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Far Cry 2 Review

Posted in Gaming, Review with tags , , , , , on 22 December, 2008 by J-Man

So, it’s taken me an embarassingly long time to finish this (due to my annoyingly short attention span). I seem to recall reviewing this a long, long time ago, but I had a look at it and decided to rewrite it. It was a 2 page affair, and pretty decent, but I think I’ll compress it for EG. It’s interesting in that you do actually have control over the story, with the game frequently letting you choose who to kill (or less commonly, live).

The graphics are beautiful, and in my personal opinion superior to Crysis’. The gameplay is also brilliant, albeit difficult at first. I think its fair to say that the problem with Far Cry 2 is that for every brilliant idea they put in, they half-ruin it. Take wound treatment, for example. Sick of the “regenerating health” mechanic so common in other games, I was looking forward to pulling bullets out of my own limbs, but it turns out that the real system is far less imaginative. It amounts to this; if your health is low, tap H. Your character will lean over and pull a bullet out of his arm with his own teeth/push a bullet through his arm with his own index finger/ram pliers into a gaping hole in his arm and pull the bullet out.

And then there’s gun jamming. Apparently enemy weapons degrade to an unusable point when their owners die, despite working perfectly up to that moment. You have to purchase your own weapons and visit arsenals to get even half-reliable weapons. Or there’s vehicle repairing, where you have to fix your own vehicles if they take too much damage. Like the wound system, it amounts to tapping a key and watching your character repeat an animation.

It’s incredibly frustrating that a game could have been so brilliant, yet squanders its ideas. Oh, not to mention the buddies, who’ll over-complicate a mission so much I ended up killing every single one of them, and that’s before the bastards betrayed me (oops, spoilers).

Nevertheless, Far Cry 2’s single strength easily pulls it back from the abyss of mediocrity, that being the combat. It really is based on tactics rather than reflexes, which is refreshing in our world of Call of Duty and Halo. The fire is the best I’ve seen in any games, making World at War’s flamethrower look more like a pack of matches compared to Far Cry 2’s. While vehicular combat is weak, it’s easy to simply get out of your car, shoot an rpg at any pursuers and drive off.

Many have suggested that the frequent enemy outposts slow down the game too much, but if you think what Far Cry 2 would be like without them, all I imagine is a beautiful but empty world with rare gunfights. Besides, the combat is the best part of Far Cry 2, so why do people want less of it?

Ubisoft also appear to working on some new DLC (downloadable content added to the game after release), which shows Ubisoft’s efforts to improve their existing products.