Top critical review
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The second one was better...
on 5 February 2013
I chose this as I'm the type of person who would like to play though an entire series from the beginning rather than start in the middle, regardless of the quality of gameplay. The reason for this is because I don't like to leave any part of the story out; I like to be able to have the entire backstory to a game.
I didn't realise this when I made my purchase, but it turns out that the stories of Far Cry and Far Cry 2 are completely unrelated. They have none of the same characters, not the same location, nothing in common really. This wasn't a problem as such, but I thought it was strange to put them under the same title. Also, if I had known this, I wouldn't have spent more money to get both.
The first game failed to grip me. I felt that overall gameplay didn't match up to some of the other games of the time. Granted, it's an old game, but there are some much better games from even before 2004. The stealth system was seriously lacking, something that Crytek have corrected in the Crysis series. The enemies were not smart or interesting. I also felt that the graphics left much to be desired, even for 2004. I must confess that I didn't actually finish the game, but the story so far was terrible. It was disjointed, and the whole element of storyline only appears once every so often - most of the time you have an objective that is vaguely related to something important and there's a little bit of dialogue when you're done. It got very repetitive: kill mercs, kill mutants, kill mercs again, and so on. This game is really not worth getting.
After not finishing the first game, I wondered whether I should get started on the second. I'm very glad that I did. It became apparent quite soon that I didn't need a backstory. It's set in Africa, and you play as a mercenary pitching in on both sides of a civil war. The gameplay is by no means unique, but it's still very fun and rewarding. It's open-world, not on a huge scale, but large enough to keep you occupied. What really made this game so special for me was the environment. I grew up in Africa, so when I discovered the setting I was doubtful that they would be able to capture the atmosphere. I was wrong. The sounds and sights are remarkable, and everything about it made me a little home sick. From the birds to the mosquitoes and the voices of the Afrikaanas, everything seems so perfect. I suppose my view is a little biased, but I was very glad that they did such a good job on the environment. And as a game, it's still very good.
My recommendation is that you don't buy this set, just the second game. It is superior by far, and the storyline and gameplay are so different that you don't need to have played the first to get the hang of the second.