Far Cry 2

fc2In Far Cry 2, the new first person shooter from Ubisoft players get immersed into an open world environment that is utterly beautiful as it is deadly.

As the game opens, players select the character they wish to play and are treated to a lavish visual presentation that sets up the game. It is learned that the player has been sent in to kill an individual who has been setting up war in the region by supplying weapons.
No sooner does the player arrive when he realizes something is not right, as Malaria leaves them wracked and helpless, as their target gloats over them.

A quick fight follows which gets the game into motion as you become hired by a local faction to run various missions. At this point, players are introduced to allies and various locales as they run missions for payments. The local currency is diamonds and they more you earn, then the better the weapons at your disposal.

In a clever twist, weapons can jam or become defective, so obtaining new weapons is vital. Unlike most 3D shooters, new weapons are not obtained by simply taking them from fallen enemies. Players must instead locate weapons supply areas and purchase or repair new weapons with their diamonds.
This new wrinkle drives the game as players have extra incentive not only to complete assigned missions but side missions and explore as well. There are Diamonds throughout the map, and by using your map and GPS, you can locate diamonds scattered throughout the map.

Aside from main missions, there are side missions that allow players to earn more diamonds, but add a great chance to explore the map. Ubisoft Montreal has paid great attention to the detail of the landscape and provide players with over 50 square Kilometers of stunningly detailed maps to explore.
There are vehicles throughout the game, as driving cars and boats allow for easier travel between locales as well as a quick escape during firefights.

The enemy A.I. is where some of the rough spots of the game arise as they rarely do anything unique to avoid your attacks. I often use F.E.A.R. to compare A.I. as enemies that pull tables over to provide cover, shoot over the top of open doorways, and jump out windows to flank you. Many of the Far Cry 2 enemies took a direct path to me, and did not make to many enthusiastic efforts to evade me.

Thankfully this situation improved as the game went on, and resulted in some very intense firefights and when you gain allies as the game goes along, you can get some very challenging scenarios. One situation had me pose as bait to draw the enemies out so my ally could dispatch them.

The game does have plenty to offer for fans of multiplay as the game offers Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Diamond, and Uprising mode for up to 16 players and I really love the ability to use vehicles in my online matches and take great delight in driving my opponents under my wheels especially when there are snipers in the area.

The inclusion of fire is a great feature as with so much tall grass, being able to burn out your enemies with a well placed shot is loads of fun. Be warned as your stray shots can ignite fires that will singe you as well.

Another new inclusion is the need for players to consume Malaria medication to stay functional. This causes players to be aware of their supply of the medication and to seek out more medication when their supply runs low.

Weapons in multiplay also require players to purchase them, as the better you play, the better your income which allows you to upgrade your arsenal. Players can take part in ranked and unranked matches as well, and being able to track your progress.

The graphics in the game are top of the line and the rich detail paid to the landscape is truly a breathtaking moment in gaming. The sound and voice acting is solid if unspectacular but sets up the action and story of the game well.

While Far Cry 2 has a few blemishes like the map size, lack of a prone position, respawing bad guys, and some repetitive missions, there is plenty of good stuff here to make this a worthy game for any action fan and one of the more ambitious titles of the year.

4 stars out of 5