open world gameplay has been designed. It's off-putting and about as pick-up-and-play as a 2D Treasure shooter. You'll want to enjoy the open-world from an almost therapeutic, scenic route perspective, but you can't because driving just a mile down the road will incur the wrath of the game's soldiers as you pass through a check point. And when they force you off the road from repeated bullet fire, reducing your ride to a pathetic mess, you'll sigh. Here we go again, you'll say. Can't an honest merc just get from A to B in this bloody country without having to dodge bullets?

Some will applaud Ubisoft Montreal's approach. Some will criticise it. Whatever your opinion, persevere. Soldier through the difficult opening few hours, keep earning diamonds, keep reducing the recoil and reliability of your weapons with upgrades, and above all, keep experimenting, because it's only through experimentation that you'll realise Far Cry 2's undoubted potential.

And it's also through experimentation that you'll experience the magic moments you'll not find anywhere else. Here's only a few of ours: Spotting the score of cockroaches darting about the floor of the APR HQ in town, evidence of Ubisoft Montreal's incredible attention to detail. Swimming in a ravine as the morning sun rises over the horizon, a breathtaking vista reinforcing the game's graphical credentials. Driving through the Savannah wilds with a pack of zebras at your side (we only ever accidentally ran over animals, promise). Chucking a Molotov cocktail inside a heavily guarded building and watching the propagating fire technology flex its muscles as it sweeps in the direction of the wind, torching everything in its path. Using the grenade launcher to destroy a convoy and praying the charred metal doesn't fly in your direction. Completing the game's first act and feeling your jaw drop as the southern district map presents itself, transforming the game from what might have been a meaty 15 hour romp into an epic 30 hour adventure. Taking the time to scout, using the monocular to add ammo dumps, sniper spots, vehicles, health stations and turrets to your map before landing five head shots in quick succession from half a mile away. Stalking an unsuspecting enemy in the early morning rain, biding your time before sprinting in, sliding and taking your machete to his chest. Without experimentation we might not have experienced any of this. We've probably missed out on much more.

And yet, for all its brilliance, there are some glaring flaws that have crept into Far Cry 2's interactive innards that stop it from scoring that perfect 10. Much of this is to do with the AI. The AI on many occasions will do some hilariously nonsensical stuff that, rather unfortunately, reminds you that you're playing a game and not some virtual reality Arnie movie. They will often point the wrong direction while shooting, and yet still hit you. They'll also pump round after round into the cover they're hiding behind, perhaps thinking that their bullets will somehow make their way through that metal car door and into your flesh. When the car-driving AI spots you it'll automatically speed towards your position, often with nary a care for obstacles in its path. You'll hear exactly the same rev of the engine every time you're spotted too - a technique we know is the game's way of providing the player with an audio clue that a vehicle is inbound, but something that jars with the wonderfully unexpected nature of the rest of the game.

The Safe House save system will annoy some, but it doesn't ruin the game.

The Safe House save system will annoy some, but it doesn't ruin the game.

The save system will be a bone of contention for many as well. There are no checkpoints in Far Cry 2, at least not in the traditional sense of the term. Instead, you'll get a pop-up asking you if you want to save after you complete mission objectives, when you use the coach transportation system (only from a handful of coach stations dotted about the maps) or when you go to sleep using one of the Safe Houses. While this adds to the tension and realism of the game (every death is a meaningful one - the antithesis of BioShock's Vita-chamber feature), the problem is that sometimes you'll die attempting a mission and realise that your last save was about 40 minutes ago in that Safe House you passed en route to your objective.

As a result the game is more repetitive than it needs to be. This feeling is exacerbated by the fact that enemies respawn, so you can never once and for all clear enemies from that check point on that road you keep using to get to and from town. But these problems are well and truly put into the afternoon shade by the spell-blinding brilliance of what Far Cry 2 allows you to do, and how impressive it is from a technical point of view. That the game includes a brutal, class-based set of multiplayer mercenary deathmatch options and a truly superb map editor (complete with online sharing, editing and rating) makes it feel like even more of a complete FPS package.

Obviously if you're a shooter fan you should buy this game. A simple glance at the score should confirm in your mind, if there was ever any doubt, that Far Cry 2 is nothing but brilliant. But we're already looking to the future. Our minds are already spinning at what Ubisoft Montreal might come up with for the inevitable Far Cry 3. Just like your options when it comes to tackling a mission, the possibilities are endless.

