on 4 September 2005
There comes a time, once every few years, when, from the midst of average first person shooters, one very special one emerges. Just like Half-Life, Call of Duty, Deus Ex, Far Cry is one of these games that has that certain quality to it. Believe me, Far Cry is a game that is special and definately worth your money.
Freelance boat skipper Jack Carver, sailing off an archipelago in the South Pacific, accompanying apparent photographer and journalist, Val, has his ship sunk by deadly mercenaries entrenched on the islands ... islands that hold dark secrets. Stranded and vastly outnumbered, Jack, i.e. you, will have to use his wits and the help of a mystery man called Doyle to keep himself alive against the impossible odds. A simple storyline, but one that unravels itself as you brave the game.
Far Cry is quite literally a beautiful game in every way. The graphics are absolutely astonishingly good, especially if you have a powerful PC, which, inevitably you will need to be able to appreciate the full effect of this gem. Every detail of your environment is like a work of art, near to real life. The water looks so real and fluid, it's just unbelievable. Jungle, beaches, open plains, high hills, mercenary camps, underground bases are all included; but you use these environments to your advantage so that they aid you in your tasks. The missions aren't literally linear levels; like Half-Life, you progress on a journey through this massive environment, receiving tasks and using your own wits to get to your destination and to achieve your objective(s).
If this were a normal FPS you wouldn't really have to care about your environment and would not appreciate it as much. But all of Far Cry's beauties are linked. You have to use your surroundings because the AI is so incredibly good. They adapt to the given situation; you'll find yourself having to avoid flanking maneuvers, enemies moving between cover, keeping their comrades covered - where there's one enemy, rest assured he'll have a buddy backing him up. These are not the brain dead foes you get in other shoot 'em ups; these enemies are like real soldiers in the way they operate. They will pursue restlessly, shoot accurately and are easily alerted, unlike some shoddy AI you get in other games. With the five settings of difficulty (easy to realistic), even the easiest setting is challenging and a salvo of shots can easily knock a substantial amount of health off. Essentially, the impressive AI and realistic environment makes Far Cry a tactical shooter as well as a FPS.
So with all these enemies itching to plant one between your eyes, what do you have to counter them? A staggering array of an arsenal, ranging from pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, silenced machine guns, sniper rifles ... not only this, but you're able to commandeer practically any vehicle you find. Jeeps, dinghies, patrol boats, forklifts, trucks, dune buggies, even hand gliders. The guns are amazingly portrayed, the recoil relevant to the weapon, as well as the range and inflicted damage, although lack of melee and stealth weapons is notable - Far Cry could've done with a melee combat system. Just aim in the right place to make your guaranteed kill.
Yet, for all Far Cry's attention to detail in AI, weaponry, vehicles, environment, it's one small glitch is that there's not much else to do apart from shoot and kill. It'll never get repetitive, especially since each kill of an enemy is a small achievement, but unfortunately it lacks the use of objects around you. There's no using in-game computers to hack enemy security systems, civilians, or interaction with day to day items (the hi-fi's on the islands annoyingly play the same, basic bongo tune). Such small things make games more accomplished. Sadly, Far Cry lacks this nice little quality. Although, you have to consider this is a FPS and not a role-playing game.
The good majorly outweights the bad in Far Cry, as this is such an impressive game. If you buy it, there's still plenty of replay quality as the tasksare open to be done in numerous ways, some more efficient than others. The combat, graphics, AI ... all amazing. Worth every penny of your money.