For pretty much the first time Far Cry makes you feel as if you are fighting against a real foe, with real intelligence. And if that's not enough to impress there's the aforementioned amazing graphics, seven different vehicles to pilot (including a hand glider), tons of different weapons and really realistic looking bushes. That last may not sound that impressive, but the game's recreation of a real jungle environment is quite outstanding and the real icing on the cake of this top-notch shooter. --David Jenkins
Freelance mariner Jack Carver is cursing the day he ever came to this island. A week ago, a brash female reporter named Valerie had offered him an incredible sum of cash to take her to this unspoiled paradise. Shortly after docking, however, Jack's boat was greeted by artillery fire from a mysterious militia group swarming about the island.
With his boat destroyed, his money gone and the gorgeous Valerie suddenly missing, Jack now finds himself facing an army of mercenaries amid the wilds of the island, with nothing but a gun and his wits to survive by. But the further he pushes into the lush jungle canopy, the stranger things become.
Jack encounters an insider within the militia group who reveals the horrific details of the mercenaries' true intentions. He presents Jack with an unsettling choice: battle the deadliest mercenaries or condemn the human race to a maniac's insidious agenda.
The gameplay is FANTASTIC. The key bindings are the best I've ever encountered. The gameplay is balanced in terms of pace, tension, variety, difficulty, and in indoor and outdoor locations. While playing, one rather gets tired than bored, which is great, because after a brief nap, it's back to the PC for some fun fun fun. Well, isn't that what gaming is all about?
The indoor levels reminded me of Quake 2. Very tense. The outdoor scenes, as you probably know by now, cannot be compared to anything out there - they are nothing but AWESOME. Beautiful and totally immersive!
There are reviewers who claim not to be impressed by this game. I cannot understand how someone can't be impressed by this game. In that case, nothing will impress them, as this is a title the developer may justly be proud of. Nevermind Halflife 2. Get this.
The gameplay can get challenging at times, but not in an overwhelming Serious Sam sort of way. You will often find yourself in situations where you have to stand back, get the big picture, find an alternative way, and get on with it. Lateral thinking stuff.
One last thing: I've read that the game is a resource hog, and that levels take long to load. Not true (apart from the 4 gig install). The game runs smoothly on my Athlon 2200 with only 256 Meg RAM and GeForce 4. Load times are equal to Raven Shield load times.
To summarise: what a game! What a trendsetter! Well done to Crytek! My ratings for this game:
Fun Factor: *****
Get it, you won't be disappointed!
For some reason, I didn't. And so Doom 3 and Half Life 2 showed up. Technically amazing, perhaps at the expense of replayability, these two titles formed my experience of modern day FPS games; I am after all a casual gamer, I dip in and out every few months/years.
Then I came across Far Cry for a mere £15 (sadly not from Amazon). And while that £15 was supposed to go in the "food to stay alive" jar, I'm glad it didn't. Far Cry is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this game is its graphics. Hundreds of trees and shrubs visible at any one time, swaying gently in the warm tropical breese. Crystal clear waters reflect islands and mountains in the distance. Birds flutter away and into the beautifully rendered sky. It's an experience that goes far far beyond the repetitive nature of Doom 3 (with its endless, nameless corridoors) and the confined city blocks of Half Life 2, with its false sense of freedom and non-linear gameplay (when it's the exact opposite).
These huge, lush outdoor environments are not just eye candy. The sheer scope and size of each map means that there are endless ways to approach an enemy or an objective. Swim under a dock and blow some heads off through a crack in the decking, or take the scenic route through dense undergrowth. Sometimes exploration yeilds the odd surprise - a jeep parked on the beach, which woud otherwise not be seen during your mission; it is there simply because it would be there in real life. Steal it, and suddenly your mission is alot easier.
It's this kind of non-scripted gameplay and freedom that truly lets you apply your own tactics and combat preferences to any situation. "Ghost" soldiers with your knife that are foolish enough to stray from base camp, or snipe from great distances constantly changing position. Or of course, go "Rambo" (and probably die in about 10 seconds). It's up to you. Needless to say this is not a run and gun affair. It's about stealth, planning, and taking your time...albeit not on the same scale as Splinter Cell.
