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Far Cry 2 Review
developer: Ubisoft Montreal
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Oct 21, 08 (released)
|» All About Far Cry 2 on ActionTrip|
Amongst all the releases currently flooding the market, I honestly never expected Far Cry 2 would take so much time to review. There's plenty to experience in this game. What's more, you can cross out any potential involvement of unimaginatively designed models of mutated humans, extraterrestrials or the presence of fictional beings of any kind.
Playing a fair game...
Double-barreled, baby. Can't miss.
The game drops you in the middle of war-torn Africa. You embark on a mission to eliminate "The Jackal," a shady character whose efforts seemed to have sparked a conflict between powerful local warlords. Struggling to survive, your job is to play the factions against each other by whatever means necessary. The way you accomplish these goals is down to you, while the main task stays the same throughout the campaign - e.g. finding "The Jackal."
The first few hours of Far Cry 2 were unlike anything I've experienced in a first-person shooter. Sure, the GTA inspired gameplay involves plenty of driving and consulting the GPS for main tasks and side-missions. But it all felt amazingly real. Completing each task is really hard work. Essentially this is because missions usually require players to head towards a remote part of map. Completing the mission isn't necessarily the hard part. Getting there might be trickier, seeing as the roads are swarming with enemy patrols. Apart from random patrols, the entire region has quite a lot of guard posts, which you're bound to encounter before reaching the main destination. Clearing out the guard posts doesn't help much, since enemy sentries respawn each time your return to that particular spot. At first, this seemed a bit unfair, but in time I realized it makes each mission considerably more challenging, forcing players to make smart choices and plan out their routes carefully. Of course, you can always race through guard posts and just run over enemies. Even when you resort to the old hit-and-run strategy, enemy troops still show impressive resilience and determination. Once they see you drive by at high speed, they'll immediately chase after you if they have wheels of their own.
No matter how good you are at playing first-person shooters, the AI in FC 2 keeps you very busy throughout the entire game. However, reports from many players indicated certain unwanted symptoms such as unresponsive AI. This happened only twice during our time with the game. Still, it is something the devs. ought to, nay, must look into. While they're at it, perhaps they should attend to another rather serious matter.
To receive certain assignments you must enter the HQ of different factions (UFLL or APR). Before doing so you are required to relinquish your weapons and leave them with soldier guarding the entrance. When I tried to do this once, I approached the entrance but there wasn't a sentry present, thus I wasn't able to enter the faction's base to receive the job. This bug is, from what I've read on many forums, very common and is solved by reloading your previous save. If you've been overwrighting constantly, you're going to have a major problem on your hands.
Scripted events don't function too well in this game it seems. Another problem had me returning to a saved game because a bloody garage door jammed into the truck I was driving. As a result, I couldn't carry out an assignment because the door blocked the back of the truck. The nasty-ass bug got in the way of another scripted event. Exiting the garage was impossible, so all I could do was reload previously saved game. At this point, I finished 51% of the game, while the previous save was at 32%. Colossal bummer.
Also, Far Cry 2 may not be the right choice for the impatient and less persistent. It does have the tendency to emphasize driving perhaps more than it ought to. In time, I found this to be quite an enjoyable aspect of gameplay, although I'm sure it might not suit everybody's taste. Another problem many side-missions have the player returning to the same damn locations, which were already used as a setting for a previous task. Consequently, you'll find most of these missions quite repetitive. On the other hand, the story-related missions were great fun and will treat players to a variety of exciting moments.
In addition to being one of the most challenging shooters out there, Far Cry 2 gives you the freedom to explore the environment and complete tasks any way you see fit. Each job can be approached from a different angle; plus, friends provide alternate solutions to the mission at hand, which you can accept or refuse. Accepting improves your relationship with a particular buddy and refusing reduces the chances of them assisting you in combat. Either way, each completed mission results in a reputation increase and in a tough world such as Africa, you're gonna want people to know you're bad-ass.
8.0 Very Good
Realistic combat, a variety of challenging missions, choices you make influence the in-game world, very exciting atmosphere, great-looking outdoor areas (almost feels like the real deal);
Recurring side-missions, the accent is on driving and some may object to that, AI glitches and a few nasty bugs force players to return to old saved games, voiceovers are a bit disappointing.