Far Cry Review

Far Cry is a very good game. So good, in fact, that it has raised the bar for all other action games to come. Not only will it capture more than its fair share of game of the year awards, it will become one of those games that permanently implants itself in the collective memory of action gamers. What makes it such a great game? The short answer is excellent enemy AI, incredible environments, a wide variety of weapons and vehicles, and a great storyline. For the long answer, read on…

In Far Cry you are Jack Carver, a mercenary who’s hired to protect a woman sailing the South Pacific. This is no cushy assignment though, as there is far more to the woman and what has drawn her to the South Pacific than you are at first led to believe. Without warning the sailboat is struck by a missile and you find yourself washed up on the shore of a nearby island. Although the woman is nowhere in sight, the island is crawling with heavily armed mercenaries with orders to kill you on sight. You’ll have to stay alive in this very hostile environment while trying to locate the enigmatic woman and finding out just what all of these goons are here to protect. What you’ll find will certainly be far more bizarre than what you bargained for…

The island is as deadly as it is beautiful.

Just staying alive will be a difficult enough task for you due to the amazing AI of your enemies. Like most shooters, the location of enemy soldiers and vehicles is scripted by the game, as are triggered surprise attacks. However, you could replay the same battle multiple times and face a different battle each time. Your enemies are very aware of their environment and if they detect you they will respond accordingly. Depending on the situation, this may mean opening fire, seeking cover, or a making hasty retreat to call for reinforcements. In firefights they know how to use cover to move to a better firing position and don’t be surprised if you find that you’ve been flanked while your attention was focused on another foe. If you try to run through the game with your gun blazing then you will get yourself killed pretty quickly. Stealth tactics are vital and you’ll often need to reconnoiter an area to determine the best way to stage your attack, and of course evening the odds a little before the firefight with a few stealthy knife attacks is always a good idea. The excellent AI really works to provide for some tense and exciting gameplay that will thoroughly pull you into the game’s world.

Another good feature of the enemy AI in the game is that the mercenaries you face will go about there jobs realistically if they have not noticed you. They’ll carry on conversations, work-out, target shoot, and patrol the area. The binoculars in the game include a telescopic microphone, so not only will you be able to watch a working mercenary camp from afar, you’ll be able to eavesdrop in on their conversations.

Your options for dispatching enemies are numerous. The game features numerous real-world pistols, rifles, and submachine guns, and each has its own idiosyncrasies. Accuracy (both while moving and standing still), rate of fire, and effective distance all vary between the different weapons, so you’ll need to get a feel for the differences between the weapons in order to use them effectively. You’ll also need to determine the best weapon for the job in each situation as the game limits the number of weapons that you can carry at one time. You certainly don’t want to get caught bringing a knife to a gunfight, so to speak. In addition to the firearms, the game features several classes of grenades from flashbangs to frag grenades.