Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Overview

Far Cry has actually been a staple for an open world shooter over the years and was originally a great test of your PC’s graphical power. Following a number of somewhat good outings on the consoles, Ubisoft is back on with the franchise and finally we have made it to the first true sequel, Far Cry 2. Today we are checking out Far Cry 2 on the Xbox 360 which hopes to take advantage of the graphical capabilities while continuing to provide the great Far Cry experience? So what are the final results? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

So if you haven’t played a Far Cry title before, Ubisoft thinks there couldn’t be a better time then now. The game has changed quite a bit, more aesthetically, but changed nonetheless. The hardcore Far Cry fans will still feel familiar with the experience, but new fans are welcomed in with open arms.

So let’s talk about Far Cry 2 and in order to begin we have to start with talking about the games African setting. First off the choice of setting is truly spectacular, its not an area used all that often in video games and the choice for Far Cry 2 is actually a perfect one. You play as a mercenary and are given an amazing first hand look at the war lords, and the true destruction that is happening in parts of Africa. The game sets up the experience with very little plot, but that’s ok, it starts off with guns blazing and that truly is when the experience is at its best.

As I mentioned the developers have created an open world experience, so your going to be doing a lot of traveling through a very harsh African landscape. Now when I say traveling, I am not saying like 30 seconds and your at your next objective, I am talking 5+ minutes of travel time. That is not to mention the fact that a lot of times you will have to pass enemy territory to get to your next mission which can then cause you to die and start the travel all over. Travel is a good element of the game, but it really breaks up the action a bit to much. You can get into an amazing gun battle, and then find yourself trekking back over the map to your next objective. This really is the greatest weakness of Far Cry 2.

As I mentioned traveling from place to place is a big part of the game, to get from place to place there is of course vehicles. Usually you will find yourself in some form of a Jeep  taking yourself through some rough terrain trying to avoid enemy fire. Speaking of enemy fire, if your vehicle takes to much damage, it will often break down and you are forced to get out and fix it, another minor annoyance that slows down the experience. Regardless driving throughout the environment is well done, the controls are easy to pick up and work quite nicely.

The single player experience overall though is fantastically done, it is deep, rich with content, and a very viable scenario. I do wish instead of giving you a list of characters to choose from that they stuck with one primary character and developed his/her role more. The story is literally one that keeps you moving from start to finish and for me was one of the more engaging experiences I have played this year. You can upgrade your weapons by completing missions and getting paid in diamonds, upgrading your weapons is a big help and they make sure to keep the playing field level throughout. More then anything the developers really paid attention to detail in the entire single player experience and for that I have to say I was truly impressed.

The multiplayer obviously wasn’t a focal point for Far Cry 2, but the inclusion was still a solid one. You have a few different options online, and the experience can be enjoyable, but for me I was just far to interested in the single player experience to really spend a great deal of time online. With that said the online experience was smooth, and had some good moments, just nothing to stand up to the likes of a Call of Duty online experience.

When it was all said and done Far Cry 2 is a great experience. Its not perfect, there is far to much time traveling, and missions can feel repetitive. The buddy system in Far Cry 2 isn’t perfect, but it makes not getting killed all the time more realistic. Overall the scope of the game is really what it comes down to, and that is where Far Cry 2 in terms of gameplay shines. The story and the experience help get you past any issues you have with the game, and for that you have to love what Far Cry 2 has to offer.

Graphics

Far Cry 2 may be one of the best looking games of the year, hands down. Its not perfect, but its downright gorgeous. The experience like I mentioned many times before takes place in a very desolate African setting and it sets up for an environment that i am not used to playing in. The most engaging aspect of the experience however is how the developers have used the first person perspective. Need to heal? Well why not take your knife and remove that bullet. Need to take of your malaria get some pills and pop them before your enemy shoots your brains out. Far Cry 2 is a very gritty visual experience and one that doesn’t loose its flare.

Notice I did say that Far Cry 2 was one of the best visually pleasing games out there, it does have some issues. The most noticeable is a lot of pop-in, especially when you are driving through the environments. There are some minor jaggies and detail is missing in a few minor areas but overall this is one game that makes your HD set really show off its stuff.

Fun Factor

With such an amazing holiday season, I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of Far Cry 2, and I never imagined that it would be as engaging as it was. If there was one thing that I have to hand it to Ubisoft for doing with this title was really making it an engaging experience. From the opening cinematic to the final dramatic scene, Far Cry 2 offers up an unparalleled experience that I think will really engage gamers. Sure its another first person shooter, but this is a first person shooter that to me took me deeper into the experience then I have gotten out of many others FPS this year. The open world  experience was really a nice breath of fresh air from the typical point A to point B shooters.

Overall

Far Cry 2 may be the surprise game of the holiday season. Will it sell, that is a different question. Should you pick it up? I would say absolutely, there are a few great shooters out this holiday and I truly believe Far Cry 2 is up there with the likes of Call of Duty: World at War and Gears of War 2. Far Cry 2 may not be the game everyone is talking about, but they should be.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.