Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 10/21/2008
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The Good: Beautiful graphics, lots of weapons and upgrades, large game world, buddy system works well, exciting multiplayer
The Bad: Empty world, boring driving, not much in vehicle variety, story is uninteresting, unintuitive level editor, just plain boring
OK, Far Cry was in the day was a great technical feat and that’s pretty much it. Far Cry had a lot of AI problems with enemies being able to see you miles away, you needed a monster computer to run it, it had almost no story, and was pretty repetitive. Unfortunately, Far Cry 2 follows all these trends again, but with better graphics, a setting in Africa, an even more confusing story, a super confusing level editor, and the same bland boring huge open world. Now I’m not saying Far Cry 2 is bad I’m just saying it needs more filling because there is way too much crust on this one.
The game starts out great with you in the back of a car driving to the guerrilla’s headquarters. Once you get through the tutorial you’re thrown into the beautiful yet empty world trying to find “The Jackal” who is feeding both rival gangs guns and fuel (APR and UFLL). You can work for either side since you need either or to get to The Jackal. For starters, the game has lots and lots of guns and you can upgrade them by using diamonds (finding diamonds cases and/or completing missions) you can buy the weapons for infinite ammo in your safe rooms, you can buy manuals which increase accuracy, reliability, etc. You can also buy equipment that will let you hold more ammo, more health, more stim-paks etc. There are lots here and everything is fairly priced, but you earn diamonds so slowly it takes forever to get enough.
When you’re actually shooting the guns feel great, but another problem carried over from the first one is that these guys never die. You’ll pump a whole clip in these guys and some times they’ll still be standing. Some times your gun will jam and you have to mash X to get it unstuck and if you’re really unlucky you’re the whole gun will break and then you’re SOL. Getting the reliability upgrades fixes this and swapping out weapons from fallen foes helps this a lot. Far Cry 2 also has a “buddy system” which are acquired by completing missions, and these so called buddies can save you in battle (if you run out of health…think of it as an extra life), they can help make missions easier by offering alternatives. This is a great system and is probably the only great game play idea in Far Cry 2 that isn’t boring or doesn’t piss you off. When you do get low on health you can pry bullets out of yourself, wrap yourself in bandages, and even poke yourself with magic needles. You can refill these at health boxes in random areas or one of your save houses. You unlock new safe houses by killing all guards in the area and bam there you go.
The next game play element that is from the first game and was bizarrely stripped down is the vehicles you drive. There are only maybe five in the whole game and those are a Jeep, a car, an assault truck, and a couple of boats. When your vehicle gets banged up and starts smoking you can hop out and repair it to new which is great, but even if the car starts smoking a little bit it runs very slowly…LAME. Now to get to the most annoying part of the game…the constant back tracking. I understand this is an open world game (I love sandbox games don’t get me wrong), but Far Cry 2 fails at this. First, off the map they give you is horrible since it’s a little piece of paper you hold (next to your GPS) and all the dots look like blobs so the legend is useless. You’ll travel to missions on one side of the map finish it then has to navigate all the way back to town. You can’t really go off the trails since there are so many mountains, rocks, trees blocking your path unless you run on foot.
Then this is where the meat of annoyance comes in; there’s nothing in between all of this driving around! Maybe here and there you’ll see an animal, but all you get are the same thugs coming after you in their vehicles from the guard posts plastered all along the trails. That is really ALL there is between driving from mission to mission. The missions are exactly the same, maybe you’ll have to save a friend (or shoot him/her), but essentially it’s all the same.
The malaria effect was useless and made things even more annoying. Every so often you’ll have to take a malaria pill and if you run out you have to go to the ends of the Earth (ok Africa!) to get more or you die. Essentially this makes the game boring and I got a headache every time I played this. Now if you like sandbox games where there is hardly a story, and you just drive around killing random thugs then go ahead have at it. Now, this brings me to the level editor which is deep, but there’s no tutorial and it is NOT user-friendly. Lastly, the only exciting thing is multi player. The best part of Far Cry 2 is the graphics; the game is gorgeous with free flowing grass, everything burns, trees break when under fire, the lighting is beautiful it just all looks so good, but the game play is just not there. Sorry Ubisoft maybe Far Cry 3 will fix all of these issues.