|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. 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
March 6, 2008 - From the people who brought you Far Cry: Instincts - but not the original Far Cry - comes the sequel to the 2004 game. Ubisoft Montreal is currently putting the finishing touches on Far Cry 2 and is promising some pretty groundbreaking stuff.
Don't expect any mutants in Far Cry 2. Ubisoft Montreal has worked hard to create a game that epitomizes realism in every aspect - including storyline. Jack Carver is gone, as Ubisoft found that most Far Cry fans didn't care much for the character; they have instead incorporated a number of characters you can play as. Far Cry 2 will give the player the option to choose from about 12 different mercenaries, each with their own look and background story. The story of Far Cry 2 begins with your character being deployed into war-torn Africa to take out a warlord known as The Jackal, who has sparked a conflict between two rival factions. Adding a completely new element to the game, your character early on catches malaria, facing you with a completely new problem. To help rid yourself of the disease and slow its affects on your health, you must explore the map and ask civilian NPCs for medicine while completing missions. As you travel, you will have to take on different tasks in different areas - many of which will involve killing NPCs and blowin' stuff up - which will all effect the environment around you. The game will also give you an infamy rating, which will affect how NPCs react to you, how your team regards you, and how much health you have. Because you'll be getting your medicine from the NPCs in the game, you will have to keep your infamy level down or they will refuse to interact with you. If this problem arises, you may have no other choice than to turn your character into a complete tyrant, killing NPCs to steal their medicine to keep yourself alive.
Using the original Far Cry as their main inspiration, developers wanted to continue the feeling of venturing to an exotic location. With the amount of games set in the jungle released in the past few years, Ubisoft took Far Cry to a whole new continent. Developers actually traveled to Kenya to get a sense of the country and try to capture it in the game. By experiencing the environment first-hand and taking photography, developers were able to re-create the atmosphere and wildlife not only in sight but in atmosphere. Their visions of the savannahs and woodlands as well as inspirations from the jungles of Congo are all terrains that will be found within the game's map. The map you will be working with in Far Cry 2 equals 50 square kilometers.
Ubisoft has developed a completely new engine for Far Cry 2 called Dunia, meaning "world," which will take advantage of multi-core processors and support DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10. The world you roam in will have naturally changing weather patterns that will actually reflect how you are doing in the game - if you are growing ill and your infamy level is high, the skies may remain dark and dreary. Wind will naturally pick up and slow down depending on the climate, and wind effects will actually be able to help spread fires and break objects and vegetation when really fierce. All of the trees are destructible and can catch fire and dilapidate as a normal tree would, and when you or an enemy shoots at the trees, they will destruct accordingly as branches and bark fly off in the may lay.
Ubisoft has announced there will be over fourteen vehicle types in the game, and with a large map to cover, you will need them to get to where you need to go quickly. Dune buggies can take you pretty well all over the map as you whip through high-grass areas. There is also a hand-glider, which you can use to coast off of tall cliffs and look over the map from a birds-eye view, as well as cover large ground quickly. Ubisoft has done good work of promoting this feature of Far Cry 2, and it will probably be among the most popular aspects of the game as you get a sense of the openness of the map and allow you to view everything from enemies to free-roaming wildlife. With the fourteen different vehicle types, there will be over 40 different variants of the vehicles which may come with different paintjobs or bulletproofing as well as technical aspects like two or four-wheel drive. So while some vehicle types are the same, different ones will drive differently and have different attributes.
There will be approximately 30 - 40 different weapon types to perform various forms of destruction. What is unique about the weapons system in Far Cry 2 is that the game will implement weapon degradation as you use them, just as a normal weapon would in reality. If you overuse a gun, it could jam at any moment during the game and possibly at the worst possible time. If you do not take care of your weapon or use one for a prolonged period of time, it could come back to haunt you. In the course of battle, when you shoot an enemy or blow him up, the dead body will react or fly though the air in ragdoll-like animation. Ubisoft has taken great measure to make the experience of Far Cry 2 as realistic in animation, environment, gameplay, and the experience of war. During a gunfight, you will also have to take protective measures to keep your health up. If you get shot, you will have to pry the bullet out quickly with your knife. If you accidentally catch yourself on fire, you will have to wipe the flame off your sleeve with your hand.
With a number of previews and screenshots already available, Far Cry 2 looks amazing. There is still no word on online features, though Ubisoft says all of the single-player features of the game will be available in multiplayer. Time will tell how Ubisoft lives up to the hype surrounding this game and if they can deliver all they're promising when the game hits stores this September.
CCC Freelance Writer