|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 12, 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: M||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
When Nintendo announced the Wii's (then called Revolution) motion-sensing controller, many gamers got excited. This new method of control could be applied to new and old video game genres alike, creating new and exciting gameplay experiences. The genre that many assumed the controls would be perfect for was the first-person shooter (FPS). While this may still be the case, Far Cry: Vengeance is definitely not the game to showcase it.
In Vengeance you play the part of Jack Carver, a mercenary for hire who just wants to retire in peace. While sitting at a bar enjoying a drink, he is approached by a mysterious woman. Shortly after this encounter, the locals mistakenly believe that you have committed a murder. Now, instead of rest and relaxation, everyone around you wants to fill you with bullets. To survive you must make your way through an army of enemies to clear your name. Unfortunately, the game's storyline fails to clue you in on some important details, like how you have developed superhuman abilities. I suppose this really doesn't matter since you most likely won't care to play this game long enough to question the omissions.
Saying Far Cry: Vengeance is a bad game would be like saying the surface of the sun is warm. While this may seem harsh, this game is a mess and fails utterly in virtually every single aspect. To start, Vengeance is just plain ugly. The in-game environment is mostly a blur of horrible looking foliage, water, and muddy ground sprinkled lightly with huts and buildings. This game has some of the worst looking water that I've ever seen and the horrible looking foliage casts blocky looking shadows. Most of the enemies in this game also look incredibly terrible. Considering that there are only three or four different variations of enemies, this is hard to believe. Also, at several points in the game, the frame rate drops so dramatically that you will think you are playing a slideshow through your Wii. Perhaps the ugliest part of this eyesore of a game comes in its cinematics. I can't stress enough how bad these cutscenes actually look. These cinemas are honestly about the quality of Sega CD or early PS1 games. There is absolutely no reason to release a game that looks this bad when it is just a port from a version on a less powerful system that actually looks better.
Vengeance doesn't just have ugly graphics. The sound is abysmal as well. Most of the sound effects in the game are average at best, with others coming off as incredibly cheesy. While my character was walking around the jungle, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had a Monty Python cast member following me while clacking coconut halves together. Enemies' voices sound incredibly grainy and are very difficult to understand. This was made even worse by the fact that when enemies were talking, their voices would cut out about halfway through what they were saying. To me, there is nothing better than being half-threatened by someone that I can hardly understand (heavy sarcasm). Add to this some mind-numbing and repetitive music and you have one of the worst sounding games I've ever played.
But wait, there is one way that this game could try to semi-redeem itself, or at least not fail completely. Unfortunately though, the controls used in Vengeance are also a mess. The game does do some things right, perhaps by accident. But even these minor accomplishments are often ruined by other failings in the game or just by poor design choices. Moving with the analog stick and aiming with the Wii-mote feels very natural and works rather well. It is too bad that precise aiming doesn't matter if the game is overflowing with poor hit detection. There were several times that I had a headshot that only resulted in minimal damage and alerted the surrounding enemies of my presence.
Most of the game's motion-based movements are poorly designed and hard to use. In most FPS games, sniping is one of the most enjoyable parts. To snipe in Vengeance, you have to literally stab the Wii-mote towards the screen to use the scope. Since you also aim with the Wii-mote, zooming in to snipe can induce vomiting. Perfectly aimed shots quickly turn into close-ups of the ground while attempting to zoom in for the kill. Also, to heal, you must shake the nunchuk left and right while jumping is handled by shaking the nunchuk up and down. This poor choice results in the invention of what I'd like to call the jumpheal. Imagine you're about to die. You find a boulder to hide behind so that you can heal your wounds and then continue to fight. You begin to nurse your wounds when you look up and realize that you are flying in the air directly in your enemies' line of fire. This is the beauty of the jumpheal, it is incredibly aggravating and will result in many undeserved deaths.
It is clear that Ubisoft released this game well before it was ready. If they had spent more time developing this game and fixing these problems, Vengeance could have been a great title for the Wii. As it stands now, this game is just a complete mess. It appears that it was just hastily ported to the Wii to try and cash in on the lack of good shooters for the system. I can't stress this enough, stay far away from this game. If it wasn't worth Ubisoft's time to make this game work, it is definitely not worth your time or money.
CCC Freelance Writer