Review: Far Cry 2

After Crytek developed Far Cry in 2004, Ubisoft took over the franchise and gave it to Ubisoft Montreal to develop subsequent games. Originally marketed as a sequel to the first game, Far Cry 2 is an open-world FPS and has very little, if nothing at all to do with the first game.

Set in the Unnamed African Country, where the government has recently collapsed, two factions are currently fighting for control: UFLL (United Front for Liberation and Labour, led by a former opposition leader) and APR (Alliance of Popular Resistance, led by Chief of Staff of the old government). Both sides are equally ruthless, greedy and don’t care for the people they claim they represent. You are tasked with finding and killing a notorious arms dealer named Jackal, that has been selling weapons to both sides. Shortly after landing in the northern region of Leboa-Sako, and a short trip to the town of Pala, you are introduced to the situation in the country. On your way to the town, you begin to suffer from malaria and pass out. Surprisingly, you wake up to find Jackal standing over you, quoting Nietzsche, threatens to kill you, but instead chooses to spare you. Meanwhile, it appears the ceasefire has collapsed and you are forced to flee the town. You will either escape, but pass out from malaria or be severely wounded and pass out. It doesn’t matter, as you are revived by factions lieutenants and forced to do errands for them. After completing them, you acquire some malaria medicine by helping civilians, and from here on in, you are basically forced to work for both factions as a deniable asset to avoid a full-scale war, and hopefully find the Jackal.

Before being briefed on your mission, you can hear conversations between faction leader and his lieutenants were you can hear rumors and their plans for winning the war. Upon accepting the mission, you will be contacted by your buddy which will offer you an optional way of completing the mission.

Far Cry 2, lets you choose the character you want to play at, but there is no difference except for the model of the hands you will look at. It also introduces the buddy system which will either offer you an optional way of completing the mission and the other buddy will revive you when you are really in trouble. Buddies (the first one you rescue in your first mission), and the other one you meet in a bar. The buddies are characters you didn’t choose to play at the begging of the game. Besides offering an optional way to complete the main missions, the buddies will also offer their own side quests, which once completed will raise your relationship with them. One of the flaws with this is that some buddy side quests are ridiculous while some are quite serious. The optional way for the main missions they offer is always the same, its just the flavor text that is changed. They will suggest the same thing, but their motivation is different. Some are in it for the money, while some will do it for more noble reasons, but in the end, you will do the same thing. This could have been a great thing, but sadly it was never realized in a proper way. If your buddy is wounded during the battle, you have two options. You can heal them, by using one of your syringes or you can put them out of their misery by shooting them. If you choose the latter, you will get the next buddy based on your relationship with them.

One of more memorable mechanics is malaria. You have malaria, which will worsen as the game progresses. To counter this you must obtain malaria medication, by completing the quests for the underground, by delivering the passports to civilians. If you ran out of medication you will pass out, and spawn in the underground HQ, and be forced to do their mission to get the medication. This can get annoying as malaria will kick in every 30-45 minutes of play time, and you must watch out for your supply of meds.

The game also features weapon degradation. Weapon degradation is nothing new in video games, but here if you pick up weapons that are dropped by enemies, they will always be in bad condition. Brand new weapons can be purchased from the gun shop, and they are always in top condition. As the game progresses, your reputation will rise, which means the enemies will get better weapons as well. Weapons are purchased using diamonds (since regular money is obviously worthless), which can be found throughout the map, or by completing missions. As the weapon degrades, it will change color and finally begin jamming, which is fixed by smacking them (if you have any knowledge about weapons, this will be hilarious), or they will explode in your face. Several upgrades can be purchased, that will reduce recoil, less degradation time, etc.

Far Cry 2 has beautiful graphics and has aged very well for the game released in 2008. The game uses Dunia Engine and its updated version was used in every other Far Cry game. Everything from reflections, shadows, foliage looks amazing and is made in great detail. One of the best parts of the game was, that you can start the fire by using Molotov or a flamethrower and the fire will spread and destroy everything in its path, which can be used to your advantage. There is also unique healing animations, which will be used if you deplete all of your syringes or the health is too low. This may gross some people out, like pulling out a piece of shrapnel or twisting your arm back in place (there is also a small oversight in the game if you jump in the water and start drowning the game will play all of the healing animations). Also, the enemies seem like real people and are believable. They will shout out commands in the Afrikaans language, and if they are severely wounded, teammates will come and help them carrying them to safety, or they will crawl to a safe place and make their last stand. You also need to take out your map to look at it, and if you want to find the hidden diamonds you must follow a blinking dot on your locator. It’s a nice detail, which makes the game more immersive and believable.

One of the huge flaws of the game is the outposts and roadblocks. These obstacles are all over the map, and they will shoot at you on sight. After you clear them out and loot them, go on to complete the mission, and on your way back you will encounter the same outpost or roadblock fully staffed and you have to do the same thing all over again. If you drive through them, they will begin chasing you, and as the game progresses the will get more powerful trucks and will not stop chasing you, and you will have to fix your own vehicle over and over again, According to this interview, the games outpost were supposed to be rebuilt over several days in the game, but this was dropped probably due the time constraints. Also according to one interview said that there was also the idea for the player to join the faction, lead an attack, use the flare gun to call for reinforcements, but all of this was dropped.

Far Cry 2 is a good game, you can see a good foundation and some pretty good ideas, but the game has its flaws. The outposts and roadblocks are probably a part of this, but if you get used to it, its a pretty good game. Also, the weapon degradation is kinda redundant, considering you have a gun store in every part of the map, where you can resupply and get the new weapons. Far Cry 2 is good, but you must stomach its flaws if you want to see it through.

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