Far Cry 2 was one of the most expected games this holiday season, promising to bring back the same great shooter experience as well as the fabulous graphics and highly detailed world of the first title. Ubisoft heavily marketed this game and said that it would completely change the way players looked at other shooters, setting a benchmark that would be hard to match.
The game was promoted as a spiritual successor to the first Far Cry, as almost everything changed – the main character wasn't the same ex-marine dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, the tropical island surroundings were replaced with a violent African country, and even the development team was different, with Ubisoft Montreal taking the place of Crytek. So, with all these changes, can fans call this game a true successor to Far Cry 2, or will it be just another shooter that will capitalize on the reputation of the original title?Story
The story is very different from that of the first game, as you aren't just some ex-marine who gets stranded on a tropical island where a crazy scientist made a lot of experiments on various animals. One of the main features of the game is the fact that you can choose your main character. Whether you want to be an Irish mercenary who worked for IRA, or a Haitian former paramilitary soldier, it’s all up to you. Every character has its own individual experiences, which have an impact on how the game is played out.
Although some aspects of the story change according to your initial character choice, the main goal is the same. You need to kill a mysterious weapon dealer called The Jackal, who has single-handedly fueled the war in the small African country in which you are placed. With the help of various people, mercenaries like yourself, the story is portrayed to you, as you sit back and watch how the delicate balance of power in the country is manipulated by your own actions.
The story does have its twists and key points where you are faced with some pretty hard decisions, which, in the end, affect the fate of the entire country. Your buddies will also aid you with valuable insight into the infrastructure of the country and give you key information about your supreme target, The Jackal.
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|Your target, The Jackal ||A beautiful sunset |
The gameplay is very well built, offering such a realistic shooter experience that it will pretty much change the way you look at other shooters these days. From the fact that your weapon becomes worn out as you use it to the fact that you need to pull out the bullets from your wounds, the development team has neglected no aspect. Lifelike situations have all been implemented and the actions of your character seem as natural as possible.
The shooting mechanics work great and deliver a worthwhile experience – you can't really kill an opponent unless you're at point blank range, and you are equipped with a high powered weapon, but don't forget, if you've used the weapon a lot, it will jam on you, prompting some very quick thinking. It's moments like this that the realism of Far Cry 2 impacts the player. Things like your vision getting blurry after you run for a brief period of time, or the fact that you need to unfold the map in order to see where you are, are so natural that some players might even take them for granted, but they become so obvious after you begin playing another game.
Although the vehicle portion of the game is very well done, it does become rather annoying after a while. The vast open world can't be explored on foot, like you did in the first game – cars, trucks, buses, boats or even hang gliders are essential if you want to get from one point to another, and this does make you think that Far Cry 2 resembles a Grand Theft Auto: Africa version of the popular sandbox game. It can become quite repetitive at some point, as you always drive past the same guard posts with enemies that always respawn five seconds after their deaths. This is why the bus system has been implemented in the game, as it can easily transport you from one point of the map to another one in just a few seconds.
The save system is very interesting, as you need to sleep, like in GTA, and you see the distinct day and night cycle while your game is being saved. There are a big number of side missions, which can be obtained either from your buddies, and you receive their help in return, from the local weapon shops, where you get new weapons in exchange for your services, or by simply hacking into the telephone antenna and listening in on the conversations. The main storyline offers 33 missions that can easily take up to 15 hours to complete, making Far Cry 2 a pretty long game by today's standards.Concept
The concept is pretty innovative, largely due to the fact that it has its action placed in Africa and tackles a lot of the sensitive aspects of various countries in that continent. Far Cry 2 has a very distinct feeling to it – it isn't like a lot of shooters on the market nowadays; it feels original and it delivers on a wide variety of aspects, from realism to the excellent game mechanics.
And speaking of realism, it is second to none if you compare it with any other game, from the fact that your weapons jam if you use them too much, to the gory scenes where you must heal yourself and pull out bullets from your extremities, everything seems natural and in its place. Also, you must repair the vehicles that you use if you want to prevent them from slowing down or stopping altogether and you need to take care of your buddies if you want them to help rescue you when you're facing a lot of enemies.
Of course, one of the most innovative concepts that this game portrays is the fire. We've seen quite a lot of trailers that showcased this very interesting part of the game, but nothing could prepare someone for the first encounter with fire in this title. The image of scorched grass and burnt wood is unbelievably lifelike and it has a great impact on the player.
Visuals and Audio
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|Realistic fire ||Your buddies |
Far Cry 2 is the successor to one of the most graphically stunning games of the last years. Its detailed surroundings and well-polished environment are still used as a benchmark for games, which made the Ubisoft Montreal team even more determined in bringing this game to the next level in terms of graphics.
And the team succeeded clearly, as this game offers such fabulous surroundings that almost any player will take a moment to just stop and admire the sunset, the valley beside a mountain or just the lifelike foliage. The effects are also top notch, as every move of the characters in the game is detailed and feels natural.
Audio wise, the game is really excellent, as the tracks, which reflect the African setting of the game, give players an even more realistic experience. While it may go unobserved for most of the time, the music does make its presence felt when you go into a violent firefight or when you attempt to escape your enemies. Also, if you take the time to walk through the forest portions of the map, you can clearly hear all the birds that live in the trees above you.Multiplayer
The multiplayer aspect of Far Cry 2 is pretty well polished. It delivers a very good online experience, but in some ways it appears just tacked on. The game focuses on the single player campaign, and, as such, the online mode isn't something gamers will definitely try. There are four modes available, like the classic Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch and the new Capture the Diamond and Uprising modes.
Players can choose from six classes of characters, each having its own strengths and disadvantages. Gamers can be either the Commando, Sharpshooter, Guerrilla, Rebel, Gunner or Saboteur. Each of these classes will have specific weapons and they can invest their experience points in different upgrades to these objects.Conclusion
All in all, Far Cry 2 delivers a great experience to all shooter fans. It takes realism to new heights, implementing it in almost all of the game mechanics – from shooting, to healing to driving, everything is lifelike and seems natural. The story is quite compelling and, although it seems a bit cliché, it ends in quite an interesting way.
Despite the fact that it might become repetitive at some point, the open world and different types of missions make up for it, and the conclusion of the game delivers a pretty interesting end. If you are into shooters and sandbox games, then you should definitely pick up this title. Ubisoft have done a great job and delivered a worthy successor to the first Far Cry.