Far Cry 2 Review - 30/10/2008

The sequel that says yes to the jungle boogie and a firm no to inhuman abilities.


The original Far Cry for PC and Xbox was a huge success, with its mixture of highly intense FPS shoot-outs and supernatural abilities. This sequel hopes to continue the franchise in the same vein of form, but make some drastic changes to hopefully carve itself into our heavily FPS focused world.

Most FPS games are aimed at multiplayer fans, and this is no exception. It includes 4 modes, all of which are the usual suspects in any shooter. There’s Death Match, Team Death Match, Capture the Diamond (a slight variation on Capture the Flag) and Uprising. In Uprising, a randomly selected player from each team is chosen to be the Captain, and the others must escort him or her, to each control point. Once all 3 control points have been captured, then the enemy’s captain has no respawns, and once he’s assassinated, it’s game over for them and you win. These modes can be great fun when played with the maximum number of participants: 16, but do lack the originality or twist that most other, current shooters are applying to their game-modes.

Fire is the main feature of the game.


The multiplayer contains two separate arenas: ranked, and unranked. Obviously you can gain XP in ranked, and move up further in the ranks, but in unranked, it’s all done for the fun and generally having a laugh, taking a much more laid-back approach to the whole thing. Every time you gain a rank in FC2, you are awarded a Diamond, this can be spent straight away, mid-game, to unlock a better weapon, in any class, or saved to purchase a more high-end boom-stick to unleash hell on your foes with. The weapons include AK-47s, Mini-Uzi’s, flamethrowers and even RPG’s. The only significant problem with ranked modes is that they only last one round per session, so after finding a game, you’ll only be playing for 15 minutes, and more often than not, it’ll take at least 5 minutes to find a game with a decent server connection to play in.

With those flamethrowers in mind, that brings us onto the environment in the game. The fire is superb, whether you are in single player, or fragging about online, the fire spreads exactly how it would in real life. With wind pushing it in random directions and ammo boxes exploding, flinging their contents at nearby foes whenever they are touched by the deadly flame, it's all pretty impressive. It also affects contrasting surfaces differently, for instance a log will burn for longer, than, say, a concrete slab.

Unintelligent single-player is disappointing.


Overall the multiplayer is decent, and has a lovely CoD feel to it. The only problem is that it seems a bit too similar. One of the strongest assets that this game has, compared to others in its genre, is the map creator. Any map can be created in seconds, and then uploaded to the Ubisoft server, to be shared with the world. You can add vehicles, buildings, alter terrain, and even recreate your most memorable scenes from your favourite movie if you so wish. It’s so easy to grasp, that even your Granny can whip up a map in a matter or minutes! You can also stack objects on top of each other, to personalise the pre-made buildings, and select where you want your spawn points and control points to be. This is a unique feature, that is probably going to be the only reason that you buy this over any other FPS this season.

That’s the multiplayer over and done with, now time to access the single player and the controls. The plot is simple, you choose your character from the start (it doesn’t matter which one of the several playable characters, as their stories are the same) and you are sent to Africa to kill ‘The Jackal’ who has been dealing arms to both sides of the civil war that is happening around you. It does sound promising, and you’d expect a slight MGS4 twist, depending on whose side you play on, but it’s completely the opposite. Through-out my time spent on the game, I was constantly attacked form both sides, no matter if I threatened them. It just appeared that they were both on the same team and I was on the Wanted List. Unfortunately, this disorientates the whole experience, especially when all the missions involve you going somewhere, killing an individual and then driving back to a nearby safe house to save. It’s quite similar to GTA in that respect, and it also contains many sandbox elements. You don’t have to do any missions, but right from the word go you catch Malaria, so you must do a couple of side-missions in order to get the correct medicine to help you recover. This can be very annoying for the lazier-gamer, who just wants to explore the sense of freedom that is masked during the first cut-scene.

The environments are breathtaking.


The controls for this title are also very CoD-ish. With L1 to aim, R1 to shoot, X to jump, Square to reload, Triangle to enter vehicles, directional buttons to change weapon, holding L3 allowing you to sprint for a short distance, it works well. L2 allows you to heal yourself, though these can prove to be hilariously wrong animations. Like when you lose health from being underwater for too long, you simply pop-in a broken arm!? This may be so, but nothing’s more satisfying than pulling out a bullet from your arm with your teeth in the midst of the battle!

Overall, this game offers an addictive multiplayer, but is too similar to CoD and other current franchises. They use the environment very well, and the dense, long-grass cover mixed with heavy fire effects play superbly, but they’re only a small fraction, of what is otherwise, what can only be described as a “I’ve Done This Before…” experience.

- Sam Foster

   

Simple, addictive multiplayer.

 
   
Easy to pick-up map creator.
 
   
Superb fire and environment effects.
 
   

Too similar to other FPS games on the market.

 
   

Only 1 ranked game per session.

 

7

   
     

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