By Sam Coles:
There are certain games that I’ll play during specific seasons and that could be because I like to increase my immersion to reflect the environments back at me in real life or I’m very weird. Far Cry 2 is one of those games it’s because there is nothing like playing the game early in the evening as you start to sweat as you trudge through the desert or humid jungles. I love this game and it gets a lot of flak for some reason and to be honest I never understood why as it’s a decent open world first person shooter.
Far Cry 2 takes place in a fictional North African country where you play as a mute faceless mercenary where you are tasked to hunt down a notorious arms deal named The Jackal where he has been taking advantage of the situation where he is selling arms to the two factions who are engaging in a civil war. I do find this a bit contradictory because you end up taking advantage as well because you jump between the two factions earning diamonds (the game’s currency) as you heighten tension between the two factions. Honestly the story isn’t that interesting and The Jackal as a villain isn’t great as he shows up three times in the game and he ends up helping you at the end of the game.
Far Cry 2’s gameplay is simple you journey around two large maps completing missions for factions, buddies or gun dealers to unlock better weapons. This sort system would be shunted these days as generic and boring, but bear in mind that this game is one of the first open world first person shooters so it was in its infancy. When you’re on a mission for a faction your buddy will ring you and tell you take an alternative mission or takedown a different person instead of the one you’ve been instructed to kill. I like this system because it makes think do you want to increase your notoriety or do you want a buddy as back up with a new safe house.
You can unlock new weapons by buying them with conflict diamonds which you’ll find scattered around the world or when you finish missions and you can then trade them for weapons and once you’ve bought that weapon it’s yours forever and you can pick it up from the warehouse next to the shop. Be warned though your guns will wear over time and this is what people don’t like about this game I however love it because it increases the tension in gunfights when your gun jams or and you’re panicking when you gun explodes in your hand. You can pick up enemy weapons but the problem there is that their weapons will be rusty and warn so use them at your own peril or if you are in the middle of nowhere with no other choice.
The game looks absolutely stunning with its environments with the dusty trails as you walk through town to the lush and vibrant jungles as you go inland. The explosions and fire effects are the best effects I’ve seen in a game I don’t think I’ve seen a game that has topped these effects. Fire will dynamically spread when you set grass or trees on fire and I’m stunned how the frame rate doesn’t drop with these effects.
The problems I have with this game is one that everyone hates the malaria attacks because they’re unpredictable and it breaks the flow of gameplay. Another nit-pick I have the AI is overly aggressive and will shoot you on sight, you can’t out run them because they seem to have faster cars than you even though they have the same car. Finally the fast travel system isn’t great as you can only fast travel from bus stations and you have to drive or walk there.
Far Cry 2 is a great game if you want to play a decent open world fps, by all means it’s not perfect but it is a tense and exciting experience. The game is very cheap and easy to find on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.