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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Thoughts On Far Cry 2

With rumors swirling around this week at the possibility of a Far Cry 3 being announced at E3 it made me think about Far Cry 2.

Far Cry 2 was a major departure from the the first game, no longer being developed by Crytek as that studio had moved on to Crysis it was instead made by Ubisoft Montreal. Ditching the man vs monster elements and the tropical island of the first game we're taken to a war torn Africa, on a mission to kill an arms dealer known as the Jackal. After a brief introductory/tutorial section you're presented with an open world to explore and find your way to your target.

Now this isn't really a review as I'm just writing down my thoughts on the game which I freaking loved. At a time when I was just tired of open world sandbox games Far Cry 2 was able to pull me in and every second of the entire month I devoted to playing this game was an amazing experience.

Now some people didn't really care for FC2 and yes I admit, it did have it's issues. It had some bugs and some glitches and some of the game mechanics could of been better but they're just some little things that I feel need to be looked past to enjoy what this game does right.

The one thing for me that FC2 had going for it was the immersion. Every step of the way I felt like I was in the deserts of Africa hunting diamonds and shooting fools. The little details like the barely there hub and the map you had to hold in your hands to use were so well done it helped bring you into the game. All this was presented with amazing graphics, I played the game on the PC and it is one of the best looking games out there, rivaling Crysis is parts. The Dunia engine really shines in this game as I think the only other game that uses it in full is the Avatar Movie Game.

I love the way the weapons work in this, they degrade as you use them and eventually jam and break down. It adds tension to a firefight when your gun is on it's last legs and you need to scramble to grab a fallen enemies' gun to finish off his friends. You can ambush supply lines to get access to new perfect condition weapons which will eventually break on you but for the real fun of it just use the guns the enemies drop. They only drop weapons in the worst condition and it ups the challenge and again the tension of the combat.

There is one thing I do not like about how they handled the weapons, they're broken up into three possible types. Primary, Secondary and Special. Primary are the basic assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles. Secondary are pistols and sub machine guns (Uzis and such) and finally the special weapons are rocket launchers flamethrowers and the like. I absolutely hate not being able to carry an assault weapon with a sniper rifle. You can get by with the dart gun in the special slot but really who wants to just put guys to sleep, I want to split skulls with a Dragunov and still be able to clean up with an AK-47.

Fire is very important in this game, you can use it to help in combat and that is really cool. Let's say you have a group of enemies in the field you can light said field on fire and kill them with that or use the same fire to corral them into an area for you to pick off easier.

I do want to mention that stealth in this game is just straight up broken. Enemies can see you from a mile away if you shoot one of their friends, you can barely sneak around and if someone lets out the slightest gasp when you shoot them in the face the whole area knows exactly where you're at. For a game that stressed how you could sneak and all that stuff for it not to work is really lame.

When you're wounded to your final section of life you get a severe wound. When you fix this wound you're treated to a gruesome animation of your character fixing the wound. You'll push bullet through your arm, reset broken fingers and pull sticks out of your leg. It's all really cool, I like how it's handled and I really wish more games would use this mechanic.

As I said in the article I did about more games needing co-op Far Cry 2 is the prime example of this. Most of the vehicles have multiple places to sit, namely the boats with a driver seat and then the gunner stations. It would of been great to cruise down a river with a friend, drop them off near the target then coordinate a strike on the target with them. This game sorely needed co-op and I think this is one of the biggest things it suffers from.

I also need to bring up the guard posts. When you pass through a guard post it's usually stocked with enemies, you kill them and move on. If you come back to the guard post they have respawned which is okay but you can just go barely out of sight of the post and turn around to be greeted with a full group of guards, all ready to kill you dead. It would of been cool if sometimes the posts are guarded by friendly units depending on you doing missions. The respawn rate on the guards should of been drawn out, you couldn't repair and restaff a guard post in a few minutes, it should take at least 24 in game hours for a post to respawn or even more depending on how far it is from the faction's main base.

The last thing I can say about Far Cry 2 that I didn't care for was the lack of mod support. Ubisoft didn't release the SDK for this one so the modders didn't get to have their way with the game. I imagine some amazing things would of been done to this one and I would of loved to see what people would of come up with.

I do list a lot of negatives here but don't get me wrong Far Cry 2 is amazing and it didn't deserve the hate it was getting by some reviewers and my fellow gamers. The game is one of my all time favorites any praise it gets it deserves but I see room for improvement in Far Cry 3. I hope Ubisoft takes some of the legitimate negative aspects of part 2 removes them and molds what's left into an even more amazing game.

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