Of course this would be no fun if the enemy were, well, dumb. Thankfully...they're not. Seeing how I ruined my experience of HL2 by playing it on "easy" straight off the bat, I decided to jump straight in and play on "realistic". And it's scary. The AI almost always goes for headshots. They find a seemingly limitless number of ways to get to you, flanking you, drawing you out into the open, and using the foliage for cover. On this skill setting, the level entitled "training" took a *very* long time.
Thankfully you get some handy firepower with which to dispatch the AI, and and most are satisfying to use. The pistol is far from weedy, eminating a piercing, echoing crack. The assault rifle soon takes over as "standard" weapon, and with the ability to toggle between single shot and automatic, it proves invaluable for both close up assaults and long range sniping. Later on you're treated to a semi automatic shot gun, as well as a sniper rifle - the effective use of which involves holding your breath to steady your aim! Of course there's the ever present rocket launcher with zoom sight, and a variety of useable gun mountings (that's, useable by you AND the enemy).
The vehicles on offer easily rival those found in Halo, and the vew from inside the cabin of a large truck as it bounds over hills while bullets pierce the windscreen is simply awesome, as is the physics and handling of each car/jeep/truck/boat/etc.
Of course, every game has its flaws. Some more than others. Thankfully Far Cry's flaws are few and um...far between. For one, the missions don't really vary too much beyond pick up item A and move to checkpoint B, or plant the bomb on the large red "ghost" bomb on the reactor. Basically every mission requires walking towards the flashing blue blip on the radar, and awaiting instructions on where the next one is. Which sounds bad, but fortunately the open ended nature of gameplay means the real challenge lies in finding new methods and tactics to deal with the mission at hand.
Also, the rendering of some of the enemies later in the game seems lacklustre compared to the incredible detail present in the marines in the early stages.
As has been said elsewhere here, the AI is sometimes a little too good at spotting you. In broad daylight, it's understandable (your character does sport a bright red hawiian shirt). In the caves, with no lights, they should be as blind as you - but they're not.
And ladders......at one point in the game I was indirectly killed by a ladder, such is the strength of its hold on you once you dare stray within a few feet of one.
Still, given what this game has accomplished, these are minor points. The fact is, the game is ultra-replayable, especially on Realistic difficulty. It is perhaps the single best attempt at creating a truly massive and continuous outdoor environment, and it mixes these with equally convincing interior locations. As of this moment, I've still yet to complete the game. Currently, I'm nervously creeping through dense forests in the dead of night. Odd how the same foliage that provided comfort and cover now hides some horrible menace that I'm truly..truly afraid of ;)
I go now, to play. I can only reccomend that you buy this amazing game. Forget D3 with it's (admittedly) superior lighting but substandard early 90's gameplay. Forget HL2 - which it pains me to say, but hey, play it once and you've seen everything there is to see. Not good enough for £34.99.
Buy Far Cry.
Now the plot may not be hugely original and it might well be slightly derivative of other titles in some of it's features, but it's just so well executed that you're prepared to forgive the small 'faults' that it has.
Graphically, this game is truly awesome. I've very recently upgraded my PC and used to play on 'LOW' details settings. Even then, I was reasonably impressed, but if you've got a system that's capable of playing this at it's optimal settings, then it will blow you away. The environments are beautifully rich and detailed and the draw-distance from elevated positions is phenomenal. I'm running with a P4 2.8GHz, 1GB RAM and a Radeon 9600XT with 256MB with the game in 1280x1024 and settings set to 'HIGH' now and it flies - it's just jaw-droppingingly beautiful in places.
The graphics are good but the game also excels in sound effects and music - it provides good atmosphere and serves to build the tension well in several places.
Playability is also good with the learning curve building well throughout the game. If I had one criticism it would be that the game doesn't yield new weaponary frequently enough sometimes and some of the early arsenal might not cut the mustard as you progress into certain levels within the game. It's also a very 'scary' game in places and provides some real 'pant-cacking' moments :)
This isn't a game that defines a new genre or provides anything amazing in the way of originality. What it does provide though is pure FPS fun in a wonderfully executed world with good atmosphere, tension and playability. It's superb and I can't sing it's praises enough. Buy it - play it - enjoy it. Nuff said.
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