Monday, November 24, 2008
I admire Far Cry 2 for attempting something different. The FPS genre is filled with countless cookie-cutter clones of each other, and gamers could definitely use something other than rugged space marines shooting aliens in a linear environment. Far Cry 2 strays from the course with an open-world FPS set in Africa. It's ambitious, but it has a little trouble getting over the sheer size of its environment.
Ever since GTA III, there has been an explosion in the popularity of sandbox open-world games. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how big the world is...it's going to have issues if systems aren't in place to avoid tedium. Oblivion and GTA IV got it right by offering quick travel or taxi options. Games like Just Cause got it all wrong, as wrecking your car in the middle of a giant jungle isn't a whole lot of fun if you have to run for 10 minutes just to get to another road. Far Cry 2 tends to fall more into the latter group (but don't worry, it's not nearly as bad as Just Cause).
Your character will be dropped into the middle of a war between two rival factions, and your primary objective is to kill a man known as The Jackal. The story is awful, and is probably the single worst aspect of the game.
The presentation lends itself towards total immersion, helped in no small part by a limited HUD. While I do have complaints about the amount of travel, this also helps out with the immersive feel. It's not all walking, as you'll find cars and boats to speed up your trips.
Overall, it's an interesting take on the FPS genre that will please patient gamers. I won't say "if you liked the original, you'll like this" as it really has no connection with that game other than the title. However, if you're tired of linear RPGs set in space, this will be a welcome change of pace.
First Play: 7.5
Replay Value: 7.5