Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Sequel to the successful 2004 PC FPS.

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9Out of 10
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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. On the Xbox 360 and PS3 (the versions tested), pressing LT or L1 will zoom in either down the barrel of your gun or through the sight and automatically snap to your target. From there, though, you'll have to move the left thumbstick yourself to aim and fire with RT or R1. This sounds like plenty of other shooters post-CoD2, right? Well, yes, it does. But you'll still find successfully killing lots of enemy soldiers during the first third of the game so hard you'll consider the combat a chore.

At the beginning of the game your weapons are, 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 and taste the totally unforgiving save system. The healing system doesn't help. Whenever your health dips you can inject yourself with magic hit point juice via a press of LB or L2. That's fine. But when your health bar is almost up 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 what happens in an encounter during the first few hours is 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, usually miles away in a Safe House.

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Frosa's Avatar
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Frosa

I don't know where this guy got the idea the game is brilliant. With all bugs and problems he noticed. Just because the graphic? For me the game is quite boring for a shooter fan. Fui...
Posted 19:16 on 25 October 2008
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bornagain

pc, 360 then ps3........... performance
Posted 17:28 on 23 October 2008
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Jackal

Yes i expect the PC to get a 10 if there are no bugs.

As for the reviews on this site i think there pants personally. Fable 2 had enough moans to drop it down to a 8 yet it got a 9.

LBP deserved a 10 purley for differene and ideas. And the fact you can build and share maps over the net! OMG! Oh no VG could not possibly give the best lived up PS3 game a 10 cos it would upset Mr bill Gates (they share the same bed lol)
Posted 03:10 on 23 October 2008
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Netmind

I expect PC version to get a 10, at least on graphics :)
Posted 22:58 on 22 October 2008
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OLD LEG

gta 4 was given a 10 by most reviewers, but that had glitches and shocking AI. why is far cry 2 not a 10, if anything, it has less flaws. Plus propergating fire.
Posted 20:57 on 22 October 2008
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ghostdog25

anybody know the differences between the 360 and PS3 versions? I preordered for 360 and picking up today.
Posted 18:30 on 22 October 2008
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RecoN

If you have a high end PC then id get the PC version to get the most our of your money and im sure the visuals are going to be fantastic. Also the pc versions are way lot cheaper than consoles.

If your picking a console version, id say its entirely upto you. Think about your controls and how you would feel comfortable playing it. Maybe which console you have more friends on and that will own the game. Hope that helps :)

Im getting the PC version long with Dead Space.
Posted 17:36 on 22 October 2008
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Wido

Pre-ordered it from Shopto.net just now for the PS3, while on friday I should have Far Cry 2, Fable 2 and probably Saints Row 2 < because of the MOTM and shall be entertained for while!

Great review as well, the complete free-roaming is going to be excellent in a FPS title as well. Ubisoft has pulled wonders for Far Cry 2 and what a massive improvement to the series.
Posted 16:33 on 22 October 2008
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Kale

I need to know, I've pre-ordered the game on the 360 and I wanna know which one to get the PS3 or 360 which runs better?
Posted 06:38 on 22 October 2008
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Handwipe

"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"

Very well put. That quality writing actually brought a tear to my eye.
Posted 05:03 on 22 October 2008
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Bloodstorm

I'm stuck on what to pick up next friday, this or Red Alert 3.......
Posted 03:00 on 22 October 2008
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macaz

Nice informative review thank you!

Can't wait to get this on Friday. Think I'm looking forward to wondering my map editor creations more thananything :)
Posted 22:24 on 21 October 2008
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dog_sandwich

"when was the last time you could play a game as anyone not of American, British or Alien descent?"
Stalker: Clear Sky, GTA 4, Mercenaries 2...
Posted 19:48 on 21 October 2008
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Anonymous

Hey wes , surely da pc version would be devoid of all the mins points on da console versions .

Lets see if u are kind enuf to give it 10 :D
Posted 18:47 on 21 October 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Far Cry 2
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: 1,661 20
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