Review by komodowarrior

Reviewed: 01/12/09

A Fantastic Game

After watching the coverage Far Cry 2 got on XPlay and reading more about it, I knew I had to try this game. I went out to the rental store and picked it up, and two days later, I bought it myself. Well, I exchanged it for Need For Speed Undercover, but either way, it's in my permanent posession now, and I'm happy about it. Far Cry 2 is one of the year's best games, in my opinion.

Far Cry 2, the sequel to Far Cry (although the former has very few recognizable similarities to the first game), introduces new characters, setting, and a new style of gameplay that allows greater freedom to explore an insanely realistic African landscapes. Taking place in a fictional, modern day Central African nation in a state of anarchy and civil war. The player takes control of a mercenary who's job is to hunt down and kill 'The Jackal', a notorious arms dealer who's been supplying and instigating both sides against each other.

The gameplay is open-ended, with the player being able to ally with anyone he/she chooses and to progress through the game world and the missions as he sees fit, resulting in a sandbox style of gameplay that allows the story to progress at the speed and in the order the player chooses. The player can choose from a wide range of vehicles to make his way to the target, accommodating play styles ranging from head-on assaults to stealthy infiltrations. Instead of using individual maps, the game takes place in a sprawling African landscape, with terrain ranging from savannah to jungle.

The player's actions may also have a lasting effect because the character may interact with the environment: for example, one of the missions shown by the developers had the player sabotage a pipeline owned by one of the factions that is pumping fresh water from the lake to a neighboring country, exchanging it for arms and munition. After the player destroys it, part of the surrounding area becomes flooded, including a mine where another mission may take place.

Various factions and vehicles are featured; enemies include human mercenaries, but sci-fi creatures such as the Trigens from Far Cry are not featured. Furthermore, the player's feral abilities introduced in Far Cry Instincts and its expansions do not return in Far Cry 2. There is also a dynamic weather system that has a day-night cycle and different weather conditions such as storms and strong winds. The time of day also affects the AI by making them more alert and aggressive or more relaxed and benign; eg: at night an enemy might have a slightly heightened awareness, but be unable to see the player in hiding, while during the hot part of the day the enemies might be grouped, sitting, in the shade- but they can see the player clearly from a distance. One minute real-time is equivalent to five minutes in-game.

The player also has access to a large arsenal of real world weapons, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, RPGs and light machine guns, among others, and can carry three weapons at any one time. All weapons in game are "mirrored", with ejection ports on left side. A major gameplay feature is that these weapons degrade over time. Weapons become dirty and prone to jamming and eventually become completely unusable. The player can purchase weapons at various gun shops, which provide an unlimited supply of the weapon once it is purchased, along with manuals to upgrade weapon reliability and accuracy. More weapons can be unlocked at the gun shop by completing missions involving the destruction of competitor's arms convoys for the gun shop owner. There are about 37 weapons total, including three downloadable ones on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points.

The game has insanely realistic features such as having to physically hold a map and GPS system to find your way around (all vehicles have GPS systems built in as well), having to repair the engine of your vehicle if it's damaged, having to dig bullets out when shot at, and pat yourself down when on fire. As I said before, weapons will get rusted out and deteriorate, eventually causing them to jam. Several species of animals can be seen grazing about such as deer, chickens, zebra, buffalo, etc. The player also must deal with malaria. Every 30 to 40 minutes in real time, the player must take a pill in order to combat the effects of the illness. When the player runs out of medicine, he or she will have to do a simple mission in order to get more. The player's reputation comes into play as the more and more notorious the player becomes, the harder it will be to obtain the medication.

However, the game has it's annoying points which may turn off most casual gamers, such as guns jamming way too often, having to repair your vehicle everytime it's shot at (which occurs almost every two minutes, depending on whether or not enemies come after you, in which most of the time, they will), the malaria occuring a little too often and the medicine being harder to obtain. Also, whenever you take over a guard post, if you leave and return, enemies will be there again, as they should not be. Some things that aggravated me the most was that you can't pass through innocently without being shot at. If you drive past an enemy, even if you aren't displaying any hostile actions, they open fire on you anyway. Also, you have no one working with you, so you're completely alone and there's no help until you become mortally wounded and an ally can help you get back on your feet.

Either way, Far Cry 2 is an amazing game, and I recommend it to any action fans or someone who's looking for a plain out, good quality game. However, I recommend that you don't play the game if you get annoyed easily, are a poor sport, or if you have a low patience level; you might end up throwing the game out the window.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Far Cry 2 (US, 10/21/08)

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