Top critical review
Far Cry: Decent
on 27 April 2014
I loved the PC version of this game and the later Far Cry 3 on PS3, which made me look seriously into FC:I. Since playing it through, I felt I would share my impressions on what turns out to be a mixed bag of some excellent aspects, and others which are extremely poor.
There isn't a great amount of depth to it to be honest, but then again, this is the world of the FPS where the story is really not as important as the action elements and the gameplay itself. In case you weren't already aware, you play the role of Jack Carver, an ex military man who is dragged into a paradise gone wrong. Islands crawling with mercenaries and other less amenable creatures are your new home, and you'd better start enjoying it, because the action comes thick and fast. Due to the lack of depth, it's quite hard to go into detail without the presence of spoilers, so I will leave you with the fact that it isn't that great, but it's not really a deciding factor in how the game pans out.
There is a lot to say about the graphics in this game when looked at from a purely console orientated view. The developers have really done a fantastic job pushing the most out of what is an aging console soon in for replacement. The environmental detail and slight bloom effect will make you enjoy the outdoor areas of the game and though some of the finer detail is a little bland, when compared to many other Xbox games out there, it really does stand out. The frame rate is very solid, but unfortunately it comes at a price.
That price "pop-up" and though this is purely down to the limitations of the system upon which it is played, it is a shame that many of the finer textures and detail only come into focus when you're right on top of them. A lot of textures are also a little bland when you get close to them, which is a pity in an otherwise good looking game. It can cause a little loss of immersion, but nonetheless, it is a beautiful game and though there are indoor areas, you'll only have eyes for the tropical beaches. Character models are also a little similar at times and could have used a little more time on them to make them rival the stunning environments.
Now, to my mind, the most important thing when considering buying a game is the way it plays. Forget the sound and the graphics, you can have a great looking, yet generally dull game. It's not totally the case here, but in terms of the single player experience this game leaves a lot to be desired. Why? Well frankly, it's the shockingly bad AI. The enemies in the game do lack a little material between the ears and may often be seen getting stuck, standing still whilst firing at you or generally running in your direction waiting to get gunned down. It is poorly implemented and makes the game far too easy - add to that the fact that there are no difficulty levels and you find that you're left with a somewhat hollow experience.
The feral abilities are gimmicky. They only add to the arcade like feel this game seems to convey, with the over the top auto aim and stupid AI, it's run and gun and crazy physics for much of the time. Whilst they certainly add to the element of fun, they end up feeling tacked on and after the first few times of use, you'll find yourself going back to the guns. Vehicles are implemented well throughout the game with a variety to choose from such as the ATV, hand-glider, 4X4 and so on and add to the variety of the game. Another disappointment with the game though rests with the linearity of it all. It feels far too much like you are on rails and after the PC version showed so much potential, it is a great shame they couldn't expand on that in this game and give you some alternative routes and different ways to play out the levels.
Then we have the auto-aim, which in the single player, takes a whole lot of skill out of the playing experience. Bullets will wind their way to the target, even if they weren't aimed well in the first place if the crosshair is red. It just requires very little skill, and though this can mean a fun blasting of enemies, for me, that is not the way the game should play - if you miss, bullets shouldn't home in on their target, but sadly, a lot of the time they do. Again, this is a big negative as coupled with the poor AI, most enemies are sitting ducks for an easy take down.
So after all that criticism, I would stress that this is my take on it, and though stealth elements and feral abilities are present, they feel a little rushed and the sub-standard AI means that your traps often go unused. It is no doubt a fun run and gun shooter, but don't expect any more depth than that. It promises much and I feel, fails to deliver.
Generally no complaints here, the sound is pretty atmospheric, the music is well implemented and as in some other games around, the radio broadcasts are a fairly constant source of mild amusement. Guns and vehicles all sound nice and meaty and all effects play out well through a good TV.
In terms of single player it would score a big fat zero. For reasons already mentioned such as the lack of difficulty levels, this extremely short game (8 hours average first completion) is far too short to hold your interest for more than 2 run throughs, and that is being kind. So where does this 8 come from? Multiplayer and map maker, that's where.
Thankfully, this is the one thing that this game gets absolutely right. The multiplayer is entertaining and varied with a Predator gametype added to the usual mix which adds a new twist. One player becomes the Predator each round and is given special abilities whilst everybody else's task is to hunt them down. The map maker is intuitive and provides many opportunities to create a wide variety of maps which can keep you and your friends entertained for many an hour.
The fact that the single player of the game is too short, too easy and generally unsatisfying. The weapons and vehicles are nicely balanced and integrated well, yet when you have enemies this stupid, it really is of little consequence.
The multiplayer is the saving grace, but the xbox live component has long been shut down. A good version on the classic xbox, but sadly not a patch on the original and feels too arcade like and simplistic to last very long.