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User Comments

mj's Avatar
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mj

i have played the game on both consoles,and im a fanboy of neither..but i must admit,the ps3 version not only runs better,but it looks better.What ive noticed is that the ps3 has way better textures and anti-aliasing.The xb version is good,but is so pultry in comparison to sony's.I find the controles alot easier and more sensable on ps3,and overall i think the ps3 dominates..
Posted 07:58 on 08 January 2009
sdfghjk's Avatar
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sdfghjk

truly dreadful game
Posted 20:26 on 13 December 2008
john's Avatar
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john

to many bugs not saving and not loading ubisoft need to sort it !!!!!!!!!!!
Posted 13:11 on 29 November 2008
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theo X

i have the pc version, allas it is rubbish! the AI still sucks the missions are boring and reppetative, I was also a huge fan of fc1 and thought everything was good about it( even tho it was original xbox) this is just pants and pointless its like they had a great idea then couldnt be arsed to finish it..i for one wish i had gotten fable 2 but thats probably a let down too as most games are for these so called next gen machines
Posted 09:40 on 10 November 2008
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John

Very average game. While it does look very pretty, running for cover while being fired upon by enemies you can't see and then trying to heal yourself and thusly getting shot while doing so makes for a really frustrating time. One other user said you're mostly driving around--and he's right. The save system is very unforgiving, as well, since being killed on a mission means you have to start over half an hour back.
Posted 16:03 on 09 November 2008
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SHOOTRLVR

Ok.... i understand there is people who likes to just kill. Everything that moves should be killed..... the same unstable characters who teamkill in multiplayer web shooters like AA. The same borderline individuals who cant stand building a tactical defense or atack in the same games and go running away from the team because they are avid for fast kills.
For them, this more tactical and realist gameplay is boring and i understand them and their mental disorder.
I love the "OBLIVION" like gameplay of this shooter, i love the fact that you actually have to look for your objectives, they dont just appear before you in a linear path.
I love the reputation system, and i love the fact that most of the time, things dont go that easy for you.
I love the lack of sience fictional content...... no freaky monsters or aliens or zombies.
At last an interesting and mature shooter thst is based in reality and not on fiction to hook its players.
This is a masterpiece..... everything i was looking for in a game like this.
Once again, its only my oppinion, my humble oppinion.
Posted 20:32 on 30 October 2008
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damo

played it for just under 10 hours in all, and just over 50% complete

there is a mission on a barge that is actually ok, but still not enough to save a VERY average game

I would give it 7/10 tbh
Posted 02:51 on 28 October 2008
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Anonymous

U huh ? No answer from videogamer for ma earlier post asking about the pc version separate review ?
Posted 18:12 on 27 October 2008
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damo

yeah cos its fun shooting up a derelict hut :(

the gameplay on cod4 pisses all over it

I keep finding myself having to persuade me to play it, the best reason I can give is that it cost me 40 quid!

the only way I can say this is better than COD4, is that after about 5 hours into the game, Im only 8% complete
Posted 12:31 on 27 October 2008
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Anonymous

What you on about damo its miles better than the linear, non- destructable enviroments of cod 4.Time to move on mate!
Posted 11:26 on 27 October 2008
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Anonymous

Hey Wes shud u not review the pc version separately too ????

r u gonna do it , i hav been waiting long fer it :(

Also frm what i've heard and read ( ur awesome review ) FC2 is an awesome game . Still so many people complaining

P.S I like travelling in games
Posted 08:12 on 27 October 2008
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damo

how this got given the same score as COD4 is beyond me!

so repetitive... everything you do just seems to be the same, only on a different part of the map

kinda like Assassin's creed, which was totally poo
Posted 00:16 on 27 October 2008
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yoyo

This game is excellent on the PC
Posted 23:54 on 25 October 2008
WhyFarCry2?'s Avatar
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WhyFarCry2?

If any of you are looking forward to "FarCry 2" keep waiting because this is not it. This game has nothing to do with Far Cry and is in a totally different format... some call it FPS some call it RPG.. This version of whatever game this is, is definately an RPG... You will spend 90% of your time DRIVING or walking to your destination. You have to find buddies and increase your reputation as you go, plus you have to BUY weapons and upgrades, unlock "safe houses" and basically waste a bunch of time that could be spent killin stuff.. The graphics are GREAT but that is about it... to many monotonous little tasks that need to be done in order to complete a mission. It is so far away from FarCry that it is borderline false advertising as a "PART TWO"... if you liek RPGs this will be GREAT... if you like FPS this may be to boring for you in the long run... It's to boring for me and FarCry is my favorite FPS... but that was the original one.. not whatever this game is... Thanks.
Posted 23:37 on 25 October 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
9
Out of 10
Far Cry 2
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Wonderful open world gameplay
  • Complete freedom
  • AI a bit shoddy
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 1,560 124
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