|System: X360, PS3, PC||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: Oct. 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
October 6, 2008 - During a recent event held by Ubisoft, we were fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with the multiplayer portion of the upcoming first-person shooter Far Cry 2. Being a game with such an ambitious single-player experience, it is good to see that the multiplayer hasnt been ignored. Much of what is included in the single-player campaign has been translated and worked into Far Cry 2s multiplayer offerings.
There are four modes available in multiplayer, including the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes as well as Capture the Diamond and Uprising modes. Capture the Diamond functions similarly to a standard capture the flag mode except after a player pilfers their opponents briefcase of diamonds, smoke will emanate from the case. This makes finding these case carriers much easier than in most games. Players will also only be able to score if their teams diamond case still resides at their teams base. This produces some interesting gameplay mechanics and makes protecting your diamonds just as important as capturing your opponents.
The games Uprising mode functions similarly to a mixture of the Team Leader and the Total Conquest modes found in Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Each team is randomly assigned a lieutenant at the beginning of each match. This lieutenant is tasked with capturing three control points on the map, as they are the only players with this ability, and staying alive. Once one team has all three control points captured, killing the opposing teams lieutenant will end the match. These matches can take a very long time to finish, as players try to keep their lieutenants alive while protecting already captured control points. This mode gets very frantic but maintains a good balance overall and really focuses on playing as a team. Uprising will likely be a mode that will be virtually unplayable unless you venture into it with your buddies (assuming youre all on the same page); there is basically no chance of ever gaining control of all three points if players just run off and do their own things.
Players are given their choice of six different classes, which are commando, sharpshooter, guerilla, rebel, gunner, and saboteur. These classes are all essentially the same, the only difference being your useable weapons. Sharpshooters will have weapons like a sniper rifle that make them long range threats, while gunners will be better equipped for when heavy firepower is necessary. Since players can switch their classes and weapon loadouts before respawning, it is fairly easy to choose the right class and weapons for each conflict.
While diamonds are the focal point of the Capture the Diamond mode, they also play a large role in the multiplayer as a whole. Players will earn experience from a variety of different things such as killing enemies and healing teammates. At the end of matches, this experience is tallied and turned into blood diamonds if it fills the bar completely. These diamonds are then used to upgrade your various classes. When you upgrade a class, it will unlock better weapons that, in turn, give you an advantage and help you earn more experience and upgrades. Each class can be upgraded three times, making fully upgrading all your classes a difficult goal to achieve but very rewarding and useful.
There are many nice touches found throughout the multiplayer experience. Vehicles can be found on nearly every map, ranging from Jeeps to hang gliders that help you traverse the terrain and can also give you a tactical advantage. Loading your team into a Jeep with a mounted machine gun is one of the quickest ways to nab your opponents diamond briefcase. Fire will still spread like it does in the single-player campaign, although it wont be as aggressive. Weather, such as rain, will also affect fire propagation, adding a sense of realism. All the games fourteen maps can be played during the day or at night and will actually transition between the two in longer matches. This adds a whole new dimension of both strategy and urgency, trying to finish games before the sun drops and your visibility drastically decreases, or using it to your advantage to sneak about and mount a comeback.
Health and healing are also handled in interesting ways in Far Cry 2. You start out with full bars of health and as you take damage they reduce. When down to your final bar of health, your character will bleed out unless you stop to heal. Players will undoubtedly take damage in a variety of different ways, including shrapnel from explosions, bullets, and even catching on fire. The game keeps track of this and gives players a healing animation that corresponds to the main cause of their pain. Long falls will result in setting bones, players will use their knives to dig bullets and shrapnel from under their skin, and its also fairly common to see your character patting down their arms and legs to put out flames. These healing animations are fun to watch, but players are left vulnerable during them, so finding cover beforehand is always a good idea.
With its already impressive single-player aspect and the inclusion of its solid multiplayer offerings, Far Cry fans should definitely be on the lookout for Far Cry 2 as its release date approaches. Including four different modes, fourteen varied maps, the ability to create and share your own maps, and supporting up to sixteen players, Far Cry 2 looks to keep players coming back for more even after completing its campaign. When you also factor in the rumored, all but confirmed, unnamed additions that should become available shortly following its release, this game should definitely provide quite a bit of bang for your gaming buck.
CCC Staff Contributor